When you are identifying objectives, deciding on actions, or determining tactics, all your decisions must be based on good and thorough research. If you do not have research to support your decisions, you are only conjecturing. You will be able to make correct decisions only if you base your judgement on facts rather than intuition.
One component of research for campaign planning that deserves special mention is message testing. After deciding what public to target, what media to use, and what ideas to communicate, a PR professional must decide exactly how to form the appropriate messages. Finding a way to test messages is particularly important if the practitioner does not speak the language of the target public or share their cultural values. Many experts rely on their own judgement or prior experiences, but if they do not share the language and culture of the target publics they are ill-prepared to make those judgements. In such situations, focus groups, surveys, audits and experimental studies using representative of the target public is appropriate. All of these techniques can be used to test the impact of message components.
Ahmed Malik is Account Manager at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me