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Communications Research Checklist
  1. Develop a consensus for measurement.

  2. Consider evaluation of communications planning and implementation in addition to impacts.

  3. Establish agreement on the goals and purposes of the evaluation. How will the results be used?

  4. Define the research scope (broad audit, single situation/issue or media/channel, etc.).

  5. Define the specific populations to be included and how the samples are to be chosen.

  6. Define the objectives at each level; preparation, implementation and impacts.

  7. Consider a strategic approach to measurement, i.e., establishing baseline data and conducting periodic tracking studies to assess progress.

  8. Determine the appropriate type of research methods for gathering your information.

  9. Assure that the design and development of research instruments, such as interview questionnaires, survey questionnaires, and focus-group moderator guides, are done by an experienced research professional.

  10. Assure that each question is focused on a finding you are seeking and that there is a question or set of questions which directly address each research goal and objective.

  11. Determine if closed-ended questions, open-ended questions, or a combination of the two are required.

  12. Have a clear, detailed plan for the various types of data analysis to be conducted.

  13. Define the type of reports (content, segmentation, statistics, etc.) and report formats which will be required (data tables, graphs, written key finding summaries, executive summaries, PowerPoint presentations, etc.).

  14. Develop a complete project schedule that includes all key activities and deliverables.

  15. Develop a project budget that includes at least a 10% contingency.

  16. Keep complete program records.

  17. After the research and reports are completed, work with management/leadership to assure that timely responses and strategic initiatives in stakeholder communications as well as in other relevant areas of the company's operations come about as a result of the research.

  18. In a timely manner, report a research findings summary and any resulting management plans and initiatives to the people who participated.


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