From the President

From the September 2017 issue of AEJMC News

“This is What Community-Building Feels Like”

I must admit: I was holding my breath for a minute there.

That minute was halfway through our annual business meeting, on Aug. 11 at the 2017 conference in Chicago.  After 30 minutes of intense ideation, small groups at 21 tables had just produced 42 poster-sized pages of ideas.  I had just given the team of five “curators” half an hour — not only to synthesize all of those ideas but to present on the big screen a cogent PowerPoint summary.  Would anyone actually emerge from that little adjoining room before our noon adjournment?

Given the talent at work in the adjoining room, I had nothing to worry about.  Still, when Chris Roberts strode from the work room 10 minutes early, laptop open and ready to connect to the projector, my heart did its happy dance.

This was the officers’ grand experiment, to see if the all-member business meeting could become more meaningful by adopting a “Town Hall/Focus Group” mode for at least one of its two scheduled hours, in order to poll members on two essential questions: What is the greatest need of AEJMC members for professional success? And What AEJMC initiatives would help meet that need for its members?

Instead of rows and rows of chairs, we welcomed attendees with rows and rows of small tables, each festooned with creativity-inspiring doodling tools (although I still don’t quite get those little plastic spinners).  Nearly 100 members attended – not an earth-shattering number in itself.  The difference, however, was that they didn’t drift off as the meeting wore on (as we’ve seen happen all too often in recent years).  Folks had invested time and effort in creating pieces of a snapshot of members’ needs and suggestions, and they wanted to stick around to see the final picture.

And a well-focused snapshot it was, thanks to the intense 20 minutes of curation by Chris Roberts, Jan Slater, Heloiza Herscovitz, Paul Parsons and Katie Foss. (Huge thanks as well, by the way, to the Council of Divisions volunteers who adeptly facilitated all those small-group discussions.)

If the 2017 all-member meeting had done nothing more than produce this well-organized set of suggestions, I would have considered the event a success.  But we somehow managed to conduct the essential annual business of the organization as well – from presentations of AEJMC-wide awards and the financial report, to the recounting of the year’s highlights and the passing of the presidential gavel.  And for good measure, we were somehow able to debate a resolution to “reaffirm AEJMC’S commitment to journalism and its role and function in a free and democratic society” in the current political climate.  Thanks to the hard work of the Professional Freedom & Responsibility Committee, the document was both comprehensive and concise.  The discussion did get lively over how to treat “fake news,” but with literally dozens of former and current copy editors in the room, we reached consensus even in our wordsmithing.

So the process seemed successful, but what about the content of the ideation? You can look at some of the slides yourself on p. 3 here in the newsletter, but in my mind the summaries of responses to both the “greatest needs” question and the “what can AEJMC do” question clustered around five themes:
•  Increase resources for individual professional development, from mid-career mentoring and online resources to stipends for conferences;
•  Help us make our work more relevant to a group of fast-changing industries, from curricular and pedagogical renewal to discoveries of new economic models for media;
•  Enhance the brand of AEJMC, both among members with improved internal communication, and among society in general, with improved external communication.
•  Help us increase the productivity and impact of our research, from grant-writing workshops and collaboration incentives to shortening “time to publication” and raising our findings’ impacts in the media industries.
•  Nurture two important (but often overlooked) groups within our membership: graduate students and international scholars.

That’s a lot to unpack – and again, it’s only a snapshot of 100 members’ sentiments on an early-August day – but the AEJMC leadership is committed to not letting these ideas disappear.  The Board of Directors has already put this meeting’s output on its December agenda. And I was especially delighted to see consonance with the first recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on Bridging the Gap with the Professions: survey media professionals and JMC programs on the current state of academic-professional partnerships; create an annual prize for research relevant to a media profession; create a professional advisory committee to suggest ideas on teaching and research; and increase the partnerships between AEJMC and professional organizations.  (The Board of Directors approved these in Chicago.)

That’s just the start of the consonance.  Incoming President Jennifer Greer is focusing on increasing memberships by increasing the value of belonging to our various divisions and groups, as well as to AEJMC in general.  Many of these focus-group ideas will resurface, I’m pretty sure, in the work of her task force.  And the “Directions” of AEJMC’s long-term Strategic Plan include such goals as “Become A Primary Resource for Scholarship,” “Strengthen Identity, Image and Influence” and “Engage Globally and Multiculturally.”  AEJMC’s Strategic Plan Implementation Committee will continue to work with these focus-group ideas.  It’s encouraging to see that the Aug. 11 suggestions essentially called for a recommitment to, rather than an upending of, many of our existing, expressed values.

I hope we do continue these focus groups in future annual meetings. A lot of the meeting was noisier, and more casual, and at times more spirited than what we’d come to expect at business meetings.  For me, the most rewarding moment – even more than the sight of Chris Roberts’ laptop – was right after adjournment, when a fairly new member attending her first business meeting told me, “This is what community-building feels like.”
By Paul Voakes
University of Colorado, Boulder
2016-17 AEJMC President

“From the President” is courtesy of AEJMC News.

AEJMC-Knudson Latin America Prize

AEJMC is calling for books and manuscript-length non-fiction reporting projects (including multi-media) for the AEJMC-Knudson Latin America Prize.

This annual award is given to a book or project concerning Latin America or coverage of issues in Latin America. The work must make an original contribution to improve knowledge about Latin America to U.S. students, journalists or the public.  The submission should either be journalistic or educational in nature, or both.  The submission may be the result of one author or a team’s work; all authors must be current AEJMC members.  The work must have been published in English. Only one submission is allowed per person.  AEJMC does reserve the right to not present an award.

Topics are open, but preference will be given to works on civic issues or topics that promote social change and that break new ground.  Works must have been published in 2017.  Entries should include six copies of the work as well as a narrative putting the work in social, political and cultural context.  The winner must attend the AEJMC Conference in Washington, D.C., in August 2018 to receive the award. The winner will be notified by mid-June 2018. Questions may be directed to Jennifer McGill at or 803-798-0271.

To submit a work for the AEJMC-Knudson Latin America Prize, submit the following to Jennifer McGill, AEJMC, 234 Outlet Pointe Blvd., Columbia, SC 29210­-5667, for receipt by Tuesday, Nov. 21.

  1. a nomination letter that includes the work’s title, author(s) or editor(s), copyright/publication date, publisher, and an explanation of the work’s contribution;
  2. the author’s mailing address, telephone number, and email address;
  3. specific language stating “As the author/editor of this title nominated for the AEJMC-Knudson Latin American Prize, I guarantee that if I am the award winner, I will attend the prize presentation at the 2018 AEJMC Conference in Washington, D.C., as a registered conference participant”; and
  4. six copies of the work to be considered for the award.

This award was endowed by the late Jerry Knudson, an emeritus professor at Temple University. Knudson was a long-time AEJMC member whose research and publications focused on Latin America.

AEJMC Awards

Tankard Book Award

AEJMC’s Standing Committee on Research invites nominations for the 2018 Tankard Book Award.

This award recognizes the most outstanding book in the field of journalism and mass communication; it also honors authors whose work embodies excellence in research, writing and creativity.

Authors who are AEJMC members as of Nov. 10 may self-nominate any first-edition scholarly monograph, edited collection or textbook published in 2017 that is relevant to journalism and mass communication. (The copyright MUST be 2017.) Nominated books may be co-authored or co-edited and must be well-written and break new ground. Nominations are due Friday, Nov. 10.

The three finalists will discuss their works at an awards panel at AEJMC’s 2018 Washington, D.C., Conference. Following the discussion, the 2018 Tankard Book Award winner will be announced. Finalists must agree to be present at the Tankard panel and register for the AEJMC Conference. Finalists will be notified by early June 2018.  To nominate a title for the award, submit the following to Jennifer McGill, AEJMC, 234 Outlet Pointe Blvd., Columbia, SC 29210-5667, for receipt by Nov. 10:

(1) a nomination letter that includes the book’s title, author(s) or editor(s), copyright date, publisher, ISBN and an explanation of the book’s contribution to the field of journalism and mass communication;
(2) the author’s mailing address, telephone number and email address;
(3) specific language stating “As the author/editor of this title nominated for the 2018 Tankard Book Award, I guarantee that if my book is chosen as a finalist, I will attend the Tankard Book Award panel at the 2018 AEJMC Conference in Washington, D.C., as a registered participant”; and
(4) six copies of the book to be considered for the award. Six copies of publisher’s page proofs may be submitted, but only if the book will be in print by Dec. 31 and will carry a 2017 copyright. Entries that are not in print by Dec. 31 will be disqualified.

Given the large number of nominations each year, only complete nomination packets will be considered.  The Standing Committee on Research reserves the right not to present the award in any given year. First presented in 2007, the award is named in honor of Dr. James Tankard, Jr., posthumous recipient of AEJMC’s 2006 Eleanor Blum Distinguished Service to Research Award, former editor of Journalism Monographs and a longtime University of Texas at Austin journalism professor.

Previous winners include:
Hamilton, J. (2016). Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism. Harvard University Press; Ward, S. (2015). Radical media ethics: A global approach. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; Usher, N. (2014). Making news at The New York Times. An ethnographic study of The New York Times’ business desk provides a unique vantage point to see the future for news in the digital age. University of Michigan Press; and Benson, R. (2013). Shaping immigration news: A French-American comparison. Cambridge University Press.

Queries about the award should be directed to the chair of the award committee:  Serena Carpenter, Michigan State University at


Tips from the AEJMC Teaching Committee

Drones: Just Another Tool

By Mary T. Rogus
AEJMC Standing Committee on Teaching
Associate Professor
E.W. Scripps School of Journalism
Ohio University



(Article courtesy of AEJMC News, July 2017 issue)

“Drone journalism? I didn’t know they could write.” Sometimes it takes someone completely unattached to journalism to cut right to the heart of an issue. Suddenly the thousand or so words already written to make a point seemed superfluous, but since they’re written, here they are.

Two summers ago, a television station in my local market, Columbus, OH, received one of the FCC waivers to operate a drone for commercial purposes (before the licensing rules were adopted). With great promotional fanfare, the drone was named and launched. Every night on the evening news there was at least one story with drone video and multiple live aerial shots for weather, traffic or beauty bumper shots. Only about one in four of the stories effectively used or needed the drone video, and the weather and traffic shots were no better than those the station already had from tower and traffic cameras.

I was immediately transported back to my years as a television news producer when some shiny new piece of technology came into our newsroom, and we were tasked with finding ways to use it. I vividly remember the frustration, shared by many, of having to kill legitimate stories so we could go to one more “Sky-7” chopper shot for breaking news, that often wasn’t news at all.

That same “finding ways to use our new technological toy” attitude seemed to be the focus of drone classes presented at a recent academic conference for educators in broadcast and digital media. We heard all about what equipment to buy, and teaching students to operate drones and pass the certification test. One class even received a grant to buy kits for each student to build his or her own drone. But it wasn’t until we got to ask questions that there was any mention of ethics, or when and why to use drone video.

There is no question that drones already are enhancing video journalism in the same way that helicopters did in the 1970’s and 80’s. It’s difficult to remember the days when we covered floods, tornado and hurricane damage, wild fires, crop damage from droughts, etc. without helicopter cameras. And that view from above provides an important perspective to coverage of marches and protests, while also being safer for journalists on the ground. More important, drones make aerial photography and videography accessible to a much wider range of journalism outlets because they are less expensive to own and operate.

Getting certified to fly a drone and having the skills to shoot video or pictures with it would be a valuable extra for a journalism student entering the job market. But the essential skill is knowing when drone video or pictures are the best way to visualize a story and when they are simply a distraction. You do not need to be a certified Apple trainer to edit a compelling video story. You do not need to know how to take apart and put together a Sony XDCAM to shoot good video stories.

University of Nebraska’s Drone Journalism Lab and University of Missouri’s Drone Journalism Program have the right idea in training students and professionals to use drones as one tool for visual storytelling. Both run regular workshops (although Missouri also is now teaching a full class) and have a professional staff, with certified and experienced pilots to operate and maintain the drone equipment. They have developed drone operation manuals, with safety and ethics prominently discussed. They also do what journalism schools should do with new technology — experiment and research the ways it can help journalists tell better stories. In addition, Poynter partnered with UN’s Drone Journalism Lab, Google News Lab and the National Press Photographers Association to provide intensive three-day workshops on using drones for journalism.

The Professional Society of Drone Journalists (yes, there is one!) developed what it calls a layered approach to drone ethics, layered on top of existing ethics codes from organizations such as SPJ, RTNDA and NPPA. There are five layers creating a pyramid — the foundation of the pyramid is Newsworthiness and the top of the pyramid is Traditional Journalism Ethics:

• Traditional ethics. “As outlined by professional codes of conduct for journalists.”
• Privacy. “The drone must be operated in a fashion that does not needlessly compromise the privacy of non-public figures…”
• Sanctity of law and public spaces. “A drone operator must abide by the regulations that apply to the airspace where the drone is operated whenever possible…”
• Safety. “A drone operator must first be adequately trained in the operation of his or her equipment. The equipment itself must be in a condition suitable for safe and controlled flight….”
• Newsworthiness. “The investigation must be of sufficient journalistic importance to risk using a potentially harmful aerial vehicle. Do not use a drone if the information can be gathered by other, safer means.”

