Research and Insights

The latest research and industry insights
from the College’s faculty, students and staff.
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Law and Policy and History

Government Agencies Can’t Stop Employees from Talking to the Press. Here’s Why.

Although  gagging public employees from giving unapproved interviews is pervasive across all levels of government, blanket restrictions on speaking to the media are legally unenforceable.

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Cultural

Laugh till I Seek: A Reassessment of the Gateway Hypothesis

Research has shown that political satire could play a role in informing people about political issues and lead to people increasing their use of hard news. But is that really the case?

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Communication and Technology
Gaming

Training Law Enforcement Officers to Identify Reliable Deception Cues With a Serious Digital Game

Existing research indicates that  professional law enforcement officers are generally no better than untrained novices at detecting deception. But digital games could help improve officers ability to detect deception.

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Media Industry and Consumers

“Big Data is Not the Answer to Everything”: Advertising Practitioners’ Perception of Big Data

As ever-advancing digital technology spews more and more data about consumers, some industries are struggling with how to effectively collect, sort, interpret, and use big data. The advertising industry, in particular, recognizes the data gold mine, but faces challenges in how to effectively use that data to benefit clients and consumers.

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Communication and Technology
Health and Science

E-Cigarettes and Social Media: Attitudes and Perceptions of Young Adults to Social Media Messages

There are now more than 450 electronic cigarette (e-cig) brands on the market and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that the use of e-cigs – or vaping among young adults has reached “an epidemic proportion.” Recently, there have been several deaths associated with vaping.

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Media Industry and Consumers

The Millennial Perspective on Broadcast Radio vs. Music Streaming Services

Broadcast radio continues to come under increasing pressure with the emergence of new platforms for audio media discovery and listening.  Many have launched their own digital apps.  But is that enough?

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Law and Policy and History

Media Mea Culpas and Journalistic Transparency

News organizations that publicly investigate their reportage may face unintended consequences if the they’re taken to court.

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Communication and Technology

First Encounter with Robot Alpha: How Individuals Respond to Social Robot’s Vocal Cues and Gestures

In a day and age where robots and artificial intelligence are a reality, the question of how different humans interact with these machines is key to improving the experience and outcomes.

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Health and Science

Can Stress Management Intervention Prevent Medical Resident Burnout?

The impact of stress on medical residents continues to be a major concern in the medical community, given that the well-being of practitioners is critical for the quality and safety of patient care.  A new study suggests that stress management training could help.

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Communication and Technology
Media Industry and Consumers

Cleaning Up Social Media: The Effect of Warning Labels on Likelihood of Sharing False News on Facebook

It has become increasingly difficult to decipher fact from fiction on social media sites. As a result, warning labels are appearing online in the hopes of curbing the dissemination of less-than-credible news reports.

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Media Industry and Consumers

Diversity in Local TV On-Air Talent: Does Station Ownership Play a Role?

Popular opinion in some academic circles has been that “big ownership” is bad for diversity. But does ownership structure or type really play a role in the diversity levels of on-air talent in local markets?

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Gaming
Media Effects

Older Adults and Digital Gameplay: How it Supports Social Capital, Social Connectedness, and Civic Participation

Digital gaming by older adults could lead to more social connectdness, social capital and civic participation, according to a recent study.

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Communication and Technology

Study Finds Troubling Trends in Virtual Reality Research

Academic research on virtual reality is also common, but what insights can be gleaned from this large body of work?  A new study identifies issues with previous research on VR.

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Health and Science

Recruitment in Online Research for COPD: Leveraging Social Media and Research Registries

Research explores how to better recruit COPD patients, particularly from marginalized populations, for research studies.

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Media Industry and Consumers

New Advertising Agency Roles in the Ever-Expanding Media Landscape

The continued shift from traditional media to digital promotion has forced advertising agencies to rethink how they best capitalize on technology platforms and the organizational structure to support it.

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Cultural
Media Industry and Consumers

Next Steps in Campaign Strategies to Reduce Teen Dating Violence: Examining Media Campaigns Through the Lens of “Boy Culture”

Advocacy campaigns aimed at thwarting teen dating violence are often focused on how females can avoid becoming a victim. But ads targeting teen boys that mirror appropriate behavior can also be beneficial.

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Health and Science

Using a User-Centered Design Approach to Create an mHealth App for Colorectal Cancer Screening

Mobile health technology affords patients the opportunity to get the medical expertise they need without a physical visit to a practitioner’s office or a run to the emergency room. But, for it to be truly worthwhile, the technology must be accessible to patients and simple enough to navigate.

