Dr. Juan-Carlos Molleda, professor and chair of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Department of Public Relations and director of the College’s Public Relations and Communications Management master’s program, has joined The LAGRANT Foundation Board of Directors.
The LAGRANT Foundation (TLF) awards scholarships to increase the presence of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations. With gifts from donors and supporters, the foundation provides career and professional development workshops, scholarships, internships, mentors and entry-level positrons to African American/Black, Alaska Native/Native American, Asian American/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate and graduate students.
Molleda is a leading teacher and scholar in global corporate public relations management. In 2010, he was awarded the University of South Carolina’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications Outstanding Young Alumni Award. Because of his contribution to graduate education, in 2013 and 2014, he was awarded with the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Outstanding Doctoral Mentor Award.
The ABA Journal quotes Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication Clay Calvert about a court ruling striking down a Florida Bar ban on attorneys promoting themselves as specialists and experts unless they have a certificate from the Florida Bar in this story in the February 2016 issue, “Florida rules prohibiting uncertified lawyers from advertising as specialists are struck down.”
Dr. Rita Men, assistant professor of Public Relations at the UF College of Journalism and Communications, has been elected to membership in Page Up, an invitation-only organization for Arthur W. Page Society’s most senior staff leaders.
The Arthur W. Page Society is a professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives who seek to enrich and strengthen their profession, as well as leading academics from the nation’s top business and communication schools who have distinguished themselves through teaching corporate communication.
Men was nominated by Dr. Kathleen Kelly, Page Society member and public relations professor at UF. Nominees are expected to be a senior leader in their organization and considered to be a realistic candidate for a Page member-qualifying role within the next few years. Currently, there are more than 170 corporate, PR agency, educator and nonprofit members.
According to Kelly, Men is still early in her career, but has excelled at being a thought leader in public relations and has published a substantial body of research that has made a significant contribution to the body of knowledge and literature in the public relations field.
Men’s background is based primarily in corporate communication research and consulting. Her research interests include employee engagement, leadership communication, measurement and evaluation, relationship/reputation management and social media public relations.
University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Online Master’s student Danielle Riley was one of two grand-prize winners in the Institute for Public Relations’ (IPR) first global Infographic Design Competition for students.
Riley, a student in the Web Design and Online Communication online master’s program, won for her “The Social CEO: CEO Communication Styles” infographic. The original research was conducted by UFCJC Assistant Professor in Public Relations Linjuan Rita Men.
The other grand-prize winner was a team from Brigham Young University for “Diversity in the Business World.”
Winners were selected by IPR and the Executive Board of the PRSSA Chapter at the University of Florida based on “designs that best communicated insights from IPR’s Signature Studies.” The judges evaluated each infographic design based on content, creativity and visual appeal.
Erin Birx Hart
WRAS-FM 88.5 was playing in the background when I stretched across my bedroom floor, laid Rolling Stone in front of me and opened its cover to read stories that led me to further question the Reagan administration. That moment in 1984, one that I repeated again and again during the mid 80s, was the one that set me on a path toward what’s become public interest communications.
Sure, I was reading about The Clash, The Police and Prince. But I also was reading stories that more deeply explored US politics and social issues around the world. I loved writing (and still do), had decided that I wanted to be a writer of some sort and was thinking that a career in journalism would be right for me. And when I saw that I could combine this love for writing with my passions around social issues – because other people seemingly did – I was hooked.
Before that moment, I’d consumed every newspaper and magazine that I could get my hands on, read All The President’s Men and loved learning about trailblazers including Nellie Bly. But it hadn’t actually clicked for me that I could be a part of this until that day when I opened Rolling Stone. Perhaps the idea seemed more approachable when it was served in a music magazine, or maybe my thinking about the future to date was too limited. But at that moment, it clicked.
Since that point in time, I’ve made many decisions – and embraced some unexpected opportunities – that reinforced my decision in that moment. Conversations with a beloved high-school English teacher led me to apply to University of Florida with plans to major in journalism. Moments during years at UF enabled me to become smarter and stronger. I recall many moments working alongside editors who improved my writing, infuriating moments with an editor who told me women should write about social events and not social issues and moments when I started to fall in love with research and better understand how it would improve my work.
