CO 282: Research in Public Relations: Reading Questions 8

1.  What’s the problem with how PR people typically consider statistical analysis?

Answer: In the PR world, people in the public relations profession are not very familiar with the idea of statistical analysis because a lot of statistical analysis ins thrown from the marketing aspect.  People in the public relations profession either do not know how to do statistical analysis, have not thought of using it, or completely avoid it as an idea to turn to in the world of public relations.  In order to turn the statistical analysis from a problem into a pleasure, the article gives some helpful tips, which include the use of data to achieve goals, understanding the data’s weaknesses and strength, taking control of your and making it work, an getting over the fear of data.


2.  What are “statistics”? What are they for?

Answer:  According to writing at Colorado State, statistics are a set of tools used to organize and analyze data. For example, statistics is used to transform a survey full of non-numbers into a visual that allows for the easy reading of data.  Several pieces of data can be compiled into a visual, easy to read image that displays data.  For example, in our survey projects, we will be using the survey results as a set of data and be putting it into a layout that we can present to the class that is helpful and understandable for others to comprehend in a smaller time period.  Statistics are used for two different purposes, to provide description and to provide prediction for certain variables.


3.  What does “prediction” mean?

Answer:  Prediction is the idea that from existing data, a general or probabilistic idea can be made about the future.  In the sub-idea of generalizability, the data that is used and has gone through the sorting of statistics can be applied to similar concepts.  For example, reasons why students are not involved at athletic events or involved in clubs or organizations could result in data that shows reasons of homework; this could apply to other questions asked in similar surveys on campus.  Prediction can also be probabilistic; this means that the data that is shown can show a pattern that will continue into the future, such as the U.S. Census and predicting the population projection in 2020.


4.  Sampling is a strategy connected to descriptive or inferential statistics?

Answer:  Sampling is a strategy connected to inferential statistics.  When talking about inferential statistics, a person is refereeing to the idea of the data descriptions giving a pattern that can possibly predict the future if the pattern continues.  Sampling takes a portion of the entire population, uses the portion to collect data.  After the data is collected, it can be used as a probabilistic idea for the rest of the population. Sampling is connected with inferential statistics because were “inferring” a similar pattern will happen in the future, or with a larger group of people.

5.  What are the three kinds of variables: explain.

Answer: There are three different types of variables that exist: nominal, ordinal, and interval variables.  Nominal variables are variables that put data into different types of categories.  Nominal variables name each of the categories and keep track of the different frequencies of occurrence.  Ordinal variables are variables that rank different pieces of data not by numbers, but by terms of degree. There is no numerical difference present between the different types of data points in ordinal variables.  Interval variables indicate the numerical value of data, as well as the numerical distance between each data point in a collection of data.


6.  Under “methods,” what are the three basic categories of methods? Explain.

Answer: The three basic categories of methods are analyzing individual variables, analyzing relationships among variables, and analyzing differences between groups.  Analyzing individual variables consist of looking at the central tendency of each variable and the different measures of variation in a particular variable.  Analyzing differences between groups is a second category that looks at the differences of “scores” between two or three groups at a time.  The third category is analyzing relationships among variables, which takes a look at the correlation or regression among several variables in a collection of data.




7.  What’s the difference between inferential and descriptive statistics?

Answer: The difference between inferential and descriptive statistics is how the data is presented and what questions it answers about the collection of data.  Descriptive statistics presents the data in a way that describes what or what is not being shown in the data.  Inferential statistics include the presentation of what or what is not in the data; the inferential statistics also goes beyond in trying to find a conclusion and answer questions that existed before the collection of data.  Inferential statistics cover more area than descriptive statistics, especially when accomplishing set goals.


8.  What is univariate analysis?

Answer:  Univariate analysis is the idea of examining one specific variable at a time with three different kinds of criteria.  These criteria include the distribution, the central tendency, and the dispersion of a variable.  The distribution refers to, “ the summary of the frequency of individual values or ranges of values for a variable.”  In other words, the distribution looks the amount of times of certain variables or a difference of value in a variable.  Central tendency refers to “an estimate of the ‘center’ of a distribution of values, which include the mean, median, and mode.”  The third is dispersion, which refers to the spread of the values around the central tendency.  All three of these criteria are used in univariate analysis.


9.  What are mean, median, and distribution standard deviation?

Answer: Mean is the most widely used term used to describe the central tendency of univariate analysis.  The mean is considered the average, which is computed by adding all values and dividing by the number of value points in the collected data.  The median is the data point found in the middle of the set of values when the values are listed from least to greatest.  The distribution standard deviation is the considered the “more accurate and detailed estimate of dispersion” because a value that is extreme can change slightly the mean, median, or other method of finding an average of a certain piece of data.


