Social Media Research Lab

The Social Media Research Lab is a place where theory meets practice. In the classroom, students learn the fundamental concepts the underlie social media communication and its societal impacts. In the lab, those fundamentals are put into practice and applied to real-world scenarios. Companies large and small use social listening to improve their customer service, gather feedback, identify trends, and develop new products or marketing campaigns. Using the latest analytics tools, students in the Social Media Research Lab learn to track mentions, monitor comments, and analyze sentiment–all critical skills in the modern social media marketing landscape.

Through partnerships with leading companies like the global PR firm MikeWorldWide, the Social Media Research Lab provides opportunities for students to both hone their skills and build a work portfolio for the job market.


Mike World Wide Lobby

Collaboration with MikeWorldWide

A new partnership between the University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communication and Media and MikeWorldWide, a leading global public relations firm, is giving Harrington students real-world experience in social media strategy and analytics.            

Under the partnership, students in Harrington’s Social Media Research Lab are working as an extension of MikeWorldWide’s insights and analytics team, while receiving guidance and support from URI faculty member Joon Kyoung Kim, an assistant professor of public relations who studies organizational use of social media. The students receive full training on MWW’s proprietary tools and processes, while being paid to contribute to a mix of client and new business work for the firm.

“When it comes to mastering research skills, I believe nothing is better than having first-hand experience. Working with leading companies in the communication and public relations industries, the Social Media Research Lab students not only learn research skills, but also apply their skills to real work situations. Through the real projects and collaboration with the real clients, it has been a great pleasure to observe students’ growth as researchers and communication professionals.”
Joon Kim, Faculty Advisor