Some Materials used in Applied Research Methods

From the textbook:

PART I CHAPTER 1 Understanding Research: An Introduction with Public Relations Implications

Why Conduct Public Relations Research? 4

What Is Research? 5

Use of Research in Public Relations 13

Best Practices in Public Relations 14

Summary 15

Review Questions 16

Practice Problem 16

What is research? How do public relations professionals approach research? What are the major research methodologies employed by public relations researchers? How does theory relate to practice? What are the standards for conducting public relations research? What are the ethics of conducting research? These are some of the questions examined in Part I. Chapter 1 begins our exploration of public relations research by asking the more general question “What is research?” and discusses the two major research methodologies (informal and formal) used in conducting research. The difference between theoretical research, as typified in academic research, and applied research, as typified in business practice, is examined, and the relationship between the four approaches to public relations is briefly discussed. Finally, the four major research questions asked in any research are explored.


Hello …

It is great to be here! For starters, please know that I was just assigned this class in the last few days and I just received all of my course info yesterday. A full welcome announcement and email will follow, shortly. We are playing a bit of “catch-up” but there is no need to worry. I have taken over courses at the last minute before and all have gone very well.  We still have 15 weeks to meet all of our learning goals and objectives.

I will have this course entirely updated by next week. In today’s class we will have an overview, get to know each other, and examine the key principles of applied research. The textbook that we will use is: Primer of Public Relations Research, Don W. Stacks, Third Edition. ISBN: 9781462522705. It is probably not in the bookstore yet. So just obtain it in the next couple of weeks and we will use other materials until then.

For a bit more about me, see: A column of mine in Idaho Press:

and this news update from BSU:

I look forward to having a great semester with you in this course.  See you at 3:00 today!


Comm 302 Course Description and Objectives …

This course is designed to shed light on the foundations and applications of scientific research in communication. In this class, students will learn new ways of asking and answering questions that will alter your approach to our mediated
world. In particular, this course’s objectives include: 1) understand scientific research methods and basic concepts of research evaluation; 2) learn when to use the most appropriate method to investigate a certain research question; 3) learn how to design and conduct communication research; and 4) learn how to interpret the meaning of numerical results.

Students will practice some basic statistics to learn how to interpret data tables and statistical relationships.
This course has three sections: the nature of social science research in general, quantitative methods (e.g., survey, experiment, and content analysis), and qualitative methods (e.g., observation techniques, interview). Once you learn
diverse research methods and related concepts, your critical thinking and reasoning to see communication research in terms of how it is done, how it could be done better, and how it can be done to answer specific questions will all be enhanced. Some of you may have reluctant feelings about this course because you think that this course has little to do with your career goals. However, I want to remind you that all areas (e.g., communication, journalism, public relations, management, and marketing) begin with a solid foundation in research, and all areas are consistently related to the research process.


In this activity, you will introduce yourself to the class. Please read all of the instructions below before you begin this activity.

Step 01:  Spend a few minutes orienting yourself to the video tool we will be using for this activity, FlipGrid.

Step 02: If you will be using your phone for FlipGrid, download the app from the App Store. Otherwise, you may use any device to tape your introduction and view the other introductions.

Step 03: To videotape your 30-90 second intro, go here: It’s pretty self-explanatory.

There are only four rules: 1) 30-90 seconds in length; 2) tell us your name,  3) tell us a phrase by which you self-identify. For example, African American male father; Romanian Jew; Woman and mountain climber; 4)  tell us something about where and how you grew up.

Step 04:  Feel free to check out other FlipGrid introductions online, such as those found HERE.

Step 05:  Don’t worry if you mess up. We all will! It’s part of the fun!

Need Help?

If it asks you for a flipcode, ours is

For technical assistance, please refer to FlipGrid help documentation, or contact FlipGrid Techncal Support. For further clarification on the assignment, please contact me by email.


Video Assignment: Summarize a Concept …

Read the abstract, introduction, and part one of Beginners’ Guide for Applied Research Process: What Is It, and Why and How to Do It? by Mahabat Baimyrzaeva. A pdf is found in your course materials. Here is a link to the pdf:

Pick one of the four subheadings in part one, for example:  1.1 WHAT IS APPLIED RESEARCH? …  or 1.3 HOW IS APPLIED RESEARCH DIFFERENT FROM BASIC RESEARCH?

Create a 60 to 120 second video that summarizes the concept you chose.

Here is the fligrid link for this assignment:


Tentative Schedule

REMINDER: There will be some kind of assessment for points in every class. Most are low stakes, such as 10 point quizzes. These can take any for: response paragraphs, short answer, quizzes, face-to-face question and answer, etc. They will always be based on readings and classwork.

Week One:

Course Overview

Read the abstract, introduction, and part one of Beginners’ Guide for Applied Research Process: What Is It, and Why and How to Do It? by Mahabat Baimyrzaeva.

Week Two:

Introduction to Social Science Research

Read Beginners’ Guide for Applied Research Process sections two and three.

Week Three:

Research Process

Read Beginners’ Guide for Applied Research Process sections four and five.

Week Four:

Library Research (Class meetings at BSU Library)

Week Five:

Introduction to Quantitative Research

Week Six:

Quantitative Communication Research:

Week Seven:

How to Write Quantitative Research Paper ∙ Questions/Hypothesis

Week Eight:

Quantitative Research:  Variable Measurement

Week Nine:

Research Proposal & Presentation

Week Ten:

Quantitative Research: Populations, Samples, and Sample Size

Week Eleven:

Quantitative Research: Experiment, Survey, and Content Analysis

Week Twelve:

Descriptive Statistics/Significance Levels/ Testing Hypotheses

Week Thirteen:

Quantitative Research: Inferential Statistics (Testing for differences)

Week Fourteen:

Thanksgiving Break

Week 15: Group Presentations

Group Presentations – Group A

Group Presentations – Group B

Group Presentations – Group C

Week 16: Group Presentations

Group Presentations – Group D

Group  Presentations – Group E

Group Presentations – Group F



Tentative Schedule Posted


Please check the Syllabus and Schedule tab for the tentative schedule. Due to our late start, this schedule is perhaps a bit more tentative, subject to change, than would ordinarily be the case. But once again, nothing to fear. The schedule gives a clear overview of tasks, topics, and activities that we will engage in this semester.

I will be posting the syllabus shortly.

We will begin working in the textbook — Stacks –  D.W. (2016) Primer of Public Relations Research, Third Edition. ISBN: The Guilford Press; Third edition  9781462522705 – during week four. I will update the schedule accordingly and keep you posted. Until then, come to class and watch announcements for specific readings.

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