CO 282-Research in Public Relations-Reading Questions 4

1.  Why would you need several questions instead of one?

The idea of having several questions allows the researcher to gain more information from the respondents, especially with different contexts and different demographics.  One question might have the possibility of being split up into two questions to get a more specific response from the respondent.  Surveys are about getting as specific as possible with obtaining information about a respondent’s background.  There are several other reasons why one question cannot be enough; for example, in capturing the attitude of a respondent, a question might need to be split up in order to gain more understanding of the background of the individual respondent. Questions with the word “and” usually call for a question to be broken up into at least two questions.  The answers to the survey questions will pinpoint more information.

2.  Give an example of a question that is too general, and one that is too specific.

Survey question: What kinds of fruits do you like? –Too broad

Survey question: Of the two top candidates running in the Republican nomination race, which one would you select based on the largest amount of money fundraised during their campaign?

3.  What’s a “loaded” question?

A loaded question is the type of question that shows a sense of bias toward one response, mainly the opinion of the creator of the survey question.  For example, my second example question that was considered too specific deals with choosing a candidate of the Republican presidency campaign based off the amount of money fundraised.  This shows that the only response is one answer; it does not give people the choice of choosing another answer.  The idea of a loaded question is to not give the respondent a choice on the question at hand.  Information would be collected in the wrong way because the numbers would be false; the results of the survey question will not prove anything because it does not show the true attitude of the respondent; instead, it forces the respondent to choose against their true attitude. 

4.  From what you can tell, what is the difference between open and closed questions?

The difference between open questions and closed questions is the idea of the respondents giving their full attitude and/or beliefs on the question at hand.  Open questions allow for a deeper response from the respondent in terms of attitude and what they really feel about the question.  A closed question allows respondents to select specific answers that may or may not be the real specifics of their attitudes.  Open questions are used in survey where time is not a constraint on getting the results to analyze.  Open questions are harder to sort because of the multitudes of respondents’ attitudes going into the answer of the question. Closed questions are easier to analyze and put into numbers to present to a business or organization.  Closed questions are not as free to express the true attitudes of respondents compared to the open questions. 

5.  Provide your own bad examples, that violate the following “do’s”.

a.  be concise

a. How do you feel about the city of Cedar Rapids redeveloping the flooded areas on the west side of the river into a green space?

b.  use simple, clear language

b.  How many times do you eat vegetables on an average day?

c.  use mutually exclusive and exhaustive categories

c. Are you an undergraduate or graduate at Mount Mercy?

6.  What is a “double barreled question”?

A double barreled question is a question that can be broken up into multiple questions, creating more specific responses from respondents.  Double barreled questions can also be identified with the use of “and” separating two ideas.  Double barreled questions can be easy to develop, but researchers no better than to put two ideas together, the idea of a survey and survey questions is to receive the most specific response and statistics in order to analyze the different demographics behind each of the respondents. 

7. Differences between nominal, ordinal, and interval

Nominal questions have responses listed with numbers to the left of each response.  The number has no relation to the response, it just shows that there is a possibility of different choices.  For example, if there is the numbers 1,2 and 3 listed next to three responses, the respondent only has three answers to choose from in the question.  Ordinal questions have responses with a spot to place a number to rank a certain number of responses in a particular order.  For example, a respondent might be asked to rank different movie genres in a certain order to determine their most favorite movie genre, their least favorite movie genre, and other movie genres that fall in between.  Interval questions allow respondents to put a rating on different subjects in a question.  There are three types of interval questions: the Likert response scale (rate on a scale 1-5), a semantic differential scale (uses a point scale), and a cumulative or Guttman scale (respondents can check or select with the answers they most relate with or agree).

8.  Filter/contingency question

A filter/contingency question involves the potential for respondents to answer secondary questions based off of their answer for a primary question.  Usually a filter/contingency question is a yes or no response, the yes leading to a secondary question that has the potential to bring in more information about the respondent to the survey.  Filter/contingency questions have the potential to get very complicated in trying to steer a respondent to answer the secondary questions.  For example, “E-Poll” surveys ask if a person has heard about a certain show. If the respondent says “no”, it moves on to another show; but if the respondent says “yes”, a respondent is lead to more specific answers about the show.

