Scholastic Journalism 2014 Abstracts

Boobies Are Not Hooters: New Tests for Student Speech Rights • Genelle Belmas, Univ. of Kansas • The Supreme Court in 2014 declined to hear an appeal of the Third Circuit en banc decision in the “I ♥ Boobies!” case, B.H. v. Easton Area School District. However, the decision provided an innovative approach to future student speech cases with some interesting judicial interpretations. This paper examines this case and suggests that courts adopt one of several revised tests when faced with student speech issues that skirt the line between appropriate and inappropriate.

Diversity and journalism pedagogy: Exploring news media representation of disability • Shawn Burns, University of Wollongong • This paper explores diversity studies in broadcast journalism education and seeks to help answer a question faced by teachers: Does the material discussed in class make a difference in their lives? This research is a case study of university broadcast journalism students who took part in classes that explored the representation of people with disability (PWD) in the media. The research sought to explore whether diversity studies resonated in the post-university lives of journalism students.

Comparing National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Finalists to the Average School with Student Media • Sarah Cavanah, University of Minnesota • This paper explores the differences between National Scholastic Press Association members, Pacemaker finalists, and different types of awardees to assess how much the organization and its awards represent school diversity among schools with student media opportunities. Logistic regression models show that the awards may be signaling to the general population of schools that scholastic media excellence is found in schools with fewer African American and Hispanic students, as well as schools located in metropolitan regions.

Why be a journalist? Students’ motivations and role conceptions in the new age of journalism • Renita Coleman, University of Texas-Austin; Joon Yea Lee, Department of Communications University of North Alabama; Carolyn Yaschur, Department of Communication Studies Augustana College; Aimee Meader, Mass Communications Winthrop University; Kathleen McElroy, School of Journalism University of Texas- Austin • This study of the motivations and role conceptions of today’s journalists has shown many similarities among students today and yesterday, but significant differences between students and professionals. A new motivation appeared, marked by having experience with journalism at an early age. The students’ ranking of the importance of journalists’ roles compared to professionals showed no significant correlation. Both ranked the Investigative/Interpretive as most important, but professionals ranked the Adversarial role as second while students ranked it last.

Competency-Based Education: Is it the Future of Journalism? • Rocky Dailey • This study examined the concept of competency-based education (CBE) and considered the practicality of its application in journalism education. Programs accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) were asked to participated in the study. The majority of respondents were familiar with CBE, yet did not believe such an approach would work within the ACEJMC standards. Issues with internal compliance, professional acceptance, and traditional higher education structure were also explored.

Influences of Prior Review in the High School Newspaper • Joseph Dennis, The University of Georgia; Carolyn Crist, The University of Georgia • Although not recommended by scholastic press advocates, administrative prior review is a common practice among many high school newspapers. A survey of 158 journalism advisers across the country finds that certain school and newspaper characteristics have no effect on the presence of prior review. However, statistically significant results found prior review more likely to occur among younger advisers, newer advisers, and advisers who believe an adult should have the final say in a newspaper’s publication.

From Print to Digital: Project-Based Learning Framework for Fostering Multimedia Competencies in Journalism Education • Debbie Goh, Nanyang Technological University; Ugur Kale, West Virginia University • This paper examines how project-based learning (PBL) facilitated print journalism students’ transition into producing multimedia news in an iBook. Findings show technological considerations and PBL elements – need to know, driving question, choice, 21st Century skills, inquiry and innovation, feedback and presentation – enhanced multimedia competencies and consciousness. Students met learning objectives when they perceived relevance and had clear driving questions. Choices cultivated ownership and accountability, collaboration and critical thinking. Weaker students expressed need for structured pedagogy.

Quantifying Control: Scholastic Media, Prior Review and Censorship • Mark Goodman; Shelley Blundell, Kent State University; Margaret Cogar, Kent State University • For decades advocates have engaged in an ongoing debate about the threat posed by censorship of high school student media. Yet over those years there have been few attempts to quantify the censorship experienced by these student journalists by asking the students themselves. This paper presents the results of surveys of student media advisers and student journalists at a national high school journalism convention relating to their experiences with prior review and external and self-censorship.

Effectiveness of Pretest/Posttest as an Assessment of Learning Outcome(s) in a Mass Communication Research Course • Jeffrey Hedrick, Jacksonville State University • This research explores longitudinal assessment as a valid indicator of student learning in an undergraduate capstone research course. Pretest/posttest results were gathered from juniors and seniors (N=134) over six semesters, accumulating evidence for compliance with ACEJMC Standard 9 to be included in an accreditation self-study report. The course-embedded assessment focused on three learning objectives: research, statistics, and diversity. The mean results indicated greater improvement in research than statistics, with statistics portion showing more consistent gains.

Exploring the use of corrections on college newspapers’ websites • Kirstie Hettinga, California Lutheran University; Rosemary Clark, The Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania • A previous study indicated that college newspapers tend to enjoy perceived levels of credibility on par with their professional, local counterparts, but suggested that quality could be assessed through other means, such as “story accuracy.” This research sought to explore the use of corrections on college newspapers’ websites. Corrections are a mechanism used to amend the record. Previous research has documented the potential for corrections to increase readers’ perceptions of newspaper quality. In a content analysis of College Media Association members’ websites (N = 419), the researchers found that nearly half of the newspapers had no corrections that could be located through search functions. Additionally, the researchers found that the more professional a college publication is—based on frequency of publication, the presence of language regarding accuracy or ethics on its website, and the presence of corrections link—the more likely it was to have corrections on its website.

The iPad as a Pedagogical Tool: Effective or not? • Amanda McClain, Holy Family University • Through two focus groups, this study examines the efficacy of tablets as in-classroom pedagogical tools for a college-level communication course. It finds journalism and communication programs would benefit from providing students with iPads, or a similar Internet-enabled tablet. iPads diminish a potential digital divide; they open up a world of information, help organize students’ lives, and permit convenient participation and learning anywhere. Students participate in the public sphere, putting communication theory into action.

A Collaborative Approach to Experiential Learning in Journalism Newswriting and Editing Classes: A Case Study • Perry Parks, Michigan State University • This case study examines a creative approach by two journalism professors to enhance experiential learning in separate skills-based newswriting and editing courses by collaborating to produce a live online news report from campus each week under a four-hour deadline. The study seeks to build on previous findings that innovative classroom structures and projects that engage students in practical, published journalistic work can have a powerful positive effect for students.

Who are you in the classroom? Avatars for learning and education • Ryan Rogers • Based on recent research concerning avatars, this paper examines how avatars can be used to enhance students’ performance on education related tasks, specifically in journalism classrooms. Study 1 shows that avatar assignment impacts task performance (on reading skill) via perceived difficulty. Study 2 focuses on journalism specific course objectives and shows that avatar assignment can influence perceptions of progress on education tasks. These two experiments show practical tactics for improving performance on educational tasks and also show ways that content producers, like news producers, can enhance audience engagement with content.

Unnamed and at risk? Examining anonymous student speech in the college/university environment • Erica Salkin, Whitworth University; Lindsie Trego, Whitworth University; Kathleen Vincent, Whitworth University • Like many forms of protected speech, anonymous speech does not enjoy the same First Amendment protection when occurring in an academic environment. This paper examines the legal status of anonymous university student speech from a legal as well as practical perspective, exploring both the guidance of common law as well as the level of risk generated by a common forum for anonymous student speech today: Facebook “confessions” sites.

Personal Memory and the Formation of Journalistic Authority: Scholastic Media Coverage of Sandy Hook • David Schwartz, University of Iowa • Drawing on the concepts of journalistic authority, collective memory, and media memory, this study examined the way high school journalists covered the Sandy Hook killings as a means of establishing journalistic authority. Through a textual analysis, this study found that scholastic media used the event to redraw journalistic boundaries to include emotional, autobiographical articles that advocated on behalf of their readers. This study aims to improve understanding of scholastic media during nationally mediated tragedies.

An Online Learning Approach to Community Building among Asian Journalists • Violet Valdez, Ateneo de Manila University • This paper describes a master’s program in journalism designed for professional Asian journalists which has drawn students from 13 Asian countries and is run by faculty members from five countries. The program uses blended learning methods combining synchronous, asynchronous and classroom-based approaches. An exploratory study was conducted to describe the strategies used by the students and teachers to build a community of learners (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000) and hence achieve the program’s learning goals. The study took into consideration cultural differences, in particular, those referring to educational experiences. Results show that the respondents tended to use the strategies of social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence that were appropriate to their respective class roles and that these strategies tended to reflect dominant cultural traits in Asia.

2014 Abstracts

Public Relations 2014 Abstracts

Open Competition

Patterns of paper productivity and thematic content in the Public Relations Division of AEJMC 2003-2012 • Giselle Auger • Research papers are an indicator of the work being done in academia and often reflect important social changes. Results of this investigation identified thematic differences between the content of top student papers and top faculty papers in the public relations division of AEJMC including differences in the number of nonprofit, relationship management, and corporate social responsibility studies. Moreover, 2009 appears to have been a watershed year as social media appeared for the first time and general research on the Internet peaked. The presence of an ‘invisible college’ of research and influence is also identified.

Perceived sincerity in CSR activities: The contribution of CSR fit, modality interactivity, and message interactivity • Eun Go, Penn State University; Denise Bortree, Penn State University • This study explored how CSR communication in social media can build message credibility and improve organizational attitudes. In particular the study investigated the role of CSR fit, modality interactivity, and message interactivity through a 2 x 2 x 3 experimental design (N=299). The results suggest that promoting good-fit CSR activities improves credibility and attitude. Additional analysis suggests an interaction between CSR fit and message interactivity that makes fit critical in low-interactivity settings. Implications are discussed.

You Know Me Well: A Coorientation Study of Public Relations Professionals’ Relationship with Bloggers • Justin Walden, College at Brockport, SUNY; Denise Bortree, Penn State University; Marcia DiStaso, Penn State University • Drawing from the coorientation framework, this study reports survey findings from two groups: bloggers and public relations professionals. Blogger attitudes toward the quality of their relationship with public relations professionals are compared to the attitudes about the organization-blogger relationship that are held by public relations professionals. Although considerable attention in the literature has been placed on the journalist/public relations professional relationship, scholars have yet to fully investigate the blogger/public relations professional relationship. Implications are discussed.

