ElliottK 2012-1 EXTRA04

Lecture #4
 Helps
determine who the campaign should
 Helps determine who to communicate with.
 Helps determine the best channel for
 Helps determine what the message should
 Helps understand the background/history
of those we are communicating with.
 Other reasons?
 Research
is the starting point of a PR project,
campaign, or assignment.
 In
order to solve a public relations problem,
research must be conducted first.
 Most
clients are less interested in what PR
professionals think than what they know.
This is why it is important to use data to
support what you know.
Research can be used so that PR professionals can
show their efforts.
 Often times, PR professionals use three “O’s” to
determine whether or not their work was effective
• Outputs- De we get the coverage we wanted?
 Fashion coverage can be useless if it is not the type that was desired
• Outtakes- Did our target audience see and believe our
 Were our efforts strong enough to change consumers’ minds, or
persuade them to buy our product?
• Outcomes- Did our audience’s behavior change?
 Did we see an increase in sales, more traffic in stores, more
attendees at an event, greater desire for a particular style or color?
 Research
is crucial to any PR plan because it
• Segment audiences into target markets
 If you are an organization selling high priced merchandise
and targeting college students, your plan of targeting the
correct audience will be ineffective.
•Analyzes audience preferences
·Trend forecasters often research trends and colors, it is
then the merchandisers and marketing teams that research
ways to make those desired by the target market. It is
important to know what your target market likes and
 Research: a
systematic collection and
interpretation of information to increase
PR professional must acquire enough
accurate and relevant data about its
publics, products, services, and
programs to answer several PR questions.
 How
can we identify and define our
constituent groups?
• Products? Region? Price? Income? *Demographics
are key*
 How
does this knowledge help us develop
our messages?
• Determining who we are communicating with will
help us decide what the message is
 How
does this relate to designing
• Not all programs work with each target market.
Programs can be based on gender, race, orientation,
religion, income, age, etc.
 How
does it relate to the media we use to
convey our messages?
• Conveying our message via social media sites work
much better for younger audiences than placing the
same message in Reader’s Digest and other print
sources. Print sources might be more beneficial
when attempting to reach other age demographics.
 How
does it relate to the implementation
tactics of our program?
• Tactics are used to help target markets appeal to a
particular program.
• The tactics used must intrigue your target market.
Establish objectives that lead to company goals
Differentiate between measuring outputs (press coverage)
and outcomes (changes in awareness, attitude, behavior)
• This can be very difficult to do.
Measure media content in the first step of evaluation
Be cautious of comparing public relations effectiveness with
advertising effectiveness the price of advertising;
comparing apples to oranges
Be sure to understand your target markets in order to deliver
clear messages to the right individuals.
 Describe
a process, situation, or
 Explain
why something is happening,
what the causes are, and what the effect
 Predict
what will most likely happen if
action is or is not taken.
 Applied
Research: is either strategic or
evaluative, designed to answer a specific
• Strategic: used primarily in program
development to determine objectives, message
strategies, and create benchmarks.
• Evaluative: used primarily to determine if a PR
plan has accomplished its goals and objectives.
 Theoretical: more
abstract and
conceptual than applied.
 It
helps build theories of why people
communicate, how public opinion is
formed and how a public is created.
• There are many theories on all of these.
 Serves
as a framework for persuasion.
 Secondary:
research that was completed
by someone else’s primary research,
“desk research”
 Often cheap, and since PR programs
typically follow a budget, professionals
use secondary research first
 Online database, trade journals, libraries,
census data, public records, informal
contacts, company accounts, etc.
 Research
is very in-depth.
 Students
should have a knowledge of
what it is, and how to apply it to fashion
 Understanding
research methods will
help students be able to apply the best
technique to their fashion situations.
 Three
most commonly used methods in
PR today:
• Surveys- designed to reveal attitudes and
• Communications Audits- reveals flaws in
communication between management and
target audiences
• Unobtrusive Measures- fact-finding, content
analysis, and readability studies that enable the
study of a subject without involving the
One of the most frequently used methods of research in fashion
They are used to receive feedback from consumers
• Descriptive- describe the current situation or condition;
captures reality at a specific point
 Public Opinion Poll
• Explanatory- concerned with cause and effect, explain why a
current situation or condition exists, and offer explanations for
opinions and attitudes. Use the word “Why” to come to
 Why aren’t customers receiving good customer service?
