You are on page 1of 30

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.

publishing as Prentice Hall

8-1

Research is the natural starting point for any public relations initiative. Managers want results and proof of performance. Clients are less interested in what we think than what we know.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-2

Although instinct and intuition are important, theyre no way to begin a public relations campaign. Managers want proof: they demand measurement, analysis and evaluation at every stage of the public relations process.

In an era of scarce resources, money cant be spent unless it contributes to bottom-line business objectives.
8-3

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

Research is the systematic collection and interpretation of information to increase understanding.

This early example of research depicts the return of biblical scouts sent by Moses to explore the land of Canann. Failure to interpret their data correctly caused them to wander in the desert for 40 years!
Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-4

How can we identify and define constituent groups? How does this knowledge relate to message design? How does it relate to the design of our programs? How does it relate to how the media we use? How does it relate to the media schedule we adopt? How does it relate to implementation of tactics?

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-5

When to do what?
With whom?

For what purpose?

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-6

Clear program objectives and outcomes tied to goals Differentiating between measuring outputs and outcomes Measuring media content in evaluation Consideration of multiple measurement techniques

Considering differences in tools effectiveness. Measurement stems from clearly identified key messages, target audiences and channels of communication.

-- The Institute for Public Relations Research and Education

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-7

In general, research is conducted to:


describe a process, situation, or phenomenon. explain why something is happening, its causes, and what effect it will have.

predict what may happen if we do or do not take action.


8-8

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

1.
2. 3.

Applied research
Theoretical research Secondary research

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-9

Applied research answers practical questions. It can be strategic or evaluative.


Strategic research is used for program development to

determine objectives and message strategies or to establish benchmarks.


Evaluative research is used to determine whether a

program met its goals and objectives. It can also be used to monitor progress.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-10

is more abstract and conceptual, and helps build theories in public relations work regarding:

why people communicate how public opinion is formed how a public is created

Theoretical research provides a foundation for understanding applied research findings.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-11

This type of research utilizes data collected by someone else. Examples of sources include:

online databases industry trade journals government informal contacts published company accounts

business libraries professional organizations Omnibus surveys census data public records

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-12

1. 2.

Surveys Communications audits Unobtrusive measures

3.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-13

This is one of the most frequently used research methods in public relations. Surveys can be applied to broad societal issues or more focused issues. Surveys come in two types: Descriptive Explanatory

Most survey research is now done online.


8-14

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

Sample
Questionnaire Interview Results analysis

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-15

The sample, or selected target group, must be representative of the total public. Always remember:
Sampling is tricky, and must be conducted with accuracy. Data is perishable and dynamic, so sampling must be

completed quickly.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-16

Random Sampling Keys: Equality: every element has an equal chance of selection. Independence: selection of one element does not influence the selection of others. Generalizations from the sample are made to the population.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-17

Nonrandom sampling This is broken down into three types:


1.

Convenience samples: accidental, chunk or opportunity samples; unstructured and unsystematic. Quota samples: the researcher chooses subjects based on specific characteristics. Volunteer samples: utilizes willing participants who agree to respond.
8-18

2.

3.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

Before creating a questionnaire, carefully consider:


Research objective Scope Publics Research method Design

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-19

Keep it short Use structured questions Measure intensity of feelings Use clear language No loaded questions No double-barreled questions Pretest

Attach letter of explanation Hand-stamp envelopes with unique stamps Follow-up post card Send out more questionnaires than needed Enclose a reward

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-20

Interviews can provide a more personal, firsthand feel. They can be done in person, by phone or mail, or online.
Formats include: focus groups telephone interviews e-mail interviews drop-off interviews intercept interviews Delphi panels Internet interviews

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-21

This is a key step in order to make meaningful recommendations. Always ask:


Were the results both valid and reliable? What is the margin of error? Were the results statistically significant? Was the study conducted appropriately and ethically?

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-22

Used to determine communication consistency, effectiveness, validity of relationships, and methods. Involve analysis of internal and external communication channels.
Researchers must consider: scope subjects methodology
8-23

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

Research can be as simple as looking around you. Consider:

Fact-finding: read organizational files, publications, bios, press clips, media lists, literature, charters, and by-laws.

Content analysis: describes a message or set of messages utilizing categories such as frequency of coverage, placement, reach, message conveyed, or attitude conveyed. Copy testing: target publics are exposed to key campaign messages in advance of publication. This helps ensure that messages are understandable and effective.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-24

Successful evaluation depends on: 1. setting measurable program objectives. 2. securing management commitment. 3. determining the best way to gather data. 4. reporting back to management. 5. selecting the most appropriate outcomes. Accountability is the key word. Resources are limited, and management expects it.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-25

Four common tools:


1. 2. 3. 4.

Awareness and comprehension measurement Recall and retention measurement Attitude and preference measurement Behavior measurements

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-26

Key questions to ask when evaluating a Web site:


How much traffic is coming to the site? What pages are people looking at? How often do they go beyond the homepage? What do they find most useful and interesting? What parts never get viewed? Where do visitors come from? Is the site functioning as expected?

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-27

Follow these steps: Establish objectives Determine criteria Determine benchmarks Select the right measurement tool

Compare results to objectives Draw actionable conclusions

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-28

Outside research consultants can provide valuable assistance and specialized expertise. First, determine whether research has already been done in your area. You may be able to piggyback on existing research.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-29

Rudys Recounting Reveals Rocky Research


Review this case on p. 159. As a class, discuss: Had you been advising Giuliani, what would you have counseled him relative to citing research? What does the Giuliani experience indicate about citing research as a high-profile candidate or organization?

For more information on this case, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/30/us/politics/30truth.html

Copyright 2011 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall

8-30