Introduction to pr research
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Introduction to PR Research. Based on information from S. Zhou & W.D. Sloan (Eds.). (2011). “Research Methods in Communication” Dr. LaRae M. Donnellan , APR, CPRC School of Journalism & Graphic Communication Florida A&M University Spring 2012. What is “research”?. Casual definition?

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Introduction to pr research

Introduction to PR Research

Based on information from S. Zhou & W.D. Sloan (Eds.). (2011). “Research Methods in Communication”

Dr. LaRae M. Donnellan, APR, CPRC

School of Journalism & Graphic Communication

Florida A&M University

Spring 2012


What is research

What is “research”?

  • Casual definition?

  • “Real” research must be:

    • Rigorous and systematic

(http://alsn.mda.org/news/als-research-briefs-5)


Persuasive appeals

Persuasive Appeals

  • Logos = Appeals based on logic or reason

  • Pathos = Appeals based on emotion

  • Ethos = Appeals based on a person’s 3 C’s: character, charisma, control

(http:[email protected]/4594744084/)


Ways of knowing

Ways of Knowing

  • Knowing by authority

    • Seek information from “experts”

    • “Experts” sometimes disagree

    • Generalize expertise?

(http://lunaticadesnuda.blogspot.com/2008/03/gatorate-tiger-tiger-woods-own-gatorade.html)


Ways of knowing1

Ways of Knowing

  • Knowing by personal experience

    • Through five senses

    • Direct knowledge

    • Subject to bias

(“The Round Robin: Politics and Government,” http://stumbleinn.net/forum/showthread.php?t=24851)


Ways of knowing2

Ways of Knowing

  • Knowing by tenacity

    • Willing to accept something as true because it has seemed “right” for a long time

    • Tradition, habits, superstition

(http://www.life.com/gallery/52091/image/76549097/where-superstitions-come-from#index/10)


Ways of knowing3

Ways of Knowing

  • Knowing by intuition

    • Fast and quick

    • Hunches and gut feelings

    • First impressions

(http://celebs.icanhascheezburger.com/2010/12/29/funny-celebrity-pictures-intuition/)


Ways of knowing4

Ways of Knowing

  • Knowing by the scientific method

    • Systematic and rigorous

    • Minimize influence of bias or prejudice

    • Replicable

(http://www.buzzle.com/articles/famous-african-american-scientists.html)


Scientific method

Scientific Method

  • Science is:

    • public

    • objective

    • empirical

    • systematic

    • cumulative

(http://www.dbskeptic.com/2008/03/25/faith-versus-the-scientific-method/)


Types of knowledge

Types of Knowledge

  • Propositional: Have processed information and are aware of knowledge

  • Acquaintance: Have acquired through actual contact

  • How-to: Have procedural knowledge

  • “I know PR.”

(http://www.ksapr.com/pr-for-pr)


Types of research

Types of Research

  • Exploratory vs. explanatory

    • Exploratory: What are social media?

    • Explanatory: Do social media affect people’s perceptions of presidential candidates?

(http://www.marketinghomeproducts.com/2011/07/07/the-number-1-rule-for-social-media-strategies/)


Types of research1

Types of Research

  • Inductive vs. deductive

    • Inductive: Observe, collect data, generalize

    • Deductive: Start with theory then predict

  • The “circle of science”

    • Inductive & deductive

    • Replicated research

    • Cumulative findings

(http://www.floridagoldfruit.com/fresh-fruit/tangerines.html)


Types of research2

Types of Research

  • Basic vs. applied

    • Basic: Focuses on building or refuting theories

    • Applied: Focuses on solving specific problems

  • Issue: How do people learn?

(http://www.haringcenter.washington.edu/)


Types of research3

Types of Research

  • Quantitative vs. qualitative

    • Quantitative: Assumes there is an objective, single reality; uses numbers to count that reality

    • Qualitative: Assumes there are many realities; focuses on things other than numbers

(http://www.stratcom.net/services.html)


How people perceive reality

How People Perceive Reality

  • Positivism vs. constructivism

    • Positivist: Evidence gathered through senses; as an outsider, classifies and quantifies data; constructs statistical models

    • Constructivist: People construct multiple realities based on context; as an insider, lets multiple methodologies emerge

(http://uregina.ca/~hadjista/about.html)


Research steps 1 3

Research Steps #1-#3

  • Identify topic

  • Do literature review

  • Select research design

    • Experiment, survey, focus group, content analysis, benchmarking, SWOT analysis, etc.