The best professional moments since that time have been the ones in which I’ve said, “Yes!” to new opportunities and challenges. It was scary to consider a world where I wouldn’t have the journalism job I’d long imagined, but saying yes to doing communications work showcasing environmental stories sent my career down a new path. Blending writing and public speaking work with public affairs challenged me in new ways. Decisions to move, meet new people and try new things take place in mere moments, yet they’ve built on each other in meaningful ways.
So we recognize our moments, and we make our moments. When we plan for opportunities and are open to them, the gift of such moments continues. If you’re a student at UF, plan for the moments that you want to have and embrace the ones in front of you. If you’re an alum, create those moments for others in the Gator Nation. Give that gift and take it for yourself: a moment that can define you or lead to another one that will inspire you – again and again.
University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Director of Grant Development and PhD candidate Yulia Strekalova’s research paper “Language of Uncertainty: the Expression of Decisional Conflict Related to Skin Cancer Prevention Recommendations” was accepted by the Journal of Cancer Education. Strekalova co-authored the paper with graduate student Vaughan James.
User-generated information on the Internet provides opportunities for the monitoring of health information consumer attitudes. For example, information about cancer prevention may cause decisional conflict. Yet posts and conversations shared by health information consumers online are often not readily actionable for interpretation and decision-making due to their unstandardized format.
This study extends prior research on the use of natural language as a predictor of consumer attitudes and provides a link to decision-making by evaluating the predictive role of uncertainty indicators expressed in natural language. Analyzed data included free-text comments and structured scale responses related to information about skin cancer prevention options. The study identified natural language indicators of uncertainty and showed that it can serve as a predictor of decisional conflict. The natural indicators of uncertainty reported here can facilitate the monitoring of health consumer perceptions about cancer prevention recommendations and inform education and communication campaign planning and evaluation.
The use of social media for enhancing a social movement’s reach has become standard, but few examples demonstrate its potency as well as the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice. Million Hoodies was formed as an online action network following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman and includes more than 50,000 members and college chapters across the United States.
University of Florida Professor Linda Hon, Ph.D., conducted a study examining digital activism, framing and social media communication within the movement. Hon’s work especially emphasizes how digital media provide the opportunity for minority groups to bring issues they face to the attention of the broader public, the mainstream news media and policy makers.
To understand the way in which social media helped build awareness and action, Hon used framing theory to analyze individual posts and supporting content on the Million Hoodies’ Facebook page. The method of analysis posits three frames—diagnostic, prognostic and motivational. Diagnostic refers to the identification of a problem and assignment of blame, which Million Hoodies framed as the racism and injustice African-American men face at the hands of U.S. law enforcement. Solidarity and gun control fell into the category of prognostic frames, or those suggesting strategies and solutions, while the motivational frame, or rationale for action, was filled by calls for offline participation in protest events.
Million Hoodies also used social media to align the Trayvon Martin case with other examples of mistreatment of African Americans by law enforcement and to amplify its campaign by keeping supporters invigorated throughout the up-and-down events of the Martin-Zimmerman saga. Following Zimmerman’s acquittal, Million Hoodies began to extend and transform its framing to broader issues of police militarization and mass incarceration. Hon concluded that core framing and alignment processes are an effective way for researchers to understand the way in which online content creators, such as leaders of social movements, use strategic messaging to connect with followers, broaden their base of support and incite action.
“The circumstances surrounding Trayvon Martin’s death were a turning point for activism in the United States,” said Hon. “The success of Million Hoodies as well as the Black Lives Matter movement, which also stemmed from the Martin case, demonstrates the potential of social media for grassroots organizing among citizens.”
Journalism Associate Professor John Freeman was in Washington, D.C, January 8, 2016 as one of nine professors selected nationwide to review and recommend proposals worthy of Fulbright Awards to be funded through the State Department.
His committee reviewed and ranked 53 proposals involving international outreach plans and nine months of support for Fulbright Fellows committed to digital multimedia storytelling. Successful candidates will receive training and then online exposure through the National Geographic Society. Freeman is a former recipient of the magazine’s annual Summer Faculty Fellowship for professors of photojournalism. The Washington, D.C., meeting was conducted by the Institute of International Education.
PRNews on January 11, 2016 published “Taxonomy of Responses to VW’s Goodwill Package Reveals PR Lessons,” an article by Public Relations Professor and Chair Juan-Carlos Molleda.