 Why aren’t customers redeeming coupons?
 Why aren’t customers believing our messages?
Surveys include four elements: sample, questionnaire, interview,
analysis of results
The sample is the selected target group.
Must be representative of the total public whose
views are sought
 Sampling should be done quickly
• Difficult to do
• Ex. If you are attempting to understand customers’ attitudes of
your brand, through surveying techniques then ideally every
customer must be offered the survey.
• If a survey is given to every other customer, then the sample is
already flawed. A person who had either a positive or negative
experience could be left out of the sample because they were
the “other” in every other survey given.
• Surveys are often only completed by those who are extremely
passionate about or oppose a particular topic.
 Random
Sampling: based on equality and
• Equality- no element has any greater or lesser
chance of being selected
• Independence- selecting any one element in no
way influences the selection of any other
Simple Random Sampling- gives all members of
the population an equal chance of being
 Systematic Random Sampling- uses a random
starting point from a sample list and then
includes every “nth” individual.
 Stratified Random Sampling- used to survey
different segments or strata of the population
• Used in organizational communication structures
Cluster Sampling- breaking the population down
into small heterogeneous subsets and then
selecting the potential sample
 Convenience
Samples- unstructured,
unsystematic, designed to elicit ideas.
People on the street
 Quota Sampling- choose subjects on the
basis of certain characteristics- women,
men, black, white, rich, poor.
• Often increases homogeneity, which helps validate
the study
 Volunteer
Samples- willing participants who
agree voluntarily to respond to concepts
and hypotheses for research purposes
 What
you want to find out should
influence the specific publics you ask, the
questions you raise, and the research
method you choose
 Keep it short- no more than 5 minutes
 Use structured rather than open-ended
questions, provide responses for “Other”
 Measure Intensity of Feelings
• Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Dissatisfied, Very
 Do
not use fancy words; remember
 Do not ask loaded questions
• Did you find everything in the store you were
looking for? The answer is usually NO
 Do not asked double-barreled questions
• Did you find the right sizes in our store, or were the
sizes you needed gone?
 Pretest
 Attach
a letter explaining the importance of
the respondents’ answers
 Mail
Questionnaire with commemorative
stamps expensive
 Follow up- if your questionnaire is being
 Send out more questionnaires than
 Enclose a reward usually in retail a
particular % off of at item.
Interviews- Provide more personal feel for public
 Focus groups- 90-120 minute discussion usually no
more than 10 individuals with a predetermined
common characteristic. Buying habits, age, income,
etc. Must have moderator.
Define objective and audience
Recruit your group
Choose the right moderator- establish rapport quickly
Conduct enough focus groups
Use a discussion guide
Choose proper facilities
Keep a tight rein on observers
Consider using outside help
 Telephone
Interviews- suffer a high
refusal rate; caller ID helps participants
ignore unwanted and unknown callers
 Email Interviews- least expensive, low
response rate, suffers from biases
 Drop-Off Interviews- combines face-toface and mail interviews. Usually
conducts a face-to-face interview and
then leaves a questionnaire afterward
(Not Very Common Anymore)
 Intercept
Interviews- researchers gathers
respondents on the street, shopping
malls, or retail outlets.
 Delphi Panels- qualitative research tool
that uses opinion leaders to help tailor
the design of a general public survey.
 Internet Interviews- most widely used,
some studies have found that they have
significantly lower responses than mailed
 Analysis
is done to produce meaningful
 The
purpose of every sample is to come
up with results that are valid and reliable.
 Becoming
an important method of research
amongst PR professionals.
 Help define the relationships between
management objectives and the
communication methods to promote those
 They are typically completed to define the
standing of a company with its employees
and community to assess readership of
communications or to examine the
company’s social responsibility standing.
 Can
be broad or narrow, depends on the
organization’s demands.
 Measures
the effectiveness of
communications and whether or not they
met predetermined goals.
 Existing
Communication Programsmethods and media
 Existing
Communications Vehiclespublications, manuals, slides,
teleconferencing, meetings, social media
 Uneven
Communications Workloads
 Employees Working
at Cross-Purposes
 Hidden
Information That Is Not Being UsedSomeone with good ideas not being heard
 Bottlenecked
Information Flow- Where does
communication stop or slow within an
 Conflicting
Notions about What the
Organization is and Does- This is where the
company’s mission becomes very important
 Many
other reasons for completing an audit
 Analysis begins by:
• Studying all pertinent literature about the
• Analyzing competitive literature to compare and
• Conduct interviews with top management and move
downward to detect areas of commonality and
• Recommendations are then made from the
knowledge gained by completing the audit
 An
audit should be done every couple of
Fact Finding– no action can be taken unless the facts
are known
Content Analysis
• Frequency of Coverage- how many releases were used
• Placement Within the Publication- did releases appear more on
pg. 1 or pg. 21
People Reached- Circulation or web hits where the releases
Messages Conveyed- Did they express the organization’s goals
or just informational?
Editing of Releases- How much of the submitted copy was
Attitude Conveyed- was the organization positive, negative, or
 Evaluation-designed
to determine what
happened and why by measuring results
against established objectives.
 Helps determine if a program should be
continued, revised, or eliminated.
 Evaluation helps hold PR professionals
accountable for their spending and time.
 PR professionals must evaluate what they
have done to determine whether or not
the expense was worth it.
 Evaluation depends on 5 things:
• Setting measurable program objectives
• Securing Management Commitment
• Determine the Best Way To Gather Data
• Reporting Back to Management
• Selecting the Most Appropriate Outcomes
 Awareness
and Comprehension
Measurement- the consumer received
the message directed at them, paid
attention to the message, and understood
the message.
 Recall
and Retention Measurement- does
the message have a lasting impact on the
 Messages are sent to consumers
everyday, and chances are your
consumer has seen yours. But can the
consumer remember and recall what was
said in the message?
 Attitude
and Preference MeasurementHow the message moved a consumer’s
attitudes, opinions, and preferences.
 Opinion and attitude research.
 Behavior
Measurement- ultimate test of
 Did the message get your consumer to
buy or do what was desired from the PR
 Using
the internet as a research tool can
tell the PR professional many things:
Unique visitors
Returning visitors
Total time spent on a site
Links from other sites
Google page rank
Content popularity
 So
many distractions that using the web is
not always accurate research
• Did someone spend idle time on the website,
• Someone just looking at pictures and not really
paying attention to the messages
• Did someone accidentally click your link
• Is your website not functioning properly
• “Click-throughs” are not always an indicator of
consumer behavior
 The
value of using web research is that it
• Intimate- can bring organizations closer to their
• Precision- provide more detailed answers about
• Timeliness- almost instantaneous
• Cost- considerable less expensive to produce
 There
are firms that specialize in attitude
and opinion surveying.
 Sometimes it can be cheaper to use an
outside firm, and sometimes it can be
more expensive.
 Be sure to determine if research on a
particular subject has already been
 Research• Organization’s structure
• History
• Mission
• Products and Services
• Competitors
• Publics
• Organization’s goals
• Past Issues & Crises
• Current Opportunities
 Action
• Objectives
• Strategy
• Tactics
• Training
• Resources
• Implementation
 Communication
• Campaign Theme
• External messages
• Internal messages
• Spokesperson
• Media Selection
 Evaluation
• Pre and post campaign surveys
• External public
• Internal public
• Media
• Impact on sales
• Competitor’s responses
• Recommendation’s for future
Research answers many questions about PR
 PR professionals must engage in research and
evaluation in order to be successful.
 PR professionals must constantly keep track of
what is being said about them by consumers.
• Often fashion interns are responsible for web searches
for their organizations to see if they are appearing on the
Often with retail and fashion the most used
evaluation technique is focusing on sales
 Seitel, F.P. (2011). The
Practice of Public
Relations. Prentice Hall: Boston.