As journalism educators, we struggle with the journalistic value and ethical considerations, not to mention the skills learning, of constant technological innovation. A digital editor for the New York Times provided very helpful advice during a Poynter seminar on the Future of Journalism. As we eagerly asked which software and hardware we should be teaching our students, he said, “None! Any technology they use in college will be obsolete by the time they enter the job market.” Instead he urged us to always emphasize the story. Then get them so adaptable to changing technology, that when they have an idea for a story element, it’s second nature to google search for the freeware tool they need and find the YouTube video that teaches them how to use it. The first thing I did when I got back to my office was delete every step-by-step cheat sheet I had painstakingly created for the tools my students use.

PSDJ Code of Ethics for Drone Journalists,
The Drone Journalism Lab, University of Nebraska-Lincoln,

Teaching Corner

Visual Communication 2017 Abstracts

Online Coverage of Brittany Maynard’s Death: Visual and Verbal Information • Kelsie Arnold; Kimberly Lauffer • This study examined textual and visual elements in web-based coverage of Brittany Maynard’s decision to exercise Oregon’s right to die in order to understand how the media framed their coverage using multimedia components. The authors used a qualitative perspective and a quantitative data collection instrument to synthesize data and key themes that emerged from the research. Culturally embedded frames, loaded language, and graphic elements were all deemed essential to telling the story of Brittany Maynard.

Attributes of Likable Organizational Logos: An Exploratory Study using Q Methodology • Angie Chung; Dennis Kinsey • Logos have a big impact on how people feel about an organization. The goal of this research is to identify the subjective perceptions when people evaluate logos and explore what elements affect the likability of organizational logos. This exploratory research used Q Methodology to quantitatively and qualitatively examine subjective preferences for different types of logos. Forty participants sorted 50 organizational logos (Q sample) from “most appealing” (+5) to “most unappealing” (-5). Three different factors emerged from the correlation and factor analysis—the first group expressed the importance of color, the second group thought logos with living creatures were appealing and the third group were attracted to logos suggesting dynamic movement. Findings are discussed in terms of practical implications for how organizations can choose logos that can be received more positively.

A reciprocal-networked model of the photojournalistic icon: From the print-television news era to the present • Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon; David Perlmutter, Texas Tech University; Natalia Mielczarek, Virginia Tech • Millions of news images have been created, but only a relative few have become the fabled “icons” of photojournalism that have been popularly ascribed with extraordinary powers to mobilize national opinion, start or stop wars, or at least capture “decisive moments” in history. Since most of the photoicon era occurred when news was a wholly industrial (via print and then broadcast and cable) enterprise, media gatekeeping has been a critical component of the process of icon creation, distribution, and maintenance. Traditionally, news photographs became iconic, in large part, through their purposive, industrially defined, and prominent placement on elite newspaper front pages and lead position in broadcast/cable news across the globe. But as we rapidly move away from print news and towards a digital/internet/social news environment, what is the effect on the formation of iconic imagery? We argue that it is both a changed reality of news delivery formats and the democratization of news production and dissemination via social media that predicates a theoretical shift in the formation of iconic imagery. Using the historical research method, we draw from current theoretical tenets of iconic image formation and leading research on iconic imagery to present propositions of a model of iconicity that we term the “reciprocal-networked model of iconicity,” which presents four central and related stages: creation, distribution, acceleration, and formation. We conclude this philosophy of images with some speculative predictions about the development of photoicons within the evolution of our reciprocal-networked model, arguing that several trends are predictable.

Fire, ice or drought? Picturing humanity in climate change imagery • Kim Sheehan; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon; David Morris II, University of Oregon • Despite scientific evidence of climate change, Americans continue to minimize its importance. At the same time, research suggests that advocacy campaigns and news media coverage of climate change—both text and images—do not necessarily resonate with audiences. The current study brings together existing theory on the knowledge-deficit model and research findings on both climate change imagery and story personification to explore in a 3x3x2 experiment how photographs relating to climate change have the best potential to connect with people regarding emotion and engagement.

Resignifying Alan Kurdi: News photographs, memes, and the ethics of visual representation • Meenakshi Gigi Durham, Iowa • The Turkish photojournalist Nilufer Demir’s photograph of the drowned refugee child Alan Kurdi attained worldwide recognition as a media spectacle, initially prompting humanitarian responses and political action, but later morphing into online memes and inciting public backlash as “war porn.” I argue here that the ethical motivations of photojournalism and memes are oppositional with regard to their representations of embodied vulnerability. While photojournalistic depictions of vulnerable bodies are motivated by an ethics of care intended to generate empathy and progressive social change, memes disrupt those affective connotations through processes of mimicry and replication. By means of a comparative semiological analysis, this paper examines the way the sign system of Demir’s photograph was mutated into a meme, radically changing the ethical connotations of the former. The differing ethical affordances of news photos versus memes, and their relationship, may help to explain the reversal of the cosmopolitan humanitarianism initially sparked by the Alan Kurdi photograph and tell us more about the ethical frictions and contrapositions at work in the contemporary media environment.

Access, deconstructed: An analysis of metajournalistic discourse concerning photojournalism and access • Patrick Ferrucci, U of Colorado; Ross Taylor, University of Colorado • This study examines metajournalistic discourse published surrounding the intersection of photojournalism and access. Researchers conducted a textual analysis of metajournalistic discourse published in articles by The Image, Deconstructed from 2011 to 2017 (N=70). Findings suggest that photojournalists define access differently than scholars. They obtain access through purposeful body language and verbal communication, clarity of intent and persistence. These findings are interpreted through the lens of the theory of metajournalistic discourse.

Using Angle of Sight to Confirm Media Bias of a Political Protest • Michael Friedman, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga • The study sought to understand if photographic media bias of political protest could be detected by applying the photographic principle of angle of sight to the pictures of the event. The investigation focused on the photographic news coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests from two competing and politically opposite New York City tabloid newspapers. The purpose of the study was to determine if there were any differences in the selection of angle of sight photographs, which could act as a subtle cue to either glorify or condemn the protests. Results show strong statistical support that both papers chose the angled photograph that matched with their political opinion of the protest and is relevant to other researchers who seek to understand our legacy of media coverage of political protests.

Professional Photographers and Platforms and the Perceived Credibility of Photographs on the Internet • Gina Gayle; Andrew Wirzburger, Syracuse University; Jianan Hu; Honey Rao • As the use of amateur journalists in place of professionals to photograph current events has begun to shape news content (Pantti & Anden-Papadopoulos, 2011), and people assign varying levels of credibility to the sources of news content (Bracken, 2006), understanding the effects of “professional” labels is growing increasingly salient. This study sought to investigate differences in perceived credibility of photographs on the internet depending on whether or not a professional had taken the photograph and whether or not it had been published by a professional media outlet. Definitions for the dimensions of perceived photograph credibility were adapted from previous research into general internet credibility (Metzger, 2007). The researchers hypothesized that people provided with information that the photograph was somehow “professional” would perceive it to have higher credibility. The study was designed as an experiment with four groups that evaluated photographs using a self-administered online questionnaire; each group was provided with different information about the photograph to stimulate differences between groups. Results produced no significant differences between groups for the concept of credibility but did yield significance for “authority,” one dimension of credibility. These results may be due to the influx of citizen journalism as well as diminishing public trust in mainstream news media.

Chaos, Quest and Restitution Narratives of Depression on Tumblr • Ali Hussain, Michigan State University • This paper studies how visuals from Tumblr might be used to evoke narratives of depression. Fourteen patients with moderately severe depression were interviewed using photo-elicitation method. Findings encompass three types of narratives: chaos, quest and restitution. Chaos narrative describe experiencing illnesses with no cure or unreliable treatments. Quest narrative are about patients’ fighting back. Restitution narrative points toward the belief that health is restorable. Study offers implications to use images during depression counseling sessions.

Show me a story: Narrative, image, and audience engagement on sports network Instagram accounts • Rich Johnson, Creighton University; Miles Romney, Brigham Young University • Social media is a growing space for interpersonal and masspersonal communication and the shared image that often accompanies these messages has become a factor in increasing audience engagement. This study seeks to understand what types of images generate more engagement from social media audiences. A group of communication scholars argue that narrative is the most basic form of human communication and therefore messages with strong narrative themes more easily connect the message from the communicator to the audience. This study performed a content analysis of nearly 2,000 images shared by Sports Networks on Instagram. Operating under Kress and Van Leeuwen’s (2006) methodology for determining narrative in image, the study found that images that contained narrative or metacommunicative messages (Bateson, 1951) resulted in greater interest and engagement by audiences through the manifestation of likes and comments. The study offers a methodology for organizations seeking greater engagement from social media audiences.

Cognitive Effects of Emotional Visuals and Company–Cause Congruence in Visual CSR Messages • Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University; Sungwon Chung, Fort Hays State University • Using the limited capacity model of motivated mediated message processing (LC4MP), associative network theory, and expectancy violation theory as theoretical frameworks, this study seeks to explore the cognitive effects of two aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) messages: emotional visuals and company–cause congruence. We employed a 2 (emotional tone of visuals: positive vs. negative) × 2 (company–cause congruence: low vs. high) within-subjects experimental design. We tested these factors using three CSR issues: hunger in Africa, water shortage in Africa, and an environmental issue. The results showed interaction effects between the two factors for recognition sensitivity (d′) to company logos, ordered from being the highest when using a negative image and high company–cause congruence, to a negative image and low company–cause congruence, a positive image and low company–cause congruence, and a positive image and high company–cause congruence as the lowest. For cued recall of company names, we found that there were two main effects, with no interaction effects, and negative images were more effective than positive images: high company–cause congruence was more effective than low company–cause congruence. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings.

Sleight of Hand, Slight of Truth: Deceptive Editing of Documentary Footage in The Look of Silence • Thomas Mascaro, Bowling Green State University • Abstract: The documentary film The Look of Silence conceals editorial sleight of hand involving a 1967 NBC documentary The Battle for Asia, Part III: Indonesia: The Troubled Victory. The editing, which is not disclosed to audiences, misrepresents the original report and contravenes documentary practice. This case illuminates libel law, with regard to DVD and interview statements accompanying a film’s release, and worrisome trend of “poetic” films eclipsing empirical reporting in documentaries.

Solutions in the shadows: The effects of incongruent visual messaging in solutions journalism news stories • Karen McIntyre, Virginia Commonwealth University; Kyser Lough, The University of Texas at Austin; Keyris Manzanares • This experiment examined the impact of story-photo congruency regarding solutions journalism. We tested the effects of solution and conflict-oriented news stories when the photo paired with the story was congruent or incongruent with the narrative. Results revealed that a solution-oriented story with a congruent photo made readers feel the most positive, but surprisingly readers were most interested in the story and reported the strongest behavioral intentions when the story was paired with a neutral photo.

The dead Syrian refugee boy goes viral: Funerary Aylan Kurdi memes as tools for social justice in remix culture • Natalia Mielczarek, Virginia Tech • The picture of the 3-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi, whose dead body washed up on a Turkish beach in September 2015, became iconic after it went viral on social media. Within hours, Aylan was a symbol, a hashtag and a meme. This project analyzes the most popular funerary Aylan memes to understand their meanings and functions as they proliferated cyberspace. Through visual rhetorical analysis, the project expands the functions of memes from the typically theorized visual jokes and social commentary to tools of social justice. The case study demonstrates how memes get deployed as rhetorical statements to subvert and re-negotiate reality, in this case to create a ‘better ending’ for the dead boy and to seek atonement for his death. The project also analyzes the paradoxical relationship between a news icon and its digital appropriations, suggesting a new metric for iconicity in digital participatory culture.

What Makes a Meme a Meme? Five Essential Characteristics • Maria Molina, Pennsylvania State University • During the 2016 presidential elections (December 2015-2016), the term “meme” had a higher search interest in the U.S. than the word “election” (Google Trends, 2016). But what makes an Internet meme a meme? And what attracts users to not only view memes, but also create and share them? This article reviews the existent literature, explicates this form of user-generated content, and provides a set of characteristics to differentiate Internet memes from other type of content also shared online. The goal of this exercise is to provide the study of Internet memes with an integrated definition, encompassing the mutually understood set of characteristics of memes. As Chaffee (1991) describes, a concept explication plays a vital role for the advancement of a field as it helps uncover the different components of the term, provides a description of the studies that have been done in the field, and postulates areas of future research and how to move in a cohesive direction. More specifically, it will provide a tool, or measure for the analysis of the uses, motivations, and effects of this new media trend.

The Graphicness of Renowned Imagery: A Content Analysis of Pulitzer Prize Winning Photography • David Morris II, University of Oregon; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon • An ongoing journalistic debate centers on the extent of acceptability of graphic imagery in the news media. In order to provide a more complete understanding of this ongoing debate, it is essential to conduct research that provides insight into the content of such imagery, especially renowned imagery. The current research uses a content analysis to explore the visual themes and type of graphicness present in the census of 763 Pulitzer Prize winning photographs from 1942 to 2015.

