HPPR404 Unit 1


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Public Relations Research and Evaluation | Unit 1

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HPPR404 Unit 1

  1. 1. HPPR404 Research and Evaluation Sherrell Steele Introduction to Research and Evaluation
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>Why research? Why plan? </li></ul><ul><li>Value of research in public relations </li></ul><ul><li>Three stages of research in PR </li></ul><ul><li>Barriers to research and planning </li></ul><ul><li>Overcoming barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Role of research in organizational decision making/management </li></ul><ul><li>Research ethics </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why research? Why plan? <ul><li>Let’s review the RACE formula </li></ul><ul><li>Old way: One-way non- symmetrical/Closed system approach </li></ul><ul><li>New way: Systems approach/Open system flow of feedback and results (this relates to next week’s discussion) </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is research? <ul><li>Research is the controlled, objective and systematic gathering of information for the purposes of managing the relationships between an organization and it’s publics </li></ul><ul><li>Research addresses: Where are we now? Where do we need to be? How should we get there? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Value of research in communications planning <ul><li>To understand the “problem” or goal (Where do we want to go?) </li></ul><ul><li>To understand current status (Where are we now?) </li></ul><ul><li>What is the gap? (How far do we need to go?) </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-test (How do we get there?) </li></ul><ul><li>Summative evaluation (Are we “there” now?) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Three stages of research in PR <ul><li>Formative research – To develop the goals, objectives of PR </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring – e.g To pre-test creative or to ask Are we on plan? On budget? On schedule? Do we need to make adjustments? </li></ul><ul><li>Summative research – To measure impact or effectiveness </li></ul>
  7. 7. Barriers to conducting research <ul><li>Lack of management support/interest </li></ul><ul><li>Inertia </li></ul><ul><li>Budget and time limitations </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of “in house” research competence/expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Suspicion or hostility toward research </li></ul>
  8. 8. Barriers to conducting research - continued <ul><li>Fear of punishment/reprisals based on findings of research </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of being held accountable for future results </li></ul><ul><li>The misconception that research is a strictly a marketing function </li></ul><ul><li>Past research experiences were negative (recommendations were discounted/ignored) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Overcoming barriers <ul><li>Start small/document success </li></ul><ul><li>Develop expertise/engage external consultants </li></ul><ul><li>Use informal research to gather evidence of need for formal </li></ul><ul><li>Use arguments that explain return on investment (ROI) </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing r is just one part of PR r </li></ul>
  10. 10. Role of research in organizational decision making/management <ul><li>When public relations staff show that research contributes to “the bottom line” (this it is an essential business activity), this positions PR as a purposeful, goal-directed and problem solving function not a “frill”. </li></ul><ul><li>This reinforces PR as a management function. PR becomes strategic to success. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The four-step management process <ul><li>Define the problem or opportunity/Situational analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Planning and programming/Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Taking action and/or communicating/Tactics </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluating/Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>(Note resemblance to RACE) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Research ethics <ul><li>Informed consent </li></ul><ul><li>Methodological honesty </li></ul><ul><li>Incentives or “buying votes” </li></ul><ul><li>Confidentiality </li></ul><ul><li>Non-disclosure </li></ul><ul><li>Reporting results </li></ul><ul><li>Implementing recommendations </li></ul>
  13. 13. Summary and conclusions <ul><li>Definition of research </li></ul><ul><li>Three stages of research in PR </li></ul><ul><li>Role of research in communications planning process </li></ul><ul><li>Barriers/overcoming barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Research as a business function + research as a PR function = PR as a management function (ROI) </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical considerations </li></ul>