MSVU Social Media Course Blog

Just another weblog

Research, Research, Research …

This week on PR Conversations, Frank Ovaitt, discusses the “Four Things That Only Took Me Five Years to Learn.” Frank is retiring after five years as President and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations.

 Franks Four Things:

  1. There is no reason to assume that Public Relations is inferior to marketing, advertising (or many other management functions)  in terms of our research.
  2. There are three kinds of public relations research:  Research used in public relations, to guide and evaluate communications programs. Research on public relations, to understand what we do and how we do it.And research for public relations – theoretical development to provide the social science underpinnings.
  3. The public relations field is more interconnected globally than ever before, and research is one of the great connectors.
  4. Public relations professionals who understand research will rule this field.

 His ‘learnings’ are interesting to me because they are all around PR research… something that I’m not THAT fond of. Maybe that’s why it took him so long to learn it… I’m not sure how the rest of you feel, but research always seems so stale and, well, annoying.  

 However after reading his post I sort of got it, an ‘ah ha moment’ if you will, research is the foundation of what we do, and without it we really are spin doctors.


June 16, 2009 - Posted by | Review of Monitored Site | ,


  1. Or maybe it took me five years because I’m just that slow! But you have caught the moment exactly, and I appreciate your comment.

    Comment by Frank Ovaitt | June 16, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thank you for engaging with my students, Mr. Ovaitt. I spend a lot of time trying to communicate the value of research in public relations. It looks as if you’ve put me out of a job! 😉

    Congratulations and much appreciation to you as you leave the Institute. Your work, and the work of all of the contributors, is extremely valuable to those of us who have the good pleasure to use it in the classroom.

    Comment by doctor d | June 23, 2009 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: