College Directory

Spiro K. Kiousis, Ph.D., APR

Executive Associate Dean
Professor - Department of Public Relations

Office: 2096 Weimer Phone: 352-392-0466 Email: Twitter: @skiousis


Dr. Spiro Kiousis is executive associate dean for the College of Journalism and Communications and is a professor of public relations. Previously, he served as chair of the Department of Public Relations from 2006-2012, was director of distance education for the College from 2010-2013, and was a University of Florida Research Foundation Professor from 2009-2011. From 2013-2014, he was selected as a SEC Academic Leadership Development Program fellow from Southeastern Conference universities. He holds a B.A. in mass media from the University of San Francisco, an M.A. in media studies from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. His current research interests include political public relations, political communication, and digital communication. Specifically, this interdisciplinary research explores the interplay among political public relations efforts, news media content, and public opinion in traditional and interactive mass mediated contexts.

Dr. Kiousis has had articles published in several leading journals, including Communication Research, Journal of Communication, the Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, Mass Communication & Society, Public Relations Review, Communication Yearbook, Communication Education, the International Journal of Public Opinion Research, the International Communication Gazette, the International Journal of Strategic Communication, the International Journal of Communication, Public Relations Journal, Journal of Public Relations Research, Journalism Studies, Journal of Media and Religion, Journal of Political Marketing, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, the Southwestern Mass Communication Journal, Journal of Communication Management, and New Media & Society. He also serves on numerous editorial boards and has presented papers to the International Communication Association, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the National Communication Association, the World Association for Public Opinion Research, the American Association for Public Opinion Research, the Southwest Education Council for Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Public Relations Society of America. He has also co-edited and co-written three books on political public relations, country image, and news influence on public opinion.

Dr. Kiousis’ teaching areas include persuasion theory and research, public relations management, mass communication theory, public relations campaigns, public relations strategy, and public relations writing. He has professional experience in public relations, marketing, online journalism, and media production. He is a member of the graduate faculty and has his APR credential from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).


Ph.D., University of Texas
M.A., Stanford University
B.A., University of San Francisco



Kim, J., Kiousis, S., & Xiang, Z. (Accepted/In-Press). Agenda Building and Agenda Setting in Business: Corporate Reputation Attributes. Corporate Reputation Review.

Kiousis, S. & Strömbäck, J. (2015). The Strategic Context of Political Communication. In D. Holtzhausen and A. Zerfass (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Strategic Communication (pp. 383-395). New York: Routledge.

Kiousis, S. & Strömbäck, J. (2014). Political Public Relations. Handbook of Communication Sciences Volume 18: Political Communication. Berlin, Germany: Mouton de Gruyter.

Strömbäck, J. & Kiousis, S. (2014). Strategic Political Communication in Election Campaigns. Handbook of Communication Sciences Volume 18: Political Communication. Berlin, Germany: Mouton de Gruyter.

Svensson, E., Kiousis, S., & Strömbäck, J. (2014). Creating a Win-Win Situation? Relationship Cultivation and the Use of Social Media in the 2012 Campaign. In Hendricks, John Allen & Schill, Dan (Eds.), Presidential Campaigning and Social Media. An Analysis of the 2012 Campaign (pp. 28-43). New York: Oxford University Press.

McDevitt, M. & Kiousis, S. (2014), Active Political Parenting: Youth Contributions during Election Campaigns. Social Science Quarterly. doi: 10.1111/ssqu.12127

Kiousis, S., Kim, J., Ragas, M., Wheat, G., Kochhar, S., Svensson, E., & Miles, M. (2014). Exploring New Frontiers of Agenda Building during the 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections Pre-Convention Period: Examining Linkages across Three Levels. Journalism Studies. DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2014.906930

Cahyanto, I., Pennington-Gray, L., Thapa, B., Srinivasan, S., Villegas, J., Matyas, C., & Kiousis, S. (2014). An Empirical Evaluation of the Determinants of Tourist’s Hurricane. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 2, 253-265.

Kiousis, S. Kim, J., Carnifax, A., & Kochhar, S. (2014). Exploring the Role of Senate Majority Leader Political Public Relations Efforts: Comparing Agenda-Building Effectiveness across Information Subsidies. Public Relations Review.

Kiousis, S. (2014). Issue Management. In W. Donsbach (Ed.), Concise Encyclopedia of Communication, (pp. x – y). Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Rim, H., Ha, J., & Kiousis, S. (2014). The Evidence of Compelling Arguments in Agenda-Building Process: Relationships among Public Information Subsidies, Media Coverage, and Risk Perceptions during Pandemic Outbreak. Journal of Communication Management, 18.

Kiousis, S. (2014). Issue Management. In W. Donsbach (Ed.), Concise Encyclopedia of Communication, (pp. x – y). Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Kiousis, S., Park, J., Kim, J., & Go, E. (2013). Exploring the Role of Agenda-Building Efforts on Media Coverage and Policymaking Activity of Healthcare Reform. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 90, 652-672.

Schroeder, A., Pennington-Gray, L., Donohoe, H., & Kiousis, S. (2013). Using Social Media in Times of Crisis. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 30, 126-143.

Kim, J. & Kiousis, S. (2012). The Role of Affect in Agenda Building for Public Relations: Implications for Public Relations Outcomes. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 89, 657-676.

Kiousis, S. (2011, Updated from 2008). Issues Management. In W. Donsbach (Ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Communication, Volume VI (pp. 2543-2545). Oxford, UK and Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Ragas, M., Kim, J., Lim, H., & Kiousis, S. (2011). Agenda-Building and Agenda-Setting in the Corporate Sphere: Analyzing Influence in the 2008 Yahoo!-Icahn Proxy Contest. Public Relations Review, 37, 257-265.

McCombs, M., Holbert, L., Kiousis, S., Wanta, W. (2011). The News and Public Opinion: Media Effects on the Elements of Civic Life. Polity.

Strömbäck, J. & Kiousis, S. (Eds.). (2011). Political Public Relations: Principles and Applications. Routledge.

Strömbäck, J. & Kiousis, S. (2011). Ch. 1: Political Public Relations: Defining and Mapping an Emerging Field. In J. Strömbäck & S. Kiousis (Eds.). Political Public Relations: Principles and Applications. Routledge.

Kiousis, S. & Strömbäck, J. (2011). Ch. 15: Political Public Relations Research in the Future. In J. Strömbäck & S. Kiousis (Eds.). Political Public Relations: Principles and Applications. Routledge.

Kiousis, S. (2011). Agenda-Setting and Attitudes: Exploring the Impact of Media Salience on Perceived Salience and Public Attitude Strength of U.S. Presidential Candidate from 1984-2004. Journalism Studies.

Kiousis, S., Laskin, A., & Kim, J. (2011). Congressional Agenda-Building: Examining the Influence of Congressional Communications from the Speaker of the House. Public Relations Journal.

Kim, J., Xiang, Z., & Kiousis, S. (2011). International Agenda Building Effects of Presidential Candidate Public Relations on Global Media Coverage and Public Opinion: 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. Public Relations Review, 37, 109-111.

Strömbäck, J., Mitrook, M., & Kiousis, S. (2010). Bridging Two Schools of Thought: Applications of Public Relations Theory to Political Marketing. Journal of Political Marketing, 9, 1-20.

Golan, G. & Kiousis, S. (2010). Religion, media credibility and support for democracy in the Arab world. Journal of Media and Religion, 9, 84-98.

Kiousis, S. & Strömbäck, J. (2010). The White House and Public Relations: Examining the Linkages between presidential communications and public opinion. Public Relations Review, 36, 7-14.

Ragas, M. & Kiousis, S. (2010). Intermedia agenda-setting and political activism: MoveOn.Org and the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. Mass Communication & Society, 13, 560-583.

Strömbäck, J. & Kiousis, S. (2010). Comparing media effects across different media channels and media types. Journal of Communication, 60, 271-292.

