Primer of Public Relations Research, Second Edition

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-07-13
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press
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This practical, comprehensive work is widely regarded as the standard course text and practitioner reference on public relations research.

Author Biography

Don W. Stacks, PhD, is Professor of Public Relations and Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Creative Support in the School of Communication at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida. He served as program director from 1995 to 2009. He has written more than 150 scholarly articles and papers and has authored or coauthored seven books on communication topics. Dr. Stacks’s most recent awards include the Public Relations Society of America’s Outstanding Educator, the Jackson Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Prize, and the Eastern Communication Association’s Distinguished Research Fellow and Distinguished Teaching Fellow. He was recently elected to the first class of the Institute for Public Relations’ Research Fellows and was selected as a Senior Fellow of the Society for New Communications Research. Dr. Stacks has been an active communication consultant for over 30 years. His areas of expertise include organizational systems assessment, sociological/psychological organizational analysis, media relations, internal organizational communications, and leadership, as well as serving as a trained listening specialist.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Editionp. v
Preface to the First Editionp. ix
An Introduction to Research in Public Relationsp. 1
Understanding Research: An Introduction with Public Relations Implicationsp. 5
Why Conduct Public Relations Research?p. 6
What is Research?p. 8
Use of Research in Public Relationsp. 15
Best Practices in Public Relationsp. 16
Summaryp. 17
Management of Research in Public Relationsp. 20
What is Public Relations?p. 21
Programmatic Research in Public Relationsp. 26
Public Relations Best Practices and Influence on ROE/ROIp. 36
Summaryp. 40
Measuring Outcomesp. 44
Understanding Measurementp. 45
Measurement Scalesp. 51
An Example in Practicep. 62
Summaryp. 66
Descriptive Statistical Reasoning and Computer Analysisp. 68
Review of Measurement Levels and ˘Variables÷p. 69
Using Computer Packagesp. 71
Entering Data into the Computerp. 72
Describing Quantitative Datap. 76
Inferential Statisticsp. 97
Summaryp. 100
Ethical Concerns in Public Relations Researchp. 102
Public Relations Ethicsp. 104
Ethics and the Conduct of Researchp. 106
Who Owns the Research and the Data?p. 112
Summaryp. 112
Research Methodologyp. 115
Qualitative Research Methodology: Content Analysisp. 119
Defining the Methodp. 119
Advantages and Limitationsp. 120
Conducting a Content Analysisp. 120
Computerized Content Analysisp. 130
Concerns About Computerized Coding of Contentp. 134
Summaryp. 135
Qualitative Research Methodology: Historical and Secondary Research Methodsp. 139
Gathering Sources of Datap. 140
Secondary Researchp. 151
Summaryp. 154
Qualitative Research Methodology: Case Studiesp. 157
The Case Study Definedp. 157
The (Historical) Case Study in Public Relationsp. 159
The Grounded or Business Case Studyp. 162
Answering Research Questionsp. 163
Conducting the Case Studyp. 165
Summaryp. 169
Qualitative Research Methodology: Methods of Observing Peoplep. 172
In-Depth Interviewsp. 173
Focus Croupsp. 179
Participant-Observationp. 190
Summaryp. 193
Quantitative Research Methodology: Sampling Messages and Peoplep. 196
Samplingp. 197
Errors Encountered in Samplingp. 198
Sampling Typesp. 200
Sample Size and Probability Samplingp. 207
Sampling Strategiesp. 214
A Concern Regarding Randomnessp. 218
Summaryp. 219
Quantitative Research Methodology: Survey and Poll Methodsp. 223
Polls Versus Surveysp. 225
Design Considerationsp. 226
A Note About ˘Informed Consent÷p. 235
Questionnaire Constructionp. 236
Reporting Survey Resultsp. 241
New Technologiesp. 242
Summaryp. 243
Quantitative Research Methodology: Experimental Methodp. 248
What is an Experiment?p. 249
Testing Relationshipsp. 251
Establishing Causationp. 254
Establishing Controlp. 255
Experimental Designsp. 257
Types of Experimental Designp. 258
Experimental Methodology and Public Relationsp. 261
Summaryp. 262
Quantitative Statistics: Advanced Inferential Statistical Reasoning and Computer Analysisp. 265
Making Quantitative Inferences and Testing Relationshipsp. 266
Inferential Testsp. 272
Advanced Statistical Testingp. 289
Summaryp. 290
Obtaining and Reporting Public Relations Researchp. 293
Writing and Evaluating the Request for Research Proposalp. 295
Addressing What You Needp. 296
Identifying Potential Researchers and Firmsp. 299
The RFPp. 300
Evaluating RFPsp. 304
Summaryp. 307
Writing and Presenting the Final Research Reportp. 309
Writing the Research Reportp. 309
The Oral Presentationp. 315
Summaryp. 319
Appendix: Dictionary of Public Relations Measurement and Researchp. 323
Indexp. 351
About the Authorp. 367
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