The finding of the pilot study (see table 1) produced the following results. The mean of all 10 questions in the seven-point Likert scale survey, fell very close to four. As a four equates to an unsure response, this suggests that the public affairs practitioners surveyed may not be clear on how military leadership views their role and utility within the command structure.
Another interesting aspect of the survey was the wide variance of answers to some of the questions. In certain cases there was as much as a seven point range in the responses. This suggested there may be a difference in how certain services view the perception of their leaders. It could be postulated that certain services have a better understanding of how to utilize their public affairs assets. If this true, further research may be necessary in order to determine what those branches of the services are doing correctly, and incorporate the information into a possible long-term solution.
This led the researchers to conclude that any further data gathering should be separated by the individual services in order to avoid the possibility of conflicting viewpoints.
Pilot study weaknesses
In addition, a small sample was used which also makes it less representative of the population. The pilot study did not ask for subjects to disclose their service, this is also a weakness because there may be obvious discrepancies between the way the services treat public affairs. This research created the framework for the design of the second stage.