Public Relations 2007 Abstracts

Public Relations Division

Work-Family Discourse in Public Relations:Development of a Work-Personal Continuum for Gender Theory • Linda Aldoory, Hua Jiang and Elizabeth Toth, Maryland and Bey-Ling Sha, San Diego State • This study extended gender theory in public relations by examining how work-family balance is perceived by public relations professionals. Eight focus groups were conducted. Findings revealed gendered constructions of a fluid, complex work-personal continuum affected by such factors as societal norms; perceived organizational contradictions; technology; perceived professional identity; and parenthood. Practitioners discursively constructed blame and guilt narratives. Communicative, cognitive, temporal and behavioral strategies were used to adjust and relieve stress.

The Effect of Shared Experience on Problem Recognition and Involvement: An Elaboration of the Situational Theory of Publics for Risk Communication • Linda Aldoory, Maryland, Jeong-Nam Kim, Purdue University and Natalie Tindall, Oklahoma • The notion of whether actual, shared experience with a media portrayal could influence various cognitions-such as concern, sense of personal involvement, self-efficacy, and desire to learn more-that are important for behavior change. This study examined shared experience within the realm of news rather than planned campaigns. The research presented here used the situational theory of publics in order to evaluate whether shared experience is an antecedent to the factors leading to communication behavior.

A Model for Teaching Public Relations Students a Continuum of Power Distribution between Organizations and Publics in Two-way Web Site Communication Tools • Terri Ann Bailey, North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Noting the importance of two-way communication in relationship building, this study presents a model of power distribution in two-way web site communication tools, related considerations, and supporting literature that can be used by instructors to present a teaching module to students on the subject of organization-public communication on the web from a power-differential standpoint.

Testing OPR: Relationship Management • Stephen Banning, Bradley and Mary Schoen • This study employed the organization-public relationship scale to measure member perceptions of an art museum. The scale is a 15-item, multi-dimension tool developed by Bruning and Ledingham (1999) to measure a public’s relationship with an organization (Ledingham, 2001) using the three dimensions of personal relationship, community relationship, and professional relationship.

Admiring the organization: A study of the relational quality outcomes of the volunteer-nonprofit organization • Denise Bortree, Florida • Because nonprofit management often faces challenges in deciding how to best incorporate volunteers in working toward the organization’s mission, it is important to understand how volunteers view their involvement with organizations. This study measured the volunteer-nonprofit relationship using the four relational quality outcomes proposed by Hon & Grunig (1999). In addition, the study introduced the measurement of admiration as an outcome in the organization-public relationship.

University Reputations and Campus Health Education Campaigns: Managing Strategic Stakeholder Relationships • John Brummette and Michael Palenchar, Tennessee • Developed from an issues management and stakeholder theory approach, the purpose of this study is to examine how parents’ perceptions of a university’s reputation are affected by its efforts in health education and public relations programs. The efforts addressed include university binge drinking prevention, assessment of parental knowledge of prevention programs, and parental perceptions about the university in dealing with this issue.

Reality is Greater Than Fiction • Alexa Chilcutt, Alabama • The relevance of Mohamed, Gardner, and Paolillo’s 1999 A Taxonomy of Organizational Impression Management is examined in a “”real world”” context. The object is to give credence to the tactics and effectiveness of OIM in reality situations that involve an organization’s efforts to manage its impressions when dealing with its publics.

Agenda-tapping: Conceptualizing the relationship between news coverage, fund raising and the First Amendment • Colleen Connolly-Ahern, Penn State • Agenda setting represents a promising framework for understanding donation behavior. This paper reports the results of a pilot study investigating the link between the agenda setting function of the press and nonprofit donations. Using financial information from two nonprofit organizations associated with the issue of gun control/control rights, this study found strong and significant correlations between media mentions of gun control, donations to a gun control-oriented nonprofit, and nonprofit contributions to political campaigns.

The Contingency Integration Matrix: A Public Relations Crisis Communication Tool • James Cunningham and Michael Mitrook, Florida • This study proposes and tests the Contingency Integration Matrix, a crisis communication tool based on the situational variables of the contingency theory of accommodation and the framework of Public Relations Field Dynamics. Practitioners at three test locations found the matrix validated public relations postures, actions, and strategies while providing an additional tool to present public relations efforts to the dominant coalition.

