Revising PR’s history in North America

When I planned the six volumes of the National Perspectives on the Development of Public Relations: Other Voices series in 2013, a volume on North America was not initially included in the publishing schedule. My view was that the region’s PR history had been covered adequately in existing texts and journal articles. As the series […]

Future Trends in Measurement and Evaluation

In a recent book chapter*, Fraser Likely and Professor Tom Watson discussed public relations measurement and evaluation practices over the past 40 Years. In this extract from the chapter, they look to the future. The debate over valid methods of measurement and evaluation of public relations has a considerable history. It is characterised by the […]

Where AVEs came from?

Research from Professor Tom Watson of Bournemouth University in England places the emergence of AVEs to about 80 years ago. He recently published his research in Public Relations Review from where you can obtain a full copy of his paper. This is a summary of how AVEs emerged and became part of PR practice. As […]

Reputation and PR

The following article was originally posted in Tom Watson’s blog, FiftyOneZeroOne.   I’ve been following the various debates on blogs (PR Moment, Wadds, etc) and in PR Week (May 17) about the reputation of public relations.  Much of the discussion has been about the virtues of PR and how these can be expressed, rather than showing […]

ROI – The Miami Debate

Measurement and evaluation of communications is an enduring discussion in public relations research and practice. Recently, there has been a move to adopt business and management concepts and language in order to demonstrate the outcomes of PR activity and to demonstrate the creation of value to organizations, brands and reputation. At the recent International Public […]

Numbers Add Up For PR History Conference

Twenty countries represented by 36 papers on the history of public relations shows that this “niche” area of study is becoming an important field of research. That’s the basic math of the abstracts for this year’s International History of Public Relations Conference to be held at Bournemouth University in England on July 11-12. The submissions […]

So, Where Did AVEs Come From Anyway?

In a Five Minutes With … discussion a year ago, Professor Tom Watson of Bournemouth University in England mentioned that he was researching the history of public relations measurement and evaluation, with a particular interest in the source of AVE – Added Value Equivalence – which he called a “persistent weed”. Next month, Tom will […]

PRDepiction – Media Representations of Public Relations

If you have ever wondered what the best, worst, funniest, happiest, most dramatic or insightful presentation of public relations is, PRDepiction can help answer your questions. PRDepiction, a blog devoted to the depiction of public relations in film, TV, radio and books, across all media, has just been launched. In addition to recent productions and […]

A Dialogue on ROI

By: Tom Watson, Ansgar Zerfass and James Grunig Measuring Return on Investment has been a hot topic, as public relations seeks to demonstrate its contribution to building organizational value. How can this managerial concept be applied to public relations? Professors Tom Watson, Ansgar Zerfass, and James Grunig add to the debate. ‘ROI’ IN PUBLIC RELATIONS: […]

PR History – What It Tells Practitioners

Prof Tom Watson of Bournemouth University in England, talks about the International History of Public Relations Conference (IHPRC), which was held recently. I’m now breathing a little more easily, as we have just published the Proceedings of IHPRC 2011. They are online at where you can read 28 papers from researchers in 15 countries […]

Future Leaders

This Institute-sponsored research probes the knowledge, skills, relationships, 360-degree vision, and managerial abilities that senior communications professionals will need in five years’ time, and what it takes to prepare the next generation of leaders in globally integrated organizations. Download PDF: The Senior Communicator of the Future – Competencies and Training Needs