Can you help in my search for PR career stories?


Can you help? I’m searching for 20 research participants for my PhD who meet the following criteria:

  • 10-20 years’ career experience in public relations
  • UK based (although may have international responsibilities or travel outside the UK for work)
  • Not well known to me – to avoid any possible complications arising from existing personal or professional relationships
  • Willing to undertake the research stages as detailed below

If you meet these criteria, please get in touch by email:, and I will provide further details, including a short profiling questionnaire.

Otherwise, could you please pass my request onto your own colleagues or contacts – by word of mouth, email, social media or carrier pigeon, and ask them to get in touch.

My research project is seeking to identify how public relations practitioners make sense of their career experiences, examine the approaches they use to inform career decisions and determine how they are responding to a changing career context.

I need to reach as many potential participants as possible to achieve my goal of a diverse research population. This includes working in any sector, in-house/consultancy/freelance, varied points of entry and career choices, those who have spent their careers in a single organisation, had career breaks or moved frequently. Participants may be working in any kind of role. Male/female, married/single, parent or not, with a degree or without, happy with their career or frustrated, any and/or all demographic, psychographic or other variable, all are welcome to put themselves forward.

The study involves the following stages:

  1. Invitation to potential participants to get in touch by email: to complete a short profiling questionnaire
  2. Identification of the research sample – from the above respondents
  3. Selection of 20 people who will be provided with full details of what is involved in participation
  4. Completion of a confidential, detailed career and personal profile by those who agree to participate
  5. Initial in-depth face-to-face interview scheduled with each participant (approximately 90 minutes in length) at a mutually convenient location
  6. Follow up process of correspondence with individual participants to develop their career tapestry (my chosen career metaphor) from the interview transcript and reflections
  7. Provision of summarised study findings to participants – and completion of doctoral study

This research process with selected participants will start in August and be concluded by end of 2014. So I’m looking for initial responses by 31 July 2014.

The research will be confidential, conducted with full participant consent and subject to Bournemouth University Research Ethics Code of Practice. Participation is entirely voluntary and may be discontinued at any time without consequence. No fee or expenses will be paid to participants.

Thank you for your interest in my research – and I hope that if you meet the above criteria, you will consider participating, or passing on details of my search to those you believe may be willing to get involved.

Published by

Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

2 thoughts on “Can you help in my search for PR career stories?”

Comments are closed.