Research and Insights

CJC at IPRRC 2018

March 8-10, 2018
Orlando, Florida


Marcia DiStaso, professor and chair, Department of Public Relations

Trends in Purpose: Do PR Agencies Have a Case of Cobbler’s Children Syndrome?

Co-author: Pamala Proverbs, doctoral student

Abstract: Corporate purpose goes beyond philanthropy and CSR to solving social problems as a business strategy. This research analyzed the websites of the top 250 PR agencies worldwide uncovering the extent to which social purpose is offered as a service. The agency websites were also analyzed to determine if they are also purpose-driven.

Rita Men, associate professor, Department of Public Relations

Exploring the Role of Social Media in Creating an Engaged Workplace

Co-authors: Michelle Ewing, associate professor at Kent State University and Julie O’Neil, professor at Texas Christian University

Award: PRSA Employee Communication Research Award

Abstract: Literature conveys the growing use of social media in organizations is leading to a reshaping of internal communication strategy. This study is designed to determine best practices with planning, implementing, and measuring social media strategies to improve employee communication and engagement.

How Top Social CEOs are Engaging on Social Media? Dialogic Communication and Social Presence

Co-authors: Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai, University of Miami and Zifei Fay Chen, University of San Francisco

Abstract: This study provided one of the first empirical analyses on CEOs’ social media communications and the associated outcome on public engagement. Specifically, based on a theoretical framework integrating key social media communication principles and strategies, we evaluated dialogic communication, message vividness, message appeals, and social presence in CEOs’ SNS communications.

Graduate Students

Xiaomeng Maggie Lan, doctoral student

Are You Ready for It? Chinese Consumers’ Expectations of Corporate Social Advocacy

Co-author: Baobao Song, Ph.D. 2017, Virginia Commonwealth University

Abstract: In light of expectation violence theory, this study explores Chinese consumers’ expectations for domestic companies’ corporate social advocacy on the issue of same sex marriage. Through structure equation modeling analysis, this study examines the relationship between the violation of Chinese consumers’ expectation for corporate social advocacy and organization-public relationships.

Casey McDonald, doctoral student

Talking Business Casual to Publics Online: Dialogical Communication Messaging Strategy Effects on Attitude of Organizations on Facebook

Co-author: Leping You, doctoral student

Abstract:To inspect human-like behaviors by organizations on Facebook posts, a 2x2x2 experiment (responding to user comments, using a “human” voice, and organization size) was conducted to evaluate subjects’ resulting attitude of the organization. Integrating academic with professional research, results speak to effects of dialogical practices by public relations practitioners online.

Katy Robinson, doctoral student

Communicating Confidence in U.S.-Based Multinational Organizations: A Cross-Cultural Confidence Model

Abstract: Guided by the theoretical framework of uncertainty reduction, a qualitative analysis that revealed how leadership communicators intend to communicate confidence U.S.-based multinational organizations. Interviews were conducted to better understand the experience, strategies and interpretations of leadership communicators. Results include a model, theoretical and practical implications.

Patrick Thelen, doctoral student

Dialogic Communication and Thought Leadership: Twitter Use by Public Relations Agencies in the United States

Co-authors: Katy Robinson, doctoral student, and Cen “April” Yue, doctoral student

Award: University of Miami School of Communication Top Student Paper Award

Abstract:Guided by the theoretical framework of dialogic principles, a content analysis that compared how 117 Twitter profiles maintained by U.S. headquartered agencies are using this platform was conducted. Tweets were analyzed to better understand their content strategies and implemented dialogic principles. Additionally, this study placed a special emphasis on thought leadership. From a strategic point of view, this study provides significant implications for social media communication practices by public relations agencies.

Lin Zhang, MAMC – Public Relations

Differences in CSR Communication Among Agencies’ Websites: A Study of Public Relations and Communications Agencies

Abstract: This paper investigates differences in CSR communication among public relations and communications agencies in the US, the UK, China, and India, specifically differences in CSR strategies and levels of online CSR disclosure. The paper fills a gap in the scholarly literature regarding CSR communication by public relations and communications agencies.