Research in Public Relations

Research is critical to the foundation of Public Relations for any business regardless of the specific industry.  Whether managing a large corporation or a small business you need to know how to position your product to the needs of the public and properly address concerns that may arise.

Proper research is crucial. It provides companies an understanding of how the public might perceive the organization.  Additionally, independent research helps to eliminate any bias within the company.  If company management were to lean only on their own opinions of how they believe the public views them, the company might risk becoming complacent and not realize an opportunity for improvement of their public image.  When a company mismanages a situation facing the public, the best Public Relations firms in the country may not be able change the outcome in the short term.

Acquiring feedback is a primary reason for the research.  Any company or organization needs feedback of how the company is viewed as a part of society.  However, research is also critical as a tool to measure how the company is doing related toward business goals or the PR plan that was put in place for the company.

Understanding if the plan has worked or not allows the organization to choose if they want to keep the plan they are working with now or if they need to modify it or create a totally new plan

This research is usually obtained through customer surveys and other data research methods such as retail surveys, experiments, focus groups, interviews, and content analysis.

The results of the research will help lead the company to three main concepts.

  1. Understanding the client
  2. Finding the market for your good, service or message
  3. Effective choice of the medium used to convey your message

To be successful, companies and organizations require self-awareness.  Engaging in research and using that information to formulate a public image or a message is critical.  Market Research will provide an important outside view of the organization.  When used to formulate the PR plan, it will help to firmly enforce the desired message focused toward the public.


Lang, F. (1951). The Role of Research in Public Relations. The Public Opinion Quarterly, 15(1), 54-64. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from

Research gives public relations room to grow. (n.d.). Research gives public relations room to grow. Retrieved January 27, 2014, from

Symes, S. (n.d.). How Is Research Important to Strategic Public Relations Plans?. Small Business. Retrieved January 25, 2014, from


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