“Is Apology the Best Policy?” An Experimental Examination of the Effectiveness of Image Repair Strategies during Criminal and Non-Criminal Athlete Transgressions • Kenon Brown, The University of Alabama • Through the use of a 2 X 3 factorial experiment, the researcher examined the effects of response strategies on an athlete’s perceived image after they provide a response when faced with a criminal or a non-criminal transgression. Results showed that the attacking the accuser strategy was just as effective as the mortification strategy in the repair of the athlete’s image overall, as well as when the athlete is faced with a criminal transgression; The bolstering strategy was also the least effective strategy, regardless of the type of transgression. Implications for the empirical examination of response strategies and for strategic communication practitioners are provided.

The interactive role of political ideology and media preference in building trust: A PR perspective • Michael Cacciatore, University of Georgia; Juan Meng, University of Georgia; Alan VanderMolen, Edelman; Bryan Reber • Using survey data, this paper looks at predictors of business trust in the top five countries based on GDP ranking – the United States, China, Japan, Germany, and France. Demographics emerged as significant predictors of trust across countries, while political ideology was a key driver of trust in the U.S. Political ideology also interacted with preferred media choice in predicting trust. Theoretical and practical implications for the field of public relations and public practitioners are offered.

Communicating CSR on social media: Strategies, main actors, and public engagement on corporate Facebook • Moonhee Cho, University of Tennessee; Tiffany Schweickart, University of Florida; Lauren Darm, University of Florida • Based on content analysis of 46 corporate Facebook pages for a one-year period, this study found that corporations communicate non-CSR messages more frequently than CSR messages on social media. When communicating CSR activities, corporations employed the informing strategy more than the interacting strategy and included more internal publics’ activities than that of external publics. This study also found that publics engage more with non-CSR messages than CSR messages, which reflects public cynicism of CSR messages.

Renegade Girl Scouts or a Merit Badge for Spin: (Re)articulating Activism and Public Relations • Pat Curtin, University of Oregon • This paper answers Dozier and Lauzen’s (2000) call for critical theoretical examinations of activism and public relations to provide new perspectives and avoid the paradox inherent in organizational-level analyses. It also fills a literature gap by examining a case of internal activism, thus blurring organizational boundaries and rejecting Us/Other dichotomies. Articulation theory’s role within the cultural-economic model (Curtin & Gaither, 2005, 2007) is expanded to provide a more nuanced understanding of the public relations/activism relationship.

The Role Of Public Relations In Ethnic Advocacy And Activism: A Proposed Research Agenda • Maria De Moya, DePaul University; Vanessa Bravo, Elon University • This essay proposes a research agenda for exploring public relations’ role in ethnic advocacy and activism, as a way to build the field’s knowledge of ethnic public relations. To highlight the potential contribution of public relations to ethnic organizations, the use of media relations and public information tactics by Latino organizations in the U.S., is explored, and the use of public relations by two Latino organizations conducting advocacy efforts in favor of immigration reform are described. Additionally, the authors propose an agenda for exploring how public relations is used by ethnic organizations to advance their goals.

Identifying strategic disconnect: Social media use by banks and its impact on trust • Marcia DiStaso, Penn State University; Chelsea Amaral • This study explored the adoption and use of social media by banks and identified if it corresponds with what the public wants in social media from banks. The results show that social media adoption by the top banks is strong, but that the content is contrary to what the public wants. Connecting with a bank on social media was found to result in slightly higher perceptions of trust.

Communicating Ethical Corporate Social Responsibility: A Case Study • Heidi Hatfield Edwards, Florida Institute of Technology • Corporate philanthropy receives mixed reviews among supporters and critics of corporate giving. With a societal push for corporations to give back to their communities, supporters cite the importance of corporate social responsibility. Critics argue some companies use their giving to mask suspect financial dealings or to buy the public’s good will and counter damage caused by their products or practices. This paper identifies three competing views regarding the ethics of corporate philanthropy, and discusses a framework from which to examine a company’s communication about its social responsibility efforts. Using that framework, this paper examines the ethics of corporate giving using a case study to identify if and how a multinational company (Harris Corporation) communicates ethical principles of corporate philanthropy through its website and annual report, and how philanthropy fits in the corporate priorities.

Refining the Social-Mediated Crisis Communication Model: Expanding Understanding of Cognitive and Affective Disaster Responses • Julia Daisy Fraustino, University of Maryland; Brooke Liu, University of Maryland; Yan Jin, University of Georgia • This study details an experiment using a random, nationally representative sample of 2,015 U.S. adults. Refining the social-mediated crisis communication model, a 3 (disaster information form: Twitter vs. Facebook vs. static web post) x 4 (disaster information source: local government vs. national government vs. local news media vs. national news media) between-subjects design investigated effects of information form and source and impacts of demographics on publics’ cognitive and affective responses to a hypothetical terrorist attack.

Using the Riverside Situational Q-Sort (RSQ) to Construct an Expert Model of a Crisis • Karen Freberg, University of Louisville; Kristin Saling, United States Army; Laura Freberg, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo • Behavior in response to a crisis will result from a combination of individual and situational variables. However, the Riverside Situational Q-sort (RSQ; Funder et al., 2012; Sherman, Nave, & Funder, 2010) provides a method for quantifying and comparing subjective impressions to create an expert crisis and layperson model with their personal definition of a “crisis.” Differences in their perceptions illustrate how crises managers and their intended audiences perceive same situations in very different ways.

Can Ghost Blogging Disclosure Help an Organization? A Test of Radical Transparency • Toby Hopp; Tiffany Gallicano, University of Oregon • Advocates of radical transparency believe that organizations may benefit from a “radical” approach to sharing increased levels of information about their organizational practices. To test one application of radical transparency, this study experimentally explored the effect of disclosing CEO ghost blogging practices on reader attitudes. The results of this study provide preliminary support for the notion that radical transparency does not hurt reader attitudes toward a CEO or brand in the context of ghost blogging.

Public Relations and Digital Social Advocacy in the Justice for Trayvon Campaign • Linda Hon, University of Florida • This study examined the digital media ecosystem that developed during the Justice for Trayvon campaign prior to George Zimmerman’s arrest. Research literature in public relations, social advocacy, and digital communication as well as content relevant to the campaign in Lexis/Nexis and on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube were used to develop a theoretical model of digital social advocacy within the context of public relations.

Activist Message Discrepancy and Value-Involvement • Seoyeon Hong, Webster University; Rosie Jahng, Hope College • This study examined whether publics evaluate activists differently when they perceive discrepancy in their promoted causes (public relations statement) and their actions (news coverage of activists) in the lens of social judgment theory. In addition, the role of value- involvement in how publics evaluate activists is examined. Results found that the higher the level of message discrepancy between the public relations statement and news coverage of activists, the more negative participants’ attitude toward activists and the less donation intention participants were. Even though participants with high involvement with issues showed more positive attitude and greater donation intention to activists than low involvement participants for all level of message discrepancy, there was no moderation effect detected. The findings and theoretical implications are discussed in terms of how activists can maintain and promote further relationships with general public and public with high value-involvement.

Leading in the Digital Age: A Study of How Social Media are Transforming the Work of Public Relations Leaders • Hua Jiang, Syracuse University; Yi Luo, Montclair State University; Owen Kulemeka • This study took one of the first steps to examine how public relations leaders’ understanding of social media’s strategic role relates to their active social media use and how strategic social media management may lead to the development of public relations leadership abilities. By analyzing data from a national survey of public relations leaders (n = 461), we found that (1) leaders’ years of professional experience, organizational type and size, size of communication staff, and leaders’ primary role as managers vs. front-line social media professionals significantly impacted the way social media were used in public relations work; (2) public relations leaders’ strategic vision of social media predicted their use of Facebook, RSS Feeds, Blogging, YouTube, and their active social media use in media relations and environmental scanning; and (3) social media use ultimately resulted in the advancement of public relations leadership abilities. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings and suggestions for future research were discussed.

Mediation of Employee Engagement on Symmetrical Internal Communication, Relationship Management, Employee Communication Behaviors, and Retention • Minjeong Kang, Indiana University; Minjung Sung, Chung-Ang University • The purpose of this study is to examine the mediation effects of employee engagement between employee management efforts (i.e., symmetrical internal communication and employee relationship management) and employee communication behaviors and employee retention. For this purpose, this study collected the data from a survey of 438 randomly selected employees working for a corporation in South Korea. The findings of this research clearly demonstrate: (1) employee/internal communication management is linked with employee engagement; (2) employee engagement enhances supportive employee communication behaviors as well as employee retention. Implications and suggestions for future studies are discussed.

Trust, Distrust, Symmetrical Communication, Public Engagement, and WOM • Minjeong Kang, Indiana University; Young Eun Park, Indiana University • The purpose of this study is to examine how public engagement mediates the relationships across organizations’ symmetrical communication efforts, public trust and distrust toward organizations, and publics’ positive and negative WOM (word-of-mouth) behaviors. This study analyzed the data from a survey (N = 704) of a randomly selected sample of U. S. consumers. The results showed strong links between symmetrical communication and trust/distrust and between symmetrical communication and public engagement. Also, this study found that public engagement strongly mediated of the effects of symmetrical communication efforts and trust on publics’ positive WOM. Implications and suggestions for future studies were discussed.

Relationship management in networked public diplomacy • Leysan Khakimova • The purpose of this study was to explore relationship management in networked public diplomacy. The network view of public diplomacy emphasized relationships as important links between organizations, governments, publics. Data included 32 in-depth qualitative interviews with 31 communication officers in governments and organizations. Results reflected limited use of relationship cultivation strategies, both online and offline. In addition, findings suggested a new offline relationship cultivation strategy, i.e. communicated long-term commitment.

Message strategies and public engagement in corporate Facebook pages • Cheonsoo Kim, Indiana University; Sung Un Yang, Indiana University • By employing the six-segment message strategy and hierarchical categorizations of public engagement on social media, this study investigated the link between message strategies and the levels of Facebook engagement. Content analysis of posts (N = 600) was conducted on Facebook pages of 20 companies sampled. Findings showed different message strategies led to different levels of public engagement (i.e., like, comment, share) on Facebook. The theortical and practical implications of the study are discussed.

Testing the buffering and boomerang effects of CSR practices on corporate reputation during a crisis: An experimental study in the context of an obesity campaign by a soft drink company • Hark-Shin Kim; Sun-Young Lee, Individual Purchaser • The present study seeks to explore the effects of CSR practices on corporate reputation and consumers’ degree of supportive intention toward the corporation, and also to examine whether CSR practices produce buffering effects (help to reduce reputational damage) or boomerang effects (increase reputational damage). The results suggest that CSR activities might be more effective in improving people’s favorable attitudes toward the corporation, even the perceived image of CSR activities and the supportive intention as expressed in word-of-mouth referrals or purchasing its products. Second, the results supported the marginal evidence of a boomerang effect. Moreover, this study examined the effects of a crisis on consumers’ emotions under different conditions in order to explore consumers’ cognitive processes and shed light on why consumers respond to a crisis differently in different situations.

