Why Research At All?

This is a question that I am willing to admit, has crossed my mind multiple times since I have been introduced to the concept of research papers. When I first started writing research papers for my classes I dreaded having to take the time out of my schedule to find sources that had the information I needed. Now, as I am diving deeper into my major, I am very grateful I learned about doing research for my assignments early on.

Those working within the field of public relations will find that doing research is vital for their job. The Mitchell Communications Group (2013) wrote a blog post that says research is so prominent in public relations because of the following:

It allows you to confidently answer questions posed by clients, it tests and clarifies your assumptions, it guides you to opportunities for you and your clients, and it helps you form your strategy, monitor its progress and  evaluate its overall performance.

Working with clients is one of the main jobs someone in public relations will do. Being able to answer their questions and help them work through their problems will let them know that you know exactly what you are doing and they can trust you with their brand.

Chrystl Sanchez (2013), a graduate from the University of Southern California and an assistant account executive at Weber Shandwick Seattle wrote a blog post that said, “In terms of developing solid communications plans, extensive research can help you target the appropriate audiences, find the right influencers, and even determine the most cost-effective budget.” If one wants to have an influence in the public relations world, they must do their research to find the best strategy for doing so. Without doing research, there is no way of knowing if your strategy for your client will have a fighting chance at being successful or not.

Willcox, Cameron, Reber, and Shin (2013) devoted an entire chapter in their book to how research is relevant to public relations. One part of this chapter says, “It informs top managers as they make policy decisions and map out strategies for effective communication programs. Research also provides a way to evaluate and measure a program once it has been completed” (p. 90). Once again, research can help those that are involved in public relations know whether or not what they are doing is working. Research allows them to plan ahead and encounter less surprises and problems along the way.

Even though most students will admit that having to do extensive research for an assignment is one of the things they dislike most about school, I can imagine that they know that doing this research will be good for them in the long run. The field of public relations is definitely not the only profession that requires research in order to be successful. Without doing this research, there is a higher chance of failure; this failure could affect not only the agent but also the client. Research is one of the key elements in public relations and will continue to prove to be one of the most vital parts.



Mitchell Communications Group. (2013, March 19). Public relations: The value and importance of research. Retrieved from http://blog.mitchcommgroup.com/mitchell-communications-group/public-relations-the-value-and-importance-of-research

Sanchez, C. (2013, September 24). 3 reasons why research is crucial to effective public relations. Retrieved from http://www.webershandwickseattle.com/2013/09/3-reasons-why-research-is-crucial-to-effective-public-relations/

Wilcox, D. L., Cameron, G. T., Reber, B. H., & Shin, J. (2013) Research and campaign planning. Think Public Relations, 90.


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