PR Research – time to reconnect with Practice?

Posted on: March 15, 2007

Welcome to DummySpit – an academic/practitioner’s view of current public relations research and best practice.  

Academic research into public relations measurement and evaluation is overlooking industry studies and initiatives. This can be found in two areas of communication activity.  The first was the introduction and use of scorecards to plan, monitor and measure communication, with a strong emphasis on linkage between public relations activities and corporate or organisational imperatives.  

The second is the use of internet tools, such as blogs and wikis to almost immediately measure the impact of events and communication activity.   There has been some research by practitioner-academics who have noted scorecards as they have been introduced from management theory, but no robust research programme has been undertaken to determine the validity and reliability of the scorecard’s performance as a measurement and evaluation tool. Given that some public relations activities that can be monitored by almost immediate techniques and tools, such as blogs and wikis, do new theories and approaches need to be developed which conceptualise this capability? Most models of communication imply there is a period of gestation in which the recipient of messages processes them before acting, but with immediate response and debate now available, does this need revisiting? 

It’s a great opportunity for academic researchers to re-engage with practitioners who, let’s face it, are running way ahead of them on the use of new technologies and social media.


Why “DummySpit”? Think about it – “spitting the dummy” is having a blast on important matters


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Tom Watson

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