Closing the Gap Between Photojournalist Research and Photojournalism Practice: Exploring the Motivations of the Subjects of Sensitive Photo Essays • Tara Mortensen; Brian McDermott; Daniel Haun, University of South Carolina • There have always been challenges to pursuing photo essays, including the wariness of potential photo subjects who are often in the midst of personal hardships themselves, as well as a commitment of months or years to a single story. But contemporarily, there is a shrinking number of photojournalists and resources in the newsroom, as many have been replaced with iPhone-armed reporters and the abundance of citizen-shot photography (Allan, 2013; Hartley, 2007; Örnebring, 2013; Stelter, 2013; White, 2012). Citizens are more willing than ever to share thousands of photos a second on Snapchat and millions of photos on instagram every day (Biale, 2016; Schlosser, 2016), but an irony to this phenomenon and additional blow to photojournalists who are struggling to maintain their professional status (Gade & Lowrey, 2011; Mortensen, 2014) is that these same people are often hesitant allow professional photojournalists to tell their story (McDermott, 2012). This study is the first to inquire about the factors that influence peoples’ willingness to allow professional photojournalists tell their story, including topics such as sexual assault in the military, a woman’s struggle with losing her legs, and a mother’s struggle with losing a child. Guided by uses and gratifications theory, ten in-depth interviews with subjects of peer-judged contest winners from 2014 – 2016 in the multiple picture story categories of the NPPA Monthly Clip Contest, the NPPA Best of Photojournalism Contest, and the World Press Photo Contest were conducted and analyzed using a constant comparative method (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).

Priming effects on Instagram: An analysis of how pictures on Instagram affect individuals’ risk perceptions and information seeking behaviors • NIcole O’Donnell • This research explored how images on Instagram affect individuals’ information processing and seeking. Participants viewed Instagram posts that discussed the natural flavors added to processed foods. Individuals in a science-image condition had higher risk perceptions than individuals in a health image condition; however, this effect was moderated by nutrition label usage. Additionally, 45% of participants choose to seek further information on the topic. Implications for the integration of priming effects and information processing theories are discussed.

Profile Pictures and Political Expression: The Perceived Effectiveness of Avatar Activism (an Austrian Case). • Judith Schossboeck, City University Hong Kong • This paper investigates the phenomenon of avatar activism (AA), understood as changing one’s profile picture in a social media (SM) or online social network (OSN) for political reasons or a good cause from a quantitative perspective. Specifically, the effectiveness of avatar activism as perceived by users engaging in this practice, as well as its relation to factors like age, participation in OSNs, online social capital and political engagement are investigated. An online questionnaire of n = 210 was distributed before the Austrian Presidential Elections in December 2016, and the topic AA was placed within the context of the elections, but also addressed other examples of AA. After increasing the variable perceived effectiveness of AA along several levels related to cognitive or actual impact, results show that most people do see this activity as a good form of self-expression, but doubt the actual political impact. Age, participation in OSNs and online social capital could not be identified as influencing factors of perceived effectiveness of AA. However, engagement in AA is related to other forms of political engagement. The limitations of the study and possible further directions are discussed.

Networked photographic repertoire and capital: Prosumption of selfies among Taiwanese gay men on Instagram • Hong-Chi Shiau, Shih-Hsin University • This study attempts to illustrate identity performance and consumption by Taiwanese gay men through their behavior of posting and commenting on selfies. This study selects a gay community on Instagram as a site for fieldwork because millennials are quitting Facebook, once Taiwan’s most popular social networking site, but now in a steep decline. The prosuming of selfies on Instagram is analyzed as a particular form of speech community, adjusted to the orientation of users towards initiating social bonding, corporal aesthetic regulation, or even sexual encounters. Through ethnographic interviews with 17 gay male college students from Taiwan and textual analysis of their correspondence though texting on Instagram, this study contextualizes how the rituals and social processes engaged in on Instagram help constitute a collective identity pertaining to Taiwanese gay men on Instagram. The prosuming of selfies is examined as an identity-making process involving three nuanced types of cultural capital. These uploaded representations of the self are referenced to the collective past. Three typological personae are identified to illuminate the notions of cultural, aesthetic and emotional labor. The conclusion offers an alternative sociological intervention that goes beyond the notion of digital narcissism to help understand how the labor of presenting selfies is invested and reproduced.

‘Sight Beyond My Sight’ (SBMS): Concept, Methodology, and a Tool For Seeing • Gabriel Tait, Arkansas State University • Sight Beyond My Sight (SBMS), a new visual research method, aims to empower individuals to participate in the photographic communication and social science research process. This introductory study examines local people taking pictures to share knowledge about topics. This SBMS case study of photos from eleven participants (eight men and three women) between the ages of 18-65 from Liberia, West Africa, explains the method, discusses the participants, highlights some photographs taken, and offers an encapsulated analysis of what was learned from Liberians about Liberia. Advancing the participatory research methods of “Photovoice” (Wang and Burris 1994) in public health communication education, “Shooting Back” (Hubbard 2009) in photojournalism, and “Autophotography” (Ziller 1990) social psychology, SBMS bridges a gap in communication and social science research practices.

The evolution of story: How time and modality affect visual and verbal narratives • T.J. Thomson, University of Missouri • A majority of Americans distrust the news media due to concerns over comprehensiveness, accuracy, and fairness. Since many interactions between journalists and their subjects last only minutes and can be published within minutes, if not live, research is needed to explore how journalists’ understandings of their subjects’ narratives evolve over time and how much time is necessary to avoid surface-level coverage. Also, since people are now exposed to more image-based rather than text-based messages, additional research is necessary to explore how the verbal narratives spoken by subjects compare to their nonverbal narratives as captured by news photographers in visual form. Through a longitudinal, interview-based approach, a photojournalist working on a 30-plus-day picture story was interviewed weekly for six weeks over the course of his project to track perceptions of how his subjects’ verbal narratives changed. At the conclusion of the projects, the photojournalist’s subjects were also interviewed to explore how their verbal and nonverbal narratives compared. Informed by literature in role theory, narrative, and visual journalism, the findings explore how news media narratives can be more nuanced and how people shape their visual and verbal narratives consciously and unconsciously.

Parsing photograph’s place in a privately public world • T.J. Thomson, University of Missouri; Keith Greenwood, University of Missouri • Billions of personal cameras exist globally that capture more than one trillion images each year. In contrast to studies that focus on cameras in a particular industry or field, such as body cameras in law enforcement or diagnostic imaging in medical settings, this study adopts a comparative and integrative approach using the public-private distinction to explore 1) how people in different social spheres perceive cameras and those who operate them, 2) what factors influence those perceptions, and 3) how technological convergence, camera access, and digital dissemination ease are impacting social life. Through in-depth interviews with individuals in the public and private spheres, an understanding of camera operators as primarily disruptive or primarily affirmative emerged and participants and factors that influenced their perceptions were gathered. Participants also said more cameras and converged technology are blurring the lines between public and private, that exposure in public seems to reduce inclination for private exposure, that cameras are shifting the nature of experience, and that cameras are becoming increasingly regulated.

Location, Location, Location: Visual Properties and Recognition of Video Game Advertising. • Russell Williams • Videogame placements are important for advertising and there is limited cognitive capacity available to players during a game to notice these ads. This is a quasi-experimental study using a commercial videogame and the Limited Capacity Model as an exploratory mechanism. It demonstrates that positioning in the focal visual block enhanced recognition, and that integrated ads and landmarks are better recognized than interruptive advertisements. Practical implications are discussed.


Sports Communication 2017 Abstracts

Two Sides of the Chinese Sports Media Story: Contrasting State-Owned and Commercially-Sponsored Chinese Websites by Nation and Sex of Athlete • Andrew Billings, University of Alabama; Qingru Xu; Mingming Xu, Beijing Sport University • This study utilizes social cognitive theory to content analyze news coverage of two state-owned and two commercially-sponsored Chinese sports websites over a 14-day period, focusing on issues of nationality and biological sex. Examining 3,417 news stories and 2,327 news images, this study uncovered fruitful, substantial, and significant results, indicating that the online sports coverage on state and commercial media can be largely divergent, with the former prioritizing party-state ideology and the latter pursuing commercial profits. Compared to the state websites, the commercial websites tended to provide foreign athletes or teams more coverage; whereas the sexualization of women athletes on commercial websites was significant, yet virtually non-existent on state websites. Implications and further research directions are also offered.

How Athletes’ Health-related Messages on Social Media Affect Exercise Attitudes and Behaviors • Jan Boehmer; Galen Clavio • Improving dietary and exercise habits is one of the best ways to reduce cardiovascular disease and improve general public health. However, despite increased academic and professional interest in the promotion of healthy behaviors, recent years have seen a decline in individuals’ adherence to healthy lifestyle choices. And even if individuals start exercise regimens, high rates of attrition are common across many programs. This study investigates two major elements that could help deliver health messages to underserved audiences and increase their likelihood to exercise: athletes and social media. More specifically, we investigate how athletes’ health-related messages on social media affect individuals’ perceptions of athletes as role models, as well as exercise attitudes and behaviors. Results of Structural Equation Modeling suggest that exposure to health-related messages is related to increased perceptions of athletes as role models, which in turn predicts more positive attitudes towards physical exercise and subsequent exercise behavior.

Contributing to the Decline of the American Male: Bottom-up Framing of Pop Warner Safety Policies • David Cassilo, Kent State University; James Sanderson • This research explored bottom-up framing in response to U.S. youth football organization Pop Warner eliminating kickoffs in its three youngest age divisions. Data were obtained from 1,043 Facebook comments posted to news articles covering the policy announcement. Through thematic analysis, participants framed the policy as: (a) Effect on the NFL; (b) Overreaction; (c) Competitive Disadvantage; (d) Negative Effect on Masculinity, (e) Evidence of America’s Decline; and (f) Policy Legitimization. Results reveal that the public has complex and divergent interpretations of health and safety initiatives and sport, equating these changes with declining American social structures. Consequently, health and safety initiatives in football are likely to be with strong resistance, as people seek to protect the sport from elements they perceive to be weakening American society.

The Making of Social Sports Fans: Factors Affecting Sports Consumption on Social Media • Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida; Min Xiao; Lisa-Charlotte Wolter, Hamburg Media School • With the goal of investigating sports fans’ social media behavior in more depth and incorporating consumers’ overall media consumption habit in the process, this study explored how various sports fandom and media platform factors influence sports consumption on overall media and social media. From the perspective of motivation and behavior driver for overall sports media use, the finding suggests the importance of information and socialization. From the perspective of consumer media habits, a reliance on TV and mobile phone seems to be most relevant to one’s level of sports media consumption. Comparatively, sports consumption on social media is affected by a slightly different set of variables. It was found that the negative aspect of “cutting off reflected failure” promotes a more active fan engagement on social media as consumers try to handle the disappointment. Information acquisition is also more likely to motivate higher engagement level when consumers use social media for sports. The analysis of moderators suggests that prosocial behavior enhances the social-identify driven fan behavior in terms of engagement levels on social media platforms, especially from the perspective of CORFing in all aspects and both BIRGing and CORFing for the higher-level engagement of social writing. Prosocial behavior boosts the value of information and escapism when consumers actively co-create content on social media for sports purposes.

From 1996 to 2016, two decades of NBC’s primetime Olympic coverage • Roxane Coche, University of Memphis; C.A. Tuggle, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Scholarly literature about gender issues in sports coverage supports two main conclusions: women’s sports receive little coverage in the media compared to men’s sports, and the little media coverage they receive rarely focuses on female athletes’ athletic skills. Media coverage during the Olympic games is the one exception to these rules. The Olympics offer female athletes the opportunity to shine on the biggest stage and media tend to cover women’s sports more and better during those events. The 1996 games in Atlanta were called the “Olympics of the women” mainly because of the unprecedented amount of media exposure some female athletes got. Since then, five more summer Olympic games have taken place and during each of these, NBC was the Olympic network in the US. How has its primetime Olympic coverage evolved throughout the years? The study is a quantitative content analysis of NBC’s United States primetime broadcast coverage of the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 summer Olympic games for gender equality. Results indicate that while NBC’s coverage of women’s sports has increased, it has also become increasingly less diverse, focusing on only five major sports, all deemed “socially acceptable” per stereotypical gender norms (gymnastics, track and field, beach volleyball, swimming and diving). Meanwhile, competition involving physical power or hard body contact is almost never featured in primetime. Furthermore, NBC uses more male speakers than it does female speakers and sources are more likely to be men, unless they are friends or family members of an athlete.

Concussions, the Emerging Public Health Crisis and why Media Advocacy is Needed • Christian Dotson-Pierson • Health practitioners call concussions an emerging public health crisis, with over four million concussions reported annually in the United States. Former NFL players were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) during autopsies, spurring some current players to retire. This qualitative study interviewed concussion advocates to learn which communication channels they use to spread awareness. Findings reveal that traditional and new media are top choices to convey information to parents, athletes and coaches.

Sport for Development and Peace: Framing the Global Conversation • Virginia Harrison, The Pennsylvania State University; Jan Boehmer • This study seeks to understand news coverage of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) and Sport for Peace (SFP). A content analysis of 284 English-language newspaper articles from August 2013 to November 2016 was conducted using Iyengar’s (1991) thematic and episodic frames and Semetko & Valkenburg’s (2000) five generic news frames. Results indicate that coverage is often episodically framed and emphasizes responsibility and human interest. Recommendations were made for journalists covering this topic globally.

