Research, research, research..


Gae Synnott

Ok so once again I have found myself going into ‘information over-load’ mode after reading this weeks reading.

Before starting this PR course, I was really unsure as to what actually constituted Public Relations, but each week I am amazed at the practicality of the information contained within the text book. Not only is each chapter informative and concise, but unlike most course textbooks, it provides an up-to-date and practical insight into the world of PR.. It also has a shiny silver cover :).

Research is the central focal point of public relations practice (Synott, 2009). It provides the basis of professionalism, arming practitioners with the knowledge and information they need to plan, implement and evaluate.

Research is an important tool that helps practitioners to determine their actions and approaches to work (Synnott, 2009). Whether it is used to analyse the opinions of users of a new product or to determine the best way to launch a new campaign, research is process of constant measurement and comparison. Occurring at all stages of public relations planning and implementation process, it is broken up into three categories as adapted straight from the text:

Before: the input or preparation stage, in which planning is undertaken, objectives are set, the context, and the target audience is learnt, and where the communication tools to be used in the program are produced.

During: Output or implementation stage, in which the process is monitored, the practitioner checks that what they have said would be done is being done, and where early signs of success or any need to fine tune or redirect the program are looked for.

After: the outcome stage, in which the impact occurs and evaluation is conducted to find out whether the objectives that were set have been achieved.

                                                                                                             Gae Synott, 2009, p.131-132.

Without research, practitioners can only guess or make assumptions about the problem or issue; they lack sufficient evidence and credibility which often leads to malpractice and unethical behaviour.

So I surmise and liken the relationship between research and public relations to that of cooking something new without a measuring cup or recipe to follow. You never know how it will turn out or what it will taste like.. More often then not ending disastrously.


         –          Synnott, G. (2009). Public Relations Research. In J. Chia & G. Synnott (eds), An introduction to public relations from theory to practice. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.


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