Maintenance of Standard, Regardless of Cost: Early Public Relations and the Fred Harvey Company • Patricia Curtin, University of Oregon • This paper fills a gap in the literature by examining the publicity efforts of, and on behalf of, the Fred Harvey Company from 1876 to 1933.

Krafting the Obesity Message: A Case Study in Framing and Issues Management • Keren Darmon, Kathy Fitzpatrick and Carolyn Bronstein, DePaul • This study examined the application of framing theory in issues management. Using case study methodology, the researchers analyzed message frames used by Kraft Foods in its public response to the obesity crisis, how the Kraft frames were reported by the media and whether Kraft’s approach might help define effective framing and issues management practices in public relations. The case suggested that framing was indeed useful in Kraft’s attempt to manage the issue of obesity.

How Do Past Crises Affect Current Events?: An Experiment Testing Corporate Reputation During a Crisis • Drew Elliot, North Carolina-Chapel Hill • Research has shown that a corporation’s history of crises has a damaging effect on reputation during a current crisis. This experiment tests not only the effect of a corporation’s own crises on reputation, but also the effect of a corporation without a crisis history but in an industry with a history of similar crises, called extraorganizational crisis history. Findings show that publics’ knowledge of extraorganizational crisis history may protect an organization’s reputation in a crisis.

Knowledge is Power: Examining how General Public Relations Training Influences Non-major Graduate Students’ Attitudes about our Profession • Lisa Fall and Jeremy Hughes, Tennessee • This study examines pre- and post-perceptions about the public relations field among non-major graduate students who have successfully completed some general training. Results indicate significant decreases regarding how much the media, general public, and practitioner behavior influences their viewpoints about the profession. Additionally, significant increases are reported with regard to students’ overall positive perception toward the public relations field, the profession’s proactive behavior, and how the industry serves the good of the public.

Educational Crisis Management Practices Evolve to Address New Public Engagement Constructs and the New Media • Barbara Gainey, Kennesaw State • This study provides an initial look at how public school districts are engaging their many publics and using communication techniques that extend beyond traditional media to incorporate many new media tactics. This pilot study of school districts in a major metropolitan area of the United States will lay the groundwork for a future nationwide study that will propose additional ways to improve the crisis-ready status of public school districts, with implications for other public-sector organizations.

Mediation Effects of Customer-Company Identification in Models of Public Relations Effectiveness • SooYeon Hong and Sung-Un Yang, Syracuse • By combining the growing body of knowledge on organizational reputation and organization- public relationships with insights from marketing literature on customer-company identification, the present study develops and tests models of public relations effectiveness. Specifically, this study examines the effects of organizational reputation and relational satisfaction on customers’ positive word-of-mouth (WOM) intentions, and the critical mediation role of customer-company identification in such effects.

Managing Community Crisis: an Analysis of a Health Department’s Response to the Influenza Vaccine Shortage • Deena Kemp, South Florida • This article reports the results of a case study on crisis management at a county health department following the 2004 flu vaccine shortage. The study compares the department’s approach to established crisis communication principles, which emphasize image restoration following organizational wrongdoing. The results show that the department relied on strategic partnerships to navigate the crisis. Accepted crisis communication theories provide limited explanation of this community-based crisis. The implications of two emerging crisis frameworks are discussed.

Reliability and Validity of Organization-Public Relationship Measurement and Linkages among Relationship Indicators on a Membership Organization • Eyun-Jung Ki, Alabama and Linda Hon, Florida • This research was to develop reliable and valid measures of the outcomes of quality relationships. Hon and J. E. Grunig’s (1999) extended scales for four relationship dimensions were tested using multiple-item measurement procedures suggested by Spector (1992). The constructed measures were refined further using factor analysis-EFA and CFA. This study also tested the causal linkages among relationship quality indicators.

An experimental test of public relations message: Effects of involvement, corporate trustworthiness, goodwill and message sidedness in Weblogs • Jangyul Kim, Colorado State • An experimental study (n=216) examined the effect of involvement in public relations messages and its interaction effect with source trustworthiness, source goodwill and message sidedness on the message recipients’ attitude toward the message, the public relations issue, and toward the company.

