If everyone in my PR program doesn't already hate me (because of this post), they probably will after this. Today is when I admit, to everyone, that I adored my Communications Research course. The 173 page research project ruined my life at the time, but I'm incredibly thankful I experienced it. Why?
1) It taught me the jargon
Let's face it, before my class "the sampling error (95% confidence interval) was ±1.99%, inferring a similar response in 97-100% of the general population" meant nothing to me. When I was given material pertinent to the accounts I'm on, I was able to understand the results of the research study - without having to skip directly to the discussion.
2) It taught me to question statistics
Colgate's "80% of Dentists Recommend Colgate" is one of my favorite examples of misleading statistics. A lot of things should be considered before believing a statistic. Validity, reliability, sample size, sample error, survey development, demographics, intervening variables and more.
"There are three kinds of lies -- lies, damned lies, and statistics" - Benjamin Disraeli.
3) It taught me where and how to research
The research process for an essay and a research assignment aren't always the same. Reading other people's research is often enough to develop and support a thesis for a shorter academic essay. However, at times, the information you need for a research assignment hasn't been developed yet. Instead, you have to develop and explain assumptions, make connections and get creative with your research.
4) It's what people want
PR is all about the research. We can't make decisions if we have no information to back it up. I reviewed research, conducted research, and had a client ask for a research study within my first week (aka, two working days). You need to be able to give the people what they want.
A Boston girl via Toronto. University of Toronto, Sheridan College, and Boston University alumna. Passionate about ending domestic violence. Hoping to never go a day without carbs or chocolate.