Readers are invited to submit a question which we will then pose to one of our Forbes Councils members. This group is full of knowledge and experience — we’re eager to share their insights with you.
Question: How Can I Use Research to Tell My Company’s Story?
I’m a busy business owner, but I’d like to find time to publish some original research about my company. How can I get started in a reasonably time-efficient manner?
Meet our Executive: Nysha King, Media Relations Lead, MRINetwork
Forbes Communications Council member Nysha King serves as media relations lead for MRINetwork, overseeing PR, research, and thought leadership content for the organization’s corporate headquarters and approximately 400 global offices. The Network is one of the largest executive search and recruitment organization in the world.
Answer: Build Research Into Your Overall Marketing Strategy
I make sure research is a key part of our PR strategy every year. Twice a year, I start by meeting with department heads that regularly meet with clients to assess their common challenges. From there, we brainstorm trends that are impacting our clients and candidates, and determine areas where we can provide more insight. It’s that simple. I then narrow down the topics to no more than 15 questions and send out a survey with those questions.
Lately we’ve been using independent research firms to add credibility to our surveys, but in the past have had success using SurveyMonkey. I let the survey remain in play for two weeks and then close it to analyze the data. A few weeks later I issue a report and develop a social media plan for how we will promote the survey findings in chunks.
This entails working with the marketing team to drive articles, videos, and infographics all based on various data points from the survey. I also issue a PR campaign to enable members of the corporate team, as well as recruitment office owners within our Network, the opportunity to discuss various aspects of the survey data.
There are a lot of moving parts, but if you make research a part of your annual PR and marketing strategy, it becomes a routine and expected output for your audiences. The resulting brand exposure and thought leadership opportunities are invaluable.