Don W. Stacks, professor of public relations in the University of Miami School of Communication, is the newly elected chair of the Institute for Public Relations Measurement Commission (http://www.instituteforpr.org/research/commissions/measurement/). "As chair of the Measurement Commission and a Trustee of the Institute," he writes, "I will be focusing on research standards, standard-setting, best practices, and how all three contribute to an objective evaluation of how well we did what we set out to do."
Among his ambitions for the Measurement Commission in 2013 are to take a longer-range, think-tank view of the entire research process; to focus on basic research understanding and on standards for research, measurement and evaluation in practice; and to continue cutting-edge commentary and producing important white papers in the field.
Three things bug Stacks as a judge of hundreds of public relations awards entries: confusion about goals and objectives, too little knowledge of the advantages of different data-gathering methods, and the inability to first define and then evaluate success in a campaign. These points come from the first post on his new blog, Stacks on Research, Stacks on Research, published in conjunction with the Institute for Public Relations.
Through his new blog, Stacks will pursue a larger discussion of the research process. "While I will touch on different channels, which I consider the social media to be a part, my commentary will focus on the larger elements of research: basic methodology and how it should be used, appropriate measurement techniques (to include some history — contemporary measurement goes back more than 300 years), and evaluation techniques and processes. I will also comment on ethical issues in research, especially those that may end up changing professional practice."