Hello there, friends!
So, during week 8 of my PR class we had discussed on the research and planning process put into creating a successful PR campaign. I must say I was very surprised as to the amount of effort needed to be put into in creating a PR campaign. I never knew so much research had to be put into the campaign first before actually starting the campaign. However, after week 8 tutorial class, I finally realised that a well planned and well executed research is fundamental to the design and implementation of informed, rational public relations programs, as well as being pivotal to the evaluation of their success. So, research is definitely one of the important steps to a successful PR campaign!
One of the most effective ways of viewing the research process is in terms of inputs, outputs and outcomes. In order to determine what inputs and outputs should be, and what outcomes actually are, public relations practitioners conduct research. Now, it was at this part of the whole research process where I was confused with formative research and evaluative research. Like which does the inputs, outputs and outcomes fall under? Basically, research that goes into determining inputs and outputs is known as formative research. However, the research that goes into defining outcomes is known as evaluative research. Easy as that!
I have learnt that there are 3 types of formative research which are Exploratory Research, Developmental Communications Research (explore the issue, the audience and the messages in more depth) and Concept Testing Research. There are also 3 different types of research that falls under the evaluative research. Benchmark Research, Tracking Research and Post-campaign Research.
The research process is cyclical and constantly contributes to the public relations process through identifying inputs, analysing outputs and measuring outcomes, which, in turn, become inputs in the next phase or program.
Qualitative and quantitative research is also used to provide particular types of information and outputs. Little did I know that an important difference between the two approaches is that quantitative research can easily be replicated, while qualitative research cannot.
I personally think, this was a great PR campaign! Dislife and agency Y&R, Moscow created a powerful and brilliant campaign against this inconsiderate behaviour. A hologram of a real disabled person appeared when a non-disabled driver tried to park in a disabled bay. This campaign definitely did it’s research well and successfully raised a great amount of awareness around the public in Russia.
Another good example of a successful PR campaign is Ben & Jerry!
To celebrate the legalisation of same-sex marriage across the US, Ben & Jerry’s has honorarily renamed its Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream to “I Dough, I Dough” for the summer, at participating Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shops nationwide. This campaign definitely showed excellent preparation and planning. They took in every details in order to make this campaign successful.
Even back in 2013, Ben & Jerry did it again with another successful campaign for marriage equality in Britain by renaming renaming its ‘Oh! My! Apple Pie!’ ice cream to ‘Apple-y Ever After’. They had also posted a video on YouTube to match its theme of ‘Apple-y Ever After’ of marriage equality.
Jonston J & Sheehan M 2014, Theory and Practice Public Relations, 4th edn, Allen &Unwin, NSW, pp. 261-279.