9.  What are some of the ways that sequence of questions can affect the results of the survey?

The sequence of questions is important, especially in the effort of the respondent to take the time and answer the survey questions.  Certain levels of questions have to be presented at the right time in the survey to keep the respondent through the completion of the survey.  A survey should not begin or end with elaborate questions because at the beginning, a respondent might not be ready to go into specific detail about a question, and at the end, a respondent might not have enough focus and energy to answer elaborate questions.  These questions can cause surveys to come back to the researchers with incomplete results.  Without these answers, researchers cannot move forward in accomplishing their task of compiling statistics.  Therefore, different types of questions that can be found in surveys must be put in a particular order that is satisfying to the respondent filling out the survey.

10.  What should the opening questions be like?

Opening questions should be easy, descriptive questions that allow the respondent to get into the flow of the survey.  “Yes” or “No” questions can be considered opening questions because a respondent only has to only choose between two responses.  Demographic questions, such as questions of gender and age, should be opening questions in a survey.  Opening questions help build a respondents’ confidence to finish the other questions that will come in the later part of the survey.  Questions that require long responses or a large amount of thought at the beginning will draw the respondent away. 

11. What should the opening questions be like?

Sensitive questions should be placed in the later parts of the survey; this allows trust to build between the respondent and the creators of the survey who are asking for this type of information.  Sensitive questions must have a smooth transition that assures the respondent that the questions are coming up in the survey.  For example, there may be a sentence telling the respondent that the next set of questions deals with a personal subject, and they do not have to answer the questions if they feel uncomfortable about giving responses to these questions.  Sensitive questions can either make or break a survey, depending on the transition of the survey into these sensitive questions.

12.  Explain the “golden rule” of surveys.

The “golden rule” of surveys is : “Do unto your respondents as you would have them do unto you!”  In other words, give the respondents the same type of survey experience that you would  want in taking a survey.  Researchers need to thank the respondents for the time they have taken out of their day to complete the survey.  Researchers must also consider the feelings of the respondents, especially when dealing with sensitive questions. Surveys should try to be as short as possible, enough questions to receive the basic statistics of a survey.  Researchers must care about the respondents, and in return, the respondents will care more about the survey.

CO 282: Research in Public Relations: RQ3

1.  Using the dictionary, define the following terms:

Survey Methodology:

According the definition in the Dictionary of Public Relations Measurement and Research, survey methodology is defined as, “a formal research methodology that seeks to gather data and analyze a population’s or sample’s attitudes, beliefs, and opinions; data are gathered in person or telephone (face-to-face), or self-administered via the mail, e-mail, or fax.” In other words, this is the type of research that could be gathered for a qualitative study in order to finish a research process.  Researches can get a wide variety of responses through different strategies when using survey methodology.


According to the definition of “poll” in the Dictionary of Public Relations Measurement and Research, it is a term defined as, “a form of survey research that focuses more on immediate behavior than attitudes; a very short survey-like method whose questionnaire asks only very short and closed-ended questions.”  In other words, a poll directs its attention towards finding very specific, but common answers such as “yes” or “no”.  Polls are set up to find and classify information into a quantitative sense because the tally is of the number of same responses given by the clients taking the poll.  Polls can still be qualitative, but are mostly quantitative because the data collected are numbers.  Polls are mostly for immediate response when the research is being don in a quick fashion.

2.  According to the website, what are some types of surveys, and some of their strengths and weaknesses?

There are several kinds of surveys companies and organizations use to collect data from different audiences.  The three most commonly used surveys are Mail, telephone interview, and in-person interview surveys.  Mail surveys for organizations can be low-cost if presented in the right matter.  Mail surveys are considered to be the most effective when directed toward a particular group; for example, democrats in Iowa would not take the time to fill out a mail survey that talks about the Republican Party of Iowa.  Mail surveys must be targeted to the right group to make it a success.  Telephone interviews are starting to increase in use, especially in recording certain types of data.  Telephone interviews are most valuable when timeliness is not a factor and the length of the survey is not overwhelming.  Telephone interviews most likely struggle with numbers because most people are not willing to take the time to sit down at their home and give time to help researchers collect data.  In-person interviews are the most expensive type of survey because the data is collected in the respondent’s office or home.  This means the researchers have to spend money physically going out to the respondents.  The benefit to the In-person interview is that the data collected can be as accurate as possible because the researcher can factor in environmental factors to the responses of the respondent. Other surveys take combination into account; for example, the article, which is a second edition thanks to a man named Joseph Wakesberg, says some researchers do a screening method and look for eligible people to do in-person interview.

