MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Research is the way to be, even for Social Media

I read the good-bye article from Frank Ovaitt, the CEO of the Institute for Public Relations today. In it, he lists the four things that took him only five years to learn.

1. there is no reason to assume 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.

It seems Mr. Oviatt is a researcher above all else. Which is a great thing, and something I agree with wholeheartedly. For those of my peers who haven’t had the pleasure of taking Research Methods, you’ll soon find out how great it really it. I stuck more onto point three than anything else. Globally connected. This ties into our whole social media spectrum – with the advancements of wikis, blogs, podcasts, social networks and micromedia, we’re all globally connected. Those of us who have the privlidge to have 24/7 access, that is.  When we have the time and effort, we can immerse ourselves fully into this world and find out that there is a wealth of research in there that has been largely untapped. Qualitative research for social media, which what the blog I’ve been following is ultimately about, is something that PR professionals should dive into head first and use the thousands, maybe even millions of bits of information out there to help guide their organization’s mission and help get their messages across.

Research, research, research. And according to Frank Ovaitt, as long as it’s relevant and done properly, you’ll be on the top ladder in the PR world.


June 22, 2009 - Posted by | Review of Monitored Site

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