Public relations’ place in corporate social responsibility: Practitioners define their role • Sooyeon Kim, Florida and Bryan Reber, Georgia • Qualitative responses from 173 PR practitioners were used to analyze their roles and contribution to corporate social responsibility. Practitioners identified five roles for public relations in CSR – Significant Management, Philanthropic, Value-Driven, Communication, and None. PR professionals illustrated these roles by describing their contributions to social responsibility programs. They also expressed limitations to their ability to contribute to CSR programs. Contributions of the research to theory and practice are examined.

Assessing Dominant Corporate Communication Strategies on Fortune 100 Company Web Sites: Corporate Ability versus Corporate Social Responsibility Focus • Sora Kim, Scott Rader and Eric Haley, Tennessee • This paper suggests three possible corporate communication strategies used to affect publics’ corporate associations: 1) corporate ability (CAb) strategy, 2) corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, and 3) a hybrid strategy. Through content analysis, the results demonstrate that a majority of corporate advertising for Fortune 100 companies emphasizes a CSR communication strategy over a CAb or hybrid strategy. Corporations higher in the list of Fortune 100 companies displayed more prominent use of a CSR strategy.

The White House and Public Relations: Examining the Linkages between Presidential Communications and Public Opinion • Spiro Kiousis, Florida and Jesper Stromback, Mid-Sweden • The purpose of this study was to probe the linkages between presidential communications and public opinion. More specifically, it investigated the associations between the use of press conferences and speeches by the White House and presidential job approval from 1961-1997. The results suggested that there is a positive linkage between the frequency of presidential press conferences and perceived foreign policy job approval but a negative linkage with perceived economic job approval.

Student-to-Professional Mentoring as a Supplement to Public Relations Education • Phyllis Larsen, Nebraska-Lincoln • Mentoring is a practice that helps individuals and organizations to maximize potential and skills in the workplace. Limited information exists about student-to-professional mentoring, providing an opportunity to explore its potential as a supplemental teaching tool in public relations. A two-year study of a pilot program of one-to-one mentoring of students by practicing PR professionals showed that both mentors and protégés perceived benefits.

Examination of Relationships as Resources in Successful PR Campaigns: Guidelines for effective PR strategy development • Youngah Lee and Sungwook Hwang, Missouri • This research explored the possible guidelines for successful public relations strategy development through content analysis of 10 years of PRSA Silver Anvil Award winning cases. Specifically, the resource usage patterns for different organizations, campaigns, and target audiences were examined with special attention to relationships as resources.

Building Trust Through Blog-Mediated Public Relations (BMPR) • Joon Soo Lim, Middle Tennessee State and Sung-Un Yang, Syracuse • This experiment tested blog-mediated public relations (BMPR) in which the salience of narrative structure, dialogic disposition as a dialogical self, and perceived blogger credibility were assumed to lead to increased interactivity, which ultimately culminates in higher trust between the corporate blogger and blog visitors.

Framing emergency management communication: How to generate media coverage for disaster messages • Brooke Liu, DePaul • Ninety-one percent of Americans live in places at moderate to high risk of natural disasters. Yet only 16% of Americans say they are well prepared for the next natural disaster or public emergency (Ripley, 2006). This study evaluates how state emergency management agencies (SEMAs) frame messages to persuade citizens to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

From aspiring presidential candidate to accidental racist?: An analysis of Senator George Allen’s image repair during his 2006 reelection campaign • Brooke Liu, DePaul • In summer 2006, Senator George Allen, a Republican from Virginia, was seeking reelection in November. But, with a double-digit lead over his Democratic opponent, Jim Webb, Allen was less concerned with his reelection campaign than positioning himself for a likely 2008 presidential bid (Barnes, 2006).

Infusing Two-Way Symmetry with Postmodern Values: Isocratean Rhetoric and Public Relations’ Dominant Theoretical Paradigm • Charles Marsh, Kansas • Postmodern philosophy has presented significant challenges to the practicality, universality, and justice of the dominant paradigm of public relations theory: the Excellence Theory, including the concept of two-way symmetrical relationships. This paper seeks to show that the successful, symmetrical rhetoric of Isocrates in fourth century BCE Athens presents a practical model for the infusion of postmodern values into 21st-century two-way symmetry.

Are Two Heads Better Than One?: The Dynamics and Efficacy of Coalition Building • Andrew Miller, Maryland • Coalition building is an important part of public relations, yet there is not much empirical data or theory that explains this phenomenon. This paper explores coalition building as a social process and considers both its advantages and disadvantages. The findings suggest that although coalition building is not suited for everyone or every situation, it can be an effective strategy when principles of successful coalition building are applied to maximize the advantages and minimize the disadvantages.

