Musings of a PR Professional



Chapter 3: Conducting Research and Targeting Audiences

Once again the importance of research rears its head in a PR text. But, that is no problem because it should come up. A lot. Because research is the corner stone on which good public relations practices should rest.

 Since this text in particular deals with communicating for nonprofits, it is especially relevant to understand where your target audiences stand in relation to the issues that you are fighting for. And how do you find that out? By researching. You won’t know how to reach an audience unless you first know who they are, what they believe in and value, among other important information that you can gain through research. It is also essential to know how and what about your issue has been covered in the news already so that you know  how to respond to the media, what aspects of your issue need attention,  how to frame your issue, and much more.

Both researching the people you are trying to reach and the way your issue is presented in the media will give you a more comprehensive view of how you should go about creating and disseminating your message. For example, we talked about each of the projects we will be working on for Safe Harbor and what they will entail in class. The first thing that came up across all three is the need for research. While each will need a different message, mindset, and action to execute, we will all begin in the same place by researching because research will let us know what we should do next.

In conclusion: You can’t catch a fish without a worm, so why would you try to reach your target audience without knowing what will hook them?

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