You have two crucial tasks when beginning to plan a strategic communication campaign: 1) Thoroughly research your client and the client’s situation; and 2) thoroughly research the client’s target audiences/publics. Start getting to know your client’s situation and target audiences/publics by conducting secondary research to see what information others have already discovered and published.
A. Case Study Research
Look for information about what similar organizations or other organizations facing similar situations have done. Case study research allows you to learn from the successes and failures of others which can prevent mistakes.
B. Government Data
See if demographic and media habits information has already been collected about the client’s target audiences/publics in the recent past.
C. Public Opinion Research Databases
See if psychographic and media habits information has already been collected about the client’s target audiences/publics in the recent past.
Search the Library databases and the catalog
D. News Media Coverage
See what media coverage your client’s organization, issues, or competitors have received.
E. Academic Journals
See what academic studies have been conducted on the issues facing your client.
Public Relations Journals:
Journal of Public Relations Research
Journal of Advertising Research
The Journal of Consumer Marketing
Gfk Marketing Intelligence Review
Marketing Intelligence and Planning
Integrated Marketing Communication Journals:
Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications