College Directory

Marcia DiStaso, Ph.D., APR

Associate Dean for Research
Professor - Department of Public Relations

Office: 2024 Weimer Phone: (352) 273-1222 Email: Twitter: @mdistaso


Dr. Marcia DiStaso, APR, is the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Journalism and Communications and Professor of Public Relations at the University of Florida. Her current research primarily focuses on corporate purpose – or how companies create value for all stakeholders. Much of her past research has been on digital/social media, financial communication (internal and external communication for financial companies like banks) and investor relations (communication about financial topics of special interest to investors).

In 2021, DiStaso won the Institute for Public Relations’ Pathfinder Award, the organizations’ lifetime achievement honor recognizing significant and sustained contributions to the body of knowledge of public relations through published research. In 2020, she was selected as one of the PRNEWS Top Women in PR, and in 2019 she won the PRNEWS Educator of the Year Award and was elected into the PR Measurement Hall of Fame. In 2016, she won the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Educator of the Year Award. With her students, she has won a PRSA Silver Anvil Award of Excellence, a Hermes Creative Award, and MarCom Awards.

As a trustee for the Institute for Public Relations and past director of the Digital Media Research Center, she is extremely involved in the public relations industry. She is a member of the Page Society and served on the 2019-20 Global Alliance Board of Directors. She also serves on the Diversity Action Alliance Advisory Council and the Ragan Editorial Advisory Board.

For ten years, DiStaso worked as a faculty member at Penn State University and as a research consultant. She joined UF in July 2017.

Areas of Expertise

Corporate Social Responsibility, Crisis Communication, Organizational Communication, Social Advocacy and Social Change, Social Media


Ph.D., University of Miami
M.A. in Mass Communication, University of South Florida
B.S., in Economics, University of South Florida



Refereed Journal Articles

Men, R., Qin, Y., Bajalia, A., DiStaso, M., & Heffron, E. (2024). An integrated framework for exploring the impact of leadership communication on employee trust during disruptive crisis times. International Journal of Business Communication. DOI: 10.1177/2329488424122656

Qin, Y., DiStaso, M., Fitzsimmons, A., & Heffron, E. (2023). Communicating the big picture with employees: The impacts of CEO Vision Communication on employee engagement. International Journal of Business Communication.

Fitzsimmons, A., Qin, Y. S., Heffron, E., & DiStaso, M. (2022). Purpose-driven corporate communication: A content analysis of Fortune 100 companies. Journal of Cultural Marketing Strategy, 6(2), 1-8.

Qin, Y., DiStaso, M., Fitsimmons, A., Heffron, E., & Men, R. (2022). How purpose-driven organizations influence corporate actions and employee trust during the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 16(3), 426-443.

Huang, Y., & DiStaso, M. (2020). Responding to a Health Crisis on Facebook: The Effects of Response Timing and Message Appeal. Public Relations Review, 46(3).

DiStaso, M. (2019). Undergraduate public relations in the United States: The 2017 Commission on Public Relations Education Report. Journal of Public Relations Education, 5(3), 3-22.

DiStaso, M. (2019). The future of corporate purpose: Delivering value to all stakeholders in the digital age. Public Relations Journal, 12(4).

DiStaso, M. (2018). Communication challenges in cybersecurity. Journal of Communication Technology, 1(1), 43-60.

DiStaso, M. (2015). Ethical stakeholder engagement. Public Relations Journal, 9(1), 1-12.

DiStaso, M. (2015). Stakeholder engagement: An ongoing conversation. PRism, 12(2), 1-2.

Walden, J. A., Bortree, D., & DiStaso, M. (2015). Reconsidering the public relations professional–blogger relationship: A coorientation study. Public Relations Review, 41(4), 526-532. DOI: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2015.06.002

Walden, J., Bortree, D., & DiStaso, M. (2015). This blog brought to you by … exploring blogger perceptions of a product endorsement policy and reviews. Journal of Communication Management, 19(3), 254-269. DOI: 10.1108/jcom-08-2013-0065

DiStaso, M., & Brown, B. N. (2015). From Owned to Earned Media: An Analysis of Corporate Efforts About Being on Fortune Lists. Communication Research Reports, 32(3), 191-198. DOI: 10.1080/08824096.2015.1016149

DiStaso, M., Vafeiadis, M., & Amaral, C. (2015). Managing a health crisis on Facebook: How the response strategies of apology, sympathy, and information influence public relations. Public Relations Review, 41(2), 222-231. DOI: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2014.11.014

DiStaso, M. (2015). How Occupy Wall Street Influenced the Reputation of Banks with the Media. Corporate Reputation Review, 18(2), 99-110. DOI: 10.1057/crr.2015.2

DiStaso, M., McCorkindale, T., & Agugliaro, A. (2015). America's Most Admired Companies Social Media Industry Divide. Journal of Promotion Management, 21(2), 163-189. DOI: 10.1080/10496491.2014.996799

Messner, M., DiStaso, M., Jin, Y., Meganck, S., Sherman, S., & Norton, S. (2014). Influencing public opinion from corn syrup to obesity: A longitudinal analysis of the references for nutritional entries on Wikipedia. First Monday, 19(11). DOI: 10.5210/fm.v19i11.4823

McCorkindale, T., & DiStaso, M. (2014). The state of social media research: Where are we now, where we were, and what it means for public relations. Research Journal of the Institute for Public Relations, 1(1), 1-17.

