Research. Such a simple concept but taken so lightly. I have never realized -until now- how much research goes into a single public relations activity. There’s research behind everything. For example, If a company is giving you promotional items to hand out to a target audience for a children’s movie the first thing you have to do is research. First, see what age group is typically prone to watching movies of this nature and second, where will you find these people. This is where research gets fun but also very limited as to what you can find. You might want to look for events that would be suitable to hand out your items, so you search places like schools, parks, churches, restaurants or grocery stores for one that might be hosting events in which your target market would be. Many places wont advertise every event they hold online so you might have to do some cold calling as a form of research as well, which isn’t always fun. Another example of something that would require research is if you have an item/movie that would be appealing to a certain type of person. What groups are these people a part of? Are these people in school? How old are these people? Where do these people live? These are all things you have to research in order to market or publicize your product/movie correctly.
Being an intern this semester, research is my specialty. I will be conducting a lot of research for the publicists in my office so they can do their jobs efficiently, which puts pressure on me to do well. I’m learning day by day to go beyond the first pages of results from search engines and using information from past events/promotions to be able to somewhat predict what could happen this time around.
From my opinion, research classes in high school and college are taken too lightly. I didn’t realize how much research is actually used in the professional world and how important it is to be able to do it well. There are so many tools that students have access to such as, databases, e-libraries and scholarly articles that they never even think to look at unless they are told. This isn’t beneficial to the futures of these students. I feel as if journalism classes should put more of an emphasis on doing quality research and how to look in more than one place for an answer besides just typing keywords on Google. “Going beyond the surface” is a concept that Scholastic deems as an important online research skill to possess, meaning don’t just look at the first search result, trust it and move on. Evaluate this source by looking at other sources that validate the point and give you even more information.
Being able to do research well is something that will put you ahead of the rest in whatever field you so choose to pursue. I know in the public relations world research is a huge proponent of doing your job and doing it well. No time is wasted when you are spending it conducting thorough and relevant research.
Hudson, Hannah Trierweiler . “TEACHERS.” Scholastic Teachers. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Jan. 2014. <https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/6-online-research-skills-your-students-need>.
Hudson, H. T. (n.d.). TEACHERS. Scholastic Teachers. Retrieved January 17, 2014, from https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/6-online-research-skills-your-students-need