CO 282: Research in Public Relations: Reading Questions 7

  1. What do web analytics programs do?

Answer: Web analytic programs are used to keep track of certain patterns of web traffic on websites.  Companies and organizations use these web analytic programs to show what visitors do when they come to their websites.  For example, some organizations keep track of the number of hits on a particular page of an organization’s website.  Web analytic programs were not the same as current web analytics; web analytics were used to find errors in websites, which would help the companies IT professionals to fix the problems to keep the website up and running.  It has not been until recently that web analytics have been used to track traffic on websites for internal marketing efforts.  Web analytics has shifted from being focused by IT professionals to these marketers.  In a way, web analytics are being used to help the company or organization grow in terms of spending money to repair errors on a website.

What’s the basic idea of “javascript code”

Answer: The basic idea of “javascript code” is used to take in the information about various pieces of page browsing information from the user of the website, which then sends the information along to a server that collects the data in order to show how the company data that is useful in improving its marketing strategy or to find ways to create strategies to reach more publics. JavaScript helps to keep track of such things as: the number of visits, time on the site, number of pageviews, number of unique visitors, a bounce rate, a conversion rate, and the number of goals reached on the website.


p. 4, top  of page: from what you can tell, what is the idea of “referral”? How can this sort of data tell you if a story about your organization in the news media is effective?


Answer: The idea of “referral” talks about the idea of the number of references to particular words that are associated to the company/organization’s brand.  These categories of data can show the effectiveness of a companies efforts in terms of quantitative results.  For example, users using key words that are references to ‘mount mercy’ will give credit to the job Mount Mercy is doing in the media.  Mount Mercy can also use digital advertisements as another way of collecting quantitative data.  For example, when the CEO of Rockwell was coming to speak at Mount Mercy, KCRG and The Gazette used digital advertisements on their websites, which helped to bring people from the community to see the CEO.  The traffic from these digital advertisements, as well as key word searches, can show how stories from an organization, such as Mount Mercy, are effective in the news media.


mycampus file: 2011 changes to the PR cycle

How does the PR cycle in 2011 differ from that in 1990?

Answer: There is a major change in the PR cycle between the years 1990 and 2011, especially with the evolution of technology and the ways technology has changed the profession of public relations.  In the 1990 public relations cycle, each part of the cycle was dependent on a previous step; for example a public relations department went step by step in planning, implementing, collecting data and measuring the effectiveness of the data in the public relations cycle.  Receiving the results of a public relations campaign consumed more time because it had to stop at each of the steps.  In the 2011 public relations cycle, technology has allowed practitioners to keep an eye over all parts of the public relations cycle in order to get immediate results for an organization; therefore, monitoring is at the center of the cycle with connections to all parts of the cycle at one time in order to keep the cycle going as smooth as possible, but also speeding up the process.


Mycampus file: “Measuring Web Site Traffic” (see folder)

Why are “hits” no longer considered to be useful data?


Answer: “Hits” are no longer considered to be useful data because a “hit” is only counting one individual file.  In the media today, users are only attracted to files that catch their eye, or are easy to scan through.  This trend in society can be good for some organizations online, and bad for others because of the different kinds of files in existence online.  For example, files such as pictures or graphics on a website might receive more hits than a news article full of text.  This becomes a problem for some organization’s websites because other websites might be focused on large, attractive files, such as Flickr or Facebook, and a website such as the Gazette might not receive as many hits because its files consist of news articles, etc.  “Hits” on a website should not create a prejudgment of the website in terms of reaching audiences, especially with the multitudes of different files that exist in our world today.

According to the author, why is web analytics “as much an art as it is a science”?


Answer:  Web analytics is as much an art as it is a science because it takes the creative skills to attract different visitors and to have different views on the websites and databases of different organizations.  If practitioners are creative in their ways of obtaining the most traffic, they can then use web analytics to their advantage.  They must also have the science aspect of the creativeness to receive most of these hits.  Web analytics is as much an art as a science because the art of creating successful media spotlights on an organization will help to fuel the science part in collecting data and impressions from online sources about an organization.  This is why web analytics touches in the areas of art and science, especially when relating to the world of public relations.


Mycampus file: “Meaningful metrics” (see folder)

What’s the problem with the commonly used metrics used to measure social media? For instance, is it possible to measure the effectiveness of bloggers?


Answers:  The problem with the commonly used metrics used to measure social media is the access people have to private accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs.  People can mention certain organizations on their pages, but the impression does not directly correlate with the organization.  In relation to blogs, everyday people create a blog, which breaks up the connection people have with the mainstream web.  These blogs are private accounts which the user can select the parties that are allowed to view the blog.  Organizations cannot keep track if their name or brand is mentioned in a blog; let alone, if the mention has a positive or negative effect on the brand of a company.  Social media is the most difficult to measure because of the science involved in web analytics; people may reference a company in a positive light, but spell the name wrong; this will result in lost measurements of the company’s brand.  Bloggers can link articles to several different places, which causes the impressions to those references to become detached from the mainstream web; this causes a company or organization to lose connection with these pieces of their brand.

What is the “macro level” suggestion the author gives?


Answer: When the author suggests a “macro level”, they are referring to the larger trends of society, not focusing on the individual impressions left in social media, but the bigger buzz about an organization or company.  Organizations can put a larger focus on the broader perspectives rather than wasting time on trying to capture the more individual pieces of data.  Macro level focus can allow a company to focus on more groups of publics, rather than on smaller group within the public.



Mycampus link: “Why Social media measurement is like gourmet cooking: “(see link)

Why is social media measurement like gourmet cooking?


Answer: Social media measurement is like gourmet cooking because of the high importance social media has to the area of public relations.  Social media has become the most important trend of focus in the past years, which makes the profession of public relations really exciting, especially when reaching out to existing publics and new publics.  With all of these wonderful and exciting ingredients to work with, there are several ways practitioners and public relations professionals can use social media to develop different strategies to reach potential stakeholders.  Social media is an exotic element still trying to be figured out by the people of the public relations profession, but it is an exciting look into the future of public relations.

How did Technorati measure “authority” on blogs?


Answer: Technorati measured “authority” on blogs by keeping track of the number of links to blogs.  Over a certain span of time, Technorati counted these links to collect data and proof of impressions through these links found on blogs.  The idea of counting up these links was known as authority; of course, after a certain amount of time, several experts saw this idea of tracking data was two narrow which in return did not give a whole lot of credit to the impressions being made by blogs.  The blogs could not keep track of outside user’s activities on the blog and most of the metrics were falsely used; this because most were following popularity trends.  Some experts feel that some bloggers have more influence over their visitors to their web page; this in turn shows that the measurement of impressions on outside blogs mentioning a company or organization can be very misleading.

Will there ever be a standard measure for social media? explain

Answer: As social media and organizations become more connected in the online world, professionals will be able to develop some kind of metrics that will allow practitioners to keep track of web traffic to help benefit their company.  Websites and search databases are becoming more personalized in the sense of knowing the preferences of certain users.  As more technologies evolve and the world becomes more connected, there will be standard metrics developed as a new generation of practitioners moves in to the realm of public relations.  These practitioners will know more of the basics to social media than those who have used other public relations methods to reach certain audiences.  Social media is becoming more and more understood as studies about the effects of social media become more abundant for public relations practitioners to use. Many might say that the tools do not yet exist, but will be developed in the future.

CO 282: Reserch in Public Relations-Reading Questions 6: Media Monitoring Traditional Analytics

1.  What are the different ways that media volume is traditionally measured?

Answer: There are several different ways that media volume is traditionally measured; according to the abstract by Angela Jeffrey, there are six different ways that media volume is traditionally measured: clip counting, audience impressions, media value, qualified-volume measures, media analysis indices, and share of media coverage.  According to Jeffrey’s article, clip counting is the most common practice amongst people of the media to measure their volume with the number of articles found in different publications.  Audience impressions are made up of average Internet visits, the collection of print circulation figures, and broadcast gross impressions.  Media value is also in reference to the “advertisement value equivalency” which refers to the equivalency of advertising costs organizations usually receive for free.  Qualified-volume measures are instances indicated by different aspects such as prominence, size, dominance, and tonality, just to name a few.  Media analysis indices include the VMS Media prominence index and the Carma Favorability Rating System, which tries to bring together the qualitative and quantitative measures of an organization in the media outlets.  The share of media coverage is also important in these ways of measuring media volume. 


2.  In 2003, what percentage of PR professionals used clip counting as their main method of measurement?

Answer:  In 2003, 84 percent of the PR professionals who responded to the PR news survey about “Attitudes toward Public Relations Measurement & Evaluation” said they used clip counting as their primary measurement of media volume. 


3.  What did the study on mammogram coverage indicate about the effectiveness of media volume?

Answer:  The study of the mammogram coverage in the media had a high correlation between the amount of articles mentioning the importance of mammograms and the amount of mammograms taking place because of the coverage in the media.  The study showed 47,000 articles and had a rate of .89 which is considered to be very high; this translates into a strong connection between the media coverage and the business of the mammogram procedure in this study. 


4.  Explain this phrase: “study 2 indicates that there is an inverse relation between negative coverage and desired outcomes”.

Answer: When talking about an inverse relation between negative coverage and desired outcomes, Jeffrey’s article is talking about the effects of negative media coverage in outlets such as newspapers and television news, which results in the decline of business for the business end of any organization.  In this particular study, the effects of a cough medicine were presented on major news networks and major newspapers across the country, which in return caused a dramatic decline in the sale of these particular cough medicine products. 


