Course Title: Public Relations Research Methods

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Public Relations Research Methods

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Coordinator: Dr Marianne Sison

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3127

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Building 9 Level 4

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course provides you with an introduction to the various methods of audience, market, issue and media research relevant to public relations. It includes an overview of the research process, methods of data collection, and data analysis employed in strategic public relations. You will develop skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods which will inform  you in developing strategic goals and objectives.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes   In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:   • Demonstrate the ability to research, plan, implement, evaluate and present PR communications that respond to the needs of the client organization. • Demonstrate creativity and innovation when identifying and solving problems in diverse contexts within public relations.


Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches used in public relations practice.
  • Develop research tools to answer public relations questions.
  • Find and interpret relevant primary and secondary data.
  • Identify and analyse ethical issues relevant to communication and PR research.


Overview of Learning Activities

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. Assessment may include essays, reports, reflective papers, creative projects and you will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of activities such as lectures, tutorials, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. 


Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning. The University Library has extensive resources for public relations students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies: The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.


Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. You will need to demonstrate a basic understanding of the range of research methods available for developing public relations strategies.   Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.   Assessment tasks   Critical Review of PR Research Methods (25%) Linked course learning outcomes:  1 & 4   Research Design (30%) Linked course learning outcomes:  2 & 4   Research Portfolio (45%) Linked course learning outcomes:  1, 3 & 4   If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the Program Manager or the Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.   Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.