Life in Black and White: Racial framing by sports networks on Instagram • Rich Johnson, Creighton University; Miles Romney, Brigham Young University • Research on racial framing in sports is a robust area of scholarship. Studies have shown that minorities are frequently framed along racial stereotypes. However, as social media platforms (SMPs) continue to grow in importance as a space for sports networks (SNs) to share news and information, the question emerges whether the images SNs’ social media accounts reflect racial framing found in news coverage on traditional platforms. The purpose of this study is to determine whether racial framing occurs in the everyday news coverage of the four major American sports networks ESPN, FOX Sports, NBC Sports, and CBS Sports. Researchers examined the content of images SNs shared on Instagram—a social media application that focuses on visual communication. Operating under framing theory (Goffman, 1974) and using a framework established by Hardin et al.’s (2002) study on framing of Olympic athletes in newspaper coverage, this study examine nearly 2,000 images shared by the SNs on Instagram and discovered that significant discrepancies exist between the way Black subjects and White subjects were framed. Specifically, Black subjects’ athletic achievements were overemphasized at the expense of their other virtues and skills. Ultimately, this study corroborates scholarship on race in sport.

Sponsor Advertisement Embedded in Instant Replay Video (AIRV): The Effectiveness of AIRV in Professional Tennis Events • Jihoon (Jay) Kim, University of Georgia; Joe Phua, University of Georgia • Despite increasing usage of instant replay video (IRV) in sport game broadcasts, no systematic research has been done on the effectiveness of an advertisement embedded in IRV (AIRV). The purpose of the current study is to test the effectiveness of AIRV and to explore how AIRV influences perceived brand attitude, behavioral intention, and brand trust of sport spectators. Details about the effects of AIRV on brand preferences are presented, and theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

Effects of Social Media Use for Sports Events and Discussion Network Heterogeneity on College Students’ Identification and Collective Self-esteem • Bumsoo Kim, University of Alabama • Based on the perspective of social identity theory, this study focuses on the effects of college students’ social media usage for school sporting events and discussion network heterogeneity on psychological outcomes—college identification and collective self-esteem. The research empirically explores the direct effect relationships between social media usage for sports and discussion network heterogeneity and between network heterogeneity and collective self-esteem/college identification. The moderating effects of ethnicity (White vs. other ethnic groups) on the relationship between discussion network heterogeneity and the two outcome variables were also examined. Finally, the indirect effect of social media usage for sports on college identification/collective self-esteem through discussion network heterogeneity was tested. The results support the direct and indirect effect relationships among the variables, but only a significant moderating effect of ethnicity was discovered in the relationship between network heterogeneity and college identification.

Gender Differences in Sports Media Consumption • Daniel Krier • This study investigates whether increases in sports team identity and sports media involvement correlate with increased amounts of daily sports media consumption. In addition, antecedents to involvement are incorporated into the research model to determine which discrete motivations show significant relationships with changes in involvement and time spent consuming. An investigation into significant gender differences in motivations to consume as predictors of consumption per day is carried out via Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM).

Twitter and Olympics: Exploring Factors which Impact Fans Following American Olympic Governing Bodies • Bo Li, St Ambrose University; Olan Scott, University of Canberra; Steve Dittmore, University of Arkansas; Sheng Wang, University of Sussex • Guided by economic demand theory, researchers aimed to examine how Olympic audiences utilized Twitter to follow American National Governing Bodies during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. After studying 33 NGBs’ Twitter accounts, researchers found that team’s performance and the number of tweets had positive relationships with increasing the number of NGB’s Twitter followers. The researchers expect that the results will help communication practitioners of Olympic sports have a better understanding of fans’ social media usage.

Parental perceptions of USA Football’s Heads Up campaign • Judson Meeks, Texas Tech University; Harper Anderson; Alexander Moe, Texas Tech University; Mary Norman, Texas Tech University; Trent Seltzer, Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication • USA Football’s Heads Up campaign was established to address the concussion epidemic in youth football and teach adolescents good foundational skills. Parents must perceive the USA Football campaign as trustworthy and credible for the program to be successful. Through a series of interviews with parents, we assessed parental trust in the campaign. Findings indicate that most parents are unaware of the campaign but would feel safer if their children participated in Heads Up football leagues.

Just how they drew it up: How in-house reporters fit themselves into the sport-media system • Michael Mirer, University of Wisconsin • Drawing on perspectives on professionalism that view it as a process of defining boundaries and building relationships, this paper uses interview data and content analysis to examine how in-house reporters locate themselves within the sports-media production complex. In-house reporters accentuate professional similarities to journalists and use this to define their roles in sports organizations’ corporate structures. Their view of professional authority has implications for sports journalism and study of the sports-media production complex.

Bleeding the Team Colors: An Examination of Fan-Team Emotional Brand Attachment and Identification on Instagram • Hollie Deis West, University of Wyoming; Cindy Price Schultz, University of Wyoming • Because of social media, brands can better understand how their consumers are responding to messages. This study found that fans who were digital natives and followed their favorite professional athletics team on Instagram had greater brand attachment and identification with the team than non-followers, and could more strongly identify brand messages. This held true for Facebook and Twitter followers. Therefore, sports marketers must provide meaningful digital content for fans to enhance brand attachment and identification.

Off the record: The popularity, prevalence, and accuracy of unnamed sources in NBA trade coverage • Sada Reed, Arizona State University; Guy Harrison, Arizona State University • The following study examines the prevalence of unnamed sources in National Basketball Association trade stories; cross-references unnamed sources’ claims of a potential trade with the NBA’s official transaction log in order to determine if the trade actually happened (and the unnamed source’s information was accurate); and scrapes Twitter in order to determine how frequently stories using unnamed sources were shared and if such stories were shared more frequently than stories with named stories.

Challenging a Boy’s Club: Reputation management and the case of pay inequity in professional women’s sport • Terry Rentner, Bowling Green State University; David Burns, Salisbury University • Media attention regarding the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Championship and the U.S. women’s hockey team boycott have put pay inequity in sports in the spotlight. While the debate itself is not novel, it is clearly unsettled. This paper explores how sport organizations may face a reputation crisis due to growing equal pay demands. The paper addresses discrepancies and impact of media rights, sponsorships, and culture. Best practices, communication strategies, and reputation management are discussed.

Sometimes It’s What You Don’t Say: College Football Announcers and their Use of In-Game Stereotypes • Brad Schultz, University of Mississippi School of Journalism; Mary Sheffer, University of Southern Mississippi; Nathan Towery • A content analysis of live college football broadcasts was conducted during the fall of 2016 to analyze the comments of the game announcers. The analysis sought to determine whether such announcers (play-by-play persons, color analysts and sideline reporters) used stereotypes and how such stereotypes were used. A random sample of games (one per week for each of the 13 weeks in the season) revealed that announcers still rely on racial stereotypes, especially regarding the skill of the players. Stereotypes related to masculinity and aggression were not as prevalent. Implications of this trend were analyzed and discussed.

Gender, Parasocial Interaction, and Nonverbal Communication: Testing the Visual Effect of Sports Magazine Cover Models • ben wasike, university of texas rio grande valley • An experiment examined gender, parasocial interaction, and nonverbal communication regarding sports magazine cover models. Correlation exists among parasocial interaction, nonverbal communication, and gender. Female cover models elicited larger effects. However, gender did not correlate with parasocial interaction or nonverbal communication among subjects, contradicting literature. Parasocial and nonverbal scales positively correlated. In conclusion, static images are reliable experimental stimuli for parasocial interaction studies and nonverbal scales, and sports magazines are better served by featuring more women.

It’s Going to Be Our Year! Examining Online Engagement Behaviors Among Sport Fans • Brandi Watkins; Stephanie Smith, Virginia Tech • Understanding sport fan engagement is an essential for developing effective strategic communication plans. Karjaluoto and Salmi (2016) suggest investigating communication strategies organizations can implement to connect with fans. This paper answers that call by following a cohort of sport fans during a season to determine how team involvement and expectations for the team influenced online engagement. Findings revealed sport fan online engagement is consistent throughout the season and offer insights into online fan engagement.

Gender Differences Through the Lens of Rio: Australian Olympic Coverage of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games • Qingru Xu; Olan Scott, University of Canberra; Andrew Billings, University of Alabama; Melvin Lewis; Stirling Sharpe • Forty-five broadcast hours of the Seven Network’s were examined regarding clock-time, name mentions, and descriptions divided by gender, finding that the Seven Network devoted nearly equal clock-time to men and women athletes, yet 14 of the top 20 most-mentioned athletes (70%) were men. In terms of word-by-word descriptors, gender differences were also uncovered on many levels relating to attributions of athletic success, failure, personality, and physicality. The findings of this study suggest that—at least within an Australian sports context—gender portrayals ranged from relative equality to significant differences depending on the metric employed. Theoretical and practical implications are provided.

Collaborative touchdown with #Kaepernick and #BLM. Sentiment analysis of Tweets expressing Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during national anthem and its association with #BLM • Joseph Yoo, Jordon Brown and Arnold Chung, The University of Texas at Austin • Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem caused heated debates on Twitter. Users expressed emotions by using the hashtags #Kaepernick and #BLM. Based on Papacharissi’s (2016) affective publics, this study conducted sentiment analysis to interpret the sentiment toward Kaepernick’s protest. The hashtag #BLM contributed to the formation of positive sentiments. While most tweets with negative sentiments criticized Kaepernick and his protest, others tweeted negative words to express their feelings about racism.


Small Programs 2017 Abstracts

“Using Their Own Voice”: Learning to Tell Stories with Instagram • Robert Byrd, University of Memphis; Pamela Denney • This study explores the use of Instagram as a storytelling platform in journalism education. A post-only quantitative and qualitative questionnaire was used to assess an Instagram storytelling assignment in university reporting courses. The key findings include the overall success of the assignment in requiring students to creatively tell stories while problem solving in the field. Students completing the assignment honed skills in photography and interviewing as well as posting compelling stories to Instagram. These multimedia skills are critical in today’s media organizations.

The Trifecta: Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration Among Journalism, Public Relations and Video Production Students in a Simulated Environment • Paul Ziek, Pace University; Katherine Fink, Pace University • Communications disciplines in higher education use experiential learning to bring together theory and practice. However, experiential learning settings often lack opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. This paper describes a simulation, dubbed “The Trifecta,” which brought together students in journalism, public relations, and video production courses to produce multi-platform communications in a fictional municipality. Students were then surveyed. Results show that the students learned about all three disciplines, and began to understand nuances about forming cross-disciplinary relationships.

How to Communicate University Reputation: In-depth Interviews of Parents to Understand Their Perceived University Reputation and Communication Behavior • Youngah Lee, Ball State University; Christa Burkholder, Ball State University • This study conducted in-depth interviews with 29 parents of prospective college students, who are a target public of university marketing efforts. We explored how university communication influenced parents’ attitudes, reputation perception, and communication behavior. The research findings are most relevant to small and medium-sized universities as they have less marketing budget, but their strong organizational identity and culture communicated through the internal stakeholder’s experience can significantly influence prospective parents’ favorable cognitive and behavioral intentions.


Scholastic Journalism 2017 Abstracts

A lack of research in the classroom: Adopting evidence-based practices in both the journalism profession and education • Martin Smith-Rodden, Ball State University; Robin Blom, Ball State University; Christa Burkholder, Ball State University; Yuanwei Lyu • The best practices of many disciplines have been informed by empirical research that guides training and, ultimately, the practices within the field itself. Interestingly, the practice of journalism has seemed to escape the movement so far. This study should begin that important conversation as a stepping stone, because a survey of journalism educators indicated that they highly value scholarship, yet do not expose their students to such research to a high extent promoting evidence-based practices.

Differentiations in Motivation and Need-Satisfaction based on Course Modality: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective • Vince Filak; Kristine Nicolini, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh • Online education has grown exponentially over the past two decades, in large part due to its promise of flexibility and connectivity for students. However, this approach to pedagogy has remained relatively unexamined in regard to issues of motivation and intellectual thriving. Using Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985; 1991; 2000, 2012) as a foundation, we assessed the degree to which course modality (namely online vs. face-to-face) led to psychological need satisfaction and quality motivation. Our survey of 240 (n=240) college students confirmed previous research in which higher quality motivation predicted the satisfaction of autonomy, competence and relatedness, which in turn predicted course and instructor approval. However, in a series of matched-pairs t-tests, students reported lower levels of quality motivation, autonomy support, competence and relatedness in online courses than they did for face-to-face courses. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Grade Incentivized Peer Editing: An Account of Student Perceptions • Jessica Holt, University of Georgia • Peer editing has been integrated into writing courses to improve students’ ability to critically evaluate writing and provide constructive feedback. This study examined students’ perceptions of implementing grade-incentivized peer editing assignments throughout a semester in a journalism course. Data from 23 different students in the same class over two years were analyzed with qualitative methods to identify the themes and offer suggestions for future implementation and research.