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Strategic Communication

Crisis Communications in Institutions of Higher Education: Richard Spencer at UF

As with any private organization, institutions of higher education are susceptible to controversial scenarios requiring evolving crisis communications plans and strategies. One increasingly critical element in crisis communications is the optimization of multi-platform communication channels, particularly social media.

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Audience

Smart Phones Have Significant Impact on Sports Fans’ Behavior

The study explores the influencers of sports consumption on smartphones from the perspectives of motivations, fandom, and media types.

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Cultural
Strategic Communication

Creating a Positive Emotional Culture: Why Does it Matter and What Can Communication Leaders Do?

The way employees feel in the organization affects their attitudes toward/relationship with the organization. Does emotional culture affect employee behaviors in the same manner? If so, what should communication leaders do?

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Communication and Technology
Media Industry and Consumers

Engagement and Visibility Key to Effective Product Placement in Virtual Reality Videos

The popularity and availability of VR videos is rapidly increasing, with more than one million subscribers to YouTube’s VR channels. While marketers have experimented with product placement in VR videos, little is known empirically if it is an effective strategy for brands.

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Audience
Media Industry and Consumers

Digital Media Key in Reaching Fantasy Sports Users

By some estimates, fantasy sports is a $7 billion business in North America alone, with nearly 60 million adults participating in one or more fantasy sports. But are marketers optimizing their ability to reach this lucrative market at the right time and in the right place?

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Media Industry and Consumers

Instagram Ads Disguised as Friends’ Posts Still More Credible than Traditional Ads

Instagram users prefer sponsored ads that mimic posts from their friends over traditional advertising, although this type of advertising may seem sneaky or deceptive, new research shows.

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Health and Science

Partnering with Mommy Bloggers to Disseminate Breast Cancer Risk Information

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women. Understandably, women often look for ways to decrease their chances of having breast cancer, not only for themselves, but also for their daughters. Unfortunately, that isn’t always a simple task.

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Cultural

Losing Your Temper and Your Perspective: Anger Reduces Perspective-Taking

Dr. Jeremy Yip, assistant professor of management at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, won the 2019 Prize for Research in Public Interest Communications for his paper, “Losing Your Temper and Your Perspective: Anger Reduces Perspective-Taking.”

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Audience
Media Industry and Consumers

Spoilers Go Bump in the Night

For years, spoilers have been the bane of entertainment media audiences everywhere. The word itself has become almost synonymous with ruined enjoyment. But, are spoilers really that bad?

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Law and Policy and History

Rap Music and Threats of Violence: A Case for the Supreme Court to Decide

Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize last year and Eminem set a record in 2019 for streams on Spotify. But the acceptance and embrace of rap music in mainstream culture isn’t shared by everyone – and that sometimes includes the police.

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Communication and Technology
Media Industry and Consumers

Researchers Engage Experts of Branded Content for Practice Insights

In today’s fragmented media marketplace, branded content becomes a good approach for companies to engage with their audiences. Yet there appears to be little consensus on the concepts behind branded content or the practice and process of branded content itself. A team of UFCJC researchers decided to see if they could find some common ground among world experts.

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Strategic Communication

The Future of Public Relations

Seven senior public relations executives visited CJC during the 2017-18 school year.  We asked them about industry trends and preparing for a public relations career.  Here’s what they told Us.

 

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Health and Science

Family Stories Shape Attitudes Toward Mental Illness

Family stories about mental illness shared from one generation to another can both reinforce stereotypes and yet still teach children important lessons and expectations about the management of such illnesses, according to a new pilot study.

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Communication and Technology

People Trust Human Journalists Over Algorithms

News organizations are starting to experiment with automated content. Research suggests readers perceive news written by algorithms as less credible than if it’s written by a human. However, this perception can be reduced by exposure to robots in popular culture.

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Trump Voters Motivated by Economic and Racial Beliefs

Many political researchers and commentators have presented different theories that attempt to explain Donald Trump’s appeal to the American voters who elected him president. A new analysis suggests that Trump supporters’ motivations included negative opinions about the economy in general and about the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Law and Policy and History

Supreme Court Offers Guidance on How to Handle Fake News

It’s increasingly challenging to combat fake news and to help people distinguish it from real news. CJC researchers examine fake news through the lens of the U.S. Supreme Court. They suggest that part of the answer to fake news lies in finding ways to make real news more appealing to general audiences and to earn readers’ trust in the stories.