How do we perceive crisis responsibility differently? An analysis of different publics’ perceptions of crisis responsibility through news framing in crisis communication • Young Kim, Louisiana State University; Andrea Miller, Louisiana State University; myounggi chon • This study explores the dynamics of crisis communication by examining how publics differently perceive crisis responsibility through different crisis news framing. The study aims to identify and analyze the relationship between public segmentation, news framing, and perceived crisis responsibility. In spite of the importance of an interwoven relationship, there is a lack of such systematic analysis of perceived crisis responsibility based on public segmentation and news framing in crisis communication. An online experiment with 1,113 participants found that their perceptions of crisis responsibility were in consistent with the news framing they read; those who read a news story framed as a preventable crisis perceived high levels of responsibility to the organization, and others who read a news story framed by accidental crisis perceived a low level of crisis responsibility to the organization. Moreover, different publics perceived crisis responsibility differently as latent publics were more susceptible to crisis news framing. Thus, the results shed light on how news framing affects publics’ perceptions of crisis responsibility which could lead to varying crisis response strategies of an organization. Theoretical and practical implications for future research and practices are discussed.

A Content Analysis Of Facebook Responses To Abercrombie And Fitch’s Post-Crisis Message • Emily Faulkner, Saint Louis University; Vallory Leaders; Hyunmin Lee, Saint Louis University • Guided by the Situation Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) and emotions literature, this paper content analyzed Facebook users’ responses to Abercrombie and Fitch’s (A&F) post-crisis response message. The findings showed that the majority of Facebook commenters attributed crisis responsibility to A&F, expressed negative emotions, and expressed nonsupport towards the organization. Additionally, there were significant differences between the type of expressed crisis attribute and behavioral intention, expressed emotions type and expressed behavioral intention, and expressed emotions type and crisis attribution.

How to win foreign publics’ support? Invisible battle over history and politics and the role of public diplomacy • Hyun-Ji Lim, University of Miami • The use of soft power and the support of the foreign public are increasingly important in this age of public diplomacy and global public relations. When a country faces a historical and political conflict with another country, this invisible battle needs a strategy from within this context. Through the employment of a 2 x 2, between-subjects experimental research method, this study aims to examine a causal relationship by analyzing the influence of participants’ perception of the reputation of the involved country and the level of involvement they feel toward the issue on their attitude and behavioral intentions on behalf of the country involved. Implications for global public relations practice and theory are discussed.

Communicating Compassion: A Narrative Analysis of Compassion International’s Blogger Engagement Program • Lisa Lundy • A narrative analysis of Compassion International’s blogger engagement program reveals lessons for nonprofits seeking to partner with bloggers. Compassion went beyond just reaching new sponsors through blogger engagement, but also sought to retain and educate existing sponsors, equipping them as ambassadors for the organization. Compassion’s blogger engagement program demonstrates the social capital to be garnered for nonprofit organizations when they partner with likeminded bloggers who can help tell their story.

Infusing social media with humanity: The impact of corporate character on public engagement and relational outcomes on social networking sites • Rita Linjuan Men, Southern Methodist University; Wanhsiu Sunny Tsai, University of Miami • This study links the factors central to social media communications, including perceived corporate character, parasocial interaction, and community identification, to public engagement and organization–public relationships. Based on American users’ engagement behaviors on corporate Facebook pages, the study underscores the effectiveness of a personification approach in social media communication to construct an agreeable corporate character for enhancing public engagement and inducing intimate, interpersonal interactions and community identification, which in turn improves organization-public relationships.

Engaging Employees in the Social Era in China: Effects of Communication Channels, Transparency, and Authenticity • Rita Linjuan Men, Southern Methodist University; Flora Hung-Baesecke, Hong Kong Baptist University • This study examines the internal communication landscape in the social era in China and investigates how organizations’ use of various communication channels fosters organizational transparency and authenticity, which in turn drives employee engagement. Surveying 407 working adults via the web, this study showed that face-to-face and social media channels are most effective in building organizational transparency, authenticity, and engaging employees. Organizational transparency and authenticity perceived by employees demonstrated strong positive effects on employee engagement.

Filner and Ford, a tale of two mayors: A case study of sex, drugs and scandal • patrick merle, Florida State University; Nicole Lee, Texas Tech University • In 2013, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner each faced a public crisis, scandals deemed preventable based on human errors, use of illegal drugs for the former and sex misconduct for the latter. Reviewed through the traditional Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) lens, this comparative case study examined the appropriateness of response strategies used by each political figure. Future research directions and practical implications are presented.

15 Years of Ethics in Peer Reviewed Public Relations Journals: A Content Analysis • Michael Mitrook, University of South Florida • Content analysis concerning the nature of ethical discussion in peer reviewed public relations journals was performed on a total of 1405 articles from four scholarly journals covering the period 1998-2012. Of the 1405 articles, 134 mentioned ethics in some substantive way and were further analyzed in four categories: appeal to a normative ethical theory; mention of a code of ethics; mention of metaethical issues; and relating ethics to a particular public relations theory.

Social media use during natural disasters: Using Q Methodology to identify millennials’ surveillance preferences • Kristen Meadows, CARAT USA; Jensen Moore, Louisiana State University • Due to the inevitable occurrence of natural disasters and their ability to affect millions of people, it is increasingly important to understand how individuals prefer to gather information regarding potential harms or threats. Approached from the hardwired for news hypothesis, developed by Shoemaker (1996), this research examined how millennials preferred to gather information during natural disasters thereby fulfilling surveillance needs. The use of Q-Methodology allowed for surveillance types to emerge among millennials based on attitudes toward use of traditional and social media during natural disasters.

Reevaluating Propaganda in PR History: An Analysis of Propaganda in the Press 1810 to 1918 • Cayce Myers, Virginia Tech • Analysis of U.S. press coverage of propaganda indicates that the term propaganda had a largely negative connotation in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Propaganda’s association with religious, political, and grassroots organizations are identified and discussed. This analysis concludes that Edward Bernays’s assertion that propaganda was a neutral term for PR practice prior to 1918 is inaccurate. Implications for PR historiography are discussed.

Who is Responsible for What? Examining Strategic Roles in Social Media Management • Marlene Neill, Baylor University; Mia Moody-Ramirez, Baylor University • This study examines the strategic roles associated with social media management through the lens of role theory. By analyzing the responses from participants in two focus groups and a survey of public relations and human resources practitioners, we identified nine strategic roles and the associated responsibilities including policy maker, internal collaborator, technology tester, communications organizer, issues manager, relationship analyzer, master of metrics, policing, and employee recruiter. Public relations leads most of these activities, but human resources is a close collaborator. Study findings also provide specific insights into online reputation management processes, exact content of social media policies, and the most common metrics used for social media channels.

Navigating the Leadership Challenge: Inside the Indian Public Relations Industry • Padmini Patwardhan, Winthrop University • This study examined public relations leadership in India as perceived by practitioners. Both Western concepts and Indian approaches are explored. 140 respondents took an industry survey; 13 experienced professionals participated in depth interviews. Importance of Meng and Berger’s excellent leadership model was endorsed in India. Culture-specific leadership roles such as nurturer, seer, and mentor along with practices such as “the personal touch” were also observed. Strengthening soft skills was considered important to developing future PR leaders.

Integrated Influence? Exploring Public Relations Power in Integrated Marketing Communication • Katie Place, Saint Louis University; Brian Smith; Hyunmin Lee, Saint Louis University • Public relations and marketing experience turf wars to determine ownership of new communication frontiers, including digital and social media (Delaria, Kane, Porter, & Strong, 2010; Kiley, 2011). Integrated marketing communication (IMC) prescribes that effective communication hinges on building consistent messaging around stakeholder needs through collaboration between functions (Kliatchko, 2008). Few, if any, other studies have identified the supposed power imbalance in IMC, or the influence of IMC on public relations power. This pilot study builds on the exploratory research by Delaria, et al. (2010) and Smith and Place (2013) to evaluate public relations power in IMC, and the mediating effect of social media expertise on that power. An online survey was distributed to 391 public relations professionals, ultimately surveying 21 public relations professionals in IMC environments. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to analyze if the responses grouped into different types of perceived roles. Additional descriptive statistics and regression analysis were implemented to test the hypotheses and research questions. Results of this pilot study suggest that public relations’ influence in IMC is situated at the nexus of structural power and influence-based power, drawing upon manager versus technician typologies of public relations’ roles. Findings imply that individuals associated with social media expertise hold more “technician” roles and responsibilities, and therefore, do not have the legitimate, coercive or reward power associated with “management” roles. These findings contradict previous studies (i.e. Diga and Kelleher, 2009) that found a positive association between social media use and prestige power, structural power, and expert power.

Trust, Transparency, and Power: Forces to be Reckoned with in Internal Strategic Communication • Mandy Oscarson; Kenneth Plowman, Brigham Young University • In 2011, internal strategic communication was not improving as quickly as one might hope in one office of the Department of Defense. The literature supported the need for improved internal strategic communication, but during the lead author’s summer internship, she noted that the communication team struggled to make this happen. Why were these communication professionals not successful? What was hindering their success? Earlier research showed that trust and transparency were connected to internal strategic communication—either positively or negatively. But one new theme arose from the current study: power. The authors took a closer look at why power may play a role in understanding why internal communication was not improving very quickly in this one office. To do this, the authors asked current and former members of the strategic communication team for their opinions through open-ended survey questions about their experiences. This study illustrates that a lack of trust, transparency, and empowerment—and the inappropriate use of power—are all factors in the success or failure of internal strategic communication.

The relationship between personal technology use and the donor/volunteer: A parasocial approach • Geah Pressgrove, West Virginia University; Carol Pardun, University of South Carolina • An online questionnaire completed by 660 nonprofit stakeholders supported the idea that having a social media based personal connection to the nonprofit, resembling a parasocial friendship, had a significant impact on the stakeholder’s intentions to support the organization in the offline community (e.g. volunteer, donate). Findings also indicate that when a stakeholder has a higher level of social connections and time spent online, there is a decrease in the intention to behaviorally support the organization.

Nonprofit Relationship Management: Extending OPR to Loyalty and Behaviors • Geah Pressgrove, West Virginia University; Brooke McKeever • Through a survey of organizational stakeholders (N=660), this study contributes to our understanding of nonprofit public relations in three key areas. First, a new five-factor scale to measure perceptions of the relationship cultivation strategies of stewardship was tested. Second, group differences between organization stakeholder types were explored. Third, a new working model that extends previous OPR models to include variables of loyalty and behavioral intentions was advanced. Findings revealed theoretical, measurement and practical applications.

