Saturday, June 13, 2009


Did you do your research

So you just came with a great idea for your company. You just landed a new client and are anxiously awaiting to jump right in. Create a Facebook page, sign up for Twitter, maybe even start a blog. You start crafting the press release, you start contacting the media. Easy there, let’s pull back on the reigns a bit.

A common theme that I’ve come across in meetings and when talking with new clients is they all are thinking big picture. That’s fine, it’s good to think long-term. But all too often we come up with an idea and jump right in before we have a clear plan. I appreciate the passion and excitement, however, before diving in, it’s crucial that you sit down and do your research.

Why research matters:
- Know your client – Know what your client has done in the past, know your client’s plan for the future. How will your work or campaign meet each of these? Along with knowing your client, know the competition. Has your idea been done before? Maybe Competitor X ran a similar campaign that didn’t generate any results, so why will yours work? Be ready to give concrete answers on the to explain your rationale.
- Know your audience – One of the first things you need to know when promoting a product or service is who your market is. This is PR 101 - going after the wrong market will only waste your client’s time and money and make you look incompetent. Market research involves more than demographics – you have to understand the behavior, lifestyle and preferences of your audience. Knowing your target market will help you determine what your message is and how to design it in a way that your audience can understand and appreciate.
- Know why we should care - Why will the media care about this? Is there demand for this product or service? This combines the two reasons above - has it been done, if so, why are you doing it again?

Research is the nuts and bolts of any campaign. In sports, before a game you come up with a game plan. In PR, research is our game plan.

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