In my PR Applications class, we are discussing basics of public relations research this week. Here are the slides I’ll use:
In today’s PRCA 4330 (PR Research) class, the instructor PC didn’t seem to have the correct version of Flash to show this video. It’s a fascinating talk where “Oxford mathematician Peter Donnelly reveals the common mistakes humans make in interpreting statistics — and the devastating impact these errors can have on the outcome of criminal trials.”
“Dan Saffer at the sixth annual IIT Design Research Conference, held September 21-22, 2007 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Chicago. ABSTRACT: How to Lie with Design Research: Same Data, Different Findings “There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Thus said Mark Twain. Should we add “Research Findings” to the list? Experience shows that, especially with qualitative research like the type designers often do, two researchers can look at the same set of data and draw dramatically different findings from them. How do we deal with this? If the findings are in conflict, who is correct? Is there a way to make our findings more objective, or is the nature of qualitative research such that subjectivity (what some might call lying) is always necessary?”
Students in my PRCA 4330 class asked for more details on the format for their Public Relations Research Projects that they are completing for Georgia Southern University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching.
- Client name & logo (if available)
- Research team name (if you have one) and list of all members
Table of Contents
- Include your Level One headings only (“Executive Summary,” “Introduction,” etc.)
- Use Word’s Table of Contents feature to make this easier for you
- Written for client’s senior management team
- No more than one page
- Research problem
- Importance of the problem to the client
- Purpose statement (use script from Creswell to write this)
- Should accomplish two purposes
- make an argument for the need to conduct this specific study (identify a gap, or a need in previous literature)
- present the previous theories, concepts, etc. that this study uses and builds upon
- Usually, each paragraph or small section of the literature review covers a body of literature. The best literature reviews are organized thematically; clearly identify and label these themes.
- Typically, this section will be several pages long and will reference a dozen or more sources
- Explain the research methods and procedures used for the research study, and your rationale for choosing said method(s)
- Include your specific research question(s), not survey or interview questions, but the question(s) that your research attempted to answer
- Present your data, along with your (statistical or interpretive, etc.) analysis.
Limitations & Suggestions
- What constraints were on your team?
- What additional research is recommended based on your results?
- What do your results mean, in the context of the literature you reviewed?
- Explain how the problem from the introduction is solved, how the research questions are answered, and whether the purpose of the study was accomplished.
- Summary of the entire project (in a paragraph or two)
- Cite sources using APA Style 6th edition. Use Word’s References feature or EndNote to make this easier for you.
- Number and content varies by project
- All projects must include
- High-level project plan (Gantt chart format works well for this)
- PowerPoint slides used in presentation to client (printed six to a page)
- Consent agreement
- Your team contract
- Provide a signed copy of your team’s contract (the contract you turned in during the week of October 5)
- Agreement re: final version
- Each team member will sign a page agreeing that the version you are submitting for a grade is your final version
- Typically also includes
- Complete survey, just as the participants saw it
- Survey results, raw
- Questions/scripts for focus groups or interviews
- Verbatim transcripts of focus groups or interviews
NOT PART OF THE PAPER
Finally, each team member will individually submit in GeorgiaVIEW:
- Team Member Evaluation Form (this will count as part of your team members’ grades) Coming Soon; not yet available
- Will include
- Client service
- Meets deadlines, keeps promises
- Quality writing
- Quality of presentation capabilities
- Research capabilities
- Participates in all activities
- Takes initiative
- Is accessible & responsive
- Will include
- Personal Reflection on Research Project (this will count as part of your own grade)
- Roughly 500 words
- Answer these questions
- What did you learn from doing this project? (You can discuss what you learned about research in general, PR research, working with clients, working with teammates, what you learned about yourself through this process, what you might do differently next time . . .)
- What surprised you?
- What do you want to know more about?
- This reflection is between you and me; your team members will not see it
NOTE 1: This information will be discussed in depth in class during the week of October 5. I will update this blog post after our discussion to add any necessary clarifications.
NOTE 2: Use APA Style for formatting your paper for citations, margins, headings, etc. The expectation is that you will use the most current version of APA Style (6th edition) unless you clear it with me beforehand. (Using 5th edition is fine, as long as you tell me ahead of time.)
NOTE 3: You will submit a PDF of your final project in GeorgiaVIEW (one per team), plus a professional-looking hard-copy for both your professor and your client. For your own portfolio, you may also want to print & bind your own hard-copy; it’s usually easiest if all the printed copies are created at once. The Eagle Print Shop on campus will have the best local prices for printing.
In today’s PRCA 4330 (PR Research) class, we’re discussing the case study approach. Limited notes appear in the Notes panel in the PowerPoint.
For a great overview of how to read and analyze a case study, see this PDF from Curtin University of Technology.
In Monday’s PRCA 4330 (PR Research) class, we are discussing using secondary and historical research. Purdue University’s Mihaela Vorvoreanu helps simplify this process in a recent post on her PRConnections blog.With her permission, I adapted her blog post to a PPT. If you download the PPT, you can see the relevant sections of her blog post in the Notes area.
This semester, I am teaching PR Research (PRCA 4330 at Georgia Southern University) for the first time. Here’s a short video from Phil Gomes from Edelman Digital on the importance of research in public relations. (NOTE: You must be a member of PROpenMic to view this video clip. Registration is easy and free.)