thinking about public relations research and measurement. You are other so if you look after them you can build bridges across Working across professional and academic organizations the terms defined herein are not .. reliability measure used in content analysis measurement validity that seeks to establish. are seeking to accomplish through your public relations programs and activities. Jack Felton. President and Their efforts to date in seeking to develop a reliable PR Relationship Measurement Scale stable relationships require that organizations and publics each have some valid measures of relationship outcomes. The purpose of this study is to devise a valid and reliable instrument to.
Schwartz, Microsoft also actively encourages employees to blog at blogs. Although the personal nature of blog entries, as defined by Merriam-Webster and found to be most common by Herring et al.
They suggested that online forms of communication such as blogs might be better recognized as hybrid genres than as new forms of communication altogether. Knowledge blogs are the online equivalent of professional journals in which authors document new knowledge in their professional domains, including research progress, references, and observation.
Extending this concept beyond academic and scientific fields, organizational blogs also seem to appear at the intersection of personal reflection and professional communication. Organizational blogs have evolved from both online and offline modes of communication and have characteristics of both personal and professional communication. That is, they recommend veering away from business strategies that treat online communities as targets.
This shift in approach from markets as targets to markets as conversations parallels public relations theory that calls for building collaborative relationships with publics rather than targeting them e. Searls and Weinberger argue that traditional corporate messaging is less interesting and less relevant to online publics because traditional corporate marketers show little care for the people who make up the markets.
Rather, corporate voices sound more like profit-driven machinery than real people engaged in two-way conversations. According to these critics, corporate Web sites that look like corporate brochures i.
These critics are not PR fatalists, however, and their sharp-witted commentary echoes early mainstream literature on online public relations. Witmerfor example, applied a structuration perspective in recognizing the importance of netiquette as a means of building and maintaining social rules in computer-mediated communication.
Holtz implored public relations people communicating online to be candid: Zinsser encourages business communicators to use plain talk. There is a deep yearning for human contact and a resentment of bombast.
Blogs Based on Herring et al. Perhaps more importantly, reader perceptions of whether posted material is blog content or not blog content must be considered as well.
Organizational blogs are Web logs that meet three criteria. They are 1 maintained by people who post in an official or semiofficial capacity at an organization, 2 endorsed explicitly or implicitly by that organization, and 3 posted by a person perceived by publics to be clearly affiliated with the organization.
These included familiar public relations qualities such as being open to dialog, welcoming conversational communication, and providing prompt feedback. They also include characteristics of communication that otherwise might not be associated with traditional corporate communication which is why Searls and Weinberger go out of their way to highlight them: More recently, they also have been used to evaluate online interpersonal relationships Wright, Evaluating Relational Strategies—Relationship Outcomes Throughout the last several decades, public relations practitioners have endeavored to quantify their organizational value.
Chapter 9. Data Collection: Building a Valid and Reliable Data Collection Plan
A unique contribution of public relations is its ability to build and enhance relationships with key publics via relational strategies.
Research in public relations and marketing has recently turned its focus on quantifying this abstract notion of relationship management as a means of contributing to the success and well being of an organization, as well as organizational financial success.
In assessing the effectiveness of relational strategies, a number of fields have developed relationship measures to evaluate the strength and quality of relationships. Within the interpersonal communication discipline, for example, Burgoon and Hale developed a relational communication scale.
Public relations research, meanwhile, has shifted the relationship focus from more interpersonal relational attributes to communication linkages aimed at attaining mutual goals Broom et al.
In response, Hon and Grunig developed measures to evaluate the success of relationship-building efforts. In addition to these indicators regarding the quality of the organization-public relationship, the status of the relationship also can be evaluated via two relationship type indicators.
In an exchange relationship, parties are willing to provide benefits because comparable benefits are expected in return. Conversely, in a communal relationship, both parties provide benefits without expecting anything in return.
Research Questions and Hypotheses The following research questions were posed to develop operational definitions for an index appropriate for evaluating relational maintenance strategies in an online context. What relational strategy measures are most appropriate for evaluating computer-mediated relationships and how can they be measured in the context of online public relations and blogs?
What attributes are appropriate for measuring the human voice in computer-mediated public relations and blogs as a relational strategy? Given the operational definitions obtained from RQ1 and RQ2, the following hypotheses were advanced: Finally, the following question evaluates online organization-public relationships from a more general perspective: Which relational strategies correlate with which relational outcomes?
Method Procedure College students are undoubtedly a key public for software companies, and a Fortune tech-industry company is likely relevant to current students and future communication industry professionals.
