BOSTON: Boston University, one of the nation’s leading communications schools, has upgraded its communications research and education facilities, a move that will affect PR students as well as agencies hoping to evaluate the impact of their work.
BOSTON: Boston University, one of the nation’s leading
communications schools, has upgraded its communications research and
education facilities, a move that will affect PR students as well as
agencies hoping to evaluate the impact of their work.
With its new communication research center (CRC) and updated multimedia
lab, the university’s College of Communication (COC) hopes to better
prepare students for their future jobs. The new research center, set to
be inaugurated in January, will also contract to provide research to PR
and advertising agencies.
With a price tag of dollars 500,000, the CRC boasts state-of-the art
quantitative and qualitative labs, including tools for data collection
and automated data compilation. The center also features focus-group
facilities with audio and video pick-up, a supervisor room with a large
window and a Web interface for pre-testing and evaluating web sites.
According to Dean Brent Baker, agencies hoping to use the new facility
will be charged about two-thirds of what other research organizations
ask for. The CRC is currently collaborating with a Boston PR firm on a
study to determine how companies use PR in day-to-day activities.
In the past, BU has worked with Student Advantage on a study about
student consumption and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration for a PR project about whale-watching. Local firm Clarke
& Co. also tapped the university for help in measuring the extent of
knowledge about its clients and the impact of negative news.
According to Baker, 300 students each semester take classes in the
multimedia lab. ’We’re teaching the class of 2003, and we can’t teach
them the skills of 1999,’ he said. ’We have to teach the skills of
He added the COC buys new computers every two years and new software
every six months. Over the summer, a dollars 200,000 donation from an
alumnus allowed the school to update its multimedia lab with 22 new
flat-screen Apple Macintosh G3 Computers featuring digital video and
sound input/output. In the lab, students are learning how to create
digital video, develop webcasts and build CD-ROMs.
Boston Univeristy’s College of Communication boasts 2,100 students,
including 400 graduate students.