The Why of Public Relations Research

Reporter conducing an interview

This has to be our one gazillionth blog on the topic of public relations research, but it’s worth repeating and we really like to be heard. You don’t have to take our word for it, but we were named a Top 200 PR Agency by Forbes…so we may know a thing or two.

When you’re first entering your career or are busy learning about PR in college, research is kind of skimmed over. What we really want to drive home is research is how you will stand out in a sea of pitches. According to SpinSucks only 3.27% of all PR pitches sent are ever responded to by the reporters being targeted; even less convert into coverage. This means that, on average, it takes about 31 media pitches to journalists to get a response to any one of the pitches you send. 

Holy Sh*t.

The research component isn’t hard, but it is most definitely time-consuming. You will spend the majority of your time as PR pro, Googling, stalking, calling around, reading and writing. 

The Sitch

You have a new client and they want to launch a new STEM toy in the U.S. and will be competing with brands like Fisher Price, Osmo, LeapFrog Goldieblox and more. Where do you start?

  • Gather all the information on the client product and review market research the company conducted.
  • Review competitor coverage (see Diagram A). Depending on the media program you use (we use Muck Rack), you can run reports over a certain time period per competitor company.
  • Review industry articles (See Diagram B). We also recommend doing a deep dive into how the media has covered STEM toys in the past, run a keyword search to get a feel for how you will need to pitch the client’s product.

Through our research we were able to ascertain that in terms of revenue, North America accounted for over 33% market share in the STEM toys market in 2019. The region has historically represented a prominent level of enthusiasm toward toys and games, whereas the landscape for learning toys is rising. The toys market in North America is expected to witness traction and high demand, owing to the impact of COVID-19 post-2020. Moreover, an increase in annual savings of end-users and their enhanced spending sentiments due to the economic recovery have increased the demand for sophisticated and high-end toys in US households.

Diagram A

Diagram B

Only after you’ve done EXTENSIVE research, do you begin building a launch strategy which will include timing, media targets, storylines and more.

It’s a whole lot more than pulling a media list, writing a pitch and sending a mass email to,  more than likely, the wrong reporters.

Words of Wisdom

Less than authentic professionals taking shortcuts make our jobs much harder when it comes to garnering earned media for our clients. It’s a spray and play mentality.

You will hustle harder than anyone else. Is it hard as hell? Yes. Is it rewarding? Hell yeah. If you are drawn to a 9 to 5 job, this ain’t the right field for you.

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