Addressing the Under-Representation of Hispanics in Public Relations: An Exploratory Quantitative Study • David Radanovich, High Point University • While the Hispanic population in the United States has grown dramatically, the number of Hispanics in public relations has not kept pace. This exploratory quantitative study surveyed Latino public relations professionals to quantify perceived barriers to entry and evaluated ideas for increasing interest in pursuing public relations as a career among Hispanics. The research identified opportunities for educators, professional organizations, public relations agencies, nonprofits and businesses to work together to help address this under-representation.

Skepticism toward CSR: Developing and Testing a Measurement • Hyejoon Rim, University of Minnesota; Sora Kim, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • The study attempts to develop a measurement of CSR skepticism and identify a strongest predictor among the refined CSR skepticism constructs by testing the relationships between skepticism constructs and public responses. Through testing competing models, this study concludes that four factors should be considered to measure CSR skepticism: 1) skepticism toward a CSR communication’s informativeness, 2) skepticism regarding discrepancy: CSR communication motives and CSR motives, 3) skepticism toward a company’s altruism (sincerity), and 4) skepticism regarding image promotion. Skepticism toward a company’s altruism is identified as the strongest predictor in determining negative public response to CSR, whereas cynicism, in contrast to past research, does not have much predictive power to explain public attitude toward CSR.

Time-lag Analysis of Agenda Building between White House Public Relations and Congressional Policymaking Activity • Tiffany Schweickart, University of Florida; Jordan Neil, University of Florida; Ji Young Kim; Spiro Kiousis, University of Florida • This study examined the agenda building process between White House political public relations messages and Congressional policymaking activity during the first six months of the Obama administration’s second term. Using a time-lag design, this study explored three levels of agenda building for issues, issue frames, and the co-occurrence of issues with eight information subsidy types. Theoretical and practical implications for the three levels of agenda-building and advancing the study of political public relations are discussed.

Relationships as Strategic Issues Management: An Activist Network Strategy Model • Erich Sommerfeldt, University of Maryland; Aimei Yang, University of Southern California • This paper argues that activist relationship building is likely to be influenced by the nature of the issue for which a group advocates and the stage of that issues’ development. Informed by issues management perspectives as well as theories of framing and institutionalization, this paper proposes a model of activist networking strategies that explains and prescribes the nature of network relationships an activist group maintains at different stages of an issues development.

Does social media use affect journalists’ perceptions of source credibility? • Dustin Supa, Boston University; Lynn Zoch, Radford University; Jessica Scanlon, Boston University • Changes in the media landscape have put social media in the forefront of interpersonal and organizational communication. This study investigates whether the same is true of the journalists’ relationship with media relations practitioners. A nation-wide survey of journalists (n=535) found that although journalists use social media to generate story ideas, they rarely use them to communicate with practitioners, and perceived greater source credibility in practitioners with whom they had a face-to-face rather than online relationship.

Joining the Movement?: Investigating Standardization of Measurement and Evaluation Within Public Relations • Kjerstin Thorson, University of Southern California; Emily Gee, University of Southern California; Jun Jiang, USC; Zijun Lu, University of Southern California; Grace Luan, University of Southern California; David Michaelson, Teneo Strategy; Sha-Lene Pung, University of Southern California; Yihan Qin, usc; Kaylee Weatherly, University of Southern California; Jing Xu • This paper draws on a new survey of public relations professionals to explore (1) the extent to which respondents report adopting standardized measures recommended by professional organizations; (2) predictors of measurement standardization; and (3) links among measurement practices and self-reported influence of public relations within the broader organization.

Survivor-to-Survivor Communication Model: How Organizations can use Post-Disaster Interviewing to Facilitate Grassroots Crisis Communication • Jennifer Vardeman-Winter, University of Houston; Robyn Lyn; Rakhee Sharma • Public relations and crisis communication research focuses largely on post-crisis communication from the organizational standpoint. Problems arise like jurisdictional conflicts, miscommunications because of cultural differences, and inefficiencies in crisis recovery because national groups don’t have intimate knowledge of the disaster site like local groups do. Thus, it is important to theorize and practice public relations with the knowledge of the publics’ standpoint. In this essay, we look to a recent post-crisis anthropological project conducted with survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to highlight the important of local, grassroots efforts of recovery. We suggest that public relations practitioners can facilitate some of the concepts used in this process, such as survivor-to-survivor interviewing and sharing narratives. We provide a roadmap that moves our field from a traditional organizational-based post-crisis model to a survivor-to-survivor communication model to be utilized by organizational communicators.

Creating Social Change with Public Relations: Strategically Using Twitter to Turn Supporters into Vocal Advocates • Jeanine Guidry, Virginia Commonwealth University; Richard Waters, University of San Francisco; Gregory D. Saxton, SUNY-Buffalo • Communication scholarship has shown that peer-to-peer communication has the most influence on individuals. Organizations must learn how to engage audiences and facilitate discussions between individuals about organizational messages on social media platforms. Through a content analysis of 3,415 nonprofit Twitter updates, this study identifies message types that are more likely to be retweeted, archived, and discussed. Through these stakeholder behaviors, public relations practitioners have stronger influence as it transitions from organizational to interpersonal messaging.

Dialogic communication and organizational websites: An analysis of existing literature and recommendations for theory development • John Wirtz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Thais Menezes Zimbres • This paper presents the results of a systematic analysis of studies applying Kent and Taylor’s (1998; 2002) dialogic theory of public relations to organizational websites and social media presence. We identified 34 studies that applied the five-fold dialogic communication framework to organizational websites and an additional 12 studies that applied the framework to some aspect of social media (e.g., blogs, Facebook, Twitter). We then analyzed the papers, paying particular attention to common themes in Methods, Results, and theory testing and development. In general, we found a consistent emphasis on the role of websites and social media as facilitators of dialogic communication and as useful tools for managing organizational-public relationships. However, we found a relatively low degree of consistency across the studies in how dialogic communication was measured, as less than half of the studies (41%) used the same measures. We also found a relatively narrow range of fields represented, with most papers focusing on nonprofit (74%) or government (14.7%) websites. Finally, a surprisingly high proportion of the studies (28%) did not include any research questions or hypotheses, while only 26% of the studies tested a relation between some aspect of the dialogic communication framework and another variable (e.g., responsiveness to inquiry, corporate performance). The paper concludes with recommended areas of future research and theory testing.

An Analysis of How Social Media Use is Being Measured in Public Relations Practice • Don Wright, Boston University; Michelle Hinson, University of Florida • This paper reports on a six-year, longitudinal analysis exploring if and how social and other new media use is being measured in public relations practice. With more than three thousand respondents (n=3,009) – an average of more than 500 per year – the study found fewer than half of the public relations practitioners surveyed work with organizations or have clients that have conducted research measuring what is being communicated about them via social media, blogs and other emerging media. The percentage of organizations conducting these measures grew from 38.6% in 2009 to 45.9% in 2014. Results indicate those who work in public relations strongly support the idea of conducting new media research and measurement. However, most of the research actually taking place involves basic measures of communication outputs and content analysis rather than communication outcomes studies exploring the impact this communication might be having on opinion leaders and other influential people or its role influencing attitude, opinion and behavior formation, reinforcement and change.

The Internet in Public Relations Research: An Analysis and Critique of Its Temporal Development • Yi-Hui Huang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Fang Wu; Qing HUANG, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study develops a holistic and up-to-date description of Internet public relations research by analyzing 123 academic journal articles published between 2008 and 2013. Three developmental stages of Internet public relations research are identified: the Budding Stage (1992-2003), the Diversification Stage (2004-2008), and the Advancement Stage (2009 to present). Comparisons among the three different stages are made. Major findings include: 1) research has been expanding and diversifying; 2) recent theoretical development makes a shift from description to theorization; 3) dialogic theory, excellence theory, interactivity, and dialogicity have been the most frequently studied theories and characteristics; 4) asymmetrical research agenda exists in terms of its lack of diversity in locality, perspective, and cultural sensitivity. Improvements can and should be made by moving toward a research agenda that is more methodologically diverse, culturally sensitive, and symmetrical. Reflections, critiques, and suggestions for how to advance Internet public relations research are offered.

Effects of source credibility and virality on evaluations of company response via Facebook: An experiment in online crisis communication • Shupei Yuan, Michigan State University; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University • Social networking sites have become important tools to communicate with publics during crises. This study investigated the how source credibility predicted attitudes toward the apology response and the company in crisis as a function of source type and number of likes. Findings showed that the strength of association between trustworthiness and attitudes varied as a function of source type and virality. Findings are discussed within the persuasion models, crisis response typologies, and new communication technologies.

Chinese Milk Companies And The 2008 Chinese Milk Scandal: An Analysis Of Crisis Communication Strategies In A Non-Western Setting • Lijie Zhou, Arkansas State University; Li Zeng, Arkansas State University; Gilbert Fowler • Study analyzed how four major Chinese companies (Sanlu, Mengniu, Yili, and Bright Group) used press releases to respond to the 2008 Chinese Milk Scandal. Analyzed in stages, findings show during pre-crisis, all displayed similarities — keeping silent / covering-up. In crisis, strategies varied dramatically as companies became involved — looking for government protection and apologizing. In post-crisis, survivors adopted bolstering strategy. Study suggests Chinese companies employed western crisis communication strategies, although with distinct Chinese characteristics.


Examining the Influence of Public Relations Message Strategy Use on Student Attitude Through Facebook • Alan Abitbol • Experimental methods were used to examine the influence of public relations strategies, derived from Hazleton and Long’s (1988) public relation process model, disseminated over Facebook on student attitude. Results revealed that negative messages posted on Facebook had the most significant effect on participant attitude, and that using Facebook as a medium did not affect attitude significantly. These findings indicate that the message content is especially important since the platform itself does not impact attitude.

Framing for the cure: An examination of self and media imposed frames of Susan G. Komen • Caitrin Cardosi, Kent State University • The following study examines the frames created about Susan G. Komen for the Cure® both by the foundation itself and by major national news outlets. A qualitative analysis, grounded in framing theory, identified frames around the foundation formed by the media both in 2008 and during the months of January, February, and March of 2012. Then, it compared those frames with frames that emerged from press releases published by the foundation during the same times. The study found that brand strength is a key component to influencing media framing, as is grounding messaging in issues larger than the individual organization. Future research could examine the relationship between national headquarters of nonprofits and media outlets in comparison with the relationship between local chapters and media outlets.

