Primer of Public Relations Research

Don W. Stacks’ Primer of Public Relations Research is a must-have for PR practitioners and researchers. This comprehensive guide gives detailed coverage of the different research techniques available to public relations professionals. Don W. Stacks is one of the nation’s leading public relations consultants and writers of reference books on public relations, marketing, and communications. He has been called “The Father of Public Relations Research.”

The Primer of Public Relations Research is a textbook on strategic planning, qualitative research, and case studies using multiple statistical methods. It contains over forty-five pages of case studies covering various industries and areas such as mass communication, entertainment, advertising, government, technology, and law. 

It provides detailed descriptions of research instruments, sample surveys, and a complete bibliography.

Don W. Stacks’ primer of public relations research is an excellent resource for new fields and needs a solid introduction to the fundamental methods and concepts. It is not a book for the novice researcher. Rather it is a textbook for the serious researcher who already knows how to conduct a basic research interview and knows how to use advanced statistical and descriptive tools to conduct more in-depth research. This book will serve as a valuable textbook for advanced researchers and a handy resource for undergraduate students in marketing or related fields.

Don’t Be Pressured: Primer of Public Relations Research” by Don W. Stacks is a helpful primer of PR research. It provides comprehensive coverage of several research techniques used to influence public opinion. Don W. Stacks, a retired advertising executive, and counselor use various personal and professional experiences to illustrate important issues and give PR management practical guidance.

A short Introduction. The book is organized into three parts. Part one covers basic concepts and strategic thinking relevant to PR work. Part two discusses planning, organizing, and managing research. The third section focuses on management issues related to research.

Organization and Management. Stacks develops his “three principles” for effective organization and management. These include establishing goals and objectives, identifying appropriate public and private sector personnel, establishing roles and responsibilities, and maintaining effective working relationships.

Research. The book describes various techniques to obtain data and evaluate data regarding public attitudes toward particular issues. He begins with an analysis of public attitudes toward organized religion, then surveys of attitudes toward various other public issues. Finally, he discusses PR’s importance in the political arena and describes the role of public information and media in this arena.

The research methods and data presented apply to other fields as well. This includes marketing, law, business, nonprofit organizations, government, and nonprofit groups. The book contains detailed discussions on media and advertising, politics, nonprofit organizations, the press, manufacturers, retailers, and nonprofits. Don W. Stacks repeatedly emphasizes the relationship between public policy and PR. This is reflected in the references and the bibliography.

The bibliography provides recommended resources and links for further research. The book’s index is comprehensive. It provides a concise list of the references and the names of the authors. The author’s bibliography provides a concise list of publications and links for further study.

The Preferring, an Organized Approach, makes an excellent reference package for business managers and other managers interested in the discipline of public relations research. However, the book can be read in an “as-is” approach. An additional feature that some readers will appreciate is the suggested outline of the main themes covered in the text. The reader should be prepared to do additional research on individual topics.

The key point made in the preface is that “relations” is not a separate field. Rather it is intertwined with all the other disciplines of the study discussed throughout the text. In fact, the entire book is a sustained discussion of the interdependence of public policy, the media, and PR. The book’s preface and conclusion provide a useful summary of the main themes discussed.