(http://deborahgabriel.com/2011/06/20/literature-review-completed-at-last/#.TwoievnxXVo


Hypotheses vs research q s

Hypotheses vs. Research Q’s

  • Hypotheses

    • Dependent variable: What you measure

    • Independent variable: What you manipulate

    • H1: People who live in a clean environment and lead a healthful lifestyle live longer than those who don’t

  • Research questions

    • What affects longevity?

    • Who lives the longest?

    • Does race/age matter?

  • Theories

    • Explanation based on observation, experi- mentation & reasoning, used to explain & predict natural phenomena.

(http://latriplehelice.blogspot.com/2009/08/los-alimentos-organicos-son-solo-un.html)


Research steps 4 6

Research Steps #4-#6

  • Collect data

  • Analyze data

  • Draw conclusions

    • Internal validity: Measure what you say you are

    • External validity: Results generalizable to larger setting/public

(http://www2.pciaonline.org/2007AfricaWorkshopProceedings/index.pdf)


Research steps 7 8

Research Steps #7-#8

  • Report results

  • Replicate findings

    • “One study does not prove anything.” (Zhou, p. 20)

    • Reliability = The extent to which the instrument yields the same results on repeated trials

(http://foureyesfortwins.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/is-the-internet-reliable-nowadays/)


Communication research history

Communication Research History

  • Early research more like reporting

    • Historical and descriptive

  • Auguste Comte, French philosopher

    • Promoted positivism (emphasis on empirical research through the senses)

  • Ralph Nafziger

    • Promoted quantitative research in the 1940s-1950s

  • Foundations got into the act

    • Supported quantitative research

    • Payne Fund: How movies affect children

Auguste Comte

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auguste_Comte)


Communication research history1

Communication Research History

  • 1920s-1930s

    • Were the media causing or at least exacerbating the problems of organized crime, juvenile delinquency? – Empirical research used to see if this were true.

    • J.B. Watson: Stimulus-response

    • W.I. Thomas & Gordon Allpert: Attitudes

      • Are people predisposed to respond a certain way?

      • Can ads influence attitudes toward products and increase sales?

      • Attitude scales developed.

(http://ageinghealthily.wordpress.com/)


Communication research history2

Communication Research History

  • 1940s

    • Paul Lazarsfeld – Empirical studies of media effects

    • Robert Merton – Focus groups

    • Herta Herzog – Media “gratification”

    • Joseph Klapper – Media reinforce, not cause/change

  • WW II

    • Carl Hovland – Propaganda

    • Moved research from just studying differences in attitudes to studying how propaganda changes attitudes

(http://www.guidespot.com/guides/world_war_ii_posters)


Communication research history3

Communication Research History

  • Content analysis:

    • Early 20th century focus on content of newspapers, movies

    • Harold D. Lasswell – Mass media content (Hierarchy of Needs)

  • 1950s-1960s

    • Focus on quantitative research in journalism/communication programs at universities

    • Ph.D. became more important hiring criterion

    • Growth of professional associations

(http://communicationleadership.usc.edu/blog/leading_journalism_association_spotlights_cclp_research_on_funding_the_news.html)


Communication research history4

Communication Research History

  • 1970s-1990s

    • Re-emergence of qualitative research

    • Cultural studies

  • Blending of quantitative and qualitative

    • But they reflect different worldviews

  • Triangulation – Richer results

(http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/100047/chapters/Data-Collection@-Building-a-Valid-and-Reliable-Data-Collection-Plan.aspx)


Review

Review

  • Define the three types of persuasive appeal.

  • Describe the five ways of knowing.

  • Define the difference between a hypothesis and a research question.

  • Describe the eight steps of doing research.

  • Describe the difference between quantitative and qualitative research. Give examples of each.

  • Briefly describe how communication research has evolved over time.

(http://sakitaholley.com/2011/06/21/how-to-get-a-pr-job/)


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