Community Stakeholders and Marketplace Advocacy: A Model of Advocacy, Agenda Building, and Industry Approval • Barbara Miller, Elon • The study used survey data and structural equation modeling to examine how community stakeholder attitudes were influenced by a marketplace advocacy campaign, a form of issue advocacy. The validated model demonstrates how awareness of a marketplace advocacy campaign initiated by an industry influenced the salience of industry-promulgated issues among the stakeholders. Subsequently, an agenda-building influence resulted in more favorable attitudes toward the industry. Environmental concern moderated this relationship by decreasing the salience of industry-related issues.

Building Multi-Sector Partnerships for Progress with Strategic, Participatory Communication: A Case Study from Colombia • Juan-Carlos Molleda and Belio Martinez, Florida and Ana-Maria Suarez, Medellin • This study focuses on the use of strategic, participatory communication to build multi-sector partnerships. A multidisciplinary literature informs the dimensions of partnership formation and development. A case study from Colombia describes the role of strategic, participatory communication in facilitating multi-sector partnerships. Results indicate that partnerships require a clear expression of collective commitment; avoidance of dominance by partners; agreement on shared goals and key messages; and a transparent, inclusive and protracted dialogic process to achieve synergy.

Increased Persuasion Knowledge of Video News Releases: Audience Response and Public Policy Issues Related to Source Disclosure • Hye-Jin Paek, Georgia “Michelle Nelson, Michelle L. M. Wood, Hye-Jin Paek” • Public policy implications for disclosure of video news release (VNR) sources in broadcast news are reviewed in this paper. Across two studies (experiment, national survey), we investigate how increased persuasion knowledge about VNRs impacts audience members’ views of media and support for source disclosure policies. Findings show that increased knowledge about VNRs is positively related to beliefs in media commercialization and distrust. Each of these factors is related to support for governmental regulation of VNRs.

Building an Integrated Crisis Mapping (ICM) Model: Organizational Strategies for a Publics-Driven, Emotion-Based Conceptualization in Crisis Communication • Augustine Pang, Missouri, Yan Jin, Virginia Commonwealth and Glen Cameron, Missouri • Extending current theories in crisis communication, the authors have developed a more systemic approach to understanding the role of emotions in crises and the strategies used to respond. The authors’ Integrated Crisis Mapping (ICM) model is based on a public-based, emotion-driven perspective where different crises are mapped on two continua, the organization’s engagement in the crisis and primary public’s coping strategy.

Strengthening Internal Relations Among the United States Army National Guard Soldiers: Testing Predictors of Employee Satisfaction • Erich Randall and Lisa Fall, Tennessee • Recruitment of soldiers to serve in the Army as well as the Guard has become very difficult, partially due to the war in Iraq and in Afghanistan. With recruiting activities being so challenging, it becomes more and more important to retain existing soldiers within the organization.

Relational communication strategies, psychological empowerment, and relational trust in employee communication • Yunna Rhee, Hankuk-Foreign Studies • In this study, employee relations is defined as a special practice area of public relations. The purpose of this study was to explore the associations among three key concepts in employee relations-interpersonal communication strategies, interpersonal trust, and employee empowerment. Relevant constructs were adopted through a review of literature in interpersonal communication, organizational psychology, and public relations.

An analysis of the Reagan Administration’s crisis communication using image restoration discourse theory • Danny Rigby, Florida • This study uses image restoration discourse theory to provide insight into the failure of the Reagan Administration to manage the Iran arms crisis that was preceded the Iran-contra scandal. Analysis via image restoration discourse theory indicates the Administration’s representatives invoked a variety of defensive discourse strategies, many of which were self-contradictory. This study illustrates the utility of image restoration discourse theory as a tool for analyzing crisis rhetoric.

What’s Behind a Name? The Effect of Source Attribution on Spokesperson and Institutional Credibility • Jonathan Riley, San Diego State • All public spokespeople thrust into the spotlight to respond to a major organizational crisis situation surely recognize the perception of their own character as a central component to the persuasive power of their arguments. This study uses the heuristic-systematic model to measure the effects of four spokesperson attribution models on spokesperson credibility under differing heuristic and systematic processing conditions.

