Research is easily the most important aspect of PR. How in the world can you represent a cause, if you know nothing about it? A PR Professional needs to be fully prepped on the company/person he or she is representing in order to do their job correctly.
Research is most successfully used to:
achieve credibility with management
define audiences and segment publics
help management keep in touch
sway public opinion
Two different types of research are qualitative and quantitative. Both rely on different types of data and perform different functions in the realm of Public Relations.
Qualitative=Soft data; most useful for small groups
Quantitative=More straightforward; used for larger groups.
Chapter 5, “Research”, in Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics by Glen T. Cameron and Dennis L. Wilcox.