Not exactly “common sense”: Measuring sports journalism students’ understanding of hegemonic masculinity • Sada Reed, Arizona State University • Critical scholars often use hegemonic masculinity as a framework for critiquing sports media and sports journalists. A 2015 pilot study (author identity redacted) explored how sports journalism instructors introduce rising sports journalists to the theory. The following study builds on the pilot study by surveying 151 sports journalism students enrolled in 10 American university’s sports journalism or sports communication programs about their understanding of hegemonic masculinity.

An exploration of student media in private schools • Erica Salkin • Research indicates that student media experience has a strong positive impact on students’ civic and academic development. This paper seeks to examine the opportunities private high school students have to experience that benefit by exploring student media and journalism education in U.S. private schools. Though not generalizable, the results of this study indicate a student media environment similar to public schools, and an engaged adviser population ready to contribute to the larger scholastic journalism community.

Journalists Don’t Do Math: Journalism Student Perceptions and Myths About Data Journalism • Amy Schmitz Weiss, San Diego State; Jessica Retis • Journalism programs today face the need to train their students in the latest applications and tools – including data journalism techniques. Despite several classes and programs developing in this subject area (Berret & Phillips, 2016), students are not actively enrolling in such classes. Using an epistemological approach and Actor-Network Theory (Latour, 2005), this study of a national survey of journalism students identifies some key perceptions that highlight potential barriers to entry for enrollment in such courses.

Social Media, Newsrooms and Digital Skills: A Critical Intersection for Journalism Education • Elizabeth Smith, Pepperdine University • This study examined college journalists and their use of social media. The survey data from student journalists across the United States (N = 334). The findings demonstrated a positive significant relationship between the length of time a student has practiced journalism and the more a student “feels like a journalist,” in both the newsroom and on social media. Findings also demonstrated significant positive relationships between the use of social media and digitals skills.

Students’ experiences in an environmental journalism master’s program: An application of knowledge-based journalism principles • Bruno Takahashi, Department of Journalism, Michigan State University; Perry Parks • This study explores the educational and post-graduation experiences of graduates of a master’s program with a focus on environmental journalism. The study uses the framework of knowledge-based journalism to qualitatively examine the ways the competencies of journalistic skills, general and content-specific knowledge, learning communication theory, and developing journalistic values allowed graduates to develop a niche in their professional careers. Results show an overemphasis in journalistic skills and vagueness about the importance of theory courses.

Budget Cuts in Scholastic Media: A Focus Group Study of Oklahoma Journalism Advisers’ Survival Skills • Melanie Wilderman, Gaylord College, University of Oklahoma; Sohana Nasrin, University of Oklahoma • Scholastic journalism plays an important role in creating future professional journalists. Due to journalism’s place in a functioning democracy, journalism education is also tied to a democracy’s success. Many U.S. states have recently cut budgets severely for public education, which often disproportionately impact non core-education classes, like journalism. Researchers gathered focus group interview data from 14 scholastic journalism advisers in Oklahoma schools concerning how student publications function and will continue to function amid financial cuts.

Creating Journalistic Identity: An Ethnography of a College Newsroom • Christy Zempter, Ohio University • This ethnographic study of an independent college newsroom explores the ways professional identity and journalistic culture are expressed and negotiated by student journalists. Two key communicative themes emerged over the course of a monthlong observation that illuminate the role of newsroom-based interactions in these processes—overlapping relational and task-oriented communication and the socialization of new staff members by more experienced student journalists.


Religion and Media 2017 Abstracts

Digital Media Disruption and Islamic Religious Authority: Case Study of Online Contestations Over the Mawlid • Ibrahim Abusharif, Northwestern University in Qatar • This paper explores the relationship between digital media and religious authority in Islam, particularly how it relates juridical nodes of authority. The paper suggest a framework that centers on the notion (or theory) of “disruption” as a function of “mediatization,” principally as it relates to digital media and its challenge to traditional means of knowledge acquisition and conveyance. The case study presented here concerns the “Mawlid,” the controversial practice of celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad as an act of veneration and piety and how online contestations demonstrate a breach in traditional religious authority and speak to the qualification threshold common to the question of religious authority, sacred law, and media. The paper helps to explain, in part, how media disruption and its relationship with religion have affected the idea of authority. Research question: How has religious authority in Islam been affected by digital disruption at a basic level? And what interdisciplinary framework bests describes the phenomenon? And the choice of the case study that symbolizes this question pivots on the celebration of the Mawlid, as explicated below.

#Hijab or #Haram? Revealing Visuals and Semantics Associated with Muslim (Self-)Representation Online • Thomas Frissen, KU Leuven; Elke Ichau, KU Leuven; Kristof Boghe, KU Leuven; Leen d’Haenens, KU Leuven • The proliferation of social media has fed the rapid expansion of what some have called a ‘virtual umma’ (El-Nawawy and Khamis 2010), or a transnational Islamic public sphere (Allievi 2003; Anderson 2003). Blurring the lines between representation, participation and reception, social media have provided Muslims worldwide with spaces and tools for self-definition and community building (Eckert and Chadha 2013; Harris and Roose 2014, Kavakci and Kraeplin 2016; Mosemghvdlishvili and Jansz 2013). The purpose of this paper is to explore visual (self-)representations of Islam and Muslim religiosity in online social networks, with a focus on the leading image-sharing platform Instagram. This was done by means of an innovative multidimensional and quantitative content analysis method, that enabled us to study both visual representations as well as semantic associations, using a dataset consisting of n=1357 unique Instagram posts marked with the hashtags #Islam, #Muslim and #Allah. Our findings are threefold. First, despite the fact that Instagram is an image-sharing platform, the most prominent visual is text, i.e. quotes or inspirational texts. Second, even though very ‘general’ search queries (#Islam, #Muslim and #Allah) were used to compose our corpus, the vast majority of occurring visuals and semantics were strongly related to female religious identity, e.g. hijabs or #Muslimah. Third, and maybe most significant, based on the analysis of both visuals and semantics, we observe a field of tension between the representation of religious experience on the one hand, and religion itself on the other.

Interfaith Monologue: A study of UK-based interfaith work on Twitter • Sofi Hersher, King’s College London • This paper explores the relationship of social media and religion by examining the use of Twitter by interfaith organizations and professionals in the UK. It introduces the concept of ‘interfaith monologue,’ whereby interfaith practitioners use Twitter to disseminate ideas, distribute relevant information, identify with the ideals of interfaith cooperation and encourage contribution to the interfaith movement via one-to-many communication that specifically does not directly encourage conversation or dialogue.

God on our side: Presidential Religious Rhetoric, Issue Ownership and Competing Gospels • Ceri Hughes, University of Wisconsin-Madison • The US, despite official separation of church and state, is a country dominated by the Christian religion. This is evident in the unbroken ranks of Christians (and also white males) to be elected to the top political office in the land. Previous research illustrates how frequently Jefferson’s “wall” is breached in presidential discourse. This research adds to this evidence and investigates whether presidents appear to adopt religious language systematically in public addresses in a manner consistent with differing biblical interpretations – the Gospel of Wealth and the Social Gospel. The research also looks at whether religious discourse use in speeches conforms to expectations from issue-ownership theory. Content analysis of speeches from Reagan to Obama shows how presidents may use God to bolster support for issues of strength, in overarching political philosophy and also to trespass into opposition issues. This research provides further illustration as to how religion may be being employed at the very highest level of the US political realm.

Power and Politics: State Baptist Newspaper Coverage of Civil Rights, 1963-1965 • Vicki Knasel Brown, University of Missouri • This study explores how Southern Baptist media covered and responded to four civil rights events from 1963 to 1965 and the relationship between the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service, Baptist Press, and three selected state Baptist newspapers. Each approached news coverage and editorial response differently. The study contributes to understanding the role the editors, most of whom were also pastors, played in shaping a religious understanding of race relations among their Baptist readers

Visual media, radicalization and Islamic youth: Socially constructed meaning in Indonesia • Michael Longinow; Tamara Welter; Naniek Setijadi, faculty • This paper examines media, radicalization, and the changing role of Islam among young audiences within Indonesia’s multicultural society, as viewed through the lens of socially constructed reality and visual theory. It suggests connections between the digital visual media that young Muslims consume, the angst of their lives, and the choice of some to pursue violence—in their own country and in the Middle East—as an outworking of rage, frustration or connection to a cause that becomes a new identity.

The Islamic State in the News: Journalistic Differentiation between Terrorism and Islam, Terror News Proximity, and Islamophobic Attitudes • Christian von Sikorski; Jörg Matthes, University of Vienna; Desirée Schmuck • The present research examined the role of journalistic differentiation (between Muslims/Muslim terrorists) and proximity (place of terroristic act near/far away) for the effects of Islamic State (IS) terrorism news on islamophobic attitudes. Two experimental studies uniformly revealed that undifferentiated (compared to differentiated) IS coverage not clearly distinguishing between Muslim terrorists and Muslims in general activated negative Muslim stereotypes, thereby increasing islamophobic attitudes. However, proximity showed no effects on fear reactions, negative stereotypes, and islamophobic attitudes.

Whose “Boogie-man” is Given Flesh and Blood?: The Role of the Press in Realizing “Christianophobia” • Rick Moore • Is there really such a thing as “Christianophobia”? Given the fact that mass communication messages are typically thought to play a key role in the construction of reality, one would expect that if Christianophobia does exist, the mass media would include evidence of such. In this study, I use Critical Discourse Analysis to investigate coverage of Christianophobia in papers from around the world. In spite of the fact that many powerful people and agencies have attempted to bring the word into the common vocabulary, media usage remains low, and persistently so. The implications of this would seem to be very important for those interested in understanding the media and their power.

“Praised Be” Praised: Religious And Secular Magazine Coverage Of Pope Francis’ Climate Encyclical • Alejandro Morales; Ryan Thomas, University of Missouri • There is a paradox challenging our understanding of the interplay between media, religion, and secularization: decreasing commitment to organized religion alongside religion’s increased visibility. In view of this paradox, this study compared how secular and religiously affiliated publications expressed commitment toward religion. We implemented a discourse analysis of secular and Catholic magazine coverage of “Praised Be,” Pope Francis’s 2015 climate encyclical. Commitment toward Catholicism involved commitment toward Pope Francis, “Praised Be,” and the Catholic Church as an institution. Secular and Catholic magazines expressed commitment toward Pope Francis and “Praised Be,” but they differed in their commitment toward the Catholic Church. The role of tradition in understanding media, religion, and secularization is also discussed.

No Love for the Enemy: American Evangelicals and the Hostile Media Phenomenon • Brian Watson • As Election Day approached during the 2016 Presidential contest, the members of then candidate Donald J. Trump’s coalition of support became clearer. One group in particular, Evangelical Christians, transitioned from being largely skeptical of Mr. Trump’s candidacy during the Republican Primaries, to turning out at record rates in November. This study examines one factor that possibly laid the groundwork of Evangelical support for the Republican nominee in 2016: the Hostile Media Effect. Using survey data collected in 2010, I argue that Evangelicals were unique among American religious groups in taking offence from news television. Indeed, the probability of perceiving hostility from news television among Evangelicals rivals the independent effects of partisanship. I conclude by recommending a more contemporary replication of this study using the survey items available in 2010, as well as speculating about the implications of treating religiosity, among Evangelicals in particular, as a core identity as influential as partisanship.


Public Relations 2017 Abstracts

What’s the “Right” Thing to Do? How Ethical Expectations for CSR Influence Company Support • Lucinda Austin; Barbara Miller, Elon University; Seoyeon Kim, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This study investigated a new concept in corporate social responsibility (CSR) research—publics’ perceived ethical obligation of companies to address CSR, comparing low- and high-fit CSR programs when companies contribute negatively to social issues through their products or processes. Through a mixed-design experiment, findings revealed that participants placed higher expectations for ethical obligation on corporations in high-fit CSR scenarios. Additionally, ethical expectations—when met—influenced participants’ attitudes about and supportive intentions towards the company.

Risky Business: Exploring Differences in Marketplace Advocacy and High-fit CSR on Public Perceptions of Companies • Barbara Miller, Elon University; Lucinda Austin • A between-subjects experiment explored differences in outcomes for high-fit corporate social responsibility (CSR) versus marketplace advocacy programs. Findings revealed that marketplace advocacy, as compared to high-fit CSR, led to increased skepticism and attributions of egoistic motives, and decreased attributions of values-driven motives, company attitudes, attitudes about the social initiative, and supportive intentions.

Testing Perceptions of Organizational Apologies after a Data Breach Crisis • Joshua Bentley, Texas Christian University; Liang Ma, Texas Christian University • This study used a 2x2x2x2x2 experimental design (1,630 participants) to test stakeholder reactions to four apology elements in two data breach scenarios. All four elements, expressing remorse, acknowledging responsibility, promising forbearance, and offering reparations contributed to participants’ perception that the organization had apologized. In a high blame scenario, remorse and forbearance were even more important. Acknowledging responsibility did not have a significant effect on organizational reputation, future purchase intention, or negative word of mouth intentions.