Global Networks, Social Media and the Iceland Ash Cloud: A Crisis Communication Case • Maxine Gesualdi, Temple University • The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull erupted in April 2010 causing a large cloud of ash, which moved across Europe created a crisis situation for many stakeholders including airlines, nation-state governments, and individual consumers. The ash could was a non-deadly natural disaster that had no human cause, responsible party, or recovery effort. This study explores the Iceland ash cloud as a networked global communication crisis and reveals implications for management of crises via social media.

Comprehending CSR Message Effects: An Application of the Elaboration Likelihood Model • Osenkor Gogo, University of Georgia; Nicholas Browning, University of Georgia; Marvin Kimmel, University of Georgia • Although CSR initiatives generally elicit positive consumer reactions, a recent study showed that most people find CSR messages confusing. This experiment examined the information processing dynamics at play in the relationship between CSR messages and consumer perceptions of corporate reputation. Based on ELM, the results indicated that CSR’s influence on reputation is unaffected by message complexity. This effect is, however, intensified by involvement, information processing ability, and brand familiarity. The implications are discussed.

Internet-Mediated Relationship Management in Local Nonprofit Fundraising • Yi Ji • While organizing Pedal 4 Kids charity bike ride, Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida primarily adopted online communication to manage relationships with its stakeholders. However, neither recruitment nor fundraising goals were achieved. In-depth interviews with event participants revealed integrated application of message interactivity and functional interactivity would enhance public engagement in local charity event. Findings provide theoretical and practical implications in local nonprofit public relations management through fundraising event in a new media context.

“Culturing” Generic/Specific Theory: Relocating Culture in Generic/Specific Public Relations • Amanda Kennedy, University of Maryland • This study asked how culture in generic/specific theory (GST) (traditionally applied to international public relations) can be reconceived, and whether GST can also apply to domestic public relations to inform culturally reflective and effective national campaigns. I conducted seven in-depth interviews and thematic analysis to explore how national CDC campaigns were adapted to local publics by community organizations, finding that deeper theories of culture can enhance GST and makes GST useful for domestic public relations.

The More Informative, The Better: The Effect of Message Interactivity on Product Attitudes and Purchase Intentions • Holly Ott, The Pennsylvania State University; Sushma Kumble, The Pennsylvania State University; Michail Vafeiadis, The Pennsylvania State University; Thomas Waddell • Social media increasingly allows consumers to interact with businesses, although the effects of this novel technology in the context of public relations is under-examined. The present study conducted a 2×3 experiment to examine the effect of message interactivity and source authority on consumers’ ad attitudes, brand attitudes, and purchase intentions. Message interactivity had a positive effect on ad effectiveness via the indirect pathway of perceived informativeness. Theoretical and practical implications of study results are discussed.

Set It and Forget It: The One-Way Use of Social Media by Government Science Agencies • Nicole Lee, Texas Tech University; Matthew VanDyke, Texas Tech University • Research suggests that one-way message dissemination is not an adequate means of improving knowledge or changing attitudes about science. Informed by public relations literature on the use of social media for dialogic communication, the current study examined how United States federal government science agencies communicate about science and the strategies they enact on social media. Findings suggest they underutilize social media’s potential for dialogue and treat new media platforms as broadcast media.

Publics’ Preference-Consistent and -Inconsistent Judgments of Crisis Response: A Preliminary Examination of Expectancy Contrast Theories in Crisis Management • Xiaochen Zhang, University of Florida • This study attempted to use expectancy contrast theories to explain and predict publics’ response to organizational crisis response strategies in an experiment. It tested the effects of prior attitude valence (positive, negative) and crisis response strategies (denial, bolster, combined) on publics’ attitudes and blame. An interaction effect was found on attitude but not on blame. Bolstering was found to be more effective for positive condition but less effective for negative condition than denial and combined.

How do Leading Companies in Greater China Communicate Their CSR Practices through Corporate Websites? A Comparative Study of Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan: 2008-2013 • Mengmeng Zhao, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study explores how corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices are presented and communicated on corporate websites of 204 top companies in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan during 2008-2013. The analytical focuses of content analysis include presence, prominence and extent of communication, as well as CSR issues and modes reported on the websites. The results indicate that CSR communication has gained great attention in the Greater China area, as nearly two-thirds of top companies communicated CSR on their corporate websites. However, significant discrepancies exist among three regions in terms of CSR perception, perceived importance of CSR issues, and the adoption of CSR modes. Specifically, more than one-third of Hong Kong companies use term “Sustainability”, a more advanced form of CSR, as the section title to refer to responsible behavior. Whereas the majority of companies in Mainland China and Taiwan still use “CSR” or “Social Responsibility”. Furthermore, as for CSR issues and modes, Mainland Chinese companies put much efforts on poverty and disaster relief as well as philanthropic act, while Hong Kong companies attach great importance to community’s sustainable development and implement CSR activities through more institutionalized ways such as volunteering, sponsorship and partnerships, and Taiwan companies embrace humanist spirit, as their CSR projects involve more in arts and culture, health and safety of workers, and employee engagement. This study represents the first comparative study of CSR communication amongst businesses in Greater China, providing a preliminary observation of the status of CSR implementation and communication in these three convergent-and-divergent societies. Limitations and implications for future research were also discussed.


“Can every class be a Twitter chat?”: Teaching social media via cross-institutional experiential learning • Julia Daisy Fraustino, University of Maryland; Rowena Briones, Virginia Commonwealth University; Melissa Janoske, University of Maryland • Using the framework of experiential learning theory, instructors of social media strategy classes at three universities implemented Twitter chats as a way to build students’ social media and public relations knowledge. Creating topical case studies and discussing them during the chats, students applied course theories and concepts, built professional networks, and broadened understanding of how to communicate using a new tool in a unique digital culture. Best practices for teaching using similar assignments are offered.

Considering Certification?: An Analysis of Universities’ Communication Certificates and Feedback from Public Relations Professionals • Julie O’Neil, Texas Christian University; Jacqueline Lambiase • Working professionals may need post-baccalaureate education, but finding time and resources to do so may be difficult. An analysis of 75 university master’s programs in public relations found 22 related programs offering communication certificates. A web audit of these programs, plus a survey and depth interviews, indicated professionals are interested in earning certificates, particularly in social and digital media strategy and measurement. Professionals want to attend certificate programs that combine online and face-to-face instruction.

In Their Own Words: A Thematic Analysis of Students’ Self-Perceptions of Writing Skills in Mass Communication Programs • Scott Kuehn, Clarion University; Andrew Lingwall, Clarion University • This study explored student self-perceptions of writing skills in mass communication programs at thirteen public state universities in the Mid-Atlantic region. Responses to three open-ended questions revealed heavy student concern with their basic skills, a desire for extensive faculty contact and feedback, and for many respondents, an immaturity or naiveté regarding professional standards. This study addresses implications for faculty members who wish to better understand their students in order to devise more effective writing instruction.

2014 Abstracts

Media Management and Economics 2014 Abstracts

What Motivates Online Shoppers to “Like” Brands’ Facebook Fan Pages? • Mohammad Abuljadail, Bowling Green State University, Ohio; Fang Wang, Bowling Green State University, Ohio; Liu Yang • “Brands’ Facebook fan pages have been frequently used as a marketing tool to reach to more individuals; however, Facebook users’ motivations to participate in those fan pages are still unclear. This paper investigates the motives that stimulate online shoppers to “like” brands’ Facebook fan pages. This study is interested in knowing if online shoppers’ proclivity to “like” brands’ Facebook fan pages is based on their hedonic or utilitarian motivations. The authors propose a model based on hedonic and utilitarian motivations and uses and gratifications theoretical framework. An online survey was conducted among college students who shopped online in Northwest Ohio (N=198). The findings show that utilitarian motivations have positive significant relationships with “liking” brands’ Facebook fan pages.

Going Public: The role of Public relations in Initial Public Offering (IPO) communication • Jee-Young Chung, Southern Utah University; Eyun-Jung Ki, The University of Alabama • The present study aims to investigate the role of public relations in initial public offering (IPO) communication and the features of IPO disclosure utilizing Impression Management theory. Specifically, the present study examines the public relations practices in IPO process in terms of financial disclosure (i.e., form S-1: registration statements) and the media attention during the Quiet Period. The prospectuses of 248 IPO companies during 2013 were content analyzed based on IM strategies. Media relations efforts of those companies and media attention on companies were analyzed, and whether it relates to investors’ evaluation and attention on IPO companies. The results suggest the practical guidelines for IPO disclosure for public relations practice.

Promoting and Branding of News on Twitter: An Examination of CNN International • Michael North, University of Miami; Terry Bloom, University of Miami; Eisa al Nashmi, Kuwait University; Johanna Cleary • This content analysis examines the individual Twitter accounts of three high-profile reporter/anchors, and the corresponding network feed at CNN International, and how they used those tweets for branding and promotion. Specifically, it looks at 1,158 tweets from CNN International reporters/anchors Christiane Amanpour, Becky Anderson, and Richard Quest, and the general Twitter feed for CNNi. The tweets were issued over the course of one month in late 2013. The study confirmed that this important legacy media company often uses its various Twitter feeds to promote and brand their products. Results showed that CNNi’s strategic use of Twitter feeds varied between classifications of feeds (i.e. individual and network-specific). The individual reporter/anchor feeds were more likely to demonstrate branding and promotional messages than was the network feed, while the latter was more likely to concentrate on breaking news and news updates. Overall, CNNi’s Twitter presence offered an opportunity for branding and promoting its various products, programs, and personnel.

Media brands as symbolic resources – An audience-centered approach • Kati Förster, University of Vienna; Sabine Baumann, Jade University; Katharina Kleinen-von Königslöw • As never before media are expressions of people’s self-concepts for themselves as well as for others. In displaying media use habits or preferences in one’s social environment, media products provide relevant constituents in producing the social self. The aim of this paper is to explore the use of (popular) media brands in everyday media practices, and to uncover their symbolic meanings for identity practices of affiliation with in-groups and distinction towards out-groups. We suggest an audience-centered approach that considers different levels of aggregation and, by that, functions of media brands. At an individual level we investigated everyday media practices using online media diaries (n = 59) over a period of four weeks. Based on these findings we selected twelve genres to explore their symbolic impact within a social group using a projective technique (n = 225). The results show that only six of the selected twelve genres serve as distinctive features when signalling a certain social belonging towards others: News as informative content, comedy shows as performative content and comedy as fictional entertainment are those genres that act as social ‘glue’ in our investigated group. Contrastingly, society formats, scripted documentaries and fantasy/science fiction/horror increase distinction, as they negatively affect likability and the perceived similarity with oneself and/or with friends.