Dimensions and Models of Investor Relations Practice: A National Study of Public Relations’ Neglected Specialization • Gregory Rosenstein, Superior Energy Services, Inc., Kathleen Kelly and Alexander Laskin, Florida • Although public relations claims investor relations as one of its specializations, or sub-functions, scholars have paid little attention to it and practitioners historically have been divided between finance and corporate communication/public relations. A survey of 145 investor relations officers in publicly owned corporations tested models and dimensions of practice to build theory.

Strategic Corporate Philanthropic Relationships: Nonprofits’ Perceptions of Benefits and Corporate Motives • Gregory G. Rumsey, Southern Adventist and Candace White, Tennessee • This study examines strategic philanthropy, a component of corporate social responsibility, from the perspective of nonprofit managers engaged in strategic philanthropic relationships. Using a grounded theory approach, the study found nonprofits perceive multiple corporate motives, with blends of altruism and self-interest. They describe a negotiating environment in which nonprofits analyze potential corporate donors’ needs, then pitch mutual-benefit packages. In the most strategic alliances, relationships were characterized as interdependent and benefits were viewed as equal.

Corporate Public Relations and Democracy: Arthur W. Page and the FCC, 1935-1941 • Karen Russell, Georgia • The connections between consumer research, corporate public relations, and government regulation may not be readily apparent, but a 1930s FCC investigation of the telephone industry called the relationships among them into question. This paper seeks to understand how, under Arthur W. Page, AT&T’s lauded consumer relations program served to protect its status as a regulated monopoly.

Coorientational Measurement of Organization-Public Relationships • Trent Seltzer, Florida • This paper details the development of a coorientational approach for measuring organization-public relationships. The coorientational approach advocated by Broom and Dozier (1990) is integrated with the relationship measures developed by Hon and Grunig (1999). Results of an exploratory study using the method are presented to illustrate how the relationship scales were modified, how the procedure is implemented, and how the information generated by the approach can be used to evaluate organization-public relationship quality.

The Nature of Activism and the Complexities of Identity: A Phenomenological Inquiry • Bey-Ling Sha, San Diego State • Using the qualitative method of phenomenology, which Marshall and Rossman (1999) defined as “”the study of lived experiences and the ways we understand those experiences to develop a worldview”” (p. 112), this manuscript reflects on my experience with regards to a declared faculty union strike and explores how that experience offers insight into both (a) the nature of activism and (b) the implications of collective action for the complexities of identity.

The Effect of Shared “From Baby Boomers to Generation X: What Has Changed and What Hasn’t for Women in Public Relations • Bey-Ling Sha and David Dozier, San Diego State and Elizabeth Toth and Linda Aldoory, Maryland • After more than 25 years of gender research in public relations, we know that gender inequities persist for men and women in the field with respect to salaries and roles, even when age and years of experience are controlled statistically. This paper reports the results of the 2006 Survey on Work, Life, and Gender, sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America, finding that much has not changed for women in public relations.

Image Repair in Politics: Testing Effects of Communication Strategy and Performance History in a Faux Pas • Catherine Sheldon, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Lynne Sallot, Georgia • A 3×2 factorial experiment tested effects of crisis communication strategy (mortification, bolstering, and corrective action) and performance history (positive and negative) in conjunction with a politician’s faux pas involving racial remarks. Benoit’s (1995, 1997, 2004) image repair theory and Coombs’ (2004) crisis response standards theory and experimental methods (Coombs & Schmidt, 2000) provided the theoretical and methodological framework for this study.

Toward an Ideal Master’s Curriculum in the 21st Century • Hongmei Shen and Elizabeth Toth, Maryland • This study provides further endorsement for a cross-disciplinary graduate public relations curriculum based on in-depth interviews with leaders in industry and education and qualitative Web content analysis. It summarizes prior research studies that have tracked master’s curriculum since 1985 and concludes that although there is little curriculum consistency in place, there is more vision and expectation on the part of leaders in the field for an ideal public relations master’s curriculum.

Persuasion, Motivators and Obstacles: Influences in the Evolutional Transition from Public Relations Practitioner to Professor • Patricia Silverman, Lee • The purpose of this study was to look at the practitioner to professor transition experience using in-depth interviews of public relations faculty. Using Strauss and Corbin’s (1998) coding paradigm, five themes evolved in the analysis and findings indicated that practitioners made the transition successfully based on perceived self-efficacy (Bandura, 1986) and self-determination (Deci & Ryan, 1985) along with the fulfillment of an additional need, situation. Additionally, a practitioner to professor model was proposed.

