How to develop research paper topics for public relations and marketing concepts

Credit: Fletcher Prince

Credit: Fletcher Prince

If your major is marketing concepts or public relations then you’ll have plenty of possible research paper topics to choose from. Especially now that so much marketing happens online. Add to that the long history of advertising and the sky’s the limit. Whether your interest is in the past, present or future of advertising you’ll find plenty to keep you busy when writing your research papers. Here is a look at just a few ideas and resources to get you started.

Advertising and public relations topics

If you’re interested in pursuing the study of advertising and public relations then let’s take a look at the many topics that you could research.

  • humor in advertising
  • political advertising
  • psychographics
  • advertising law

Be sure to check out the research tools and tutorials on Questia.com where you can read millions of full-text books and articles and learn how to plan and write your research paper.

Digital marketing

The Internet has changed advertising and public relations by placing the ability to research a product and share opinions about it in public forums and social media. Companies find themselves challenged to place themselves before their customers in a way that is positive and that fosters brand loyalty.

To that end, they try any number of innovative strategies. One such strategy was described by Rick Mathieson in his book, “The On-Demand Brand: 10 Rules for Digital Marketing Success in an Anytime, Everywhere World” available on Questia.

According to Mathieson, some companies have asked customers to come up with ideas for customized products and to post their ideas online. These projects have been less than successful.

“One offer from Nike to produce customized shoes, for instance, reportedly ran awry when a consumer requested the words ‘Sweatshop’ emblazoned on a pair of Nike running shoes. Factor in a product category as polarizing as SUVs, and you’re just asking for the campaign to backfire, right?” Mathieson observed.

The future of advertising

Given the changes that have been brought by the Internet and mobile technology, one wonders what advertising will look like years from now. If you have plans to work for an advertising agency then you’ll be interested in getting Danielle Sacks’ view in her November 17, 2010 article for FastCompany.com titled, “The Future Of Advertising.”

Sacks gathered anecdotes and opinions from 20 creative directors, planners, media strategists and account executives who spoke candidly about their fears and hopes for the future.

It used to be that advertising was created by a team of skilled artists who worked in words, art and design. Dissemination of the messaging was in the hands of an account executive, brand planner and media planner. Ads were funneled into five outlets which included: radio, print, outdoor, direct mail and television. The more the client spent, the more money the ad agency made.

Digital technologies have changed all that.

According to Sacks, “The clients employ procurement officers and cost consultants to negotiate down the fee on everybody in an agency. And given today’s hypercompetition, agencies can sink up to $1 million and four months pitching for a new account they might never win.”

Whereas television used to be the most powerful medium for spreading an advertising message, now sites like Yelp can make or break a product.

Check the blogs

There are plenty of blogs related to advertising and public relations. These sites are a great source of resources, timely news and opinions.

  • Seth Godin  [http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/]
  • AdExchanger  [http://www.adexchanger.com/]
  • AdAge  [ http://adage.com/blogs/]
  • Deirdre Breakenridge  [http://www.deirdrebreakenridge.com/]
  • PR-Squared  [http://www.pr-squared.com/]

These blog posts often contain little gems of wisdom like this one from Gini Dietrich in her February 4, 2014 post for SpinSucks.com titled, “The Role of Long-Form Content in Brand Journalism.”

“If you have to sit down and write a 12,000 word piece of content, it’s never going to happen. If you take an hour every day to write, you’ll have that bad boy finished in a month or less.”

Advertising and Public Relations resources

There are plenty of resources related to advertising and public relations to be found on the Internet. Here are just a few.

  • Nielson  [ http://www.nielsen.com/content/corporate/us/en.html]
  • Ad Age   [http://adage.com/section/american-demographics/195]
  • American Advertising Federation   [http://www.aaf.org/default.asp?id=115]
  • Duke University Library Hartman Center Digitized Collections   [http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/hartman/digitized]
  • Young & Rubicam Group   [http://www.yr.com/ideas]
  • Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)   [http://www.prsa.org/]
  • Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)   [http://www.prssa.org/about/PR/]

Read about marketing, advertising and public relations on Questia.

What have you found to be most interesting about your marketing and public relations courses? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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