As research has increasingly become an essential part of the communications profession, lacking such skills will put our students in a disadvantaged position when they enter the workforce, where such attributes may be vital to survive and thrive. It is critical that we make extra efforts to ensure that our graduates are well equipped with such competence.
In fact, research should not be misunderstood as dull numbers or statistics. It means much more than that. In the field of communications, research embraces a variety of concepts, tasks, and skills that are of real necessity to the profession. For example, fact-checking what a news source says is research; collecting evidence to substantiate an argument made in an advertising/marketing message is research; analyzing public records to draft a press release for crisis management in public relations (PR) is research.
“Be curious and cautious.” That is always my motto. That can also serve as the advice for my research methods students.
Roselyn Du, PhD