Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
November 30, 2011

Research Makes Your Communications Plan Work Smarter, Harder and More Frugally

Join Ken DeSieghardt for his online training session, “Take the Mystery Out of Market Research: Learn to Better Understand Your Clients and Prospects,” on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011.  Register Now

If you are currently sitting on a communications budget that is as big — or bigger — than the one you had five years ago, you can stop reading now. (Thank you for visiting this blog, Mr. Gates. Have a nice day.)

For the rest of us, the challenge to build and nurture relationships with those who are important to the success of our company (or our clients’ companies) continues to grow as our budgets continue to shrink. Add into the mix the ever-expanding platforms demanding the attention of your key stakeholders, and it’s enough to cause even the most seasoned public relations pro to throw up his or her hands and exclaim, “It can’t be done without more budget!”

Actually, it can. And the people who can tell you how to build and field a successful communications plan are those very stakeholders you are trying to reach.

Research can help you pinpoint your stakeholders’ hopes, dreams, beliefs and concerns. With that information, you are more able to deftly tailor your messages, medium, and schedule to get and keep their attention, their patronage and — ultimately — their advocacy.

There is no one, perfect research solution for every need. Like good design, form should follow function. But, if you can clarify specifically what you need to know and how you’ll use the information, you can identify the best research path that will lead you to a plan that works smarter, harder and more frugally … no matter how big or small your budget may be.

Ken DeSieghardt, CEO and partner at Patron Insight, Inc., is a born advocate for the power of research in decision-making and an award-winning public relations professional.

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