HPPR404 Unit8


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Research and Evaluation | Unit 8

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  • Hi Students: Here are the slides for week 8.
  • The objectives of Chapter 9 in your text are as follows.
  • Formal research brings many benefits to the practice of public relations. It helps us measure our audiences’ attitudes, opinions and behaviors. It helps us determine if public relations campaigns change our audiences’ attitudes, opinions and behaviors in ways we want…or perhaps explain why our campaigns may have missed the mark. Formal research helps us measure if our messages have been delivered, acknowledged and assimilated. The most common focus of formal research in public relations is media monitoring and measurement.
  • Formal research offers the following benefits.
  • Here are the 3 types of surveys that can be applied to formal research.
  • While conducting a survey, here are the 7 steps.
  • Here are some of the methods of survey delivery. Many practitioners use a mixed-mode model to capture the strengths of two (or more methods) and to limit liabilities.
  • Here is a question for you.
  • And another…
  • The classic or traditional form of formal research is the experiment. Experimental conditions allow us the highest degree of control over conditions and thus help us isolate variables.
  • Experiments can be conducted in lab or field sites. Lab experiments offer high internal validity and low external validity. By contrast, field experiments offer high external validity but lower or no control.
  • Controlled lab experiments help us to isolate variables. Let’s imagine for example, a controlled experiment where audiences were shown two different ads in a marketing campaign. The dependent variable in this condition would be the audiences’ preference, what ad did they prefer?
  • Expanding on this example, let’s suppose our audience were shown two ads, both humorous in tone. What ad do they prefer? In our experimental treatment condition, we would show our audience two ads, one humorous and one serious. What ad do they prefer? In our control group, we would show no ads. But perhaps ask about their likeliness to purchase the product or service featured in the ads.
  • The textbook describes 3 experimental designs. The rigor of the design will depend on the demands of the research problem and the complexity of conditions. Of course, time and costs are factors!
  • Here is a question for you.
  • A very common form of formal research in public relations is content analysis. This is most frequently applied to media analysis. Here you examine text for tone, frequency of message, accuracy and currency of message, themes or another metric. Properly conducted, content analysis can be both objective and systematic.
  • Here is a final question for you.
  • Wrapping up, formal research is the least controversial form of research as it can be objective, systematic, reliable, representative and replicable…if properly conducted. Formal research methods such as surveys, experiments and content analysis offer both benefits and limitations. Your knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of each form of formal research will inform your work with research specialists or contractors. And that concludes our slides for week 8.
  • HPPR404 Unit8

    1. 1. HPPR 404 Research and Evaluation Sherrell Steele Formal Research
    2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Describe the characteristics of formal research </li></ul><ul><li>List the seven steps in the survey planning process </li></ul><ul><li>Weigh the advantages and limitations of surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Consider applications of experimental research methods </li></ul><ul><li>Describe content analysis methods </li></ul>
    3. 3. Why use formal research? <ul><li>To measure audiences attitudes, opinions and behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>To understand and explain audiences motivations and behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>To understand media message effectiveness </li></ul><ul><li>To measure and describe media impact </li></ul>
    4. 4. Characteristics of formal research <ul><li>Empirical (precise measures) </li></ul><ul><li>Objective (values free, neutral) </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic </li></ul><ul><li>Representative (probability–based sampling methods) </li></ul><ul><li>Externally valid </li></ul><ul><li>Replicable (can be repeated) </li></ul>
    5. 5. Three categories of surveys <ul><li>Descriptive surveys – document current circumstances and conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Analytical surveys – provide explanations of why certain circumstances, attitudes , and behaviors exist or test hypothesis </li></ul><ul><li>Combined (descriptive and analytical) </li></ul>
    6. 6. Seven step survey planning process <ul><li>Identify goal and objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Select a sample </li></ul><ul><li>Chose a survey method </li></ul><ul><li>Design survey instrument (e.g. questionnaire) </li></ul><ul><li>Collect data </li></ul><ul><li>Compile and code data </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze, interpret and report </li></ul>
    7. 7. Modes of collecting data <ul><li>Internet surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone calls </li></ul><ul><li>Mail </li></ul><ul><li>Mixed-mode: Why preferred? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Your thoughts? <ul><li>Referring to p. 170 of your text what are the benefits and liabilities of each of these survey methods: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Telephone calls </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mail </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Your thoughts? <ul><li>Referring to pages 172 and 173 of your text, what are two advantages and three disadvantages of survey research? </li></ul>
    10. 10. Experiments <ul><li>Most powerful means of determining campaign effects because they can prove causation </li></ul><ul><li>High degree of control </li></ul><ul><li>Allow researchers to isolate variables in controlled conditions </li></ul>
    11. 11. Lab v.s. field experiments <ul><li>Lab: High internal validity, low external validity </li></ul><ul><li>Field experiment: high external validity, lower control </li></ul>
    12. 12. Variables <ul><li>Independent variables are the conditions that researchers manipulate to determine the effect on the audience (sample) E.g. Two different sample ads </li></ul><ul><li>Dependent variables are the opinions or attitudes arising E.g. Audiences ad preferences </li></ul>
    13. 13. Conditions, treatments <ul><li>Conditions – consistent states e.g. humorous ads only </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment – contrasting states e.g. humorous and serious ads </li></ul><ul><li>Control group – no treatment e.g. no ads </li></ul>
    14. 14. 3 experimental research design <ul><li>Pre-test, post-test with control group </li></ul><ul><li>Post-test only with control group (most common) </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-test, post-test with additional control groups (Solomon four-group design) (most rigorous, but rare due to logistics) </li></ul>
    15. 15. Your thoughts? <ul><li>Referring to pages 182 and 183 of your text, what are the five advantages and two disadvantages of experiments? </li></ul>
    16. 16. Content analysis <ul><li>Converts communications content into quantitative or numerical form. </li></ul><ul><li>Frequently used in media analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Media analysis looks at frequency, tone, themes and issues of stories or articles </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages: objective, systematic, quantitative, scientific </li></ul>
    17. 17. Your thoughts? <ul><li>Referring to pages 188 and 189 of your text, what are the four advantages and three disadvantages of content analysis? </li></ul>
    18. 18. Summary and conclusions <ul><li>Formal research methods offer objectivity, systematic data collection, representative samples and replicable designs thus are trustworthy. </li></ul><ul><li>Each method has strengths and weaknesses. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge of benefits and limitations will allow you to work with (internal) research specialists or contracted research firms. </li></ul>