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Creating a Communications Plan? Have You Done the Research?
By: Jeannine Wheeler
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We all know the feeling of wanting to jump right in and carry out a communications plan based on the strategies, tactics, and client objectives we might know. However, don’t miss out on the very FIRST step: audience research.

While clients might want instant results (as so you), you’ll want to make sure you take the time to research your client’s audiences — what motivates them, where they hang out on- and offline, and how they feel about your client and your client’s industry, including competitors.

This research will give you the succinct intelligence to craft the most efficacious, cost-effective, and directed plan possible, giving you the best shot at affecting your target audiences and getting the leads and sales your client is looking for.

While some clients don’t always want to pay, or indeed take the time for you to do this research (which can take the form of focus groups, surveys or extensive interviewing), you need to push for the funding.

In the long run, it will benefit you both.

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About the Author
Jeannine Wheeler is a PR Director who has worked in three countries, including Russia, the US and the UK. She is currently Sr. Vice President of Pure Energy PR, a full-service boutique communications firm with a focus on the energy, healthcare, technology, construction, real estate & land development, tourism & hospitality and food & beverage industries. Jeannine is in the firm's Austin, Texas office.
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