Clever Research; A Powerful Tool for PR and Social Media

  • PR

Social media has changed the PR landscape considerably over the previous five years, with platforms such as Facebook or Foursquare, Twitter or Tumblr, Qik or Quora, giving PR practitioners additional routes to gain coverage for clients. Whilst many are talking about the death of traditional PR, one tool which shows no signs of diminishing, however, is research. Without doubt, clever research can transform a story from being a page lead to a headline-grabber.Social Notworking

You might ask how we know this. Well, at Umpf, we’ve seen, heard and read about many examples of clever research catapulting a story onto the front page of the nationals, or as a programme lead on the regional or national news on TV. We’ve also had firsthand experience in using research to do just this for our clients; transforming a good story into a great story through research, whether that’s in consumer PR or B2B PR.

When online job board asked us to increase their prominence across the UK, we used research to tailor a news manufacturing campaign that gave them blanket media coverage. We chose an emerging issue that was relevant to their field of expertise; the misuse of social media in the workplace.

Reuters - social notworkingIt’s fair to say that most people would be aware of the detrimental effect of people spending time on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr when they should be working, but what made the campaign stand out is that we used the research to quantify the specific cost to the UK economy; £14Billion per year in lost work time.

This stand-out stat, which generated global coverage for the brand, is now part of the general journalistic conscious, with it being cited in pieces independent of’s direct involvement; surely the litmus test for a successful piece of research.

Enough of us blowing our own trumpet, though. We’ve seen some other fantastic examples of research stories that are well deserving when it comes to the column inches they generated:Two days for a holiday to wear off

1. Thomas Cook and Radboud University in the Netherlands – How it takes just two days for the good of a holiday to wear off

2. Jarlsberg Cheese – How the first argument on Christmas Day happens at 9:58am

3. Bullguard Security – How more than 50 per cent of parents have used social media to spy on their children

Research methods may be changing, with online panels now the primary method used, but the outcome is still the same; headline-grabbing statistics that generate lots of press coverage.