Media management education: Challenges, key themes and pedagogies • Kati Förster, University of Vienna; Ulrike Rohn, U of Tartu • “The media sphere has changed significantly as a result of globalization, technology and new modes of media use habits. Scholars in journalism and mass communication thus call on a transformation and reinvention of higher education in the field. The purpose of this article is to investigate how media management is taught across different institutions, and how educators cope with this interdisciplinary, international and dynamic field. In an online-survey we asked educators from fourteen different countries across Europe about the key themes addressed in teaching, the pedagogies applied and the fundamental challenges.

Organizational Strategic Decision Processes at U.S. Newspapers: A Study of Mobile Business Model Innovation • Geoffrey Graybeal, Texas Tech University • Using strategic management theories of organizational decision-making and upper echelons as theoretical frameworks, this study addresses the strategic decision processes used by U.S. daily newspapers to address mobile disruption of newspaper business models. Through a nationwide survey of publishers of daily newspapers, the study found that the majority of newspaper publishers do not perceive wireless mobile devices as a disruptive threat to their business, and thus engage in a comprehensive decision-making process.

The resilience of journalists who remain: A longitudinal study of technological and economic changes at newspapers and journalists’ perceived identities • Amber Hinsley, Saint Louis University • This longitudinal study used online surveys of newspaper journalists to explore how they believe technological and economic changes affected their job roles in 2010 and 2014. Using social identity theory, the research also investigates whether those changes have impacted newspaper journalists’ connections to their organization (known as organizational identification) and to the profession (professional identification). Implications for managers include the enduring nature of OI and PI in the face of a continually changing industry.

Factors Affecting Mobile Application Usage: Exploring the Roles of Gender, Age, and Application Types • Kyung-Ho Hwang, Sungkyunkwan University; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida; Sang-Hyun Nam, Sungkyunkwan University; Byeng-Hee Chang, Sungkyunkwan University • Adopting the uses and gratifications perspective, this study investigates the effect of mobile apps types, and the moderating effects of gender and age on mobile apps usage through actual user experience, as captured by metered software on a sample of mobile phone users in the United States. The variable of apps usage is examined from both the width (i.e., reach) and depth (i.e., intensity) aspect to capture the multiplicity of mobile apps usage behavior.

Structural Changes in Communities and Newspaper Circulation in the Digital Age • SEOK HO LEE, University of Texas at Austin • Despite growing concerns over decline in newspaper circulation, only a few studies have examined determinants of the slump in the digital age, and most of them have limitedly focused on technological factors, such as the effect of the Internet. Present study examines to what extent structural changes in the neighborhood affects newspaper circulation in order to provide holistic understanding of the decline in newspaper circulation. We investigated four important neighborhood attributes, which influence newspaper circulation: penetration of high-speed Internet, median household income, long distance residential mobility, and voter turnout. Evidence presents that the decline in newspaper circulation results from a combination of diverse factors, rather than a single determinant. In particular, the effect of long distance residential mobility and median household income challenges the conventional belief that newspaper circulation has a positive relationship with length of residency and earned income. While there are speculations on imminent demise of printed newspapers, the results suggest that newspapers may survive as did in the rise of the previous technology evolution with radio and television, once the nation recovers from political cynicism and stagnant residential mobility.

Is traditional media losing audience? • Qianni Luo, Ohio University • This study sought to determine several variables that may influence people’s choice to shift from old to new media. These included time spent on social activities, the structure of traditional media, the user’s gender, and use of social media. Based on the theory of uses and gratifications, logic of media economics, and time budget theory, all of those variables potentially influence people’s choice of the Internet over traditional media. A secondary data retrieved from Pew Research Center’s 2012 media consumption survey was used in this project. Twelve questions from the questionnaire regarding people’s media usage were mainly analyzed in this article. The results indicate that time spent on social activities, gender and the structure of newspapers influence time spent on the Internet.

Mobile News Business Models: Promise or Pitfall? • Logan Molyneux, University of Texas • The narrative surrounding mobile news is one of opportunity, just as optimism characterized early online news ventures. But have newspapers venture into mobile, are they repeating the same mistakes they made online? This study conducts a meta-analysis of industry data to determine what business models newspapers use in mobile markets in order to predict performance in the long run. Results suggest newspapers’ mobile efforts rely on the same old business models that failed them online which, given the additional challenges of mobile, are even less likely to succeed. Faulty assumptions behind this approach and suggested ways forward are discussed.

Repeat Consumption of Media Goods: Examining the Factors Affecting Repeat Theatrical Viewing of Movies • Byeng-Hee Chang, Sungkyunkwan University; Sang-Hyun Nam, Sungkyunkwan University; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida; hun kim • This study explored the factors affecting repeat theatrical viewing of movies. By using a comprehensive framework of four variable groups, content characteristics, audience characteristics, social influence, and availability/competition, the analysis reveals several important findings. A theoretically significant discovery is that the drivers of repeat viewing of media contents might be very different from the first viewing of those contents. This study also discovers differences between first and second repeat viewing of theatrical movies.

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Strategy and the Financial Health of Internet Media Firms • Huyen Nguyen, Ohio University • Do mergers and acquisitions bring more profits for traditional media firms? The question has long been asked by many scholars in the field of media management and economics (Rizzuto, 2006). However, their answers have never been consistent. Observing the popular use of M&A strategy by Internet media firms, this paper reconsiders this controversial issue. Our selected sample includes 9 public firms: Amazon, AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo and Zynga. As a result, we found a significant positive linear relationship between the current profit margin and total acquisition costs of these firms. Besides, we also found that these firms tend to acquire firms having the same SIC (Standard Industrial Classication) code, to empower their core assets and competences, as well as get rid of potential competitors.

Brand Personalities of Video Game Consoles • Anthony Palomba • As consumers play video game consoles, they become more engaged and formulate a relationship with them. From this, perceived brand personality traits may manifest among consumers. This study created brand personality scales for all seventh generation video game consoles including Nintendo’s Wii, Microsoft’s XBOX 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3. Principal component factor analyses were conducted to measure each video game console’s brand personality and across all three video game consoles.

The AM Radio Conundrum • Ian Punnett, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication/ASU • Due to radio frequency encroachment from all electronics, AM radio signal quality is deteriorating. As a result, the FCC is offering unprecedented technical assistance. This exploratory study documents the disposition of media managers about the future of the AM band, the recent FCC’s efforts and role of new technologies. Findings show that elite interviewees offered candid and surprising comments on the state of AM radio and the advent of digital delivery.

Likes, Shares, and Comments: Examining the Relationship between Social Media Metrics and Brand Equity • Ronen Shay, University of Florida • Structural equation modeling is used to explore the relationship between the engagement metrics produced by social networks and brand equity, when mediated by online reach. Relationships explored include: direct effects of online reach on brand equity; direct effects of platform engagement on online reach; which brands generate high engagement; which brands have high online reach; which social networking platform has the greatest indirect effect on brand equity; and which brands are present on which platforms.

Factors Affecting Platform Selection between Offline Television and Online Video • Ronen Shay, University of Florida • This exploratory study provides a comprehensive analysis of the factors that affect platform selection between offline television and online video. The theoretical framework draws from diffusion of innovations theory, the convergence paradigm, brand segmentation research, and layered communication systems to identify a diverse selection of demographics, psychographics, and content selection preferences that act as predictor variables in a multiple discriminant analysis that attempts to classify survey respondents based on their platform preference.

Communication trade associations: Increased value under increased competition? • Amy Sindik, Central Michigan University • This study examines the role broadcast and wireless trade associations play in the competitive communications industry, and if the management perspective on the value of trade associations has changed as the two industries engage in increased competition. The study is conducted through in-person interviews with lobbyists employed by broadcast and wireless organizations. The interviews suggest that competition has increased the value of trade associations to organizations, and has also resulted in member organizations becoming more fully committed to industry trade associations, and having less extreme reactions when trade association and organizational policy stances do not align. The interviews also suggest that benefits of trade association membership in a competitive environment include the ability of a trade association to serve as a political shield for a controversial policy stance and to magnify the voice of individual organizations.

Stability or Rigidity: Management, Boards of Directors and the Newspaper Industry’s Financial Collapse • John Soloski, U of Georgia • This paper examines the composition of the top management of publicly traded newspaper companies and the make up of their boards of directors before and after the industry experienced the worst financial collapse in its history.

Free Newspapers in the United States: Alive and Kicking • James Ian Tennant, Mount Royal University • This study considers the economic health of free newspapers given their heavy reliance on advertising. Do free newspapers face two options?: continue producing free content by relying on advertising (in addition to other revenue sources), or abandon the advertising-based business model. The researcher employed a Web-based survey and in-depth interviews with publishers of four different types of free newspapers. Results show free newspapers are not only viable but in many markets they are thriving.

Entrepreneurial Journalism: Shifting Journalistic Capital? • Tim Vos, University of Missouri; Jane Singer, City University London / University of Iowa • This exploratory study culls references to entrepreneurial journalism from a broad range of industry and popular publications and sites from 2000 to the present, examines the journalism field’s textual and discursive construction of entrepreneurial journalism and explores how this discourse raises issues regarding the principles, norms and ethics of the journalism field. The study found entrepreneurial journalism to be loosely defined and generally portrayed positively and largely free of ethical or normative implications. The study considers what this means for the stability of journalism’s cultural capital.

The Relationship between Twitter Use and Television Ratings A Content Analysis of Television Networks’ Twitter Sites • Yuan Wang, University of Alabama • Television networks are increasingly using social networking sites to interact with the audiences of their programs. Through a content analysis of the Twitter sites of some popular television programs from three big television networks, this study examined the relationship between Twitter use of television networks and television ratings of specific programs, and how these networks used Twitter. One finding was that overall there might be a significant relationship between Twitter use of television networks and television ratings. In particular, the relationship was positive for CBS’s and FOX’s programs, and also for comedy and drama programs. Besides, the relationships between Twitter use and television ratings varied based on different television networks (CBS, ABC and FOX) and program genres (comedy, reality and drama).

Retransmission Consent and Television Blackouts: An Examination of Consumer Reaction • Gillian Wheat • A content analysis examined consumer reaction to a 32-day television blackout that was the result of unsuccessful retransmission consent negotiations between Time Warner Cable and CBS. Comments made on the Facebook pages of Time Warner Cable and CBS during the blackout were analyzed. The findings of the study revealed that the placement of blame for the blackout varied, as did mention of issues such as payment for access to programming and online access to programming.

