Study: Harnessing the Unique Conversation Power of Chatbots Can Enhance Public Relations Outcomes
A new study has found that organizations can harness the unique conversation power of chatbots for enhancing perceived organizational listening and associated outcomes, according to researchers Linjuan Rita Men, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Public Relations associate professor, and colleagues Alvin Zhou and Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai.
Their research, “Harnessing the Power of Chatbot Social Conversation for Organization Listening: The Impact on Perceived Transparency and Organization-Public Relationships,” was published in the Journal of Public Relations Research on June 15.
This study presents one of the earliest empirical investigations on how to harness the power of chatbots for improving key public relations outcomes. The study integrated social presence, widely studied in computer-mediated communication literature, with the concept of conversational human voice in public relations to conceptualize chatbots’ social conversation.
According the authors, “We evaluate chatbots’ social conversation as an important antecedent driving user perception, not only of chatbots’ listening capability, but also of the organizations’ listening efforts, which, in turn, enhance the essential perceptual outcomes of organizational transparency and organization-public relationships.”
They found that prior attitudes toward the organization, prior attitudes toward the chatbot, and the name of the assigned organization all significantly influenced the independent and dependent variables, which were then controlled in the subsequent structural equation modeling analysis.