When Corporate Public Relations Hits the Limit of Collaboration in High Conflict: What the Public Thinks • Simon Sinaga and Emily Kinsky, Texas Tech • While collaboration is generally considered the right communication strategy for businesses embroiled in a conflict with an activist group, in reality, organizations often shift to non-collaborative strategies, including avoidance and confrontation. The results of this experimental study indicate that collaboration is the best option; however, when an organization chooses to cease collaboration, confrontation appears to be a more acceptable choice than a cessation of communication with the media or a hostile public.

Corporate Citizenship and Social Responsibility: How Effective are Pharmaceutical Companies Communicating These Business Initiatives? • Morgan Sones, Hartford • Major pharmaceutical companies in the United States have a strategic process that, under the emphasis of philanthropic efforts and benevolent image projection, annually continue to contribute to profitability in unprecedented rates. Pharmaceutical companies’ business initiatives of corporate citizenship and corporate social responsibility have been utilized as a strategic method to communicate and demonstrate their commitment to their employees and to their targeted consumer audiences.

Public Relations in a Non-Conventional War Disaster: Advice Framing during the Anthrax Attacks • Kristen Swain, Kansas • This content analysis examined advice for citizens that appeared in U.S. news coverage of the anthrax attacks, in light of coverage of outrage, hypotheticals, contradictory or confusing evidence, and risk comparisons. Five coders analyzed 833 stories from AP, NPR, 272 newspapers, and four national television networks. Over time, an inverse relationship between coverage of practical advice and outrage rhetoric appeared, and the ratio of practical advice to vague advice stories was higher during the post-impact phase.

Journalist and Official Source Attitudes Concerning News about a Terrorist Attack: A Co-Orientation Analysis • Christopher Swindell, Marshall and James Hertog, Kentucky • The paper presents partial findings from a survey of journalists and official sources regarding emergency messages following a hypothetical terror attack. The co-orientation model is used to assess the groups’ views about features of emergency news and to evaluate their expectations about each others’ views on the topic. Journalists and official sources exhibit similar attitudes with regard to the importance of timeliness, accuracy, and reassurance against panic, but perceive their views to differ significantly.

Public Relations and Conflict Resolution: Toward a Synthesis of Excellence and Contingency Theory Approaches • William Szlemko and Cindy Christen, Colorado State • Research in public relations has recently been dominated by a debate between those espousing excellence theory and those espousing the contingency theory of accommodation. Briefly, excellence theory suggests that two-way symmetry represents the most ethical and effective way of resolving conflicts, while contingency theory posits that the optimal approach is situation dependent. This paper proposes a theoretical solution to the debate, derived from the literature on conflict resolution.

Into The Vortex: A Case Study in Big League Public Relations Throwing A Curveball in a Defamation Lawsuit • Samuel Terilli, Sigman Splichal and Dustin Supa, Miami • In 1997 a small public relations firm and family-owned beer distributor issued press releases characterizing a legal dispute with Anheuser-Busch as “”David taking on Goliath”” and recalling memories of deceased family patriarch, baseball legend Roger Maris. The distributor claimed the rhetorical high ground, but paid a price when a court ruled the campaign made it a vortex public figure that had to satisfy a difficult legal burden to win its defamation lawsuit against the brewer.

Resonance as the Mechanism for the Message Effect in Motivating Behavioral Intention-Examining Crisis Communication in A Tourism Context • Hua-Hsin Wan, Texas at El Paso • This study proposes that resonance could be the underlying mechanism that accounts for that tailoring effect. To investigate that possibility, resonance, operationalized as involving both cognitive and emotional components, was examined in an experiment to see how it might impact attitude formation and behavioral intention. The results of the investigation revealed that resonance is indeed a strong factor in influencing attitude and behavioral disposition.

National image and Olympic coverage • Kaisheng M. Wang, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide Ltd., Taipei Branch and Xiuli Wang, Syracuse • Hosting Olympic Games is used by nations to enhance their image and economic benefits. This study examines the U.S. media coverage of South Korea, Spain, Australia and Greece before and during the year they hosted the Olympic Games. Independent t-tests found that hosting such global event improves a nation’s visibility and valence in media coverage. The change of news topic selection also makes the news coverage of the host countries less deviant in general.