Competition between Mobile News and Traditional News Media: A Longitudinal Analysis from 2010 to 2014 • Mengchieh Jacie Yang • The current study sought to understand the evolving mobile news landscape with two large-scale online surveys conducted in the United States. With one survey conducted in 2010 and the other in 2014, this study provides a longitudinal perspective for both the news industry and the academic community. With a media economics approach, the results showed that both smartphones and tablet computers remain to be viable news media, complementing traditional news media. Important practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Gratification Niches of Blogs and Online Legacy News Media: A Study of Competition and Coexistence • Mohammad Yousuf, University of Oklahoma; Peter Gade, Professor at the University of Oklahoma • A survey of young adults explored the extent to which blogs and online legacy news media compete and coexist. Findings indicate that blogs are cutting into niches that used to be controlled by journalism and professional news organizations, suggesting displacement on three dimensions—surveillance gratifications, gratification opportunities and content gratifications. Results also show that legacy media have higher niche breadth and competitive superiority over blogs. Moderate niche overlap between media exists, indicating competition.

2014 Abstracts

Advertising 2014 Abstracts

Professional Freedom & Responsibility

What’s the Score?: A Longitudinal Content Analysis of Mature Adults in Super Bowl Commercials • Mary Brooks, Texas Tech University; Shannon Bichard; Clay Craig, Coastal Carolina University • Based on the rising older adult population, the importance of advertisers recognizing this consumer group is imperative. Thus, this content analysis of 239 Super Bowl commercials applied framing theory to examine how mature audiences are represented in one of the most expensive and highly viewed advertising venues. Previous research suggests that older adults are typically underrepresented in all media and often stereotyped. The results show underrepresentation is still problematic; yet positive frames were used often.

Inoculating the Electorate: American Corporatocracy and its Influence on Health Communication • Laura Crosswell; Lance Porter • Much like Socrates’ separation of art and cookery suggested the need for a new rhetoric centuries ago, commercially driven agendas reflect a contemporary need for a moral code in the corporate healthcare industry. This research examines the profit-driven agendas, non-branded marketing strategies, and commercialized propaganda that influence public trust in pharmaceutical products. Specifically focusing on Rick Perry’s 2007 HPV vaccination mandate, we examine the role that corporate funding plays in legislation, regulation, and voter/consumer behavior. Emergent findings from in-depth field interviews with Texas residents illustrate the capitalized communications contaminating consumer trust and public health, and present an argument for regulation realignment in the healthcare industry.

Tokens in a Man’s World: A Global Analysis of Women in Advertising Creative Departments • Jean Grow, Marquette University; Tao Deng, Marquette University • Using the Standard Directory of Advertising Agencies this study quantitatively explores the underrepresentation of women in advertising creative departments across five global geographic clusters. Engaging the Hofstede and GLOBE models and considering both horizontal and vertical distribution, data demonstrate fairly consistent patterns across 41 countries indicating significant complications for women both horizontally and vertically. Data further demonstrate a global scarcity of creative women with their numbers actually declining, across time, when compared to previous data.

Ethics of the Business Case for CSR Communication: An Integrated Business and Moral Perspective on CSR • S. Senyo Ofori-Parku, University of Oregon • Is it unethical to use corporate social responsibility (CSR) to enhance business goals through public relations, advertising, branding, and marketing efforts? In attending to this question, this paper points out the duality of CSR. It places profitable business in a framework that embraces utilitarianism economics and ethical principles such as duties, rights, and obligations. Drawing on literature from philosophy, business management and ethics, and communication ethics, it proposes that CSR is inherently both economic (strategic) and social (involves morality).

Message Strategies for Ads in U.S. Children’s magazines: An Application of Taylor’s Six-Segment Strategy Wheel • Meenakshi Trichur Venkitasubramanian; Jinhee Lee; Ronald Taylor, University of Tennessee • This study explores the message strategies employed by advertisers for children’s products in U.S. children’s magazines. This study also explores the association between product category and the message strategy. The study uses Taylor’s six-segment strategy wheel as its theoretical framework. A total of 531 ads from three different children’s magazines were examined for the years 2010-12. Content analysis of the ads reveals that advertisers use more transformational approaches than informational approaches.


From Clicks to Behaviors: The mediating effect of viral behavioral intentions on the relationship between attitudes and offline behavioral intentions • Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University; Anna McAlister, Michigan State University; Chen Lou, Michigan State University; Amy Hagerstrom, Michigan State University • Advertisers, marketers, and other professional communicators are heavily investing in social media marketing in hopes that online engagement will ultimately lead to offline behaviors (e.g., purchase). However, the relationship between online engagement behaviors (i.e., viral behaviors) and offline behavior still remains puzzling. The current study reports results of four experiments that investigated the mediating effect of intentions to like, share, and comment on persuasive social media messages with regard to informing the relationship between attitudes and offline behavioral intentions. The results are mixed with regard to this mediating effect. Findings are discussed in relation to redefining persuasion models within the context of the new media environment and in relation to practical implications of valuing online behaviors.

The Effects of the Valence of National Events on Persuasion in Patriotic Message: Regarding the Goal Framing • Hye Jin Bang, University of Georgia; Dongwon Choi; Jinnie Jinyoung Yoo, Gachen University • This study aims to examine if the activation of national identity through different contextual cues interplays with regulatory-focus message framing on consumers’ reaction to patriotic advertising. Specifically, this study explores the effective forms of patriotic ad message (promotion-focused vs. prevention-focused) depending on different valence of national identity priming contexts (positive vs. negative). Findings from an experiment suggest that the interaction between the valence of national identity priming and regulatory framing. Specifically, it appears that promotion-focused message yielded favorable Aad, Ab and PI when the valence of contexts that activate national identity is positive. On the other hand, the prevention-focused message elicited more favorable Ab if the valence of contexts that prime national identity is negative.

Exploring the Role of Parasocial Relationships on Product Placement Effectiveness • D. Jasun Carr, Susquehanna University • The practice of product placement, the embedding of goods and services within media, has experienced a resurgence of interest in recent years both from the stand point of the practitioner seeking additional avenues by which to reach the elusive consumer, and by scholars seeking to better understand the influence that media have on the consumptive practices of the audience. Many practitioners, and some scholars, have taken the stance that the practice of product placement may currently be the most influential form of advertising and persuasion.

Product Placement in Hollywood Movies: A Longitudinal Analysis • Huan Chen, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College; Ye Wang, University of Missouri – Kansas City • The study examined the nature and characteristics of product placement in the U.S. top-grossing movies from 2001 to 2012 with a historical approach. Several important findings and trends were identified from the results: First, product placements were found to be prolific in the U.S. top-grossing movies, with an average of 32 brands embedded in each movie. Second, the product categories of automobile, electronic equipment, and media and entertainment enjoyed the highest exposure in the movies. Third, brands appeared visually or verbally, but rarely demonstrated dual modality. Fourth, the majority of the placed brands seemed to fit with the movie setting regardless of visual or verbal oriented placements, and the most popular presentation mode of brand was full product. Finally, more than half of the product placements involved the interaction of characters.

Your Favorite Memory: Emotional Responses to Personal Nostalgic Advertising within Reminiscence Bump across Generations • ILYOUNG JU; Yunmi Choi, University of Florida; Jon Morris • This study examined the influence of reminiscence bump years when it comes to nostalgic advertising. Emotional responses toward nostalgic advertisements from late boomers and generation x were investigated. An online experiment was conducted to collect data from general consumer panels in their 30’s (x-gen) and 50’s (late boomers). Different emotional responses toward nostalgic advertisements were identified between the two generations. The result of this study revealed that nostalgic advertisements indicating reminiscence bump years were more likely to 1) evoke nostalgic feeling, 2) bring more positive Appeal (late boomers) and Engagement (x-gen), and 3) increase purchase intention.

Putting Things into Context: How evaluations are influenced by organic product claim and retail brand • Brenna Ellison, University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign; brittany duff, University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign; Xinyang Liu, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; Jiachen Yao, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • Organic food labels have been shown to have a “health halo” whereby products that are labeled organic are judged to be healthier and worth more money. However, the majority of work on organic product claims have ignored both product type and the context in which they are seen in (retail environment). We randomly assigned people (n=900) to see either a processed (cookie) or fresh (strawberry) product that had (not) been labeled as organic and put the scenario in the context of a retail brand (Walmart, Target or other). Results showed that organic labels had many of the previously found effects but these effects were modified by product type and the retail store at which they were supposedly going to be placed in.

Country Reputation as a Moderator of Tourism Advertising Effectiveness • Jami Fullerton, Oklahoma State University; Alice Kendrick, SMU Temerlin Advertising Institute • This study examines the role that country reputation plays in moderating the effects of tourism advertising to that country as well as attitude toward its government and citizens. A pre-post online study conducted in Australia used the current Brand USA’s “Land of Dreams” television commercial as the experimental stimulus. The country reputation index was factor analyzed to reveal three dimensions – Leadership, Investment and Culture. Results indicated that Leadership moderated the main effects of the tourism ad, as well as attitude toward the US government.

Sweetening the Deal: The Impact of Using “That’s-Not-All” Techniques in Promotional Emails • Zijian Gong, Texas Tech University; Shannon Bichard • This experiment investigated the “that’s-not-all” (TNA) technique as a promotional strategy and offered suggestions for maximizing its effectiveness in email advertising. Results denote a significant TNA impact on attitudes and perceptions of offer value, and this impact was robust across various types of products. Additionally, adding a time limit to TNA offers enhanced the perceptions of offer value. The research contributes to the current literature by developing strategies to increase the effectiveness of TNA techniques.

Segmenting The U.S. Product Placement Market: On the Basis of Consumers’ Cognitive and Attitudinal Responses to Advertising in General • Chang Dae Ham; Jin Seong Park, University of Tennessee Knoxville; Sejin Park, University of Tennessee • The purpose of the present study is to examine how U.S. consumers respond to product placement according to their perceptions about advertising in general. Based on a nationally representative sample of US adults from Experian Simmons (N = 22,348), this study identified five clusters of U.S. consumers, segmented by their cognitive and attitudinal responses to advertising in general. The study further reveals that each cluster has distinct demographic and media usage profiles and exhibits varying responses to product placement across television and movie. Implications for the practice of product placement are discussed.

A Model of Consumer Response to OTC Drug Advertising: Antecedents and Influencing Factors • Jisu Huh, University of Minnesota; Denise DeLorme, University of Central Florida; Leonard Reid, University of Georgia • Given the importance of OTC drugs in the healthcare marketplace and the lack of systematic research about OTC drug advertising effects, this study proposed and tested a Consumer Over-the-Counter Drug Advertising Response (CODAR) model. SEM analysis provides support for the model, explaining the OTCA effect process from key consumer antecedents to ad involvement, from ad involvement to ad attention, from ad attention to cognitive responses, then to affective/evaluative responses, leading to the final advertising outcomes.

