Course Title: Public Relations Research

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Public Relations Research

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


335H Applied Communication


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014

Course Coordinator: Jenny Robinson

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5049

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: Building 9.5.45 (City Campus)

Course Coordinator Availability: Tue 3:30-4:30 and by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Pre-requisites: COMM2143, COMM2361
Co-requisite: COMM2137

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the research process, research design, methods of data collection and analysis, and the use of research to support strategic decision-making. It is also an introduction to the conduct, evaluation and interpretation of commercial and audience research as relevant for the field of public relations. It is an experience-based learning course where you can apply your research skills to a real project for a real client through engaging in a major project.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes towards the following graduate capability outcomes:

• Develop professional writing and presentation techniques
• Ability to relate ethical standards to PR practice
• Apply the general principles and concepts behind research in PR planning
• Demonstrate a sufficient understanding of key research methodologies used in PR practice
• Develop experience in working in a team on a significant research project

By the end of this course you should be able to:

• Demonstrate basic research literacy skills, including interpretation of secondary data
• Participate in a professional client briefing and translate their objectives/priorities into an appropriate research proposal
• Develop your skills in building and maintaining relationships with research clients
• Recommend, plan and implement quantitative and/or qualitative research methodologies relevant to your clients’ problem, including presentation of research findings and key insights
• Evaluate reflect on the research process as an individual practitioner and in your work group

Overview of Learning Activities

The following learning opportunities are provided in this course:
- Weekly lectures will focus on basic concepts and application of research in public relations practice and academic research. They will provide structure to the research process and offer insight into commercial applications of communication research. Guest speakers and client briefings may occur in the lectures.
- Weekly workshops (tutorials) are an opportunity for you to participate in activities that will practice basic research skills you will need for the major project, as well as get clarification on the research process and work in your research teams to prepare for and implement your research.
- A large part of your learning will come from your interaction with your research client
- Teamwork is integral to your success and learning in this course

Overview of Learning Resources

DLS/electronic blackboard is an online space where you can access lecture notes and other course materials and check on course announcements.
You are expected to read/review the relevant chapters of the textbook/handouts before each lecture and workshop, in addition to monitoring media and other sources for relevant literature.

Overview of Assessment

Your success in this course will be determined through completion of a range of tasks that assess your developing research skills, research practice and teamwork abilities. The course includes tasks that are assessed on both an individual and group basis - and completed during class and during learner-directed time.