Kiousis, S., & McDevitt, M. (2008). Agenda-setting and voter turnout: Implications for political socialization. Communication Research, 35, 481-502.

Kiousis, S., & Wu, X. (2008). International agenda-building and agenda-setting: Exploring the influence of public relations counsel on news media and public perceptions of foreign nations. International Communication Gazette, 70, 58-75.

Kiousis, S, & Shields, A. (2008). Intercandidate agenda-setting in presidential elections: issue and attribute agendas in the 2004 campaign. Public Relations Review, 34, 325-330.

Kiousis, S., Popescu, C., & Mitrook, M. (2007). Understanding influence on corporate reputation: an examination of public relations efforts, media coverage, public opinion, and financial performance from an agenda-building and agenda-setting perspective. Journal of Public Relations Research, 19, 147-165.

Yeon, H., Choi, Y., & Kiousis, S. (2007). Interactive communication features on nonprofit organizations’ web pages for the practice of excellent public relations. Journal of Website Promotion, 1, 61-83.

McDevitt, M., & Kiousis, S. (2007). The red and blue of adolescence: Origins of the compliant voter and defiant activist. American Behavioral Scientist, 50, 1214-1230.

Golan, G., Kiousis, S, & McDaniel, M. (2007). Second-level agenda-setting and political advertising: investigating the transfer of issue and attribute saliency during the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Journalism Studies, 8, 432-443.

McDevitt, M., & Kiousis, S. (2006). Deliberative Learning: Civic Development as Discursive Transformation. Communication Education, 55, 247-264.

Kiousis, S., Mitrook, M., Wu, X., & Seltzer, T. (2006). First- and Second-Level Agenda-Building and Agenda-Setting Effects: Exploring the Linkages among Candidate News Releases, Media Coverage, and Public Opinion during the 2002 Florida Gubernatorial Election. Journal of Public Relations Research, 18, 265-285.

Kiousis, S. & Dimitrova, D. (2006). Differential Impact of Web Site Content: Exploring the Influence of Source (Public Relations vs. News), Modality, and Participation on College Students’ Perceptions. Public Relations Review, 32, 177-179.

Kiousis, S. (2006). Exploring the Impact of Modality on Perceptions of Credibility for Online News Stories. Journalism Studies, 7, 348-359.

Kiousis, S., McDevitt, M., & Wu, X. (2005). The Genesis of Civic Awareness: Agenda-Setting in Political Socialization. Journal of Communication, 55, 756-774.

Kiousis, S. (2005). Compelling Arguments and Attitude Strength: Exploring the Impact of Second-Level Agenda-Setting on Public Opinion of Presidential Candidate Images. The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 10, 3-27.

Martinez, B. & Kiousis, S. (2005). Empowering Citizens in Emerging Democracies: Developing Effective Public Relations Media Strategies for Political Participation. Studier i PolitiskKommunikation, 15, 4-20. Sundsvall: Center for Political Communication Research.


Dr. Kiousis principal research endeavors have been in the areas of political communication, political public relations, and new media. Collectively, this interdisciplinary research explores the interrelationships among political public relations efforts, news media content, and public opinion in traditional and interactive mass mediated contexts. In the area of political communication, his research focuses on the processes and consequences of agenda-setting using survey, content analysis, and experimental methodologies. In the area of political public relations, he has developed a complementary line of agenda-building research that probes how political public relations efforts impact news media content and public opinion. In research that synthesizes the areas of political communication and political public relations, he has scrutinized the role of civic communication campaign interventions in the political socialization of adolescents and their parents. Finally, in the area of new media, his scholarship centers on the concept of interactivity and how variations in online news and public relations messages influence audience perceptions. In conclusion, while each of these research streams advance knowledge in their respective areas, as a whole, they help improve our understanding of the relationship between communication and public opinion in democracy.

Research Keywords

Political communication, political public relations, new media, agenda building/setting, online public relations, framing, and persuasion

Research Areas

  • Political Communication and Public Opinion
  • Public Relationships, Partnerships and Coalitions


Syllabi from the current and three previous semesters: