Research to PR – A Whole New World or One in the Same?
July 19, 2017
Being new to things is always a mix of discomfort and energy. At the start of my PR journey, that is exactly how I feel. Leaving the marketing classroom, I was excited to finally put all of my “book” knowledge to use as part of my career. While my college classes were helpful, I find myself most often applying to PR what I learned as an assistant research analyst with my university’s research center. Some people tend to joke that marketing and PR people are on a mission to avoid numbers, but I’ve truly found that they go together better than we think. Here are my insights after a couple months on the job:
- Use Excel to excel
I can vividly remember sitting at my desk as a research intern staring at excel, not knowing one thing about the program. Fast forward a few months of learning from other interns and a search history list that could be titled “Excel for Dummies,” and it became the center of my comfort zone. Now working in PR, I see a lot of charts, tables and media lists that could benefit from a little creativity and user-friendly techniques often used in research.
- Clarity is key
This goes for most group projects, but there is nothing worse than walking out of a meeting, sitting down to work on the assigned project and thinking, “Ok, what am I actually supposed to do?” For the sake of efficiency, it is vital to set specific paths to achieve your goal. In research and PR, I have found spending time on creating clear goals always produces a better end-result.
- Information is out there, you just have to find it
Whether you’re building a media list for a client or trying to find methodology for a research topic, the Internet is often your most powerful source of information. Although information is almost always somewhere online, it is important to think outside the box when searching. I have spent countless hours looking for information and often all it takes is changing a key search term or readjusting my mindset.
- Numbers are your friend
Despite the chuckling about PR and numbers, there is no doubt that PR professionals see the impact of incorporating data points into pitching. If research has taught me anything, it’s not to be afraid of data. Leverage it to your advantage. Surveys, graphs, and statistics are a growing part of PR and I am happy to have strong research experience to support this.
So, the next time a project comes your way, remember that research and data can provide you with a great foundation for success!