Public Relations Research Priorities: A Delphi Study

Watson (2008) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

public relations

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?


Why was it conducted at all?

There is a need to align academic research more closely with the interests of practice.

What was the objective?

to identify and rank the most important topics for research in the field of public relations

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: pilot test with 24 research topics, participants were asked to rank topics, 2 topics added. Step 2: Delphi round 1: survey asking participants to consider the 26 topics and choose up to ten of them in a ranked order as to their importance for future research, participants also invited to comment on topics and to propose other topics or research questions. Step 3: Delphi round 2: list of 15 topics (selected based on mean ranking), participants were asked to rank top 10 topics, participants could propose additional topics and make comments on the topics. Step 4: Delphi round 3: since the ranking was relatively stable in round 1 and 2 participants were in this round asked to comment on research questions. Step 5: distribution of report with research topics and related research questions

Which stakeholders took part?

Academics, practitioners and senior executives of professional and industry bodies. Delphi round 1: 27 participants. Delphi round 2: 24 participants. Delphi round 3: 16 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

A letter of invitation was sent by email to 44 public relations academics, practitioners and industry leaders in six international regions (Europe, North America, Central and South America, Africa, Asia and Australasia). They had been chosen for their prominence in research, practice and as leaders of major industry bodies.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.