3.  What is a quick tab poll? Why would you want to use it?

A quick-tab poll uses a small population of respondents to collect data for research.  The number of respondents ranges between 100 and 250 people.  Quick-tab polls also use a short list of closed-ended questions to help limit the wide range of responses from the respondents.  The data from the quick-tab polls can be more quantitive with closed-ended questions.  Quick tab polls are used to collect data in a small amount of time and in a hurried fashion.  Quick tab polls are small in population, as previously states; such precincts as cities and small regions are the focus of quick-tab polls.  These polls can also be used in a small organization that does not have the time or money to set up a large-scale survey.

4.  What are the advantages of using an “internet poll”?

There are several advantages to using an internet poll.  Internet polls are considerably fast, easy, and affordable for organizations because most of can set up these surveys without having to install special programming to design internet polls.  Another advantage to using an internet poll is the size of population an organization can direct the internet polls to in order to compile a large amount of data.  Organizations also can put controls on the internet polls that only allow certain respondents to take the survey; this allows for accurate data an organization can use to fulfill research needs.  Organizations have the option to create their own survey, or use online companies that can develop surveys for low-cost; these types of companies can direct your organization’s intentions to the right types of audiences.

5.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of email & internet surveys?

The advantages of email and internet surveys is the speed they are available to the respondents.  Email surveys are sent straight to the respondents, making it easy and accessible for them to respond in a timely manner to the survey.  Web-based or internet surveys use specialized programs that process results in a fast speed; this allows for the organization to continue the research process.  Web-based or internet surveys also allow for companies to make the survey visually appealing to those potential respondents to the survey.  There are disadvantages to using email and web-based/internet surveys.  For example, email surveys allow for respondents to answer the questions they desire to answer; this leaves the research with uncompleted areas of collected data.  The results will vary because of the uncompleted question responses in the survey.  Web-based/internet surveys rely on the respondents to find the online survey to take and give the researcher data.  This leaves researchers waiting around for respondents to complete data because the survey is presented in a laid back fashion.

CO 282: Research in Public Relations RQ2

1.  What is the difference between secondary and primary?

The difference between primary and secondary research can be seen in the definitions for each type of research.  Primary research involves creating, or performing a study for the first time.  Secondary research is the process of examining data and research that has been done before.  In the process of research, the secondary research happens before the primary research.  The secondary research allows people to see if there is data to either support or work against a new idea.  The primary research branches off of the secondary research, much like a cause and effect system; secondary research must happen prior to a person creating their primary research for data.

2.  Explain the “two words of key importance”.

The two key words of importance, in the article by Lindenmann, are systematic and analytic.  Systematic is defined as the idea of building data from one resource to the next.  For example, in a qualitative survey of people, new data is collected from each individual; this helps to build a case backed by data from all of the sources  Analytic talks about the idea that of looking and analyzing data in order to define a solution.  The idea of secondary analysis comes into play with analytical because a research process either looks over existing data or new data in a project.  Both of these words are important terms in dealing with the research process.

3.  List five possible sources for attaining data.

Quick Tab polls: Quick Tab polls are small surveys that use the qualitative method of interviewing.  Quick tab polls use a small group of people; the population ranging from 100 to 250 respondents that answer questions that can be “yes” or “no” questions.  These quick tab polls are generally done on the internet or by telephone.  Quick tab polls allow groups to get data in a short amount of time.

Sponsor or Client-Fielded Research: Sponsor or client-fielded research is defined as using an inexpensive method of research through a firm specializing in research.  A person hires an outside specialist who has particular research methodologies and survey research techniques to prepare the questions that will be asked to respondents of the survey.  Then, the public relations organization using the questions will use their own power to go out and present these surveys to specific respondents.  This type of research can help a company save time and money, especially in developing questions for the particular research.