Giving from the heart: Exploring how ethics of care emerges in corporate social responsibility • Melanie Formentin, Towson University; Denise Bortree, Penn State University • Public relations-based corporate social responsibility (CSR) research largely focuses on organizational goals; scholars rarely examine CSR impacts. In this paper, nonprofit-organization relationships are explored, illustrating how ethics of care is an appropriate normative perspective for encouraging CSR that privileges the beneficiary’s needs (Held, 2006). Depth interviews with 29 nonprofit representatives addressed scholarly gaps. Inductive analysis revealed that nonprofit practitioners describe good CSR as being concerned with themes related to trust, mutual concern, promoting human flourishing, and responsiveness to needs.

Whose responsibility? Connecting Organizational Transgressors with Government Regulating Institution • ZHUO CHEN, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Yi-Hui Huang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study examines the underlying logic of situational crisis communication theory (SCCT), i.e., the concept that organizational transgressors are independent from the broader “institution” of their environment. Based on analysis of a case of false medical advertising (the Baidu-Wei Zexi case), our study contends that the responsibility attributed subject of a crisis should be extended from the corporate transgressor (Baidu and the hospital involved) to an institutional subject— the government regulating institution. Accordingly, we believe that the intensifying factors (consistency and distinctiveness) and consequential factors (affective and behavioral) should be modified. Using structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis, the empirical findings support this argument; for example, attributing responsibility to the government regulating institution rather than to a corporate transgressor can provide a more powerful predictor of activist action. Similarly, negative emotion about corporate transgressors can damage affective attitudes towards the government regulating institution. All in all, this study expands the theoretical scope of attributed subjects in SCCT—linking corporate wrongdoers to their government regulating institution. Thus, our study calls for revisiting the underlying logic of SCCT and contends that a corporate actor is indeed intertwined with the broader institution.

President Donald Trump Meets HBCU Presidents: A Public Relations Post-Mortem • George Daniels, The University of Alabama; Keonte Coleman • When President Donald Trump welcomed more than 60 presidents of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to the Oval Office for a photo opportunity in February 2017, he made history in the size of the crowd in his office. A textual analysis of 44 news articles and 22 statements of the HBCU presidents shows national media played up controversies while local media gave the HBCU leaders an opportunity to advocate for more resources.

Linking SNS and Government-Citizen Relationships: Interactivity, Personification, and Institutional Proximity • Chuqing Dong; Hyejoon Rim, University of Minnesota • Recent years have seen an increasing adoption of social network sites (SNS) in governments at all levels, but limited research examined the effectiveness of the government using SNS that may differ by institutional proximities (e.g., federal, state, and local). To fill the gap, the study explored the interactive and interpersonal approaches of relationship management in the context of government SNS communication. Specifically, two experiments were employed to examine the effects of interactivity, organizational characters, and institutional proximity in predicting the public’s perceived government transparency, engagement intention with government SNS, and trust in government. The study found that agencies at the state and local levels would benefit to different degrees in the government-citizen relationship quality based on the two communication strategies. Moreover, the results encouraged authorities to embrace SNS as a relationship-building tool by replying more to individual citizens’ comments, use a personal tone in conversations, and post more of citizen-oriented contents instead of organization-centered information. Theoretical and practical contributions are discussed in the context of the Organization-Public Relationships (OPR) in the public sector.

Using Real and Fictitious Companies to Examine Reputation and News Judgments in Press Release Usage • Kirstie Hettinga, California Lutheran University; Melanie Formentin, Towson University • This study uses an experimental design to explore working journalists’ (N = 253) willingness to use or reference press releases that contain typos. The authors explore whether company reputation can overcome errors. The use of both real and fictitious companies yielded interesting findings for future public relations research. The reputations of existing companies, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, were rated more favorably than a fake company, and press release judgments most strongly predicted potential usage.

CSR, Hybrid, or Ability Frames: Examining How Story Frames Impact Stakeholders’ Perceptions • Michel Haigh, Texas State University; Frank Dardis, Penn State University; Holly Ott, University of South Carolina; Erica Bailey, Penn State University • This study examines the impact of corporate social responsibility messaging strategies and messages frames on stakeholders’ perceptions of organizations through a 3 (ability/CSR/hybrid) x 2 (thematic/episodic) online experiment. Results indicated that corporate social responsibility and hybrid strategies perform significantly better than the ability strategy when thematic framing is employed, but that the ability strategy performs well in the episodic-framing condition. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Is social media worth of investment? Seeking relationship between social-mediated stakeholder engagement and nonprofit public donation–a big data approach • Grace Ji; Don Stacks • The majority of investigations in nonprofit public relations have been continuously studying how and whether nonprofit organizations (NPOs) can maximize the full potentials of social media to engage stakeholders online. Yet few have questioned if social media-based stakeholder engagement can impact organizational outcomes that happen both on and offline, such as public donation. Taking the stakeholders’ perceptive, this study attempts to examine the effect of Facebook-based stakeholder engagement with NPOs on organizations’ fundraising success. Using Ordinary Least Square estimation method with lagged variables, the authors modeled nine-year longitudinal social media and financial penal data from the largest 100 NPOs in the United States. Results suggest that not all stakeholder engagements are significant predicators for charitable donation. Only liking and commenting engagement behaviors are positively associated with public donation, but sharing behavior does not improve fundraising success. More interestingly, over posting could associate with a decrease in public donation. The findings bring new empirical insights to existing literature and also practical implications to non-profit public relations professionals.

An Examination of Social Media from an Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) Perspective in Global & Regional Organizations • Hua Jiang; Marlene Neill, Baylor University • Communication executives perceive internal social media as a channel that should be integrated and consistent with other communication messages, and also understand the necessity of coordinating with other communication disciplines. Through in-depth interviews with 28 internal and social media communication executives working in the United States, we found evidence of both true collaboration and functional silos. We also examined social media policies and resources provided to empower employees as social media ambassadors. Implications and recommendations were discussed.

The Rashomon Effect of an Air Crash: Examining the Narrative Battle over the Smolensk Disaster • Liudmila Khalitova, University of Florida; Barbara Myslik, University of Florida; Agnieszka Turska-Kawa, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland; Sofiya Tarasevich, University of Florida; Spiro Kiousis, University of Florida • The study explores the agenda-building efforts by Russian and Polish governments in shaping international news coverage of the airplane crash near Smolensk, Russia, which killed the Polish President. Compared to the two governments’ public relations messages, Polish and Russian news outlets played a more significant role as their countries’ advocates in determining the international media agenda. Moreover, the Russian media seemed more influential than the Polish outlets in shaping the international narrative about the crash.

Growth of Public Relations Research Networks: A Bibliometric Analysis • Eyun-Jung Ki, University of Alabama; Yorgo Pasadeos, University of Alabama; Tugce Ertem Eray, University of Oregon • This research reports on a 6-year citation study of published scholarly research in public relations between 2010 and 2015 in comparison with Pasadeos, Berger, and Renfro (2010) and Pasadeos, Renfro and Hanily’s (1999) works, which examined the literature’s most-cited works in the 2000s and 1990s respectively and identified a research network. Like the two earlier studies, this study identifies current authors and their publication outlets, taxonomizes most-cited works, and draws a co-citation network. Comparing the current study’s findings with those of ten and twenty years earlier helps us understand how the field has evolved as a scholarly discipline and offers future directions for study.

Enhancing Employee Sensemaking and Sensegiving Communication Behaviors in Crisis Situations: Strategic Management Approach for Effective Internal Crisis Communication • Young Kim, Marquette University • Understanding employees and their communication behaviors is essential for effective crisis communication. Such an internal aspect of crisis communication, however, has been undervalued, and the need for research has been recently growing. To fill the research gap, the aim of this research is to explore effective internal crisis communication within the strategic management approach, considering employee communication behaviors for sensemaking and sensegiving and their antecedents. A nationwide survey in the U.S. was conducted among full-time employees (N =544). This study found that two-way symmetrical communication and transparent communication were positively strong antecedents of employee communication behaviors for sensemaking and sensegiving in crisis situations, controlling for other effects.

Bless or Curse: How Chinese Strategic Communication Practitioners Use Social Media in Crisis Communication • Sining Kong; Huan Chen, University of Florida • This paper aims to examine how Chinese strategic communication practitioners use social media in crisis communication. In-depth interview was used to collect data from twenty Chinese strategic communication practitioners, who have experience in dealing with crises and issues via social media. A model was advanced and depicted how to use social media to monitor and respond to crises, and how to use social media, especially the live broadcast, to mitigate publics’ negative emotions to rebuild positive relationship with publics.

Unpacking the Effects of Gender Discrimination in the Corporate Workplace on Consumers’ Affective Responses and Relational Perceptions • Arunima Krishna, Boston University; Soojin Kim, Singapore Management University • The purpose of this study was to investigate (a) how allegations of gender discrimination impact consumers’ relationship with the brand in question, and (b) individual-level factors that impact consumers’ negative affective response to the allegations and eventually, consumer-brand relationships. Findings from a survey conducted among U.S. Americans indicate that individuals’ relational perceptions with a corporate brand whose products/services they consume are negatively affected by allegations of misconduct, in this case, gender discrimination. Results revealed that individuals’ moral orientation and anti-corporate sentiment predicted their perceptions of moral inequity of corporate behavior, which in turn impacted their negative affective response to the allegations. Such negative affective response then impacted individuals’ consumer-corporate brand relationships. Theoretical and practical implications of this work are discussed (120 words).

Crisis Information Seeking and Sharing (CISS): Scale Development for Measuring Publics’ Communicative Behavior in Social-Mediated Public Health Crises • Yen-I Lee, University of Georgia; Yan Jin, University of Georgia • Although publics’ information seeking and sharing behaviors have gained increasing importance in crisis communication research, consistent conceptualization and reliable scales for measuring these two types of communicative behavior, especially in social-mediated crises, are lacking. With a focus on public health crisis situations, this study first refined the conceptual framework of publics’ communicative behavior in social-mediated health crises. Then two multiple-item scales for measuring publics’ crisis information seeking and sharing (CISS) in public health crises were developed and tested by employing online survey dataset from a random national sample of 559 adults in the United States. Results indicate that there are eight types of crisis information seeking behavior and 18 types of crisis information sharing behavior, online and offline, crossing over platforms, channels and information sources. The two CISS scales reveal underlying processes of publics’ communicative behavior and provide a valid and reliable psychometric tool for public relations researchers and crisis communication managers to measure publics’ information seeking and sharing activities in social-mediated public health crisis communication.

Enhancing Empowerment and Building Relationships via Social Media Engagement: A Study of Facebook Use in the U.S. Airline Industry • Zhiren Li, University of Florida; Rita Linjuan Men, University of Florida • Born in the Web 2.0 era, social media platforms have altered the way people communicate and collaborate with others and with organizations. This study uses Facebook to examine the U.S. airline companies’social media engagement with their consumers. By conducting a web-based quantitative survey, our findings suggest that social media engagement in the U.S. airline industry has a positive influence on airline-customer relationships. Social media empowerment also mediates the effect of social media engagement on overall organization-public relationships. However, the results of our findings differ somewhat from previous studies, hence, we call for further research on social media engagement and organization-public relationships.

Is Experience in Fact the Best Teacher? Learning in Crisis Communication • Clila Magen, Bar Ilan University • The following study deals with the crisis communication learning process of organizations in the private sector. It indicates that if there is any crisis communication improvement it is primarily on the exterior layer. In the cases analyzed in the study, very few profound changes were apparent when the organizations faced recurring crises. Despite the promising potential which lies within the Chaos Theory for crisis communication, the research demonstrates that a crisis will not necessarily lead to self-organizing processes which push the organization to improvement and advancement.

How Should Organizations Communicate with Mobile Publics on Social Messengers: An Empirical Study of WeChat • Rita Linjuan Men, University of Florida; sunny tsai, university of miami • Mobile-based social messengers are overtaking social networking sites as the new frontier for organizations to engage online stakeholders. This study provides one of the earliest empirical studies to understand how organizations should communicate with mobile publics to enhance public engagement and improve organization-public relationships. This study focuses on WeChat—one of the world’s most popular social messaging apps. Organizations’ information dissemination, interpersonal communication, and two-way symmetrical communication are found to effectively drive public engagement, which in turn enhances relation outcomes. Strategic guidelines based on the study findings are provided.

Crisis Management Expert: Elements and Principles for Measuring Expert Performance • Tham Nguyen, University of Oklahoma; Jocelyn Pedersen, University of Oklahoma • Crisis management or crisis communication has become an important research area and recommended course for college students studying public relations and communication. Yet, it takes time for students or average professionals to transfer knowledge into practice in order to be considered an expert in the field. In a study of twenty-five in-depth interviews with Belgian crisis communication practitioners, Claeys and Opgenhaffen (2016) found that practitioners relied mainly on experience, scientific research, gut feelings and intuition rather than theories to respond to a crisis. This study also noted that decision-making about crisis communication depends on the circumstances, particularly, when the crisis involves potential legal issues or when it threatens to damage an organization’s reputation and its many important relationships. Organizational decision makers sometimes call on experts to help them reduce the uncertainty and ambiguity of the situation they face. Yet, when is it appropriate to call an expert in a crisis situation? And how can decision makers gain the most from what a crisis management expert can offer? By reviewing literature in crisis management and expert performance, this conceptual paper discusses what experts and decision makers are, the relationship between crisis experts and decision makers, and it outlines elements and principles to consider in developing a measurement system for expert performance. In addition, the paper proposes a general model for crisis management expert performance. Concluding thoughts will provide suggestions about what to consider before calling a crisis management expert and what decision makers should expect from crisis experts.

