Relevant Research Yields Accurate Messaging
As we enter the primary research phase of our campaign for 5 Bridges, we are beginning to form questions and ideas that are relevant to their situation. The organization has many goals, but one of their primary concerns is expanding within a geographic region they already serve. Something that sets 5 Bridges apart from other types of organizations is the size of their market. Unfortunately, people everywhere are suffering from mental and physical illness. The good thing is that 5 Bridges has a system that has worked for many people. As of now, their reach is small, but growing. The potential for their reach is limitless.
One of the challenges is forming relationships in various communities. In order to do this, we must learn what those particular communities value and how they think about health and wellness. Our method of research will be through a survey comprised of knowledge, attitude, and behavioral questions. These questions must be well thought out and specific so that our strategy and tactics have a basis of research.
An example of this can be found in Ronald Smith’s Book Strategic Planning for Public Relations. Say a science museum is trying to promote a campaign for youth engagement. They are trying to decide between a rocket launch and a lunar landing. The organization wanted to pursue the lunar landing theme, but research showed that the rocket theme better promoted imagination and innovation in youth. (Smith 2020 pg.473)
According to this DriveResearch article, Starbucks, Mcdonalds, Apple, and Lego are among the top companies that rely on market research to make decisions about future products, services and campaign strategies. One way these brands get feedback from customers is through surveys.
Ethical Research Practices
Some of the main principles of ethical research are:
- Informed Consent
- Voluntary Participation
Keeping these ethical standards of research in mind is paramount when conducting any type of research. For 5 Bridges research, this is especially true. 5 Bridges is a wellness organization and some questions may be questions about mental health, struggles, and other personal matters. Because of this, it is important to explain to participants in the appeal the purpose of the research, the confidentiality, and how it is completely voluntary.
There have been many times throughout history where organizations have been extremely unethical in their research. Some of these cases even led to the federal government passing laws on research practices.
One of the most influential cases was the Tuskegee Syphilis study. In this study, black men were being given syphilis, an extremely painful and deadly decease, and being left untreated to study its effects on the body.
This video from the Ad Council describes personal accounts of the Tuskegee study and how it effected the families of victims.
Although our research for 5 Bridges is not scientific, it is important to keep in mind ethical precedents and how they came to be. It’s also important to conduct ethical research for the sake of the organization’s credibility. Visit this Scribbr article for more detailed information on ethical research practices and examples.