Primer of Public Relations Research, Second Edition / Edition 2

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Overview

This Practical, Comprehensive Work is Widely Regarded as the Standard Course Text and practitioner reference on public relations research. Don W. Stacks explains the key role of research in all aspects of contemporary PR practice, from planning a program or campaign to making strategic changes and measuring outcomes. Step-by-step guidelines and tools are provided for using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods to accomplish essential research objectives. The book clearly explains technical aspects of data collection and analysis for readers new to measurement and statistics. Every Chapter features review questions and a detailed practice problem. A test bank, suggested readings, case studies, and PowerPoint slides are available to instructors using the book in their courses; see the preface for details.

New to This Edition

Thoroughly updated to reflect the growth of social media and other technological changes.

Expanded coverage of measuring return on investment.

Restructured based on classroom experience: learning statistical concepts first will help students master the methods.

Emphasizes a best-practice approach to designing and implementing research.

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Editorial Reviews

Public Relations Quarterly

"While designed primarily for the classroom, where it will be welcomed by students and faculty alike. Dr. Stacks' book promises to be the reference of choice for legions of practitioners who studied history, political science or anthropology in college. Why? Because the author has stripped away the gobbledygook of academic research—to the extent that's possible—and created a user-friendly overview of the subject that most practitioners should be able to digest in a long weekend....The Primer of Public Relations Research should be a part of every practitioner's library."--Public Relations Quarterly (on previous edition)
From the Publisher

"One of the best public relations textbooks on the market. While social media has changed public relations, research fundamentals have stayed the same. Stacks takes difficult theoretical and statistical concepts and makes them easy to understand, engaging readers through current, practical, and relevant examples. This primer can be used in nearly every communication or business discipline, and is a 'must have' for anyone practicing or learning about public relations."--Tina McCorkindale, PhD, Department of Communication, Appalachian State University "Many consider Stacks to be the world's leading expert on public relations research methodologies. The second edition of this superb book should be required reading for students and practitioners who want to help our field move away from the archaic, outputs-focused, one-way communication that is publicity and press-agentry, and toward strategic, outcomes-focused, two-way communication."--Donald K. Wright, PhD, College of Communication, Boston University

"Looking through the text, I can't think of any topics that the author overlooked. Everything is fresh and current, which is vital for today's students. The second edition takes an excellent practical introduction to public relations research and improves on it by incorporating recent trends and practical examples to help students and practitioners understand the complexities of the field."--Marcia W. DiStaso, PhD, College of Communications, The Pennsylvania State University

"Stacks provides an informed, in-depth examination of research in the context of public relations. Since research methods are not always favorite topics among practitioners and students, understanding the critical role of research in best practices provides the necessary motivation to delve deep into the subject matter. The chapter on ethical concerns in public relations research is a much-needed contribution."--David M. Dozier, PhD, School of Journalism and Media Studies, San Diego State University

"Stacks has created the central repository of essential knowledge about why and how to conduct research that every public relations professional needs. Grounded in the fundamentals of communications theory, the book not only covers technical research skills, but also shows how to apply research to improve the day-to-day practice of public relations. This clear and practical book should become a standard reference on the desk of every public relations professional and should be required reading in every introductory course in the field."--David Michaelson, PhD, President, Echo Research, Inc., New York

The Measurement Standard

"The book's excellent organization makes it easy to use as a reference. If you have a specific question, there is more than likely a section that addresses it in a concise manner."--The Measurement Standard (on previous edition)
Public Relations Quarterly
"While designed primarily for the classroom, where it will be welcomed by students and faculty alike. Dr. Stacks'' book promises to be the reference of choice for legions of practitioners who studied history, political science or anthropology in college. Why? Because the author has stripped away the gobbledygook of academic research--to the extent that''s possible--and created a user-friendly overview of the subject that most practitioners should be able to digest in a long weekend....The Primer of Public Relations Research should be a part of every practitioner''s library."--Public Relations Quarterly (on the previous edition)
Public Relations Quarterly

