Priorities for public relations research: Watson’s delphi results and Robert Wakefield’s comments…

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I have mentioned before in this blog Tom Watson’s on going deplhi study on priorities for public relations research. Well, the study is now finished and you can read all about its conclusions here tom’s blog

the results are of great interest and, as good old David Phillips comments on Tom’s blog, it is very, very important that a panel of senior professionals and scholars has identified the improving the decision making process of organizations as a first priority! Whether something will come out is difficult to say..but we shall see!

So much for that, but the real treat of this post is another attachement which Tom generously and kindly supplied his delphi participants with: the final response to the third delphi round sent in by Robert Wakefield, a highly admired professor and professional whom I have know for years now.
Recently we met in Bled and exhanged opinions on a number of items: here robert-wakefield-commentary.doc is a very compulsive and clear opinion on what is really needed in public relations research- I might not agree with the entirety of the hit parade he expresses, but there is not a single word int his document which I wouldn’t agree with…and that (for me, at least) is saying one hell of a lot…

5 COMMENTS

  1. I’m so encouraged to see measurement made #3 on the list and that reputation (and it’s measurement) made #7 if memory serves. #10 was relationships and although it wasn’t mentioned explicitly, I interpret that to mean not just managing but measuring, too.

  2. I wonder if my distaste of something called DummySpit is caused by me being grouchy, or is there some cross-cultural thing going on here, where in some circles, this is not insulting and crass and downmarket.

    On the list, the most important item is number 11: 11) Client/employer understanding of public relations

    OF course, we need to work on the sentence just to be clear. I’m not interested in cients undestanding the how to or PR, but I am interested in theym knowing the why of PR, and have realistic and respectful expectations of wht PR can accomplish.

    When, in forty years in the business, I’ve been able to work well, it’s been because the top bosses have had a good idea of what PR can accomplish, had respect for those of us working for them as PR specialists, and had enough budget to accomplish a lot.

    And when it was impossible to work well, it was almost always based on the bosses being clueless about PR.

    This is why for the past decade and a half I’ve been pressuring the North American pr assocaitions — CPRS in Canada, PRSA in the USA, IABC in both countries — to actually try to educate bosses, non-pr colleagues, clients, and even the media, about what PR is. .

    In one of the replies, there was incorrect and inaccurate worship of amateur cellphone journalism; in my local paper, and on my local television, the pictures running of the floods in England came from professional journalists, with the reader’s/ viewer’s trust in pros to reassure us that the coverage was at least fairly accurate.

    BAK

  3. Though there is no doubt about the importance of #11, I’m not convinced that this should be a main focus of scientific pr research. It’s more an action plan and, of course, an obligation for PRs and their associations.

  4. I compliment the authors and I should disclose that I was asked to be part of the dephi study by completing the questionnaire.
    This is the first time I see the results of the study and I am not really suprised. Like Markus I think no 11 should be part of what associations do and perhpaps this will give them impetus to get on with it.
    I appreciated Robert’s commentary and also agree with his observations. To my knowledge this is the first time the broader PR community has been asked to comment on the priorities for research. I am sure IPR will take good notice as it plans new research projects.
    It occured to me reading Robert’s notes that we are plagged by the lack of a universal definition for public relations. Perhaps it is time we tackle this at the Global Alliance. I recall that PRSA recently tried to take this on in another context and that it backfired. The politics in our business will always find a way to slow down real progress!

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