As the semester slowly but surely is coming to an end, I always like to look back to see what I have learned in each one of my classes. For my PR Research final in Barbara Nixon’s class, I will make a list of the five most important things that PR students need to know about conducting research. All of the things that I will mention in my list, are topics and points that I learned and experienced in my PR Research class.
- In PR research of any kind, the researcher must know and follow the PRSA Code of Ethics. When conducting surveys, interviewing people, collecting data, etc. it is always important to treat every person who participates honest and fair. It is also important to keep the data that you collect confidential, and to educate the volunteer participants about what you will be researching for. In my opinion this is one of the most important aspects of conducting research. The more people respect you and know of your own personal ethics, the better chance you have of getting people to participate.
2. HOW TO WORK WITH A GROUP
- In any class or work situation, it is always beneficial to know and understand how to work well with a group. There is a great amount of research that is conducted as a group, and you have to be able to cater to everyone’s positive traits and downplay their negative traits. When submitting a research project, make sure to read over, check, and examine the entire project multiple times before turning it in. People are always going to make mistakes, but if you re-read and examine the group’s project, you have a better chance of catching these mistakes and changing them.
- This might sound pretty simple, but there is a lot behind the meaning of this word. When given a project, it is so important to fully research every aspect of the topic you wish to research. The more you know about your topic, the better prepared you will be when it comes time to conduct your research and finalize your project.
- One of the most beneficial things I learned in my research class was how to conduct a survey. When you are sending out a survey, make sure to include detailed information about what the survey is about. The more information you have and the more appealing the format of the survey is, the more people you will have that will take the time to fill it out. If the participants see that you have taken your time to conduct this research and make the survey, they will be more likely to help you with the information that you need.
5. CITING IS KEY
- Make sure to ALWAYS cite your work in a research project, or with any project that you are given. Whatever style your professor, boss, co-worker, etc. asks you to go by, make sure and adhere to the rules of that certain style. If you fail to cite your work there could be severe consequences, and you could potentially be charged with plagiarism.
These are just a few of the points that I learned and found extremely important when conducting research. I learned a lot and experienced many things in this class that I believe will only benefit me as a PR Professional.
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