Erika Brewington’s Blog

Reading Notes: Chapter 5

Notes from Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics 9th Edition by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron


  • Research is a vital part of planning, program development, and the evaluation process in public relations today.
  • PR professionals use research to:
  1. achieve credibility with management
  2. define audiences and segment publics
  3. formulate strategy
  4. test messages
  5. help management keep in touch
  6. prevent crises
  7. monitor the competition
  8. sway public opinion
  9. generate publicity
  10. measure success
  • 3 approaches to research include:
  1. secondary research (i.e. archival research, library and on-line databases, and the Internet and world wide web)
  2. qualitative research (i.e. content analysis, interviews, focus groups, copy testing, and ethnographic techniques)
  3. quantitative research (i.e. random sampling and sample size)
  • Basic guidelines to follow when constructing a questionnaire:
  1. carefully consider wording
  2. avoid loaded questions
  3. consider timing and context
  4. avoid the politically correct answer
  5. give a range of possible answers
  • Survey respondents can be reached by mail, telephone, personal interviews, and omnibus surveys. Although surveys on-line are becoming increasingly popular, this method has the drawback of respondents being self-selected, and may not be a representation of the population as a whole.

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