5.  Why does the Internet make it difficult to count clips?

Answer:  According to Mike Moran, the Internet makes it very difficult to count clips because of thousands of different sources, such as personal blogs, emails, etc. copy or link these articles within a small time period, such as a couple of hours.  For example, this reading question could be considered a clipping because I am mentioning an article by Mike Moran in my own blog, but a count would be impossible to take, especially the mention in my reading questions.  The internet also provides tools for organizations to count these articles, but it cannot keep track of all “clippings” found on the Internet because the tool or software might only detect certain sites and places on the Internet, such as the Associated Press, and other large news services. 


6.  How does the author’s company assess reputation?

Answer: The author’s company assesses reputation through reputation monitoring; this allows a company to measure not only the clipping counts, but to sort these clippings as either positive or negative coverage for the organization that is taking the measurements of media volume.  Moran was able to show his clients for the first time data that shows the strengths and weaknesses of his company through reputation monitoring because it showed both the positive and negative coverage which clients look for because of the trust a public has with his company. 


7.  In the past, how did the USO use clippings?

Answer:  In the past, the USO used clippings as a way to measure the volume of coverage found in articles in the media.  The USO looked at these clippings in terms of volume, meaning the more coverage; the better off USO was in terms of outside publics.  The USO did not consider other factors such as the tone of the message, if the article was positive or negative, the USO just counted it as a positive, quantitative number.  The coverage quantity did not really work for the USO because they were not getting an in depth look into how these clippings affected the reputation of the company.  The USO was essentially wasting money because it hired a firm to just monitor a quantitative number of media coverage. 


8.  On page 3, what is the acronym that is basically the equivalent of R.E.L.A.T.E.?

Answer: The equivalent acronym of R.E.L.A.T.E. is the acronym RPEE, which represents Research, Plan, Execute, and Evaluate.  The acronym is smaller, but it still contributes to the public relations campaign of the USO and trying to figure out its reputation amongst its publics.  In our acronym in class, the steps in the middle of the process or more specific representing the teaching of the public relations process in the classroom. 


9.  What did Phillips find that the USO lacked in terms of research?

Answer:  Phillips found that the USO was behind in three of the four steps in the public relations practice.  For example, in the research process of the communication department, the USO lacked connections and relationships with certain media outlets and journalists. In the Plan part of the public relations practice process, the USO lacked in aligning opportunities and activities to “promote” the USO to local and national publics.  The main focus of Phillips research was on the part of evaluation by the USO and its lack of analyzing coverage in the media in terms of positive or negative coverage, and assessments on reports and coverage in certain media outlets. 


10.  Briefly describe the different aspects of media monitoring practiced by the company?

Answer:  Before Phillips came in to reevaluate the communication department of the USO, the USO only depended on clip counting for media monitoring, leaving out certain media monitoring practices that could have benefited the USO in the past.  With the help of Mark Phillips, the communication department of the USO came to realization the need to use other media monitoring practices in order for the USO to get more out of its media coverage, and to help the USO to create stronger relationships with current publics and to reach out to more publics that could potentially become stakeholders in the USO.


11.  What are the two types of managers?

Answer: According to the an article by Chartock, the two types of managers include those who expect the aspect of public relations to be measured in the idea of improved relationships with publics, contribution and improved reputation to the bottom line, and message communication.  The second type of manager sees public relations as media placement in certain media outlets and the visibility of their organizations in media outlets.  Chartock says there is a split between the numbers of these types of managers, which is shown in the movement of these mangers on the corporate ladder.  Public relations wants more of the first type of manager because it gives more dimensions to what public relations practitioners do in their day-to-day careers. 


12.  AVE: describe the idea behind the measurement, and the problems associated with it.

Answer: AVE, or ad value equivalency, is a measurement that puts a dollar amount to the amount of media coverage a company or organization gets for free in the measured amount of media volume.  AVE was developed to show companies that their efforts were worth more because they had more clippings or mentions of their companies or organizations in media coverage.  The problems associated with AVE include the confusion of the value of media coverage in media outlets of companies and organizations.  There may be several standard numbers to base the media coverage on, depending on the standard a company or organization prefers for its media coverage.  AVE has been on debate amongst PR practitioners for a long time because it can be confusing and inaccurate in determining a money value on media coverage. 


13.  What does the “CARMA favorability rating” measure?

Answer:  The CARMA favorability rating evaluates media coverage on a point system ranging from zero to 100, with 50 being a neutral piece of media coverage.  According to Chartock, there are three components to this rating system:  story content, placement, and tone.  The idea of the CARMA favorability rating system is to base clippings on the use of positive or negative quotes, the prominence of headlines, the amount of times a headline is mentioned and the type of language that is used in the article.  An article can have a possibility of 20 different scores; this kind of rating system because it is hard for different technologies to pick up certain elements in the articles.  Therefore, the CARMA favorability rating system is a difficult system in measuring media coverage.