Welcome to the strategic and creative world of research methods for addressing organizational problems and maximizing opportunities with clear goals and objectives—and evaluating strategic public relations campaigns and projects. Curiosity drives the public relations engine as we seek to discover as much as we can to build strong, authentic relationships with special attention to BIPOC issues/concerns.
Discovering Answers: Research Methods for Public Relations is organized chronologically as if readers are shadowing a public relations research team working with organizations and begins by offering building blocks of both formal and informal research, explains why learning about research methods is so important, and offers insights for future public relations research.
Today’s public relations practitioners know that they must bring as much informed insight as possible to their work and so rely on data well collected and analyzed. This book is grounded in application and each chapter features sidebars written for or about public relations researchers currently working in the public relations field.
Chapter 1: Welcoming You to Public Relations Research Methods
Sidebar 1.1: When Scuba Diving Meets Time Machine: A Lesson in Self-Discovery
Chapter 2: Researching a Communication Problem or Opportunity
Sidebar 2.1: A New Era for Research Techniques by Using Creative Approaches to Enduring News Values
Sidebar 2.2: When Real Life Events Happen, Research Projects Must be Flexible
Chapter 3: Journeying Across Time to Appreciate Ethics in Public Relations Practice Today and Tomorrow
Chapter 4: Embracing the Power of Conducting Research
Sidebar 4.1: Beyond Dropping Breadcrumbs: Navigating Power Dynamics in Nonprofit Public Relations
Sidebar 4.2: Creative Use of Interviews to Tell Powerful Stories Respectfully
Chapter 5: Exploring the Journey: Basics for Research Projects
Sidebar 5.1: When the Basics of U.S. Army Training and Formal Research Methods Coincide
Chapter 6: Navigating the Qualitative Research Paradigm
Sidebar 6.1: How ‘Spidey Sense’ Failed Me: A Toilet Tale
Chapter 7: Navigating the Quantitative Research Paradigm
Sidebar 7.1: Using Numbers to Connect with Consumers and Help Save Lives
Chapter 8: Mixing Research Methods
Sidebar 8.1: When Listening and Observing Speaks Volumes about Communities
Chapter 9: Analyzing Data
Chapter 10: Writing Research Reports
Sidebar 10.1: Learning to do Research the Hard Way – When Failure IS a Valuable Educational Option
Chapter 11: Anticipating the Future of Research Methods for Public Relations
Sidebar 11.1: Artificial Intelligence Takes Center Stage with a Focus on Ethics
Donnalyn Pompper (Ph.D., Media & Communication, Temple University) is Endowed Chair in Public Relations, School of Journalism & Communication, University of Oregon. She teaches courses in and researches public relations, corporate social responsibility, and social identity. She is an internationally recognized award-winning teacher and scholar and holds PRSA’s Accredited Public Relations (APR) credential.
She mentors numerous colleagues at various career stages, in addition to students.
Pompper has written or edited 14 books, as well as two special issues of Mass Communication & Society that were turned into books. She serves on academic journal editorial boards of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, The Howard Journal of Communication, Journal of Public Relations Education, Public Relations Review, Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Inquiry, and The Journal of Popular Culture. She edits the Emerald Group Publishing series, Communicating Responsible Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion, and edits the Routledge Global Public Relations Insights series.
Prior to joining the academy, Pompper worked as a public relations manager and journalist, bringing 25 years of practical experience to teaching and research. She worked in public affairs management at Campbell’s Soup Company, marketing public relations management at Tasty Baking Company, where she created the public relations department, and as an account manager at Lewis, Gilman & Kynett. Pompper also worked as a daily newspaper freelance reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Courier-Post, as well as news editor at a weekly New Jersey newspaper chain.