Syllabus • Summer 2015

JOMC 279 Advertising and Public Relations Research (3.0). Prerequisites, JOMC 137 (or equivalent). Critical understanding and application of quantitative and qualitative methods used in the strategic planning and evaluation of advertising and public relations campaigns.

Class Meetings:

  • Section 001 meets 9:45-11:15 a.m. Monday-Friday in 33 Carroll Hall

Instructor: Joe Bob Hester, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Office: 233 Carroll Hall

Office hours: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Mon.-Thu., and by appointment. Appointments are highly recommended, even during scheduled hours. These hours are made available to provide you with time outside of the classroom for discussion of matters related to course work, as well as for academic and/or career advising.


The primary goals of this course are for you to learn 1) to conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the advertising & public relations professions in which you will work, and 2) to apply basic numerical and statistical concepts to a wide variety of data.

Specifically, you will learn to:

  • Understand the strengths and
 weaknesses of various approaches to research.
  • Understand the ethical challenges of conducting research.
  • Evaluate discipline-relevant
 research proposals and research studies.
  • Articulate a research problem and generate appropriate research questions and/or hypotheses.
  • Explain why particular research
 methods would answer the question(s) posed.
  • Write a research proposal.
  • Conduct a research project.
  • Use a spreadsheet program
  • Analyze data from a research project.
  • Present the results from a research project.


5% – CITI Human Research Ethics Training: (Group 2 Social and Behavioral Research: Studies on sociological, psychological, anthropological or educational phenomena that typically involve direct contact with subjects. Does not include drug or device studies.). Training will take 3.5-4.5 hours (you don’t have to do it all in a single session) and is worth 5% of your final grade.  – Printed Completion Report is due at the beginning of class on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 . 

25% – Participation Exercises, Homework Assignments, Quizzes, etc. – There is no “make-up” for any of these components. I will drop the lowest grade.

20% – Research Projects (2 individual research projects – 10% each.)

25% – Exam 1 (Midterm)

25% – Exam 2 (Final – Wednesday, June 17, 9:00-11:00 a.m.)

Final grades are assigned using averages of points for all assignments.

Grade / points

A / 4.0

A- / 3.7

B+ / 3.3

B / 3.0

B- / 2.7

C+ / 2.3

C / 2.0

C- / 1.7

D+ / 1.3

D / 1.0

F / 0.0

Accuracy & Deadlines

The importance of accuracy in the communication field cannot be overstated. A factual error in an advertisement or brochure could lead to serious legal problems for the client and agency. Spelling errors, typographical errors, and poor grammar are often indications of sloppy work. There is no place in the business for factual errors or sloppy work; therefore, a severe penalty for such errors will be imposed. An out-of-class assignment containing any of these types of problems will receive a grade of F.

Deadlines are also a fact of life in advertising & public relations. Procrastination is not an acceptable excuse for missing a deadline. Projects and assignments are due no later than the time & date indicated and will not be accepted after that due date. The only exceptions are when written documentation of personal illness or death in the immediate family is provided. In these two instances the project/assignment is due during the next regularly scheduled class period. In all other instances late projects and assignments will receive a grade of F.

Participation & Attendance Policies

Students are expected to actively participate in class discussions by sharing observations, insights and questions with the instructor and members of the class. Discussion will allow each student to benefit from all the other students’ insights and to work toward a final interpretation or understanding that may differ from the one he or she reached individually. This requires that assigned readings and/or homework exercises be completed prior to arrival to class.

Students are responsible for regular and punctual class attendance and should be in their seats before the start of class. Students arriving more than 10 minutes late for class will be counted absent.

The instructor assumes that you will make every effort to attend class. Students are responsible for material missed regardless of the reason for the absence.

Note that there is no such thing as a “make-up” assignment for Participation exercises, Homework assignments, Quiz grades, etc.

All absences should be documented with some physical evidence of the reason for the absence. This documentation should be presented to the instructor prior to the absence when possible, but is due no later than the next class period attended by the student. An excuse is given primarily for absence due to

  • death in the immediate family,
  • illness (only with a doctor’s note),
  • participation in school sponsored activities (with prior notification), or
  • observance of a religious holy day (with proper prior notification).

Academic Integrity & Counseling

This course operates under the Honor System of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this course, and disciplinary actions will be enforced in any instance of academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, collusion or the abuse of materials. If you have a question about academic dishonesty, it is better to ask than to risk the consequences.

Unless otherwise directed, students should complete all graded academic work in this course on their own, without collaboration, and include a signed honor pledge when it is turned in to the instructor.

It is also the responsibility of the student to make the instructor aware of any problem that may affect the student’s successful completion of the course. Any student who, because of a disabling condition, may require some special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible so that the necessary accommodations may be made.

Important Dates

Wednesday, May 20 – CITI Ethics Training Completion Report due

Monday, May 25 – Memorial Day Holiday

Wednesday, May 27 – Research Project 1 due

Friday, May 29 – Exam 1

Friday, June 5 – Research Project 2 due

Wednesday, June 17 – Exam 2 (Final) – 9:00-11:00 a.m.


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