Studies in Public Relations: How to use them properly?
In a world of overstimulation, credibility can be a unique selling point.
The digital world makes many things more transparent. If you say something online, you can assume that your audience can find out with just 3 clicks whether everything is correct. This makes it all the more important to use studies correctly and purposefully.
If you want to win the race in the fiercely contested competition for the attention of customers and the public, you have to stand out from the crowd. But how? With studies, for example. At first, this doesn’t sound particularly original, but it’s often the tried-and-tested measures that have a lasting effect. In Germany, surveys are still a popular communication tool. Particularly in times of digitization, their relevance is increasing significantly, because the results can be disseminated and used both analog and digital.
This is also the conclusion of the current survey conducted by Frankfurt Business Media and the F.A.Z. Institute in November 2018. The results show, on the one hand, what matters to communications decision-makers when using studies and, on the other, how successful they are in doing so. A total of 212 communications managers took part in the survey, the majority of whom came from corporate communications, but also from senior positions in press and public relations as well as marketing and sales.
What are the goals of publishing studies?
The results clearly show that communications officers issue surveys primarily to occupy topics, generate media resonance and consolidate their own reputation. Overall, 85 percent of the participants agreed that surveys are supportive in occupying topics, demonstrating their competencies for these topics and ultimately establishing themselves as opinion leaders. Three quarters pursue the goal of using studies to gain public attention or a high media response. This also goes hand in hand with strengthening the company’s reputation and brand image among the general public.
Importance of studies in communication
A clear majority of 67 percent of respondents have already published a survey for communication purposes; 57 percent are planning a new survey in the future. Overall, 81 percent of the participants state that surveys are basically a promising instrument for communication. On average, companies currently invest around 11 percent of their budget in the development and implementation of surveys. When it comes to the target groups, those responsible for communications are largely in agreement: 84 percent state the professional public as the most important addressees, while 80 percent indicate media representatives.
Criteria for the success of a study
In order to achieve the communication goals set, three essential criteria are of decisive importance for the respondents: 93 percent state quality of content as the most important criterion. A reliable database is considered highly relevant by 84 percent. Another key point, at 70 percent, is the representativeness of the data collected.
Back in 2014, the F.A.Z. Institute published a study on studies in corporate communications – the opinion at that time was already very positive. The complete study is available here.