The Life of a PRIME Research Fellow: Week 1
Last week, I started a six-week fellowship at PRIME Research in Ann Arbor, MI, far from my home in San Diego, CA. When I got the call from Mark Weiner, CEO of PRIME Research/Americas to let me know I was chosen, I was both nervous and excited to step out of my comfort zone. The Grunig PRIME Research Fellowship is named for James and Larissa Grunig, professors emeriti, University of Maryland, and is sponsored by PRIME Research.
I’ve worked both in-house and at PR agencies, but this opportunity has let me experience a whole new side of my industry. In just one week, I have been taken through PRIME’s process from data collection and analysis to interpreting and reporting results. I have never been in a position where my grad school education has been so applicable. SPSS really does exist outside of the classroom!
The fellowship is designed to encourage interest in applied public relations research—an area of PR that many new professionals don’t recognize as a career opportunity. As Mark Weiner, discusses in this blog post, there is a need for data-driven “PR scientists” as well as the creative communicators. Patty Lin, my manager at PRIME, is definitely one of these PR scientists. Sure she understands the sophisticated statistics, but more importantly, she has a knack for explaining the stats and their relevance—something I’m sure her clients appreciate as much as I do.