A Qualitative Analysis of How People Assess the Credibility of Sources Used by Public Relations Practitioners • Julie O’Neil, Texas Christian University; Marianne Eisenmann, inVentiv Health; Maggie Holman, Texas Christian University • This study examined how people assess the credibility of sources used commonly by public relations practitioners—earned news stories, traditional advertisements, native advertisements, independent blogs and corporate blogs. Researchers conducted five groups with 46 participants and implemented a survey with 1,500 participants recruited from a consumer panel. Participants view earned media stories as the most credible. Regardless of source utilized, people value strong writing, copious facts and balanced perspectives when processing public relations messaging.

Examining the role of Culture in Shaping Public Expectations of CSR Communication in the United States and China • Holly Ott, University of South Carolina; Anli Xiao, the Pennsylvania State University • This study examines the role of culture in shaping publics’ expectations for CSR communication through survey research in the United States (N = 316) and China (N = 315). Results highlight differences in each public’s expectations of what and how companies should communicate CSR. Among Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity are identified as the strongest predictors for CSR variables. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Where are the women? An examination of the status of research on women and leadership in public relations • Katie Place, Quinnipiac University; Jennifer Vardeman-Winter, Univ. of Houston • Despite evidence that there are no significant differences in leadership ability among women and men in public relations, women are still largely absent from leadership and senior management positions. Furthermore, very few studies about leadership in public relations have considered the affect gender has on leadership enactment and success. Therefore, this secondary analysis examined the state of women and gender scholarship about leadership in public relations as part of a larger study about the state of women in the communication discipline. Specifically, our research found that the majority of the research about leadership and gender highlights women’s lackluster leadership presence, factors contributing to women’s lack of presence, leadership styles and preferences, and leadership and management roles of women. This manuscript provides recommendations for improving women’s presence in leadership roles, particularly in providing a roadmap for future research opportunities. These include considerations for methodological approaches, leadership approaches and roles research, types of leadership, cultural change, and education.

Changing the Story: Implications of Narrative on Teacher Identity • Geah Pressgrove; Melissa Janoske, University of Memphis; Stephanie Madden, University of Memphis • This study takes a qualitative approach to understanding the connections between narrative, professional identity and reputation management in public education. Central to the findings are the factors that have led to a reputation crisis for the profession of teaching and thus contribute to the national teacher shortage. Ultimately, this study points to the notion that increasing retention and recruitment can be effected when narratives are understood and the principles of reputation management are applied.

Spokesperson is a four-letter word: Public relations, regulation, and power in Occupy New York • Camille Reyes, Trinity University • “This case study analyzes interviews with members of the press relations working group of Occupy Wall Street in New York. Using critical cultural theory as well as history, the group’s media relations tactics are discussed with an emphasis on the role of spokesperson, revealing contested meanings about public relations work in the context of a social movement. The moments of regulation and production in the circuit of culture explain the constraints experienced by many of these activist practitioners as they navigate the horizontal structure/ideal of their movement with hierarchical norms of more institutional public relations practices—creating a paradox of sorts. How does one defy the status quo when seeking to engage with a mainstream media system that—to their eyes—is co-opted by the wealthy elite, while using tactics that are seen as equally problematic? Historical analysis lends a comparative frame through which to view a critical cultural interpretation of public relations in an understudied context.

Distal Antecedents of Organization-Public Relationships: The Influence of Motives and Perceived Issue and Value Congruence • Trent Seltzer, Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication; Nicole Lee • Using an online survey of 514 US adults, this study identified which relational antecedents motivated individuals to enter organization-public relationships (OPRs) across a variety of organization types. Additionally, we examined the relative influence of motives, perceived issue congruence, and perceive value congruence on OPR perceptions. Findings suggest social/cultural expectations and risk reduction are the primary motives influencing perceptions of OPRs; however, perceived issue and value congruence with the organization are more influential antecedents than motives.

Does an Organization’s CSR Association affect the Perception of Communication Efforts? • Kang Hoon Sung, Cal Poly Pomona • Organizations often utilize interpersonal communications tactics on social media such as responding to customer comments or adopting a human conversational voice for better evaluations. Past studies have shown that these interpersonal communication tactics could indeed lead to positive outcomes and give the organization a more human and sincere face. The study examined whether the organization’s perceived CSR associations could have an influence in this process. Grounded in prior research on suspicion and organization’s personality dimensions, the current study investigated the influence of organization’s prior CSR associations on the organization’s interpersonal communication efforts that are associated with increasing the sincerity personality dimension (e.g., increased interaction, enhanced conversational tone). The results of the online experiment revealed that CSR activities significantly increased the organization’s perceived sincerity personality dimension and decreased suspicions about motives of the organization’s communication efforts. The mediation analysis suggests that less suspicion leads to more perceived sincerity toward organization, eventually leading to increased relationship quality.

The ‘New York World,’ Byron C. Utecht, and Pancho Villa’s Public Relations Campaign • Michael Sweeney, Ohio University; Young Joon Lim, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley • This paper attempts to assess Francisco “Pancho” Villa not as a general or quasi-politician, but rather as a practitioner of public relations. It investigates, by close observation of his actions and words, his strategy and tactics to build support among three specifically targeted audiences: the people of Mexico, American war correspondents, and the people of the United States. This paper examines secondary literature about public relations and about Pancho Villa’s life for evidence of his practicing public relations as we understand it today. Supplementing this literature review are primary documents from the archives of Byron C. Utecht at the University of Texas at Arlington. Utecht’s collection consists of his original photographs of his travels in Mexico on behalf of the New York World; telegrams to and from the World; typewritten notes and stories; clippings of his articles in the World and the clients of its wire service; and published interviews with Utecht about his trips into Mexico both as a lone journalist and as an accredited correspondent. It seeks to answer the key question: How did Villa practice public relations?

Ten years after The Professional Bond: Has the academy answered the call in pedagogical research? • Amanda Weed, Ashland University • CPRE is scheduled to release its next report of the status of public relations education in September of 2017. In anticipation of the report, this research seeks to determine if the academy has answered the call of The Professional Bond through an examination of pedagogical research published from 2007 to 2016 in four academic journals including the Journal of Advertising Education, the Journalism & Mass Communication Education, the Journal of Public Relations Education, and Public Relations Review. By conducting a meta-analysis of published research through a content analysis of article types, themes, and topics, this research determined that pedagogical research in public relations is lacking, especially among the topics specifically addressed in The Professional Bond.

The Role of Dissatisfaction in the Relationship Between Consumer Empowerment and Their Complaining Behavioral Intentions • Hao Xu, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities; Jennifer Ball, Temple University • This experimental study examined the mechanism of how consumer complaining behavioral intentions are driven by social media empowerment, and the role of dissatisfaction in this mechanism. The results revealed that dissatisfaction has both mediating and moderating effects in the relationship between consumer empowerment and some of the specific complaining behavioral intentions. Both theoretical and practical implications in terms of the dynamics of consumer dissatisfaction and power-induced complaining intentions were discussed.

Partisan News Media and China’s Country Image: An Online Experiment based on Heuristic-Systematic Model • Chen Yang, University of Houston – Victoria; Gi Woong Yun, University of Nevada, Reno • Based on Heuristic-Systematic Model, this research used a 2×2 pretest-posttest experimental design to measure China’s image after participants’ exposure to the news stimuli about China from a partisan media website. Two manipulated factors were media partisanship (congruent or incongruent partisan media) and news slant (positive or negative coverage of China). The results did not demonstrate any priming effect of news coverage. However, media partisanship had a significant influence on country beliefs. Significant interaction effects on country beliefs and desired interaction were also found.

NGOs’ humanitarian advocacy in the 2015 refugee crisis: A study of agenda building in the digital age • Aimei Yang, University of Southern California; Adam Saffer • In the 2015 European refugee crisis, humanitarian NGOs offered help and actively advocated for millions of refugees. The current study aims to understand what communication strategies are most effective for humanitarian NGOs to influence media coverage and publics’ social media conversations about the crisis. Our findings reveal that agenda building on traditional media and in social media conversations require different strategies. Specifically, although providing information subsidies could powerfully influence traditional media coverage, its effect waned in the context of social media conversations. In contrast, NGOs’ hyperlink network positions emerged as the one of the most influential predictor for NGOs’ prominence in social media conversations. Moreover, stakeholder engagement could influence agenda-building both in traditional media coverage and social media conversations. Finally, organizational resources and characteristics are important factors as well. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.

Using Facebook efficiently: Assessing the impact of organizational Facebook activities on organizational reputation • Lan Ye, State University of New York at Cortland; Yunjae Cheong, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies • This study analyzed 22 companies’ efficiency of using Facebook in reputation management by using data envelopment analysis (DEA). Results reveal that overall, the efficient companies (n =8) posted less frequently than did the inefficient companies (n = 14); companies receiving more engagements were more efficient than those receiving fewer engagements; and companies adopting one main Facebook Page were more efficient than those adopting multiple Facebook Pages. Size and length of history of an organization were not found to affect efficiency outcomes significantly.

The Effects of Behavioral Recommendations in Crisis Response and Crisis Threat on Stakeholders’ Behavioral Intention Outcomes • Xiaochen Zhang, Kansas State University; Jonathan Borden, Syracuse University • This experiment investigates the intersection between crisis threat, self-efficacy, affect and organizational messaging strategies on stakeholder behavioral outcomes in crises. Behavioral recommendations in crisis messages affected stakeholders’ behavioral outcomes through self-efficacy. Negative emotions also mediated behavioral recommendation and threat’s influence on stakeholders’ behavioral outcomes. Results imply that the extended parallel process model has significant implications for crisis management, however increases in stakeholder self-protective behaviors come at the expense of organizational reputation.

Issues Management as a Proactive Approach to Crisis Communication: Publics’ Cognitive Dissonance in Times of Issue-Related Crisis • Xiaochen Zhang, Kansas State University • Through an experiment, this study examines effects of issues management (issues attribution framing) on publics’ response to issue-related crisis. In Coca-Cola and obesity crisis’s case, public-organization identification and issues involvement were identified as predictors of blame, corporate evaluation, and purchase intentions. Results indicated that high identification and high issue involvement publics may experience cognitive dissonance and are more likely to support the organization under the external attribution frame (framing the obesity issue as personal responsibility).

The First Generation: Lessons from the public relations industry’s first university-trained social media practitioners • Luke Capizzo, University of Maryland • Public relations educators are grappling with the best methods to prepare undergraduates for the constantly shifting world of social media practice. The recent graduates (2011-2016) interviewed for this study constitute the first generation of practitioners with robust, formal social media training. Their experiences in school and in the workforce reinforce some current best practices—such as the value of internship experiences, the resonance of case studies, and the importance of excellent writing skills—but also point toward the need for increased emphasis on strategic social media, brand writing, visual communication, and the continued importance of a deeply integrated curriculum. Using social cognitive theory as a guiding framework, this study examines the salience of observational learning, behavior modeling, and self efficacy for building pedagogical theory for the social media classroom.

Unearthing the Facets of Crisis History in Crisis Communication: Testing A Conceptual Framework • LaShonda Eaddy, The University of Georgia • Coombs’s (2004) Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) identifies performance history, which includes crisis history and relationship history, as an intensifier of attribution of responsibility during crises. The proposed model examines crisis history and its possible roles among various stakeholder groups as well as possible impact on organizational control, crisis emotion and crisis responsibility. The study also offers a crisis history salience scale that was developed based on a thorough literature review as well as in-depth interviews with public relations practitioners, public relations scholars, journalists, and the general public. The crisis history salience scale can assist crisis communicators consider the multiple facets of crisis history during their crisis communication planning and implementation.

Dominant coalition perceptions in health-oriented, non-profit public relations • Torie Fowler, University of Southern Mississippi • Unlike many departments within an organization, public relations is often faced with the task of proving their importance to the dominant coalition. In health-oriented, non-profit organizations, leaders may find it hard to prove their value when patients, research, or life-saving technology takes precedent. This study examined the perceptions of public relations leaders in this specific field regarding their inclusion in the dominant coalition, how they are able to influence decision-making in their organization, and what barriers could keep leaders from obtaining membership into the coalition. This qualitative study included nine in-depth interviews, where four of the nine participants, perceived they were included in the dominant coalition of their organization. Several themes were identified when participants were asked how they were able to influence decision-making, such as: being included early, having credibility, practicing proactive public relations, and devising a strategic plan. Although less than half of the participants believed they were included in the dominant coalition, all of them thought they could influence the decisions made by the dominant coalition in some capacity. There were two consistent barriers to inclusion: a misunderstanding of public relations and an uneducated or inexperienced practitioner. This study contributes to the body of knowledge about public relations by bringing additional insight into how health-oriented, non-profit public relations leaders perceive that they are able to influence decision-making of the dominant coalition. The study also shows how current literature about public relations inclusion in the dominant coalition does not align with actuality for this group of leaders.