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Health and Science

Reactions Differ to Humor and Fear in Anti-alcohol Ads

Many health campaigns have sought to change drinking habits and prevent alcohol abuse. These campaigns often rely on fear-based or humor messages to convey the dangers of alcohol abuse. Researchers are now testing whether these emotions change people’s perceived risk or intent to drink, especially among college students.

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Communication and Technology

Digital Games Teach People to Avoid Biases

People frequently make decisions based on irrelevant information due to unconscious cognitive biases.  How can people avoid relying on cognitive shortcuts that leave them vulnerable to making poor choices? New research suggests they might want to play a game coupled with an informative slideshow.

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What the National School Walkout Says About Schools and Free Speech

When students walked out of school to protest what they see as lax gun laws, some risked punishment from their schools. But it may be worth it to send a First Amendment message.

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Health and Science

Changing Attitudes of Physicians May Improve Participation in Cancer Clinical Trials

Attitudes of primary care physicians play a key role in a recently diagnosed cancer patient’s access to and beliefs about clinical trial treatments. Acting as opinion ambassadors, they have the power to influence their patients’ attitudes and behaviors.

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Health and Science

Health Journalism Exhibits Both Improvement and Decline in Quality

Faced with dwindling resources, and a news cycle that never sleeps, today’s health journalists must meet a new challenge: provide complete, trustworthy content on health care issues with precision at the same breakneck speed with which the medical field innovates.

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Strategic Communication

Does Your Company Have a Proactive Crisis Communications Plan?

Companies can have a variety of reasons for engaging in what the public considers socially responsible (CSR) practices. How do they maintain their reputation and sense of alturisim in a crisis? Research suggests they should have a proactive strategy.

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Strategic Communication

It’s About How Employees Feel

More and more companies today are striving to develop an emotional culture which emphasizes how employees feel. Does emotional culture truly matter for an organization’s success?

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Communication and Technology

Why People Use Instagram and What Brands Can Learn

Instagram “should make consumers feel good about themselves,” says Huan Chen, assistant professor of Advertising, in a new study on how young consumers experience Instagram and their perceptions of marketing on the platform.

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Audience

How to Counter Violence in Media

Seeing violence in media that sanitize, justify or trivialize violent acts may normalize it and make it more enjoyable. Frank Waddell, assistant professor of Journalism, worked with a team of researchers to examine techniques for reducing the effects of viewing violence in media.

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Communication and Technology

Readers Prefer Privacy Over Doxxing

News organizations, in pursuing their role as watchdogs, have at times revealed an individual’s personal information in their stories, known as  “doxxing.”  Jasmine McNealy, assistant professor of Telecommunication, examines the reaction of the online users to doxxing by media organizations in this case study.

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Health and Science

Communication in Cancer Care

The result of good doctor-patient communication is clear – patients make more informed decisions, have better quality of life, and have lower incidences of anxiety.

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Health and Science

Breast Cancer is a Family Experience

Advertising Assistant Professor Carla Fisher is on a quest to help mothers and daughters better communicate about breast cancer and its risks, as well as integrate communication science into clinical practice.

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Health and Science

How Health Organizations Should Talk About Colorectal Cancer 

STEM Translational Communication Center researchers examine the most effective ways to communicate about colorectal cancer risks.

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Health and Science

Fight Cancer With Better Communication

To win the fight against cancer, UF STEM Translational Communication Center researchers are exploring how we communicate about cancer—both with each other and with the wider community.

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Health and Science

Use Social Media to Communicate Cancer Risks

It’s no revelation that social media have changed the way we learn and communicate new information. But is it an effective way to communicate health risks associated with cancer? STEM Translational Communication Center researchers investigate.

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Law and Policy and History

Protecting Journalists and the First Amendment

When the government attempts to restrict journalists, there are superheroes behind the scenes protecting journalists’ right to access information and share it with the public. Charles Tobin, B.S. Journalism 1984, is one of them.

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Law and Policy and History

Is Spam Free Speech?

In an age when smartphones and social media networks are ubiquitous, where some commercial enterprises abuse their access with potential consumers, is spam protected as free speech?

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Law and Policy and History

When Controversial Speakers Come to Campus

What happens when a controversial person requests to speak on the University of Florida campus? The First Amendment takes center stage, balanced against public safety concerns.

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Audience

Audience Analytics 101

To be competitive in today’s information environment, companies must learn to not only trust audience data, but leverage it to better serve audiences and bottom lines.

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Audience

Chasing Clicks: What Seinfeld Teaches Us

Audience analytics is about knowing how to interpret, and even ignore, the data at hand and instead understand how the audience and your goals can converge.

