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Strategic Communication: PR and Advertising: Strat Comm Research Definitions

A resource guide for research in marketing, advertising, and public relations

Scholarly Research Articles

Quantitative - information collected and numerically represented

  • surveys
  • questionnaires
  • content analysis
  • longitudinal analysis
  • experiments - experimental condition & control group

Qualitative - information collected by observation & interpretive approaches

  • participant observation
  • interviews
  • focus groups
  • ethnography

Source:  Universal Accreditation Board, 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:

  • AdAge
  • Public Relations Strategies and Tactics
  • Adweek


Commercial Research - Research conducted by commercial companies.  Businesses purchase this research to gain a competitive edge in their market areas. 

Examples of commercial research companies:

Mintel Nielsen
Simmons Equifax
Euromonitor (Passport) Ipsos
Experian Gallup

Grey Literature

"Grey Literature are materials and research produced by organizations outside of the traditional commercial or academic publishing distribution channels."  Grey Literature includes:

  • working papers
  • government documents
  • white papers

​Producers of Grey Literature include:

  • government
  • organizations/associations
  • academic institutes/centers
  • private companies and consultants

Wikipedia contributors. (2018, April 22). Grey literature. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 12:19, September 9, 2018, from


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