Comparing the Two Sides of the Donor-Nonprofit Organization Relationship: Applying Coorientation Methodology to Relationship Management • Richard Waters, Florida • Despite advances in the measurement of the organization-public relationship, there have been few attempts to measure the views of both sides of the relationship. Even though public relations literature strives for symmetry, the research is still asymmetrical when it comes to organization-public relationship. Ferguson (1984) called for the measurement of both sides, and this sentiment has been echoed by others in the late 1990s though their calls went unanswered.

Coming Out to Tell Our Stories: The Career Experiences of Gay Men in Public Relations • Richard Waters, Florida and Natalie Tindall, Oklahoma • Despite the increasing focus on understanding the diversity of the public relations profession, academics and practitioners have largely ignored gay men. This qualitative study seeks to understand the gay male experience of working in the public relations industry and why they were drawn to public relations and communications management.

The Effect of Doing Good: An Experimental Analysis of the Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives on Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behavioral Intention • Kelly Werder, South Florida • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives identified by Kotler and Lee (2005) were tested using Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975, 2005) theory of reasoned action to determine their influence on individuals’ beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intentions toward an organization and its products. Results indicate that CSR initiatives influence salient beliefs about an organization; however, they do not influence attitudes and behavioral intention toward an organization. Support is shown for the propositions of the theory of reasoned action.

Assessing the Value of the Public Relations Curriculum: A Survey of Opinions of Educators and Practitioners • Donald K. Wright, Boston and Michelle Hinson, Institute for Public Relations • This paper explores the disconnect some claim exists between public relations educators and practitioners in terms of the value and importance of what is taught in university-based public relations degree programs. It compares the perceived importance of the most recent curriculum recommendations of the Commission on Public Relations Education’s The Professional Bond report with a list of alternative curriculum suggestions prepared by a small group of mid-level, high-performing, New York-based public relations practitioners.

Coverage of E. Coli Contaminated Spinach: Sources and Messages Chosen by National and Local Print Media • Emma Wright, Tennessee • In September 2006, the FDA issued a recall of E. coli contaminated spinach. Situations like this allow crisis communicators and public relations professionals to investigate messages created during a crisis situation, sources that are utilized, and messages that are conveyed – through the media – to key stakeholders. This paper extends an analysis of the crisis messages framed by the media coverage regarding the sources of information and the message strategies used by these sources.

Measuring Country Reputation in Multi-Dimensions: Predictors, Effects, and Communication Channels • Sung-Un Yang, Syracuse, Hochang Shin, Sogang, Jong-Hyuk Lee, Central Michigan and Brenda Wrigley, Syracuse • A country’s reputation is a subject of increasing interest for the practice and research of public relations. South Korea’s reputation as viewed by Americans, the country’s most strategic foreign constituent, is the topic of this study.

Culture and Chinese Public Relations: A Multi-Method ‘Inside out’ Approach • Ai Zhang, Hongmei Shen and Hua Jiang, Maryland • This study adopts an “inside out” approach to examine contemporary Chinese public relations and culture’s effect on it, based on an analysis of 15 top domestic Chinese public relations agencies’ Web sites and 17 in-depth interviews of public relations professionals from multinationals operating in mainland China. Results indicate an emerging trend of Chinese strategic management and a new understanding of guanxi as an on-going process of one-on-one bonding.

Returning to the Ark: An In-depth Investigation of Public Relations Theory Articles • Lynn Zoch, Hilary Fussell Sisco and Erik Collins, South Carolina • The research reported in this paper looks at the presence of theories, theoretical concepts, models and frameworks, and the names given to each by the article’s author(s) as well as whether or not articles either expanded or proposed theory. The research builds on previous studies, particularly of Ferguson (1984) and Sallot et al. (2003), by using the same classification and topic ideas (with modifications) in the coding.

The Influence of Media Visibility on Firms’ Corporate Social Performance • Stelios Zyglidopoulos, Cambridge, Andreas Georgiadis, London School of Economics and Political Science and Craig Carroll, North Carolina-Chapel Hill • This paper investigates the effect that media visibility has on Corporate Social Performance (CSP). Drawing on agenda-setting theory and the business and society literature, we develop and test two hypotheses regarding the impact media visibility has on the firm’s CSP. Our findings indicate that while media visibility does have a positive impact on the firm’s CSP, some aspects of CSP are affected more than others.

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