It has been many months in the making. It started with an idea to follow up on the findings of the PR2025 study and on the observation that many use the term PR but mean different things by it. Thanks to PRCA’s invitation to join their University Advisory Group as Vice-Chair in 2022, the idea had a forum.
From the idea to the data, it took a while.
A research collective not just a team
First we set up a research collective, a project where everyone contributes and everyone’s contribution is recognized: openly and equally. Because one doesn’t have to be right even if they have the idea. Because a project like this is more valuable as the sum of contributions and networks rather than the input and insight of one alone. More than 50 joined, 36 stayed.
We built and tested all. We were our own testers to our own pre-conceived notions, our theoretical constructs and research design. We talked about what we took for granted. We also reviewed mainstream points and main critiques. We walked in our future participants’ shoes so we knew what needed correcting and what might need explaining. Even in this process of pre-testing we learned a lot from each other. To get everything ready – in the order it made sense, on the platform we could worth with, in the languages we wanted it, with a calendar that accommodated different working patterns (not only hours but seasons and holidays) – it took almost 6 months.
A global study
The data collection started in November 2022 with 600 participants in 23 countries and 3 languages. After 4 rounds, extensions, change of seasons and years, we completed our data collection in April 2023. It then took us months to plow through the data, make sense of it and put it into a report in a way that it covered the main findings but allowed for further exploration: at national and regional level, based on topics explored, contrasting paradigms and theories and more.
More of this is to come. The work is not finished. But for now, thanks to the sustained effort of all involved, research collective and participants alike, we have completed one of our milestones.