PRA Group External Affairs and Marketing Executive Spoke to University Students on Role of Research

At PRA Group, we believe in the importance of partnering with institutions of higher education and skill-based training programs to raise awareness of the educational and career opportunities businesses can offer students.

Whether through internships and apprenticeships, career fairs and lunch and learns, or philanthropic gifts to enrichment programming, there are a wealth of ways companies can invest in the youth that will one day be their workforce. In doing so, it is important to meet students where they are in order to create meaningful learning experiences.

That’s why our Vice President of External Affairs and Marketing Leader Giovanna Genard recently guest lectured at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s (UNO) School of Communication, sharing her insights across more than 25 years of demonstrated expertise in research-driven marketing with a class of senior capstone students.

She began by explaining that in marketing, research is not limited to informing initial development and reporting final results. Genard outlined its importance in identifying key insights throughout a campaign’s lifecycle, including:

  • The specific challenge to address,
  • Knowing the audience(s) and what matters to them,
  • Brand strengths and weaknesses,
  • The opportunity–whether to educate, raise awareness, or drive direct action,
  • SMART (strategic, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely) goals,
  • The strategic path forward,
  • What creative assets and messaging resonate most powerfully,
  • The results, outcomes and impact of the campaign.

Genard also discussed how diversifying tactics, whether testing the messaging or offering various platforms and methods of engagement, helps marketers identify the strongest path forward at various points during a campaign.

“Creativity in your approach is key,” she explained. “Research can help point us towards what to try, but it is our role as marketers to turn our findings into a campaign or activation that resonates with our audiences and inspires action. We must also employ creativity to continually adapt our strategies and tactics to the discoveries we make throughout the process.”

Genard leveraged her experience leading external communication across multiple industries to respond to students’ questions, such as when and how to use qualitative versus quantitative research and which tactics resonate best with certain audience groups. “As a student, you typically read about marketing research concepts but may not understand fully how they will apply to your life until you enter the workforce,” Genard reflected. “I saw this invitation to present as an opportunity to demonstrate, through real case studies from my own career, how all the pieces—conducting qualitative and quantitative research, goal development, campaign implementation, data collection, outcomes and assessment—come together to produce integrated and impactful marketing campaigns.”

About PRA Group

As a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans, PRA Group, Inc. returns capital to banks and other creditors to help expand financial services for consumers in the Americas, Europe and Australia. With thousands of employees worldwide, PRA Group companies collaborate with customers to help them resolve their debt. For more information, please visit

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