Research in PR is the first step to any PR plan. You have to understand why you are creating one and why it’s important to your client. Content creation, strategy and communications are great skills in the PR field, but without the foundation of research it’s hard to put those skills in use.
Even from the moment before you want to write a PR plan you should have already done research. Who is your audience? If you’re working as PR manager for Justin Bieber you can’t create a message tailored to persuade people in their 40s’ or 50s’. Are you selling a product to teens or adults, males or females, students or professionals? Research involves more than this. You have to have knowledge of their lifestyle, preferences and behavior. This will help you develop and design your message in a way that’s interesting to your audience.
Another point to keep in mind is researching the media. Sending an article to an editor the way you want it to be will have less impact than if you write the article the style the medium uses. Do your research and find out who the editor of the “consumer electronics” section is because you will have to email or phone your pitch to him/her in order to have your article published – you don’t want to send your article about iPhones to the Arts and Entertainment editor.
Another important example is your client. You have to make sure you address why you came up with this plan, why you chose that medium, why is it going to cost too much. If you base all your answers on research, you shouldn’t have problems answering these questions.