Here are a couple of PR things to do at the beginning of a project.
1. Study the audience. One of the key pieces of information a PR consultant wants to know is how and where potential customers get their information. Opinion polls may confirm that 67% of people 18-23 years of age show interest in your new product but, a communications director has to know how to convey information using the means most familiar to that audience. You have to know what they read. Or, do they read? e mail? i-pod? blog? text message? watch the Daily Show with Jon Stewart? Do they get their news in different ways from consumer information? It's essential to be as knowledgeable as possible about how your market seeks and receives their information.
2. How do you research your market? There are numerous formal and informal ways, but here is one informal method that is easy to carry out - asking people their opinion.
In 2005 when the Obesity Prevention Coalition of Sarasota County sponsored the VERBScorecard campaign, one of the ways they researched their market (kids ages 9-13) was by going to the mall and taking opinion surveys. Prior permission was obtained from the mall authorities.
Their research showed that the boys preferred a certain shade of blue and the girls a certain shade of green and that both liked colorful and active designs. The ideas expressed in the opinion surveys were incorporated into the overall design.
Other research results: what high school kids said carried more weight with the tweens than what parents said. No surprise - but an interesting angle to build into your project. They formed an advisory team of high school students from around the county to contribute their opinions and ideas to the project.
Tips for PR start-up to be continued.....