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Audience

Harnessing Audience Curiosity to Power Student Newsrooms

In North Florida, few local media outlets ask their audience: What do you wonder? What should we investigate? We are. Our Innovation News Center is experimenting with audience-powered journalism.

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Audience

Navigating the Fake News Landscape

To understand why fake news stories are successful, we must understand our human tendency to believe what we read, but that doesn’t mean our natural instincts can’t be reversed.

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Audience

Why People Share Fake News

Why do people fall for fake news and share false contents? There is no single answer. But, Paul Mena, former BBC reporter and CJC graduate student, is currently looking for answers.

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Strategic Communication

To Win Against False Information, We Must Play Offense

What should strategic communication in the public and social change sectors look like in a time marked by extreme political polarization and false information? Science suggests the key may be playing offense, rather than defense.

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Is There a First Amendment Right to Follow President Trump’s Twitter Account?

President Trump often objects to what people say about him on Twitter. As a result, he sometimes blocks their access to his account. The novel question arises: Is that unconstitutional?

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Audience

Fake News Isn’t New; History Offers A Way To Fight It

Fake news is nothing new. Rich Shumate, media historian and CJC Ph.D. candidate, takes us through a piece of its history.

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Ministry of Truth a Looming Danger

The federal government recently established a department tasked with identifying truth. Do the American people really need the government to establish truth from untruth?

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Audience

What Universities Can Do About Digital Literacy in the Age of Fake News

People can’t differentiate between paid advertising and editorial content. Here are five ways to increase media literacy.

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Health and Science

When Do Funny Health Campaign Videos Work?

Funny health campaign videos are only as effective as their social media platform and associated comments.

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Audience

What Makes a Better Facebook Post

For health organizations seeking to reach audiences through Facebook, how posts are worded has an impact on who engages with them.

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Communication and Technology

Balancing the Truth In Newsroom Policy

To protect the integrity of the news as a source of information for the public, editors should adopt a “balance of interest” policy.

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Strategic Communication

WATCH: The Social CEO

An interview with Public Relations Assistant Professor Rita Men on the benefits of CEOs using social media to connect with employees.

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Health and Science

The Language of Empathy

Showing empathy is critical for medical practitioners who often have to discuss sensitive medical information with patients. How providers talk to patients – demonstrating empathy– can lead to better health outcomes.

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Communication and Technology

Can Virtual Reality Bring Us Together?

As the world becomes more divided, many are searching for ways to build understanding and cultural sensitivity. Virtual reality is a promising way to help people understand one another better.

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Neil Gorsuch and the First Amendment

Key questions about First Amendment speech rights senators should ask during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for United States Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch.

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Audience

Fake News, Censorship and the Third-Person Effect

Many believe that they can spot fake news, while others out there surely will be duped. This is consistent with what research refers to as the third-person effect.

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Nobody Wants to be Wrong: Understanding the Political Divide

If someone sees or hears something they don’t want to believe…they probably won’t believe it.

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Strategic Communication

The Power of Internal Communication: An Interview with Dr. Rita Men

An interview with Dr. Rita men on her new book, the power of using smart communication to reach internal stakeholders and why it is good for business.

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Audience

Beyond The Competition: Sports Consumption in a Game-Changing Media Landscape

How sports marketers should engage with today’s media consumers amid a multiplatform, fragmented environment.

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Strategic Communication

Public Relations in the Digital Age: An Interview with Dr. Tom Kelleher

Dr. Tom Kelleher, professor and chair of the Department of Advertising, talks with us about his new published textbook, the future of public relations and what he is working on next.

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Communication and Technology

A New Standard for Protecting Our Digital Data

Government agencies charged with regulating digital technologies should do so under a standard that assumes most people don’t fully understand the technology.

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Health and Science

Communication is Critical for the Health of Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer patients who know what information to share and how or when to share it have better health outcomes than patients who hold back.

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Health and Science

Mass Media and Health: An Interview with Dr. Kim Walsh-Childers

We talk with Journalism Professor Kim Walsh-Childers about her new book Mass Media and Health: Examining Media Impact on Individuals and the Health Environment.

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The Public Relations Strategies of Trump V. Clinton

As we look back at an historic election season, digging into the data to examine the public relations strategies of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton leads to some surprising conclusions.

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Audience

The Emotional Brain of Your Audience

Understanding how audiences react to emotional messaging is critical, as it is a better predictor for understanding how people will behave and is a key factor in marketing.

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Health and Science

Metaphors Help Patients Understand Clinical Trials

Metaphors can help researchers communicate with patients about clinical trials. A patient’s ability to understand medical information, however, may influence which metaphor works best.