DiStaso, M., & McCorkindale, T. (2013). A benchmark analysis of the strategic use of social media for Fortune’s Most Admired U.S. companies on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Public Relations Journal, 7(1), 1-33.

McCorkindale, T., DiStaso, M., & Sisco, H. (2013). How Millennials are engaging and building relationships with organizations on Facebook. Journal of Social Media in Society, 2(1), 66-87.

DiStaso, M. (2013). Perceptions of Wikipedia by public relations professionals: A comparison of 2012 and 2013 surveys. Public Relations Journal, 7(3), 1-23.

Messner, M., & DiStaso, M. (2013). Wikipedia versus Encyclopedia Britannica: A Longitudinal Analysis to Identify the Impact of Social Media on the Standards of Knowledge. Mass Communication and Society, 16(4), 465-486. DOI: 10.1080/15205436.2012.732649

DiStaso, M. (2012). Measuring public relations Wikipedia engagement: How bright is the rule?. Public Relations Journal, 6(2), 1-22.

DiStaso, M., & McCorkindale, T. (2012). Social media: Uses and opportunities in public relations. Global Media Journal, 5(2), 75-82.

DiStaso, M., & Messner, M. (2012). Wikipedia’s Role in Reputation Management: An Analysis of the Best and Worst Companies in the United States. Digithum(14), 1-12. DOI: 10.7238/d.v0i14.1473

DiStaso, M., & Bortree, D. S. (2012). Multi-method analysis of transparency in social media practices: Survey, interviews and content analysis. Public Relations Review, 38(3), 511-514. DOI: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2012.01.003

DiStaso, M. (2012). The Annual Earnings Press Release's Dual Role: An Examination of Relationships with Local and National Media Coverage and Reputation. Journal of Public Relations Research, 24(2), 123-143. DOI: 10.1080/1062726x.2012.626131

DiStaso, M., McCorkindale, T., & Wright, D. K. (2011). How public relations executives perceive and measure the impact of social media in their organizations. Public Relations Review, 37(3), 325-328. DOI: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2011.06.005

DiStaso, M., & Messner, M. (2010). Forced transparency: Corporate image on Wikipedia and what it means for public relations. Public Relations Journal, 4(2), 1-23.

DiStaso, M. (2010). Industry in crisis: The communication challenge in the banking industry. Public Relations Journal, 4(1), 1-17.

DiStaso, M., Stacks, D. W., & Botan, C. H. (2009). State of public relations education in the United States: 2006 report on a national survey of executives and academics. Public Relations Review, 35(3), 254-269. DOI: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2009.03.006

Messner, M., & DiStaso, M. (2008). The source cycle: How traditional media and weblogs use each other as sources. Journalism Studies, 9(3), 447-463. DOI: 10.1080/14616700801999287


DiStaso, M., Michaelson, D., & Gilfeather, J. (2017). A communication guide for investor relations in the age of activism. Business Expert Press.

DiStaso, M., & Bortree, D. (2014). Ethical practice of social media in public relations. Routledge.

Book Chapters

Fitsimmons, A., Heffron, E., Qin, Y., & DiStaso, M. (2022). Pinpointing, prioritizing, and practicing purpose. In Intercultural public relations: realities and reflections in practical contexts. Routledge.

DiStaso, M., Cornish, N., Sheffer, G., & Dodd, M. (2018). Introduction: Development of the CPRE report and 2016 omnibus survey. In Commission on PR Education, FAST FORWARD: The 2017 Report on Undergraduate Public Relations Education. .

McCorkindale, T., & DiStaso, M. (2018). The role of influencers: An analysis of social media discussion across platforms through a sustained crisis. In Social Media and Crisis Communication. Routledge.

DiStaso, M. (2018). Introduction - The New Era of the CCO: The Essential Role of Communications in a Volatile World. Business Expert Press.

DiStaso, M., & Amaral, C. (2017). Strategically disconnected: The great divide between what banks provide and what publics want on social media. In New media & public relations. Peter Lang.

McCorkindale, T., & DiStaso, M. (2013). The Power of Social Media and Its Influence on Corporate Reputation. In The Handbook of Communication and Corporate Reputation (pp. 497-512). Blackwell Publishing Ltd. DOI: 10.1002/9781118335529.ch40


Syllabi from the current and three previous semesters: