CAP 220: Fundamentals of Public Relations: Evaluating info
When beginning a career in PR, you may not know a lot about the company or institution, so research is essential, as is evaluating the information you find.
You are part of a PR team trying to prepare a communication plan for SolarBotanic. To create a communication plan when you're unfamiliar with a company, product, and/or industry area, you’ll need to do research and evaluate the information you find. Think of yourself as a professional fact checker (e.g., working for Snopes, PolitiFact, or FactCheck) from the public relations field. Before exploring a client’s website when you're inexperienced in that discipline, make a plan to verify by double-checking:
Use right-click to open new tabs in order to do research
Delay clicking: spend time to skim the results after you search; read bits and pieces before choosing to click any link
Spend 60 seconds looking through the SolarBotanic.com website, then 10 minutes to do research. Delay clicking while you skim the results and read bits and pieces before choosing to click links. Talk with others sitting nearby.
Find evidence that this journal and article within that journal is or is not reputable: Johnson, A. 2015. "Solar Botanic trees using nanoleaves: A energy harvesting production." International Journal for Research in Applied Science & Engineering Technology 3:II (209-214). http://www.ijraset.com/fileserve.php?FID=1680
Discuss with the whole class.
The keys are to:
1. Look for independent information about the creator/s, funding, opinions or viewpoints, and statements
2. Spend more time double-checking facts externally rather than using time to look at the original site (original source of information)
3. Delay clicking: spend time to skim the results after you search; read bits and pieces before choosing to click any link--did this help?
4. Use these techniques with all types of information – how can you do this with books? Videos? Articles?