Primer of Public Relations Research / Edition 1

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This authoritative guide provides comprehensive coverage of the various research methods available to public relations practitioners. Written in a practical and direct style, the book takes readers step by step through the various elements of designing, conducting, and reporting PR-related research in both corporate and nonprofit settings. Informal and formal research methodologies are discussed in depth, including clear guidelines for using secondary sources, case studies, observational approaches, content analysis, sampling, survey research, and more. Demystifying statistical concepts and methods, the book provides detailed instructions for using SPSS, the widely available statistical software package. Numerous concrete examples, sample research tools and reports, and computer screen shots enhance the utility of the book, as do helpful review questions and practice problems at the end of each chapter.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Given the increased importance of research in virtually every aspect of public relations practice, a book like this is long overdue. The entire field clearly benefits from this practical introduction and overview. Including many valuable suggestions for everyday practice, the book deals both with how to conduct research and how to include research strategically in the setting of public relations objectives. The full range of research methodologies is addressed; statistics are treated in a readable manner; and software for analyzing research data is explained in depth. I'm delighted to see the publication of this book. Stacks does a wonderful job of explaining the complexities of research in terminology that practitioners and students will understand."--Donald K. Wright, Department of Communication, University of South Alabama; Director, Public Relations Executive Forum

"This book will undoubtedly make a major contribution to public relations research education. Its clarity and breadth of scope make it equally appropriate for undergraduates preparing to enter the job market, graduate students in master's or doctoral programs, and working professionals seeking greater research application ability. Unusually well written and easy to understand, the book serves the multiple knowledge needs that we confront in public relations education."--Melvin L. Sharpe, College of Communication, Information, and Media, Ball State University

"Many public relations practitioners avoid using research in their day-to-day work. There are several excuses: good research takes time and money; some practitioners want to avoid accountability for what they do and how they do it; and the way many of us learned research methods in college made the subject seem boring, difficult, and tedious. In this book, Don Stacks shoots down nearly every excuse for not using research, showing how it can be accessible, affordable, and even fun. In his usual engaging style, Stacks gives practitioners a better understanding of what research is and how it can help them."--John W. Felton, President and CEO, Institute for Public Relations

"Don W. Stacks is universally recognized in the public relations scholar/educator community as a superb research methodologist. In this easy-to-read volume, he explains clearly and simply the rationale and need for research; identifies meaningful criteria for selecting appropriate methodologies; and provides explicit instructions for conducting and interpreting research--all within a professional context using public relations examples. This book is an important contribution to the public relations literature."--Dean Kruckeberg, APR, Fellow PRSA, Department of Communication Studies, University of Northern Iowa

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572307261
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/6/2002
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 318
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Don W. Stacks, PhD, is Professor and Director of the Program in Advertising and Public Relations at the University of Miami School of Communication. The author or coauthor of six books and more than 60 articles in referred journals, Dr. Stacks is an award-winning educator and researcher, a frequent conference presenter, and an active member of several professional organizations.
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Table of Contents

PART I. An Introduction to Research in Public Relations

1. Research: An Intrdoduction with Public Relations Implications
2. Management of Research in Public Relations
3. Ethical Concerns in Public Relations Research

PART II. Informal Research Methodology

4. Historical and Secondary Research Methods
5. Case Studies
6. Informal Methods of Observing People
7. Content Analysis

PART III. Formal Research Methodology

8. Measurement in Public Relations
9. Sampling Messages and People
10. Survey and Poll Methods
11. Experimental Method
12. Descriptive Statistical Reasoning and Computer Analysis
13. Inferential Statistical Reasoning and Computer Analysis

PART IV. Reporting Public Relations Research

14. Writing and Evaluating the Request for Research Proposal
15. Writing and Presenting the Final Research Report

About the Author

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