A Practioner's Guide to Public Relations Research, Measurement and Evaluation

Business Expert Press
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This book will provide the business reader with the necessary understanding of the problems and promises of public relations research, measurement, and evaluation and the public relations practitioner as guide to effective use of methods, measures, and evaluation in providing grounded evidence of the success (or failure) of public relations campaigns.
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About the author

Don W. Stacks, Ph.D., is Professor and Director of the Public Relations Program in the School of Communication at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL. He has written more than 150 scholarly articles and papers. His awards include the Ralph Nichols Award for research in Listening (1984); the Institute for Public Relations Research and Education awarded Stacks its 1999 "Pathfinder Award." He was selected as the recipient of the University of Miami’s “Provost’s Award for Outstanding Research and Theory” in 1999. The Public Relations Society of America named him Outstanding Educator in 2003 and the recipient of the Jackson Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Prize in 2005. In 1992 he was named “Outstanding Professor” by University of Miami students. In 2007 he was elected as an Eastern Communication Association “Distinguished Research Fellow” and “Distinguished Teaching Fellow” in 2008. Dr. Stacks was recently elected to the first class of the Institute for Public Relations’ Research Fellows. Dr. Stacks has authored or coauthored seven books on communication topics, to include the award winning Primer of Public Relations Research, the National Communication Association’s PRIDE award and was named the Measurement Standard’s “measurement tool” for 2003. He edited the 2002 and 2006 Dictionary of Public Relations Research and Measurement. Dr. Stacks served as Vice President for Research for Market Analysis Research of Mobile, Alabama, from 1979 to 1980. MAR’s clients included First Alabama Bank, for which MAR conducted the initial research on customer perceptions of the use of ATM machines, marketing surveys for a variety of clients in south Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi, and conducted internal corporate research for Federated Stores. MAR employed a variety of communication research methods and was one of the first research firms to include sociometric analysis in its toolbox. He is a member of The Arthur W. Page Society, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the International Listening Association, International Public Relations Association, and the National Communication Association. He serves on the editorial boards of most premier communication and public relations journals and directs the annual International Public Relations Research Conference, the only research conference focusing purely on public relations research. Stacks serves as trustee for the Institute for Public Relations, and is on the Boards of the International Public Relations Association, the Commission on Public Relations Measurement and Evaluation, and served for 10 years on the Commission on Public Relations Education’s board. Dr. Stacks received his B.A. ('71) from Northern Michigan University, M.A. (‘75) from the Auburn University, and Ph.D. (’78) from the University of Florida. Prior to receiving his M.A., he spent three years in the U.S. Army, stationed in Alexandria, VA, and Washington, DC.

Dr. David Michaelson has 30 years experience conducting research for numerous Fortune 500 companies, universities, and philanthropic organizations. Dr. Michaelson has an extensive background in communications testing, message development, measurement of communications effectiveness, and branding. He also has been head of research for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and GCI Group, as well as a director of research at Burson-Marsteller. Dr. Michaelson is a research fellow of the Institute for Public Relations, 2008 recipient of the Jackson, Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Prize and was named the 2009 public relations measurement/research expert of the year by PR News.

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Additional Information

Business Expert Press
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Published on
Jul 6, 2010
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Business & Economics / Public Relations
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Content Protection
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Caterpillar Factory offers a unique insider’s account of the approach, skills and processes needed to build a successful career in today’s booming PR business. It sets out the links in the PR business chain, from the basic consultancy model to winning new clients, and from exploiting the news agenda to preparing clients for a successful media interview.‘The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity’. This quote, from American comedian George Carlin, provides the central motif for the book, which is a must-read for all students of public relations and communications who want to become successful PR advisors and consultants. It is a technical book packed with theory, practice, examples and exercises but set out in an accessible way, using frontline experience and examples to drive the narrative. Drawing on a rich variety of sources, it gives the inside track on the applied business of public relations in the agency and workplace setting, explaining what consultancy really means and showing how to go about the process of attracting and winning new business. These steps are followed by chapters that unlock the world of media relations, from how to plan and manage media campaigns, structure and pitch effective news releases, broaden coverage through features and show clients how to become effective spokespeople. The book offers a perspective on the science of applied social psychology that drives modern public relations, shares techniques to launch new products and sets out a structure for winning proposals and rules on writing style. Along the way, it provides pen portraits of the great pioneers of PR, ‘engineers of consent’ such as Edward L Bernays and Ivy Ledbetter Lee and offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of today’s caterpillar in a busy agency. Much of the content of The Caterpillar Factory has been tested with hundreds of trainees and it is designed to be a valuable addition to the knowledge and skills base of all PR students.
“This is a good text to accompany a core text on Public Relations. It is also very useful for marketing and business students. Valuable for post grads new to PR also.”
- Robbie Smyth, Griffith College Dublin

