Module 3 Blog Topic: Why should the words ‘Reliable’, ‘Credible’ ‘Substantiated’ and ‘Accurate’ be applied to any research we might use in a PR campaign? With so much information today online, how can we decide what is safe to use and what isn’t? Give at least two references to illustrate your post (250-300 words only).
‘Credibility’ is a significant variable in the communication process (Wilcox, Cameron, Reber & Shin 2013). Without credible or reliable sources research could be incorrect or misleading; thus creating havoc for a PR campaign. Not only can it create havoc, but it can also cause legal issues if this information is used and is found to be false.
Eunson (2012) remark that, primary and secondary sources can be used as a reliable or credible source when researching. Primary resources may include: questionnaires, interviews, surveys etcetera. Secondary sources may include: journals, research papers, periodicals and more (Costigan 2015). With credible sources implemented, the information written from the research should; therefore, be substantiated or accurate. Wilcox et al. (2013) states that, public relations departments often use online databases to research facts and keep updated in the latest.
However, before a PR starts research; other aspects or important questions are often considered, these may include considerations such as: the time and budget, the importance of the situation etcetera (Wilcox et al. 2013). Thus Wilcox et al. (2013) claims that the audience must perceive the source which is provided as a knowledgeable expert on the subject as well as honest and objective. Nevertheless, before research another aspect to consider when trying to make a message credible is the context, actions speak louder than words or news releases; thereby, if a message says staff are friendly then staff should be friendly otherwise the whole credibility of the message is wasted (Wilcox et al. 2013). To decide or evaluate what is safe and what is not; elements to consider are: does it list an author, are there any sources backing up what is said, is there a connection to what is discussed and is it biased.
Public Relations Institute of Australia 2014 (2013), Australian pr evaluation model, digital image, viewed 4 May 2015, http://www.pria.com.au/knowledgebank/area?command=record&id=546
Costigan, L 2015, COMM11003 Communication in Professional Contexts: study guide, CQuniversity e-courses, Bundaberg.
Eunson, B 2012, Communicating in the 21st century, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton.
Wilcox, D, Cameron, G, Reber, B & Shin, J 2013, Think public relations, 2nd edn, Pearson Education, New Jersey.