STCM 10300: Introduction to Strategic Communication

Introduction

Use this research guide to help with assignments in order to:

  • Find information that will assist in writing a communication intervention including:
    How to formulate and execute a research strategy for composing a situational analysis
    How to determine how other organizations address communication problems via benchmarking. 
  • Research theories and theorists in communication
  • Know your librarian & feel comfortable asking her for help!

Researching Theories

Reference:
If you need a broad overview of a theory or theorist, try an encyclopedia:  Search for theories in articles through our EBSCO databases. 
Click on the theory to find articles that mention that theory in our EBSCO databases.  Use the left menu to narrow the search or add a keyword to the empty box and re-run the search.

Best Bets: Databases

  • EBSCO Research Library  This searches across all the indexes on the EBSCO plaform including Communication Source and Business Source Premier.
    You can search Business Source Premier (Original Interface)  directly.
  • ABI/INFORM Collection Indexes journals in the field of business. ProQuest interface.  This database is included in the library's homepage search.
  • LexisNexis Academic   Use the News and Companies tab.
  • Statista
    A statistics portal that provides data on over 80,000 topics from more than 10,000 different sources.  The content is purely aggregated statistics, geared towards business and marketing statistical needs, with a focus on current awareness.  Easy-to-use infographics and tables are available for download as images to insert into presentations.
  • Business Insights: Essentials   If you need company, industry or association information, this is a good start.  Compare it to LexisNexis's Companies tab.  Note that information from trade association websites can be helpful.
  • ScienceDirect   This is a "journal collection" rather than an aggregated database. All the content is by one publisher: Elsevier.  It has a lot of good public relations journals, however.

Research Strategy: Communication Intervention

1.  PLAN. You will propose a communication intervention for your client.  What is the core nature of that intervention? What is your industry? Write down your intervention and industry as keywords & phrases.  
  • Intervention:  (Ex.: fundraising, social media marketing, website development and user experience, advertising through local media outlets, writing a press release, designing a poster or handout, repairing an image or reputation, event management, etc.)
  • Industry: (Ex: Education, Technology, Human Resources / Talent Management, Information, Health & Fitness, Personnel Management, Public Administration, Charitable Organizations, Advertising and Public Relations, etc.)

2.  FORM A SEARCH STRATEGY:  OR together similar terms in (parenthesis); AND together those groups of terms.  An asterisk *  is a truncator  -- finds: advertisement, advertising, etc.
  • Sample search strategy:  "Public Administration"    AND    ( “social media” or facebook or twitter or tumbler )  
  • TIP:  Look at the subject fields of the articles in your search result; revise your search using subject terms.

3.   SEARCH BUSINESS INFORMATION (scholarly, trade and business news) 4.   SEARCH NEWSPAPERS 5.  SEARCH BOOKS
  • The library collects books on strategic communication practice (ex. How to market on Facebook, etc.)
6.  BENCHMARKING:  What are similar organizations doing to solve the problem?
List out three or more similar organizations to your client (could be in direct competition):

a.

b.

c.

7.  AUDIENCE:  Who do you want to reach?   8.  COMMUNICATION CHANNELS:  How will you reach them?  
  • Websites, Social Media, local newspapers, radio and television, outdoor advertisements, posters, direct mail, newsletters chamber of commerce brochures, intranets, etc.. 

Use a variety of resource types

Consider searching a variety of types of sources.  If you're not sure, consult with Cathy. 
TYPES OF RESOURCES EXAMPLES OF SPECIFIC RESOURCES
REFERENCE (Generally: biographies, dictionaries, directories, almanacs, encyclopedias, etc.) Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources
REF DESK HF5353 .E52  Lists key trade publications, databases and statistics for each industry.

Encyclopedia of communication theory
REF P87.5 .E496 2009

Encyclopedia of political communication
REF JA85 .E65 2008

IABC handbook of organizational communication : a guide to internal communication, public relations, marketing, and leadership

Handbook of strategic public relations & integrated communications
HM263 .H317 2012

Handbook of crisis communication
HD49 .H34 2010

Handbook of communication and corporate social responsibility
HD60 .H334 2011

LOCAL BUSINESS DIRECTORIES:

Ithaca Yellow Pages

Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce

KEY COMPETITORS (national/international)

Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records
BOOKS Library’s catalog, (what books and videos we have)

ebrary (online books)

WorldCat via FirstSearch (what we have plus books we don't have—use Interlibrary loan to borrow)
BUSINESS NEWS ABI/INFORM Collection

Business Source Premier (Original Interface)
WEBSITES: Organizational & governmental information Company Websites: ex. Uber

Industry Websites: ex. Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

Organizations: ex. IIHS

FDsys (GPO's Federal Digital System) All federal documents

Congress.gov  Federral Bills

Regulations.gov  Federal Regulations
BACKGROUND BACKGROUND ON HOT TOPICS:

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

CQ Researcher

COMPANY AND INDUSTRY BACKGROUND

Business Insights: Essentials (company and industry background information) 

