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StratCom Resources

Types of Research for Strategic Communication

Scholarly Articles

Quantitative - information collected and numerically represented

  • surveys
  • questionnaires
  • experiments

Qualitative - information collected by observation & interpretive approaches

  • participant observation
  • interviews
  • focus groups

Source:  Accredited in Public Relations presentation.


Trade Publications

Trade publication/media articles - “How to do it well”, “This is how we did it” articles written by practitioners

Example Sources:

  • Advertising Age
  • Public Relations Strategies and Tactics
  • Adweek



Comparing Sources

  Scholarly Trade/Professional Popular
Examples Strategic Management Journal, Information Systems Research Advertising Age, Beverage World, Harvard Business Review Wired, Forbes
Creator Experts (with experience or academic degrees) Subject-specific writers and professionals Journalists, anyone
Purpose Creating knowledge Sharing information Entertainment
Audience Scholars, students, and researchers Professionals and those interested in the field General public
Formats Journal articles and books are most common Trade journals, professional magazines, professional association websites Newspaper articles, other online articles and posts
Length and Content Longer and focus on very specific and narrow topics Short to mid length, middle-level specificity Short and general
Sources Provides sources formally with citations Sometimes sources are mentioned, but rarely are they formally cited Rarely are sources mentioned or cited formally
Pros Likely to be reliable and credible, very in-depth and detailed Tends to contain information about things affecting practicing professionals, not too complicated Can be more up-to-date about current events, can provide a brief overview
Cons Very detailed and specific, use technical jargon Doesn't contain original research or knowledge, not as in-depth Not as reliable, doesn't provide contextual information