Date Approved

6-10-2002

Embargo Period

5-12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Bagin, Donald

Subject(s)

School bonds--New Jersey; Schools--Public relations

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the roles and prevalence of communication research in two successful Southern New Jersey school bond referenda. Both school districts utilized communication research to help them win the support of their communities. The study sought to offer insight into the importance, or lack thereof, of communications research as a tool to be used in assisting school officials to pass their referenda.

This study does not present a "how-to" manual for passing a bond referendum. Rather, it offers insights into how school officials can make use of research to enhance their chances of passing their referenda.

This thesis presents case studies of the two Southern New Jersey school districts. Each district utilized an outside public relations consultant to, among other things, perform telephone surveys of their communities. The author summarizes the survey findings and compares them to the campaign and campaign-related documentation. Two sets of data are then presented: the percentage of documentation content related to the research findings and the roles the research played in the respective referendum campaigns.

The author obtained the documentation for each referendum from the school district and public relations consultant's files. School officials involved in the referenda were also interviewed.

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