“Offers the reader a concise and very readable tour through the many facets of PR… Providing a detailed reference of just under 200 alphabetically listed entries, covering a range of topics, from account management to wikis, destination branding and Hong Bo (that one you'll have to look up yourselves), each entry takes up roughly a page, sometimes less, is colloquial in tone and offers several recommendations for further reading, making it an excellent jumping-off point for further exploration.”
- Communication Director

The SAGE Key Concepts series provides students with accessible and authoritative knowledge of the essential topics in a variety of disciplines. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages critical evaluation through understanding. Written by experienced and respected academics, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension.

Key Concepts in Public Relations:

Provides a comprehensive, easy-to-use overview to the field. "Covers over 150 central concepts in PR. Paves the way for students to tackle primary texts. Grounds students in both practice and theory. Takes it further with recommended reading.

Bob Franklin, Mike Hogan, Quentin Langley, Nick Mosdell and Elliot Pill all teach at the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.

Brilliant PR just got easier
You are about to discover everything you need to know about Public Relations. PR is the practice of conveying messages to the public with the intention of changing the public's actions by influencing their opinions. By targeting different audiences with different messages to achieve an overall goal, PR practitioners can achieve widespread opinion and behavioural change.

Communications is seen as being a key element in business, with PR experts increasingly called on to advise senior management on appropriate communications strategies, before decisions are made, rather than being called on to defend them after they have been made. But PR is not just for self-conscious organizations. If you are looking for a job or an in-house promotion; or if you are trying to publicize a fundraiser for your local charity; if you're trying to advance a cause, or you want others to appreciate your point of view, you need your voice to be heard.

Nowadays there is a veritable plethora of communication channels available, ranging from traditional newspapers and magazines to online outlets including ezines, social networking sites and blogs. Some of these are good in some situations, but hopeless in others. Throughout this book we will be concentrating on how we can effect the flow of information and how we can achieve the desired mindset change in our target audiences.

- Sunday: Who needs PR
- Monday: External audiences
- Tuesday: Dealing with the media
- Wednesday: Social Media
- Thursday: Practical pointers for powerful press releases
- Friday: Marketing communications
- Saturday: Internal PR

Thousands of public relations (PR) students and professionals have relied on this authoritative text to understand the key role of research in planning and evaluating PR campaigns. Revised and expanded to reflect today's emphasis on standards-based practice, the third edition has a heightened emphasis on setting baselines, creating benchmarks, and assessing progress. Stacks presents step-by-step guidelines for using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods to track output, outtakes, and outcomes, and shows how to present research findings clearly to clients. Every chapter features review questions and a compelling practice problem. PowerPoint slides for use in teaching are provided at the companion website. Instructors requesting a desk copy also receive a supplemental Instructor's Manual with a test bank, suggested readings, and case studies.

New to This Edition:
*Chapter on standardization, moving beyond the prior edition's focus on best practices.
*Chapter on different types of data sets, with attention to the advantages and disadvantages of using Big Data.
*Addresses the strategic use of key performance indicators.
*Covers the latest content analysis software.

Pedagogical Features:
*Each chapter opens with a chapter overview and concludes with review questions.
*End-of-chapter practice problems guide readers to implement what they have learned in a PR project.
*Appendix provides a dictionary of public relations measurement and research terms.
*Supplemental Instructor's Manual and PowerPoint slides.
Introduction Sriramesh, Van Ruler & Zerfass Krishnamurthy Sriramesh, Betteke van Ruler & Ansgar Zerfass One could make a reasonable argument that public relations is an ancient practice (going back millennia) although it has been popularly perceived as a 20th century phenomenon. Scholarship in public relations, however, is more recent in origin with a history of less than four decades. During these formative years, the body of knowledge has expanded signi- cantly, which is laudable. However, there is potential for growth and improvement in many areas of the public relations literature. Over the decades, among other things, public re- tions scholarship has largely remained parochial to specific regions such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Latin America, German speaking Europe, etc. as evidenced in the bibliographic references of many essays in this volume itself where authors predo- nantly cite work from their own regions. This is often necessitated by linguistic differences with only English serving as the universal language that helps permeate knowledge through most regions. Pedagogical and methodological factors also have played a role in the regionalization of the body of knowledge. However, we believe that knowledge flo- ishes most when it is shared across different kinds of barriers. Globalization has made it essential for us to recognize this reality more than ever. This volume tries to bridge the gap and presents theories and concepts from researchers around the world.
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