Research:

The First Element of the RACE Planning Formula


Research
Action Planning
Communication
Evaluation

As a professional, you understand the importance of research. The good news is that you have already completed much of this first step and have most of the information in your head that you will need to complete this section of your initial plan.

However, it is important not to just leave it in your mind. Writing down some baseline information at the beginning will not only give you benchmarks to measure against in the evaluation stage, but it will also help you establish the goals and strategies of your plan.

I suggest you create a simple situation overview that includes:

  • The number of clients or patients you have now
  • Your current revenue: annual and monthly for the past three months
  • Your current client/patient profile: age, gender, economic level, most common reasons for seeking your services, geographic location, etc.
  • An assessment of your strengths and weaknesses—both as an individual and as a business (For example, do you have a heavy accent that would make you difficult to understand on the radio? Do you have limited staff support to assist in implementing a PR initiative?)

It is still important to keep it simple.Your staff may be invaluable in helping you compile some of this information, and involving them early in your PR activities will build their enthusiasm for contributing ideas and time later in the process.

Once you begin implementing PR tactics, your evaluation of your activities will become part of your research process for your next PR initiative. Therefore, even if this is your first campaign you may want to consider how you will evaluate the success of your practice marketing program and incorporate any needed information into this first phase.


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