The experimental manipulations were designed to take advantage of this mutual interest. A total of 42 undergraduate students enrolled in introductory journalism and mass communication courses agreed to participate in this study. Students were awarded class credit for their participation or were provided alternative assignments of comparable length for the same credit.
Students were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups. This sample was a case study published online by Microsoft that described the business benefits of a Microsoft-developed bank account self-management site. Reliability relates to researchers' claims regarding the accuracy of their data. A few years ago, when a police officer issued me a ticket for speeding, I didn't question the validity of his using an expensive, city-issued speedometer.
I was willing to concede to the officer the validity of measuring vehicular speed with a speedometer. However, I urged him to consider my thesis regarding the reliability of his speedometer. I respectfully suggested that although I knew he sincerely believed that his speedometer was accurate, he ought to consider the possibility that it could be damaged.
I argued that if it were broken it wouldn't produce an accurate, credible, and reliable measure of my speed. What I was suggesting was that although speedometers are valid measures of speed, they aren't always reliable. Unfortunately, I lost that argument. Unbeknownst to me, the state police regularly establish the reliability accuracy of their speedometers by testing the speedometer on each patrol car every morning.
In the end, I had to pay the fine. But in return I learned a memorable lesson on the value of establishing reliability. Reliability problems in education often arise when researchers overstate the importance of data drawn from too small or too restricted a sample.
For example, imagine if when I was a high school principal I claimed to the school board that I had evidence that the parents love our school's programs. Claiming that such a small and select sample accurately represented the views of a total population all the school's parents stretches the credibility of my assertion well beyond reasonableness. To enhance the reliability of your action research data, you need to continually ask yourself these questions when planning data collection: Is this information an accurate representation of reality?
Data Collection: Building a Valid and Reliable Data Collection Plan
Can I think of any reasons to be suspicious of its accuracy? Establishing Validity and Reliability To appreciate the concepts of validity and reliability and how you might establish them, consider how you would behave as a juror deliberating in a criminal trial. Lawyers for both sides would argue their cases as persuasively as possible. Your task as a juror is to determine which of the arguments to believe.
Are these claims credible? Can I truly believe that this evidence means what these witnesses and lawyers say it does? To determine the reliability of the evidence, you would ask questions such as these about the accuracy of the witnesses' recollections and testimony: Can I trust the accuracy of their eyes and ears?
Could time or emotions have played a trick on their memories? They do it through the twin processes of corroboration and impeachment. When they want the jury to believe what one of their witnesses said, they bring in other independent witnesses. If an additional witness corroborates everything the first witness said, it increases the confidence a juror will have in the initial testimony. The more independent pieces of evidence a lawyer can place before a jury, the more the jurors will trust the truthfulness and accuracy of the claims.
Conversely, if lawyers want the jury to doubt the truth and accuracy validity and reliability of the other side, they try to impeach challenge the credibility of the testimony of the other side, by, for example, entering into evidence alternative or irreconcilable reports on the same phenomenon from several independent sources.
Triangulation Action researchers use a similar process to that used by lawyers. It is called triangulation, and, as was discussed in Chapters 1 and 2, it involves the use of multiple independent sources of data to establish the truth and accuracy of a claim. There are ways to develop valid and reliable instruments without triangulation, but these methods are often problematic.
First, they are time-consuming and frequently prohibitive in terms of cost. This is because significant field-testing is required to establish the validity and reliability of a measuring instrument. Just consider the many millions of dollars invested by publishers to support the validity and reliability of their standardized tests.
But even if teachers were willing to invest the time, money, and energy required to establish technical validity construct and content for their home-grown instruments, they probably wouldn't be happy with what they produced. Occasionally I will meet a layperson who believes that SAT scores alone or another piece of seemingly compelling data, such as college admissions data or discipline referrals provide an accurate picture of a school's quality. But I have never met a knowledgeable educator who is willing to make a judgment based upon any of those same valid and reliable instruments.
This is not to say that these instruments SAT scores, college admissions, discipline referrals, and so forth aren't valuable windows into the larger phenomenon the quality of a schoolbut before conclusions can be drawn about the big picture, those findings need to be corroborated by looking at the phenomenon through a variety of other windows. A Plan for Triangulated Data Collection Although we might be skeptical about drawing conclusions regarding a school's quality from any one of the success indicators in Figure 9.
The sample proposal written by Richard and Georgia, although short, contained all the items expected from a formal research proposal except the data collection plan. Chapter 2 described the triangulation matrix as a helpful planning tool Figure 2.