Intercept Studies: Intercept studies is a research method that has the persons performing the research going out and approaching random people in a particular setting, to stop and ask a certain number of questions to complete a survey.  Intercept studies are a form of qualitative research that involves face-to-face surveying.  this type of research allows for a random selection of people in a given region, city, or sizable precinct of people.  Intercept studies can be reliable, as long as, a location on a given day provides enough quota for the research being conducted for the organization.

Internet polls: Internet polls are the cheapest, easiest, and fastest ways to obtain information for research projects.  A person or group has the ability to create a survey or internet poll on the computer without having to install special software that creates surveys.  There are pros and cons to doing internet polls; the internet polls can be beneficial especially if a group or organization knows the specific and targeted audience that the research is being collected on; if the poll is open to everyone on the internet, the results do not have any control in terms of the types of population taking the online survey.  There are several online survey specialist for organizations, in case they do not have the time and money to develop their own survey for research.

Mail, Fax and E-Mail Survey:  Another research and survey method is to use mail, fax, or e-mail surveys to reach a population. These types of survey methods can be useful, economical and very reliable in gaining valid data for research.  The mail, fax, and e-mail surveys are only effective if the organization puts their position in the position of the customer being surveyed.  The survey has to be done well in order to achieve a successful return rate for the organization.  Many organizations are pleased when 10 to 15 percent respond back to the survey.  Organizations must rely on their most loyal people in order to get a good response rate; for example, a college can survey, donors, currents students, and alumni about the environment of the campus, how it has changed and where it should head.

4.  Explain the difference between primary, secondary and tertiary information sources.

Primary sources are the type of sources, such as reports, studies, books, and articles, written by the researchers.  The primary sources are considered the original sources of research that several people look for when doing an analysis about the research data or just to look up a document for curiosity.  Secondary sources are studies and reports that branch off of the findings of the primary source.  Secondary sources can present another method of learning of the background of the primary source.  Secondary sources broaden the view of the primary source, taking directions that help several persons learn about different aspects of the primary source.  Tertiary sources are sources that summarize the secondary source, which can be a summary of the primary source, or an aspect of the primary source.  Many tertiary sources can be opinionated, showing one reaction to the secondary source; therefore, when researching other research methods, try to find the primary and secondary sources before the thought of using a tertiary source comes to mind.

5.  What kind of information can you find in “organizational research”?

There are several different pieces of information one can fin in organizational research.  This type of research focuses on the employees and management, shareholders and customers.  The attitudes and opinions are taken in though qualitative research methods of organizational research.  A lot of these surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other methods to try and focus on such things as the culture of the company.  Some other key information can be found in the secondary research of organizational research.  For instance, information can be found on productivity levels, employee turnover, and accidents on the job; other areas include financial data and external communications; all of these are a part of the research found in the organizational culture.

6.  What is “industry research” and where does it come from?

Industry research is the type of research that looks at the “industry” of a company; in the communications aspect of industry research, the focuses on such items as company or organization membership magazines, media releases of trade associations or groups, newsletters, etc.  According to Brody and Stone in Stacks’ article, industry research is found in primarily one source: trade sources.  Industry research also takes a look at third-party sources and governmental sources.

7.  What is “stakeholder research,” and where might you find it?

Stakeholder research is the process of looking over sources that are both external and internal to the company or organization.  Some of these sources include groups who have similarities and are either directly or indirectly related to the organization or company.  Those groups include prospective employees, government agencies, share holders, and special-interest groups.  For example, at Mount Mercy University, a stakeholder research would include looking at prospective students, donors, alumni, future faculty and staff, the city government of Cedar Rapids–all of these stakeholders would be necessary to look over in the process of research for Mount Mercy University.

8.  How is this file an example of secondary information? Speculate: how might it be used for PR purposes?

The MMC Brand Audit File is an example of secondary information because it takes the information from an internal study done by the college and has an outside firm gather the information and do more research on the college.  It can be assumed that this kind of research and study has been done in previous periods of time in order to improve the image of Mount Mercy.  These results can be used in the public relations sense as a foundation to satisfy current students, attract prospective students, build faculty and staff moral, attract more donors; these results can be used and shown to the stakeholders in a way to see if they have any concerns for the well-being of Mount Mercy, since they have a share of the organization.

CO 282: Public Relations Research Reading Questions 1

For those who are wondering, my blog is being used as a tool to complete some of my class work for my public relations major.

