2nd Edition

Qualitative Research Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Communications

ISBN 9780415471183
Published October 12, 2010 by Routledge
416 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

USD $62.95

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Book Description

The second edition of this highly accessible, core textbook continues to offer students a practical guide to the process of planning, undertaking and writing about qualitative research in public relations and marketing communications. Through clear explanations and illustrations, the book encourages undergraduate and master level students to engage with the main approaches and techniques for conducting critical, reflective investigations.


This new edition:

  • Identifies the skills and strategies needed to conduct authentic, trustworthy research
  • Highlights specific analytical techniques associated within the main research approaches
  • Provides new sections on internet-based research, critical discourse analysis, historical research, action research and mixed methods research


Qualitative Research Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Communications will be invaluable for those undertaking research methods courses on public relations and marketing communication degrees, as well as those working on a dissertation.

Table of Contents

Part I: Getting Started  1. The Nature and Usefulness of Qualitative Research for Public Relations and Marketing Communications  2. Selecting a Topic and Relating to Your Supervisor  3. Reviewing the Literature & Writing the Research Proposal  4. Ethical Issues and Access  5. Ensuring the Quality of Research  Part II: Selecting the Research Approach  6. Choosing between Different Types of Research  7. Case Studies  8. Grounded Theory  9. Ethnography  10. Discourse and Critical Discourse Analysis  11. Phenomenology  12. Additional Approaches: Historical Research and Action Research  Part III: Collecting the Data  13. Sampling  14. Interviews  15. Focus Groups  16. Observation  17. Written, Visual and Multi-media Materials  Part IV: Analyzing, Interpreting and Writing about the Data  18. Analyzing and Interpreting the Data  19. Writing the Report  Part V: Further Issues  20. Mixed Methods Research  21. Finishing Off

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Dr Christine Daymon is an Associate Professor in the School of Media, Communication and Culture at Murdoch University in Western Australia, where she is Academic Chair for postgraduate courses in Communication and Media Management. An active researcher, her interests centre on communication in organizations, gendered issues in public relations, and cross-cultural learning.

Professor Immy Holloway is based at Bournemouth University, UK at the Centre for Qualitative Research, where she teaches research and supervises research students. She has written numerous books on qualitative research, some of which have been translated into several languages. 


'The second edition of Qualitative Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Communications provides a complete primer for graduate and advanced undergraduate students as well as practitioners looking to sharpen their research skills. Every aspect of the research process is covered clearly and thoroughly in an easy-to-use format that unpacks difficult conceptual material into readily understood prose. The authors expertly balance theory and process, providing readers with both the why and the how behind a wide range of qualitative approaches. A particular strength of this edition is the emphasis on reflexivity and transparency, the cornerstones of ethical qualitative research. This is by far the most comprehensive approach to qualitative methods for public relations and marketing communications available and is an indispensable resource for students and practitioners alike.'

Patricia A Curtin, University of Oregon, USA

'No public relations or communication management student should start their dissertation or thesis without reading this book. Christine Daymon and Immy Holloway address the questions that novice researchers raise, and provide neatly packaged guidance, astutely linked to recent public relations literature, that can be used throughout the dissertation/thesis process. The book encompasses the strategic and the tactical, and includes practical advice, theoretical concepts, common dilemmas and a host of interesting examples as well as the voices, experiences and stories of real student researchers.'

Jacquie L'Etang, Stirling University, UK

'When research students need a complete yet friendly guide to support their learning about designing, planning, executing, and reporting research strategies and methods, and their scholarly products, this is the comprehensive and accessible source.

This book is for developing researchers who want clear guidance along the pathway to holistic organic understandings of social phenomena. Christine Daymon and Immy Holloway set out with the first edition to provide authoritative nurturing assistance to foster confident and expert exploration of communication in public relations and marketing. They have, with this revised and updated edition, further accomplished this with some considerable flair.

A number of important enhancements have been made to make this text contemporary and even more comprehensive, and crucially, both the testing problems of getting started and researcher choice making are given strong focus. On reading, I particularly warmed to the friendly supportive tone and the tutorial feel in the extensive inclusion of a range of voices of practically experienced researchers.

I enthusiastically recommend this book for research-based learning. With this one at hand research students won't have to overly rely on my necessarily limited opinion and advice, for here are inquirers who bring forth an enriching wealth of research experience and a realistic sense of both quality and success in challenging research endeavours.'

Richard J Varey, University of Waikato, New Zealand

'Writing for undergraduate and masters students of public relations and marketing, Daymon (Murdoch U., Australa) and Holloway (Bournemouth U., UK) introduce qualitative research methodologies relevant to advertising, corporate communication, public affairs, communications management, internal communications, and marketing. They provide guidance on preparatory issues; research approaches involving case studies, grounded theory, ethnography, discourse analysis, phenomenology, historical research, and action research; data collection; and analysis and report-writing, including examples of empirical studies based on a qualitative approach. For this second edition, they have placed greater emphasis on the notions of reflexivity and transparency because of their importance to ethical and critical frameworks, included more material on the use of new technologies, and added a new chapter on mixed methods research, among other changes.'

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