Constructing Trust and Confidence amid Crisis in the Digital Era • Jiankun Guo • Using a hypothetical food-poisoning crisis on campus, this qualitative research explored college students’ construction of trust and confidence online/offline via in-depth interviews. It applied the Trust, Confidence, and Cooperation (TCC) Model as a conceptual lens, but added new insights pertaining to the altering media landscape. Results showed that students constructed trust/confidence online according to a variety of factors (message features, sources, sites, and targets), but virtually all of them valued offline “facetime” due to its ability to convey emotional cues. Multimedia, therefore, offered an advantage in offering emotional reassurances via online channels. Participants also viewed trust-/confidence-building from the authority as a fluid process accumulated slowly overtime, regardless of channels. This study contributes to crisis communication scholarship in the digital era, particularly with an aim to facilitate community resilience.

Understanding the Donor Experience: Applying Stewardship Theory to Higher Education Donors • Virginia Harrison, The Pennsylvania State University • This study examines how stewardship strategies and involvement impact organization-public relationship outcomes for higher education donors at three different levels of giving. Findings suggest that stewardship strategies positively predict OPR outcomes, and that donors at different giving levels experience stewardship strategies and OPR outcomes differently. Also, findings reveal that stewardship may include only three strategies. Involvement only slightly moderates the relationship between stewardship and OPR outcomes. Implications for fundraising practice and theory are made.

Stakeholder relationship building in response to corporate ethical crisis : A semantic network analysis of sustainability reports • Keonyoung Park; Hyejin Kim, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities • This study explored how a corporation’s ethical crisis affects the way of sustainability reporting as a crisis communication tool. Especially, this study sheds light on the relationship building with stakeholders after the ethical crisis. To do so, we examined the Korean Air’s sustainability annual reports (SAR) before and after the ‘Nut Rage’ incident using a series of semantic networking analyses. Asiana Airline’s SARs before and after the crash at the San Francisco International Airport were also analyzed to find distinctive characteristics of the ethical crisis. The result suggested that the Korean Air’s SAR seemed to show the importance of relationship with stakeholders after the ethical crisis, while there was no meaningful change after the non-ethical crisis of Asiana Airlines. The results were discussed in relation to the situational crisis communication theory.

What Did You Expect? How Brand Personality Types and Transgression Types Shape Consumers’ Response in a Brand Crisis • Soyoung Lee, The University of Texas at Austin; Ji Mi Hong; Hyunsang Son • The current research examined how different types of brand personality play a role to develop a specific consumers’ expectation toward a brand, and how this expectation works in various ways in different types of brand transgressions. Based on expectancy violation theory and brand transgression research, a 2 (brand personality types: sincerity vs. competence) × 2 (brand transgression types: morality-related vs. competence-related transgression) factorial design was employed. Corporate evaluations and purchase intention toward the brand were considered as dependent variables. The results revealed that a brand having a sincerity personality is more vulnerable to a morality-related transgression. However, there is no difference in consumers’ responses by transgression type for a brand with a competence personality. Findings showed that brand personality types and transgression types can be critical factors to influence consumers’ responses in times of crisis. Theoretical and empirical implications are discussed.

What Makes Employees Stay Silent? The Role of Perceptions of Problem and Organization-Employee Relationship • Yeunjae Lee • This study aims to examine the impacts of individuals’ perceptions of problems and organization-employee relationship on employees’ silence intention during periods of an organizational issue. Using the situational theory of problem-solving (STOPS) and relational theory, this study intends to explore conceptual convergences by building linkages among issue-specific perceptions, relationship, and employee silence. An online survey was conducted for 412 full-time employees working in companies with more than 300 employees in the U.S. Results suggest that individuals’ perceived relationship is negatively related to their problem, constraint recognition, and silence intention, while it is positively related to involvement recognition. Perceptions of constraint recognition and less involvement to an organizational issue are associated with employee silence. Different impacts of individuals’ issue-specific perceptions and relationship were also examined for different types of silence—acquiescent, prosocial, and defensive silence. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

“Breaking the Silence”: Segmenting Asian Americans in the United States to Address Mental Health Problems in the Community • Jo-Yun Queenie Li • This article describes an exploratory study designed to investigate the applicability of cultural identity in public segmentation within a racial/ethnic population in order to address mental health issues in Asian community in the United States. Using a pilot survey of 58 Asian Americans, this research employs the acculturation theory and the situational theory of publics to explore individuals’ communication behavior related to mental health issues. By doing so, this study contributes to the (re)conceptualization and operationalization of cultural identity in intercultural public relations discipline and provides practical implications to organizations that target specific racial/ethnic groups. The findings show that Asian Americans who are more highly acculturated in the United States could be considered as the active publics. They may be helpful in spreading out information, reaching out potential publics, encouraging themselves and other members in the community who have suffered from mental health issues to utilize mental health services.

Pouring Water on Conservative Fire: Discourse of Renewal in Facebook’s Response to Allegations of Bias • Tyler G Page, University of Maryland • Using Facebook’s 2016 trending topics crisis, this study applies the message convergence framework and discourse of renewal to analyze an organizational crisis response. The study reports a qualitative analysis of Facebook’s crisis response statements and a quantitative content analysis of 140 blog, magazine, and newspaper articles covering the crisis. Tone of news coverage improved when discourse of renewal strategy was covered and when media coverage included at least one quote from the organization.

Understanding Public Engagement in Sustainability Initiatives: The Situational Theory of Publics and the Theory of Reasoned Action Approaches • Soojin Roh, Syracuse University • In an attempt to extend the situational theory of publics, this study tested a public engagement model to explain how situational factors, subjective norm, and attitudes toward a sustainability initiative influence public’s communication action as well as different types of behavioral engagement intention. An online survey (N=502) was administered to test predictors of participation intent for recycling clothes campaigns and continuous public engagement with the sustainability cause. Structural equation modeling results indicate that problem recognition and constraint recognition are key predictors of information gaining (information seeking, sharing, and processing) and campaign participation intent. Subjective norms and positive attitude toward the campaign lead to the greater likelihood of participating in the campaign. The analysis also yielded a significant association between information gaining and public’s behavioral engagement including civic engagement, suggesting the mediating role of information gaining. Furthermore, the analysis showed a significant direct effect of involvement on civic engagement. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.

Understanding Public Engagement on Digital Media: Exploring Its Effects on Employee-Organization Relationships • Yuan Wang, The University of Alabama • This study examined the effects of employees’ organizational identification and engagement with mobile phones and social media on their relationships with the organization and positive word-of-mouth (WOM) communication through a web-based survey of employees via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Findings suggested that employees’ organizational identification significantly influenced their digital media engagement. This study also identified employees’ organizational identification and digital media engagement as new predictors of employee-organization relationships, which, furthermore, led to positive WOM communication.

Defining and Communicating Diversity: A Content Analysis of the Websites of the Top PR Agencies • Anli Xiao, the Pennsylvania State University; Jinyoung Kim; Wunpini Mohammed; Hilton Erica; Colleen Pease • “This paper examines how top PR agencies define diversity, how they express diversity identities and communicate diversity values to prospective employees and clients. Through a content analysis of top PR agencies’ websites, this study finds PR agencies’ defined diversity narrowly and they showed limited efforts in communicating diversity values to future employees and clients. Agency ranking significantly correlated with some diversity efforts communicated. Implications are discussed.

Experiential Learning and Crisis Simulations: Leadership, Decision Making, and Communication Competencies • Hilary Fussell Sisco, Quinnipiac University; John Brummette; Laura Willis, Quinnipiac University; Michael Palenchar, University of Tennesseee • Students benefit from simulation exercises that require them to apply public relations research and theories. Using an experimental learning approach (N=16), this present paper assesses the effectiveness of a crisis simulation exercise using a pre-test/post-test evaluation. Findings suggest that crisis simulation exercises can prepare future practitioners by providing them practices in discipline-centric experiences that also bolster their personal professional development in the areas of leadership, decision making and communication competency.

One Liners and Catchy Hashtags: Building a Graduate Student Community Through Twitter Chats • Melissa Janoske, University of Memphis; Robert Byrd, University of Memphis; Stephanie Madden, University of Memphis • This study takes a mixed-methods approach to understanding how graduate student education and engagement are intertwined, and the ability of an ongoing Twitter chat to increase both. Analysis includes the chats themselves, a mixed-methods survey to chat participants, and memoing completed by the researchers (also faculty chat participants and the chat moderator). Key findings include the importance of building both online and offline connections, the ability of Twitter chats to increase fun and reduce stress, and to gain both tacit and explicit knowledge. Finally, the project offers practical suggestions for those looking to start their own chat series.

Millennial Learners and Faculty Credibility: Exploring the Mediating Role of Out-Of-Class Communication • Carolyn Kim • Every generation experiences distinct events and develops unique values. The Millennial generation is no exception. As Millennial Learners enter classrooms, they bring with them new views about education, learning and faculty/student communication. All of this blends together to influence their perspectives of faculty credibility. This study explores the mediating role of out-of-class communication (OCC) in relation to the historical dimensions known to compose faculty credibility.

Examination of Continuous Response Assessment of Communication Course Presentation Competency • Geoffrey Graybeal, Texas Tech University; Jobi Martinez, Texas Tech University • This study examined the use of continuous response (dial test) technology as a means of providing feedback to improve formal presentations required to meet learning objectives in college communication courses and a variety of assessment strategies utilized in the assignment. Findings suggest that use of video assessment and a student self-assessment have the greatest impact on final presentation performance and that the first dial test pitch should not be graded.

Competition and Public Relations Campaigns: Assessing the Impact of Competition on Projects, Partners, and Students • Chris McCollough, Columbus State University • Scholars in public relations pedagogy have provided a strong body of research on the impact of service learning, community partnerships (Daugherty, 2003), and applied learning in general on campaigns, writing, and production courses common to the public relations curriculum (Wandel, 2005). Rarely explored, however, is the impact of competition among student groups within a public relations course on the quality of campaigns, student experience, client satisfaction, and achievement of learning outcomes (Rentner, 2012). The paper will present a comparative analysis of campaign courses that employed competitive and non-competitive campaign course models to demonstrate the impact of incorporating competition within public relations courses.

Integrating Web and Social Analytics into Public Relations Research Course Design: A Longitudinal Pedagogical Research on Google Analytics Certification • Juan Meng, University of Georgia; Yan Jin; Yen-I Lee, University of Georgia; Solyee Kim, University of Georgia • This longitudinal pedagogical research contributes with integrating web and social analytics-based activities into the Public Relations Research course design. Results from the pre- and post-tests confirmed that students’ knowledge on web and social analytics is low but desire to learn is high. Consistent patterns on learning outcomes suggest more experience-based learning activities are needed to leverage the practical implications of web and social analytics in public relations research and practice. More pedagogical recommendations are discussed.

Media Relations Instruction and Theory Development: Relational Dialectical Approach • Justin Pettigrew, Kennesaw State University • There has been almost no research in the area of media relations or media relations instruction in the public relations literature. This study seeks to fill a gap in theory-building in the area of media relations and examines the state of media relations instruction in today’s public relations curriculum through a survey of public relations professors. The author suggests relational dialectical theory as a way to better understand the relationship between public relations practitioners and journalists, and proposes a relational dialectical approach to theory building and in teaching media relations in today’s changing landscape.

Developing a Blueprint for Social Media Pedagogy: Trials, Tribulations, and Best Practices • ai zhang, Stockton University; Karen Freberg, University of Louisville • Social media research, and particularly social media pedagogy, has increased substantially as a domain in public relations research. Yet, along with this increased focus on social media pedagogy, educators and other higher education professionals are under pressure from industry, professional communities, and university administrations to keeping their classes updated and relevant for their students. To better understand the current state and rising expectations facing educators teaching social media, this study interviewed 31 social media professors to explore the trials and tribulations of their journey and to identify best practices of social media as a pedagogical tool. The study also suggested a blueprint for implementing social media pedagogy in the classroom. Future implications for both research and practice are also discussed.

An Exploratory Study of Transformed Media Relations Dimensions After the Implementation of an Anti-graft Law • Soo-Yeon Kim, Sogang University; JOOHYUN HEO • The Improper Solicitation and Graft Act, which went into effect on September 28, 2016, strictly prohibits gift-giving to journalists, thereby making a traditional media relations practice in Korea illegal. A survey of 342 public relations practitioners revealed that providing monetary gifts, performing formal responsibility, building informal relationships, getting paid media coverage, and taking informal support were found to be significant subdimensions of media relations. After implementation of the anti-graft law, public relations practitioners expressed a belief that the practice of providing monetary gifts will shrink the most and performing formal responsibility would experience the most growth. The formal responsibility factor was significantly positively related to support for the new law and public relations ethics, while taking informal support was negatively linked to public relations ethics. Getting paid media coverage showed the most significant positive relationship with difficulties of effective media relations.

Raymond Simon: PR Educational Pioneer • Patricia Swann, Utica College • Raymond Simon, professor emeritus of public relations at Utica College, whose teaching career spanned nearly four decades, was among PRWeek’s 100 most influential 20th century people in public relations. Simon’s contributions to education include developing one of the first full-fledged public relations undergraduate curriculums; authoring the first public relations-specific classroom textbooks for writing and case studies, in addition to a textbook for the principles course; and developing student potential through national student organizations and mentoring.