Recent researches show that the public perception of science and technology has been increasing considerably in Brazil. Within this context, the training of journalists who specialize in the coverage of Science, Technology and Innovation (S, T & I), as well as the organization and the consequent professionalization of communication firms/departments, which work in the science field, have contributed to the expansion and improvement of the quality of scientific divulgation. Back to the 1990‘s, when the first public relations departments began to be organized at universities, research institutions and other entities that fund researches, the production and divulgation of science has increased as those departments started producing newspapers, magazines and newsletters. Soon after, as Oliveira (2010) points out, Brazil‘s mainstream media began to receive more science content from these institutions. Once we admit the important role that public relations departments play in helping the mainstream media to discover the importance of science to promote citizenship, and the influence it has in the public opinion, as Caldas (2004) suggests, this project aims to show in a practical way how journalists can measure their efforts in science divulgation through their public relations work. To do this, the author uses the results of a research he did in the public relations field. In other words, he discusses the challenges, perspectives and the applicability of the Return on investment (ROI) method in public relations. In order to achieve this goal, he makes a theoretical, conceptual trajectory of the profile of public relations activity in Brazil from both the academic and professional perspectives. Based on these reflections, the author proposes ways and challenges for the application of the ROI method in Public Relations, especially for public relations departments, which are aimed to divulge science.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Measurement of science-based public relations departments
Challenges and perspectives

Leonardo Rosa   Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil

Recent researches show that the public perception of science and technology has been increasing considerably in Brazil. Within this context, the training of journalists who specialize in the coverage of Science, Technology and Innovation (S, T & I), as well as the organization and the consequent professionalization of communication firms/departments, which work in the science field, have contributed to the expansion and improvement of the quality of scientific divulgation. Back to the 1990‘s, when the first public relations departments began to be organized at universities, research institutions and other entities that fund researches, the production and divulgation of science has increased as those departments started producing newspapers, magazines and newsletters. Soon after, as Oliveira (2010) points out, Brazil‘s mainstream media began to receive more science content from these institutions. Once we admit the important role that public relations departments play in helping the mainstream media to discover the importance of science to promote citizenship, and the influence it has in the public opinion, as Caldas (2004) suggests, this project aims to show in a practical way how journalists can measure their efforts in science divulgation through their public relations work. To do this, the author uses the results of a research he did in the public relations field. In other words, he discusses the challenges, perspectives and the applicability of the Return on investment (ROI) method in public relations. In order to achieve this goal, he makes a theoretical, conceptual trajectory of the profile of public relations activity in Brazil from both the academic and professional perspectives. Based on these reflections, the author proposes ways and challenges for the application of the ROI method in Public Relations, especially for public relations departments, which are aimed to divulge science.

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