PRCA Research Best Practice Group Launch


The PRCA in partnership with Vitreous World proudly welcomed over 30 key research stakeholders from across the industry to the launch of the PRCA Research Best Practice Group on the 27th of September at the Bell Pottinger offices.

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The Committee, a group formed of PRCA members and research leaders within their respective agencies, will help to promote best practices and implement initiatives that maximize return on investment for all communications organisations. The committee members are introduced again here:


The committee has identified a set of core aims that the group will look to address on in the first 12 months of the initiative, these are:

  • Educate stakeholders to make more informed purchasing decisions
  • Provide knowledge and guidance for best practice and to improve standards
  • Encourage uses of research outside of pure headline generation
  • Asses and monitor the current spend in the industry
  • Deliver a multi-level training channel open to all PRCA Members
  • Provide a PR and Communications centric research best practice guidelines

Committee member Imogen Osborne undertook research with the PRCA membership to get a top line insight into their thoughts and perceptions of research in the communications mix. I have detailed some of the key statistics below:





As suspected research plays a key role in campaigns and although communications executives have a good understanding of the process it is clear that there is scope for improvement.

Following the presentation of the PRCA membership research the committee opened the floor to the audience to hear their thoughts and field any questions. The evening’s patrons did not disappoint with a lively discussion that gave the committee even more food for thought. It was clear that each person came to the meeting with their own view on what research is. The group’s remit was initially looking to address survey research but it was evident from the wide ranging feedback that the market is looking for help and advice across qualitative, secondary research methods and beyond.

The audience was passionate in calls for the group to help the market to differentiate between research designed purely to generate news hooks and advise on tools that can be used to add value in other ways such as campaign measurement and developing creative.  Advice on tools for the latter is currently sparse.  Another challenge for the committee is to help agencies to understand and separate the tactical and the strategic uses of research. Once defined and understood the correct application of the right research tools in the appropriate setting will unlock new value and a potentially competitive edge for those willing to invest.

It is acknowledged that there is a skills gap in the market at all levels. In the main, research knowledge is picked up in the day to day on the job experiences. The committee have identified this as a significant area where it can add value. As I write this blog the team are already very close to launching the PRCA Research Best Practice Guidelines, which is designed to present the key elements from the current MRS and ESOMAR research codes of conduct in an easily digestible format for the communications executive. In addition, Matt Reynolds from Vitreous World will be providing free training sessions to all new grad level executives via once a month breakfast events to be held in association with the PRCA.

It was a fantastic event and clearly demonstrated that there is a considerable hunger for more informed and relevant research initiatives in today’s PR and Communications market.  We would like to thank the PRCA for helping to organise the evening and to Bell Pottinger for very generously providing such a spectacular venue.

We are extremely keen to hear from you and hope that our agenda continues to be shaped by your thoughts and feedback. If you would like to know more or would like to sign up to the PRCA Research Best Practice LinkedIn Group please send a request to connect via this link

Thanks you so much for reading!

Matt Reynolds,

Matt Reynolds Linkedin

Chairman – PRCA Research Best Practice Committee