"While designed primarily for the classroom, where it will be welcomed by students and faculty alike. Dr. Stacks'' book promises to be the reference of choice for legions of practitioners who studied history, political science or anthropology in college. Why? Because the author has stripped away the gobbledygook of academic research--to the extent that''s possible--and created a user-friendly overview of the subject that most practitioners should be able to digest in a long weekend....The Primer of Public Relations Research should be a part of every practitioner''s library."--Public Relations Quarterly (on the previous edition)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593855956
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/16/2010
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 367
  • Sales rank: 223,301
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition v

Preface to the First Edition ix

Part I An Introduction to Research in Public Relations 1

Chapter 1 Understanding Research: An Introduction with Public Relations Implications 5

Why Conduct Public Relations Research? 6

What is Research? 8

Use of Research in Public Relations 15

Best Practices in Public Relations 16

Summary 17

Chapter 2 Management of Research in Public Relations 20

What is Public Relations? 21

Programmatic Research in Public Relations 26

Public Relations Best Practices and Influence on ROE/ROI 36

Summary 40

Chapter 3 Measuring Outcomes 44

Understanding Measurement 45

Measurement Scales 51

An Example in Practice 62

Summary 66

Chapter 4 Descriptive Statistical Reasoning and Computer Analysis 68

Review of Measurement Levels and "Variables" 69

Using Computer Packages 71

Entering Data into the Computer 72

Describing Quantitative Data 76

Inferential Statistics 97

Summary 100

Chapter 5 Ethical Concerns in Public Relations Research 102

Public Relations Ethics 104

Ethics and the Conduct of Research 106

Who Owns the Research and the Data? 112

Summary 112

Part II Research Methodology 115

Chapter 6 Qualitative Research Methodology: Content Analysis 119

Defining the Method 119

Advantages and Limitations 120

Conducting a Content Analysis 120

Computerized Content Analysis 130

Concerns About Computerized Coding of Content 134

Summary 135

Chapter 7 Qualitative Research Methodology: Historical and Secondary Research Methods 139

Gathering Sources of Data 140

Secondary Research 151

Summary 154

Chapter 8 Qualitative Research Methodology: Case Studies 157

The Case Study Defined 157

The (Historical) Case Study in Public Relations 159

The Grounded or Business Case Study 162

Answering Research Questions 163

Conducting the Case Study 165

Summary 169

Chapter 9 Qualitative Research Methodology: Methods of Observing People 172

In-Depth Interviews 173

Focus Croups 179

Participant-Observation 190

Summary 193

Chapter 10 Quantitative Research Methodology: Sampling Messages and People 196

Sampling 197

Errors Encountered in Sampling 198

Sampling Types 200

Sample Size and Probability Sampling 207

Sampling Strategies 214

A Concern Regarding Randomness 218

Summary 219

Chapter 11 Quantitative Research Methodology: Survey and Poll Methods 223

Polls Versus Surveys 225

Design Considerations 226

A Note About "Informed Consent" 235

Questionnaire Construction 236

Reporting Survey Results 241

New Technologies 242

Summary 243

Chapter 12 Quantitative Research Methodology: Experimental Method 248

What is an Experiment? 249

Testing Relationships 251

Establishing Causation 254

Establishing Control 255

Experimental Designs 257

Types of Experimental Design 258

Experimental Methodology and Public Relations 261

Summary 262

Chapter 13 Quantitative Statistics: Advanced Inferential Statistical Reasoning and Computer Analysis 265

Making Quantitative Inferences and Testing Relationships 266

Inferential Tests 272

Advanced Statistical Testing 289

Summary 290

Part III Obtaining and Reporting Public Relations Research 293

Chapter 14 Writing and Evaluating the Request for Research Proposal 295

Addressing What You Need 296

Identifying Potential Researchers and Firms 299

The RFP 300

Evaluating RFPs 304

Summary 307

Chapter 15 Writing and Presenting the Final Research Report 309

Writing the Research Report 309

The Oral Presentation 315

Summary 319

Appendix: Dictionary of Public Relations Measurement and Research 323

Index 351

About the Author 367

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