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Strategic Communication

Four Steps to Manage Organizational Change

To grow and succeed in the dynamic and competitive global market, organizations must scan and monitor the environment constantly, make necessary adjustments and embrace change.

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Communication and Technology

Navigating the Fake News Landscape

After the proliferation of fake news during the 2016 election cycle, the journalism field has come to a grim realization: Accuracy is no longer necessary for news to reach a broad audience.

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Communication and Technology

The Science of Selfies

What drives people to take selfies? Advertising Professor Eunice Kim and her colleagues at Korea University conducted a series studies to better understand our selfie-taking tendencies.

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Communication and Technology

Facebook Gamers Play for Human Connection

People who obsessively play Facebook games like Farmville are often mocked for being anti-social. But, new research suggests that they play to connect with others.

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The Emotional Election: Measuring Appeal, Engagement and Empowerment

Research shows how candidates and issues are having an impact on appeal, empowerment and engagement of voters.

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Strategic Communication

Understanding and Segmenting Your Internal Audience

Researchers have identified various variables to segment external audiences for better targeted communication. The discussion, however, is limited when it comes to internal audience.

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Obama Creates Connecticut-Size Ocean Park, First in Atlantic

The first national monument in the Atlantic will protect deep canyons along the continental shelf and a chain of extinct undersea volcanoes.

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Communication and Technology

Pros, Cons and Ethical Dilemmas of Live-Streaming

Everything you need to know if your are considering using live-streaming.

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Communication and Technology

Why Do People Risk Their Lives — or the Lives of Others — for the Perfect Selfie?

According to the science of selfies, they seem to tap into some deep psychological desires.

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Audience

The Audiences You Need to Understand

A new segment of people engage with the world wide web differently than others. Interactive audiences not only engage more with websites, but they are also more likely to share what they’ve done online with their friends.

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Health and Science

Preventing Drug Use Through Better Stories

When teachers  in drug prevention programs tell better stories, students are more attentive to the lesson.

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Communication and Technology

Who Engages with TV Shows on Social Media?

People engage with their favorite TV shows on social media if they feel a connection to the show and its characters and if they are technologically savvy.

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Communication and Technology

Customize Twitter Ads to Reach 20-Somethings

To attract the attention of 20-somethings, customized, fun and interesting Twitter ads are the way to go.

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Audience

The Right Way to Integrate Branding in Gaming

Advertisers are branding consoles, accessories, in-game avatars and other aspects of the virtual world to reach new consumers, taking advantage of the growing popularity of video games.

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Strategic Communication

How to Increase Customer Trust Through Your Blog

To increase customer trust of your brand, use the right tone and language in your company blog posts.

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Does Billionaire-funded Lawsuit Create Playbook for Punishing Press?

The revelation that PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel financed the Hulk's lawsuit against Gawker raises important questions in the battle between privacy and a free press.

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Strategic Communication

What We Need: Analysts Who Can Tell Stories and Solve Problems

If you are fortunate enough to be able to hire data analysts, what does today’s ideal candidate look like? We asked some of the top consumer/audience research executives those questions.

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Audience

Build Your Digital Community Through Engagement Analysis

ACLS Public Fellow at the Center for Public Integrity talked with UF CJC students about building digital communities and the growing field of engagement analysis.

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Audience

How to Increase Brand Recognition in Gaming

To increase brand recognition it’s important for gamers to see the same brand on the accessory in their hand as they do in the virtual world.

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Health and Science

Why You Should Ask Your Doctor to Wash Their Hands

The perceived authority of physicians can lead people to be more susceptible to illness, as it leaves many patients reluctant to confront doctors on matters of hygiene.

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Strategic Communication

Can Social Media Make You a Better Boss?

CEOs who use social media to communicate with their employees are seen as better communicators, which leads to stronger relationships between companies and their employees.

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Audience

Smartphone Dependency

Understanding the relationship between smartphone dependency and a consumer’s media consumption patterns and perceptions.

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Does the First Amendment Protect People Who Film the Police?

The U.S. Supreme Court has never answered this question. Here’s what the lower courts have said.

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Amazon v. NYT: A Case in the Court of Public Opinion

Understanding the battle between Amazon.com and The New York Times. Was it simply bad press?

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Communication and Technology

The NBA Gets in the Snapchat Game Early

The NBA saw benefits of connecting with young fans on Snapchat in its early days.

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Can Schools Punish Students for Off-campus, Online Speech?

The Supreme Court will soon decide if it will hear a case involving the off-campus speech rights of students.

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