1.  Summarize the author’s view: how does measuring PR help an organization?

Answer: According to the article “How Measuring PR Helps You Triumph Over Competitors” by Kristin Jones, she talks of five points that an organization must take in order to create a better image in the community and/or industry.  An organization must take a look at their past and present point in order to evaluate their public relations situation within the industry or community.  When looking at public relations goals, an organization must also look at the concept of data in terms of where the organization has an impact in the community, or where their business has an impact in the specific industry.  An organization than looks at other goals, such as business goals, and connects both sets of goals together with new strategies to getting more public relations.  The results that are found must be looked at in order to implement a certain strategy for an organization’s public relations situation.  Constant evaluation of the organizations strategies for creating PR or building on existing PR is the easiest way for an organization.

2.  Who developed the Barcelona Principles, and when?

Answer: The Barcelona Principles were developed by 200 delegates from several European countries during the 2nd European Summit on Measurement; the Barcelona principles were put together in order to create a foundation for the International world to in assessing the results of our public relations efforts in several organizations.  The delegates met in June 2010 in Barcelona to discuss these important measurements for public relations on an international level. The summit was put together by International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication and the Institute for Public Relations.

3.  Describe, in your own words, the Barcelona Principles.

Answer: The Barcelona Principles can be compared to the article read earlier for the assigned reading questions; the exception to this is that the Barcelona Principles create more “steps” and “guidelines” for organizations to follow in order to become succesful with their public relations efforts.  The first principle talks about the idea of setting PR goals for the companies and standards for measurement of different, current, or new PR tactics of the organization.  The second principle speaks about the importance of quantity and quality in an organization’s PR efforts; the outcome of the qualitative and quantitative measurements can be neutral, positive, or negative for the organization.  The third principle talks of organizations moving away from measurements by AVEs, which is also known as the cost of media space for an organization; organizations must look to other tools and measurements to get the best data for changing or creating a public relations campaign. The fourth principle in the Barcelona Principles talks about the importance of measuring social media usage in terms of public relations efforts; with the emergence of social media tools, companies must take advantage in order to have access to another piece of measurable data.  Social media has become one of the most highly used tools for organizations in terms of creating an image through public relations.  The fifth principle speaks of the organization relying on all forms of measurement; this includes the stakeholders of the organization, those who are aware, and those potential audiences.  Media results are only a part of the whole when it comes to measuring the success of public relations efforts by an organization.  The sixth principle talks about the public relations campaign of an organization looking at the business side; for example, the increase in sales for a business could be a result of the public relations campaign being put forth by the business.  The seventh principle describes the idea that businesses and organizations should keep repeating these patterns of evaluating data for the greater good and image.

4.  Who participated in this survey?

Answer: The participants of this survey were those involved in the work of public relations.  The research by Kristin Jones accounted for 200 participants with several people with several common job titles.  These job titles included PR managers, Account Executives, Communications directors, CEOs, Marketing VPs, Social Media Strategists, Creative Directors, Media Relations Specialists, Creative Directors and Corporate Communications Directors.  The idea of Jones’ survey was to receive a multitude of trends used by companies with public relations strategies.

5.  Describe the basic argument of the article: why is PR research necessary?

Answer: Public relations research is necessary because of the relationship public relations has with the “business” efforts of the organization.  Public relations research allows for the public relations department of a company to find the best trends and strategies to use in putting an image out to key audiences; this creates a positive outcome for the business aspect of an organization.  PR research also allows for a collaboration for all those involved in PR in order to collect different strategies and present an entire stock of those strategies for the participants in the research to use in the organization.  Research allows the best strategies and tactics of public relations to be revealed to a greater population of those involved in the field of public relations.

6.  What benefit did research give to the USO?

Answer: The USO benefit that came about because of the research, by Mark Phillips and Katie Paine, was the “USO message map” which allowed several employees of USO and volunteers to communicate within the organization in a more accurate manner.  In the research, Phillips discovered that USO had a large hole in the evaluation and research capabilities.  Phillips and Paine created an online database that included the assessments, reports and data of the organization for the entire organization; this dashboard improved communication tactics within the company, as well as communication with people outside the USO.  This benefited the USO, especially in their areas of public announcements, donations, customer feedback, etc.