Advertising and Public Relations Research Design

Core Course

Advertising and public relations are giant industries in today’s marketing communications. Every marketing decision made by a company requires well-developed justifications and precise judgments. Every dollar invested in effective advertising and public relations campaigns must be spent at the right time, for the right reasons, and with the high expectation for the maximum return of investment. This is where research and technology come into play. A multimillion-dollar advertising or public relations campaign could be in vain without having strong research support.

This course is designed for students who want to acquire the basic knowledge of research methods and applications to solve marketing communication and strategic communication problems. Students will learn the essential aspects of research, from planning to evaluation, utilizing the case study approach.

Students will develop research skills that enable them to discover invaluable insights related to consumers, employees or other groups. This course also will assist students in making sound judgments and applying critical thinking skills when choosing among various methods to solve research problems.


Secondary and primary research evaluation; creative problem solving; applied professional ethics in advertising and public relations research decision making; secondary, syndicated, qualitative and quantitative research method design, selection and implementation; qualitative and quantitative data collection, reduction, analysis; multicultural and diversity sensitivity toward research topics and people; strategic and analytical thinking; social media analytics for advertising and public relations research; professional research writing and presentation


ABI/IFORM; BUDDY; Business and Company Resource Center, Business & Industry, Business Source Elite; CREW; Factiva; GIG; LexisNexis; MRI+; Mintel reports; Plunkett Research Online; Simmons; TableBase; Warc; Microsoft Office; Qualtrics (and other online survey tools); digital audio recorders and video recorders; SPSS; NVivo; social media analytical software


  • Describe the essentials of research within advertising and public relations contexts.
  • Demonstrate how to evaluate information for problem solving.
  • Explain how to apply professional ethics in using advertising and public relations research in decision making.
  • Illustrate how to use secondary, syndicated, qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Select appropriate research methodologies to investigate various advertising and public relations situations.
  • Describe the diverse marketplaces and demonstrate how research can bring deeper understanding and meaning to diverse groups.
  • Demonstrate analytical thinking skills for the advertising and public relations industries.
  • Apply key concepts of current methods, including social media analytics that are applicable to advertising and public relations research.
  • Demonstrate writing and presentation skills that effectively communicate research outcomes to various business partners.


Rochelle Ford and James Tsao