LexisNexis Academic Content Type (upper right) > Company Dossier (company profiles including corporate family trees) 
NEWSPAPERS & TRANSCRIPTS LexisNexis Academic  Content Type (upper right) > All News > Advanced Options > Source Type:  Wires, All News (Wires contains Business Wire, PR Newswire);  see also:  Content Type >  Broadcast Transcripts   

Gannett Newsstand Complete  (Includes the Ithaca Journal) 
DATA & STATISTICS Statista aggregated business data

American FactFinder census data

Simmons OneView (demographic, psychographic & brand info)

SRDS Media Solutions Find media outlets to place advertisements

Finding a Citation

You want to find this citation:

Reber, B. H., & Gower, K. K. (2006). Avow or Avoid? The Public Communication Strategies of Enron and WorldCorn. Journal Of Promotion Management, 12(3/4), 215-239. doi:10.1300/J057v12n03•12.
  1. Examine your citation and determine the journal title (NOT the article title).  In this case it is the Journal of Promotion Management
  2. Click on the Articles tab on the library's homepage.  Under the "Journals" box, type your title in the box after "Title begins with" and click go.  You'll access a screen displaying the library's fulltext access to either print, microfilm, or electronic resources.  If there is none, you'll see a link to borrow the article via Interlibrary Loan.
  3. Examine the volume and year of your citation. The volume in the citation above is 12 and it was published in 2006.  Compare this information to the fulltext holdings. Communication and Mass Media Complete has the  Journal of Promotion Management from 2001 to 18 months ago
  4. Click on Communication Source  > browse to 2006 > click on the issue 3/4 (it should be the 12th article down);  OR click "search within this publication" and put Reber in the second search box and Avow in the third.  This should bring your right to the fulltext!  If you did not receive results, double-check your spelling.

Search Books, e-books, and videos

Use the Advanced Search of the library's catalog to search by keyword: Use the catalog for books we own; use Worldcat for books we don't own.

Keep informed

Try and identify top journals or newswires in your field and set up email or RSS alerts; you can also follow them in Twitter, Google+ or Facebook. Alerts be done directly from the journal website. Library databases offer alerts but require you to create accounts; library databases may offer fulltext holdings whereas the online journal may offer partial full-text to non-subscribers.
Some trade sites to follow:

Ethics

Many professional organizations and industry associations develop ethics standards and guidelines or offer tips; here is a selection:

Communication Management & Design
Marketing & Advertising Public Relations Online e-book (authenticate with Netpass)

Roy L Moore,Advertising and public relations law (2nd ed. 2011). Contents: Chapter 1 The First Amendment; Chapter 2 The Development of the Commercial Speech Doctrine; Chapter 3 Public Interest Information as Commercial Speech; Chapter 4 Defamation, Product Disparagement and Related Torts; Chapter 5 Invasion of Privacy: False Light, Private Facts, Intrusion and Other Related Torts; Chapter 6 Invasion of Privacy: Misappropriation and Right of Publicity; Chapter 7 Copyright; Chapter 8 Patents and Trademarks; Chapter 9 Other Ways to Protect "Ideas"

Contact Us

picture of Cathy Michael

Cathy Michael

Communications Librarian
(607) 274-1293

Search Argos

Using the ACCORD Rubric

You’re writing a paper for a class.  You need sources.   How do you know which ones are the best?  In evaluating a source, you should keep in mind the context in which you will use it. Most sources are not inherently good or bad, but some are more appropriate than others in a given context. 

The Library's Guide on Evaluating Resources  explains the ACCORD rubric, developed by Ithaca College Librarians, that we will use in this session.

Briefly ACCORD means:

Agenda - Why was this information made available?
Credentials - Is the author of the source credible?
Citations - Does the author cite sources?
Oversight - Has the information been reviewed or refereed? 
Relevance - Does the source fit your needs?
Date - When was the information published/updated?

Tell Us What You Think

Please take a moment to complete this very short survey. Your responses will help us to address any further questions you may have.

LexisNexis Help: News searching

LexisNexis maintains a wiki of help screens to their product.  The library subscribes to an Academic product for colleges and universities. There are other professional and subscription products sold to practitioners; the content may differ based on what is licensed.

You may need to limit your results using boolean search operators or searching specific sections of a document:
  • Boolean searching  This page lists and defines proximity operators such as w/p (words within the same paragraph), w/s (words within the same sentence), atleast (you can say you want a word to appear atleast5 -- at least 5 times in the article which increases the relevancy), etc.
  • Advanced Search: Build your own search.  If you want to search by headline, byline, city, company geographic region, person, publication, etc. you may have build a search using segments.  This page explains what segments are and how to build a search.
These are wiki pages that define specific searchs in LexisNexis Academic:

Clicking the GET IT arrow

GET IT icon

When searching, if you see the "GET IT" icon, click on it. You'll be taken to the full text or to ILL if full text is unavailable.

EN-V Campaign Project

GAME: Goal, Audience Analysis, Message, and Evaluation

EN-V Background

Browse Journals for Strat Com