My head hurts. It’s not from the Heinekens I was throwing back at the IPR bash last night in Miami. I knocked off early. Really.
The headache comes from taxing my underused grey matter, trying to absorb all of the great research presentations I watched over the last two days. In the last post I said I wouldn’t try to report what I’d learned. Now I know that I can’t. Just too much there. Besides, a good number of the papers will soon go up on the IPR website. You can read them there if you’re so inclined.
But most of you won’t read those papers. And I think I know why.
We all know that research papers take some effort from the reader. They’re detailed academic works, most with lengthy literature reviews and painstaking statistical analysis. Some are exceptionally well written, but I’ve not found one yet that I’d classify as a “page turner.”
So I’m wondering…
Why don’t more of these brilliant PR researchers/educators get into blogging? They could use blogs to present executive summaries of their research. They could use blogs to discuss what the research means — maybe even speculating a bit on its meaning – like I did here.
By blogging about their research, PR educators would engage truly interested readers in a conversations that almost certainly would expand interest in the researchers’ work. They could use their blogs to test ideas, invite input, build bridges to possible research partners.
By blogging about their research, PR educators would vastly expand their audiences and, in the process, their influence. Practitioners are eager for cutting-edge knowledge that can improve their performance. But they won’t read 40-page papers to access it.
Last night at poolside, Constantin Basturea and I talked about the relative dearth of blogging PR professors. He agreed that this audience could really benefit by using the social media. And you know, most of them are pretty solid writers, too.
I’m honestly puzzled over why the PR profs aren’t blogging fiends. Social media have been front and center in PR practice for at least three years. And a number of these researchers are actively studying them. Why not join the party and make blogs work for you? For all of us?
I don’t have a research agenda anywhere near as ambitious as the scholars I met at IPR. Doubt I ever will. But I’m betting that more people already have read about the BurrellesLuce/Kent State blog research on this site than will ever read the formal paper on the IPR website.
This is what blogs do so very well – they allow us to expand our reach and to extend the conversation to a worldwide audience. People will listen.