Where Should Brands Position their Advertisements during the Sporting Event? Spectators’ Mental Energy Perspective • Wonseok Jang, University of Florida; Yong Jae Ko, University of Florida; Jon Morris; Jungwon Chun, University of Florida • The current study proposes a novel way to understand when brands should display advertisements during sporting events to maximize effectiveness. Relying on the ego-depletion model and the self-determination theory, this study explains how sport fans use, store, or increase their mental energy in the body system during the sporting event. Subsequently, how the increase or decrease mental energy transfers to the sport fans’ evaluation process of advertisements that were positioned during the sporting event.

The Effectiveness of Ecolabels among Young Adults: Environmental Warning Messages in Differing Message Contexts • Yongick Jeong, Louisiana State University • This study determines the contextual relationships between ecolabels and message contexts. By conducting two experiments, via a two-way mixed-repeated-measures design, the impacts of contextual similarity (Study 1) and the effects of context-induced moods (Study 2) on the effectiveness of ecolabels are examined. This study found ecolabels perform differently based on context formats (ads vs. PSAs), context-induced moods (positive vs. negative) and environmental issues (energy conservation, recycling, and pollution). Interaction effects were also examined and discussed.

The Role of Personal and Societal Norms in Understanding Social Media Advertising Effects: A Study of Sponsored Stories on Facebook • Joonghwa Lee, Middle Tennessee State University; Soojung Kim, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Doyle Yoon, University of Oklahoma • This study examines the antecedents and behavioral consequences of personal and societal norms in the context of Facebook sponsored stories. The survey findings indicate that personal descriptive and injunctive norms influence consumers’ intentions to interact with sponsored stories, whereas societal descriptive and injunctive norms do not. Interpersonal influences (e.g., family) and social influences (e.g., number of ‘likes’) form personal and societal norms, respectively. Theoretical and practical implications for social media advertising effects are discussed.

Development of an Other Minds Confidence Scale for Advertising • Esther Thorson; Eunjin (Anna) Kim, University of Missouri; Eunseon Kwon, University of Missouri; Heather Shoenberger, University of Missouri • The present study develops a rationale for why the construct of “other minds confidence” is generally an important one for human communication and specifically for theory about how people respond to advertising and other intentionally persuasive messages. We develop an exploratory scale for measuring what we conceptualize as “other minds confidence,” evaluate its reliability and factor structure, test whether it is different from a closely related construct, “persuasion knowledge,” and then further assess its validity by see whether it predicts general attitude toward advertising. Finally, we discuss some potential applications of the scale.

Perceived Norms and Consumer Responses to Social Media Advertising: A Cross-Cultural Study of Facebook Sponsored Stories among Americans and Koreans • Soojung Kim, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Joonghwa Lee, Middle Tennessee State University • This study examines the differences in the relationship among three types of norms (i.e., subjective, personal descriptive, and personal injunctive norms), attitudes toward interacting with Facebook sponsored stories, and behavioral intentions between Americans and Koreans. The findings indicate that personal injunctive norms were a stronger predictor of behavioral intentions for Koreans, whereas subjective norms and personal descriptive norms were stronger predictors of behavioral intentions for Americans. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

The Cognitive and Affective Effects of Brand Categorization and Evaluation on Brand Extension Purchase Intent • Jungsuk kang; Carolyn Lin • This study tested an expanded categorization model to examine how consumers evaluate and process perceived brand relationships between a parent brand, an extension product category and a brand extension. Study findings confirmed that perceived product-feature fit instead of perceived parent-brand image fit between a parent brand and its extension product category significantly enhanced the perceived similarity between the parent brand and its brand extension as well as brand-extension attitude and brand-extension purchase intent.

Uses and Gratifications that Drive Young Adults’ Smartphone Use and the Implications for Advertising Effectiveness • Kelty Logan, University of Colorado at Boulder • This quantitative study focuses on young adults in the U.S. and their use of smartphones in the belief that a thorough understanding of the gratifications sought will provide guidance to advertisers regarding the relative levels of involvement associated with each function. Specifically, the study explores the participants’ hierarchy of needs, the needs they seek to gratify through the use of various smartphone functions and applications, and their attitudes toward the advertising found in those environments. The results suggest that the heavy users of smartphone functions and apps are those who feel that “connection with friends and family,” “building relationships,” “increasing self-esteem,” and “mood elevation” are extremely important. Light users of smartphone functions and apps are those who feel that “seeking information/knowledge” or “seeking escape” are extremely important. While all light users appear to share negative attitudes toward advertising on smartphone functions and apps, not all heavy users share the same attitudes. There appears to be a distinction among heavy users based upon gratifications sought from smartphone use. Those who value connection, relationship-building, and mood elevation do not have positive attitudes toward advertising they encounter on smartphone functions and apps. Those who value increased self-esteem, however, appear to accept advertising on email and apps for information, assistance, and social media.

The Effectiveness of Crossmedia Advertising in Simultaneous Media Use: Combining TV and Web Advertisements • Shanshan Lou; Hong Cheng • Focused on cross-media advertising under simultaneous media exposure, this study explores the effectiveness of combining TV and web advertising by asking experiment participants (N = 168) to consume TV and web content simultaneously. In contrary to results from prior studies, media combination was not found to yield detrimental effects on ads attitudes and recalls. Multitasking seemed to have more negative influence on the recall of TV ads when compared with that of complex web ads simultaneously exposed to.

The “Boomerang Effect” of Disclosures: How Placement Disclosures Affect Brand Memory, Persuasion Knowledge, and Brand Attitude • Joerg Matthes; Brigitte Naderer, U of Vienna • Despite the relevance of disclosures to policy makers and consumer organisations, we have limited knowledge as to whether disclosures hinder or foster the impact of brand placements. This paper develops and tests a theoretical model of placement disclosure effects. An experimental study exposed participants to the video clip “Telephone” by Lady Gaga. Product placement frequency (zero, moderate, high) and presence of brand disclosures were experimentally varied. Results demonstrated that brand disclosures lead to an increase in brand memory for frequently depicted placements. Disclosures also affected defence motivation against persuasive influence by activating conceptual and attitudinal persuasion knowledge. However, defence motivation did not lead to more negative brand attitudes. On the contrary, findings suggest that disclosures can lead to more positive brand attitudes by activating, and therefore, strengthening already existing favourable brand evaluations. In terms of protection against covert marketing techniques, we conclude that disclosures may be a double-edge sword.

Exploring Qualifications for Senior-Level Advertising Agency Positions • Sheryl Oliver, Howard University; Rochelle Ford, Howard University • Using institutional theory to frame this study explores the qualifications talent and diversity professionals in advertising agencies perceive to be necessary to obtain senior-level positions in the advertising industry. Because African Americans and other minority groups are under-represented in mid and senior-level positions, this study explored particular characteristics desired among them. Using qualitative interviews, leadership experience within advertising agencies was the most important quality because they will be able to demonstrate a track record of success, the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, a level of toughness, and ability to generate new business. These characteristics will give credibility to candidates and help them motivate their teams. African Americans are expected to give back and mentor others. Results reinforce the need for strong retention programs to help entry-level candidates obtain mid-level managerial agency positions so they can be promoted into senior-level roles.

Beyond Exclusivity and Convenience: Real Estate Advertisements and the Singapore Story • Fernando Paragas, Nanyang Technological University; Aaron Tan, Nanyang Technological University; Dennis Kom, Nanyang Technological University; Stacey Anne Rodrigues, Nanyang Technological University; Joyce See, Nanyang Technological University • Using textual analysis, this paper explores the narrative that real estate advertisements depict and nurture in Singapore. Through the stages of identification, construction and deconstruction, the paper explores connections between and among advertising as text, culture as context and discourse as supra-text. It reveals paradoxes within the advertisements that depict not only what developers infer as the aspirational lifestyle in Singapore but also inform the tensions of life in the city-state.

The Influence Mechanism of the Advertising and National Economythe Chinese Experience (1979-2010) • Linsen Su; Mingqian Li • The paper found that GDP and economic openness predicted the advertising positively in China, whereas the Engel coefficient and unemployment had negative effects on the advertising, but the effect of the urbanization on advertising could not be confirmed, basing on the co-integration analysis of the per capita advertising, per capita GDP, urbanization, economic openness, urban unemployment rate, and Engel coefficient.

Let’s conserve energy but you recycle! Environmental claim types and responsibility attributions in green ads • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Margaret Duffy, Missouri School of Journalism • This study seeks to test the effects of two elements used in green advertisements—claim type and attribution of responsibility—on ad attitude, attitude toward the company, and purchase intention. An experiment involving 869 participants found that energy and recycling claims were more effective in getting a positive ad attitude than a selling sustainable products claim. The company’s taking responsibility for saving the environment is the most effective strategy to get a positive brand attitude.

Health Buzz at School: Evaluations of a Statewide Teen Health Campaign • Ming Wang, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Amy Struthers, University of Nebraska-Lincoln • Drawing upon data from the first two years of a state-wide health communication campaign that employed a peer-to-peer marketing strategy to encourage high school students to adopt healthy behavior, this paper finds that the buzz component increased campaign awareness among students in participating schools compared to those in the comparison schools, but there was no significant difference between their health attitudes. Furthermore, attitude toward the campaign mediated the effect of buzz exposure on health attitudes.

Deception by Design? Analyzing native advertising design and disclosure on news websites • Bartosz Wojdynski, University of Georgia; Nathaniel Evans • In the face of evidence that consumers selectively, or even reflexively, avoid many forms of display advertising online, content publishers have sought more subtle ways to deliver viewers’ attention to advertisers’ content. One recent emergence is an increase in the use by online publishers of advertising copy presented in the form of editorial content, often called “native advertising.” Although this practice has analogs in print and broadcast media forms, the present research identified and analyzed recent examples of such native advertising on online editorial content publishing sites (N=28), with a focus on the language, positioning, and size of information that discloses the content as advertising. The findings suggest a lack of standard practice in all three areas. Although a majority of examples offered some disclosure elements positioned before the start of the page content, very few explicitly used any form of the word “advertising” in the disclosure labels. The findings are discussed in the context of the need greater for empirical research into effects of design characteristics in disclosure labeling.

A little training goes a long way: Increasing children’s recognition of embedded advertising through education • Eilene Wollslager, Our Lady of the Lake University • This study examined the relationship between media literacy training and elementary students’ (grades 3-4) ability to recognize embedded advertising (advergaming) in a children’s online website. Children could not recognize advergames as advertising at the beginning of the study (0%). Following a brief, 10-minute training session, children’s ability to recognize an advergame as a commercial message increased to 30%. Additionally, there was no indication of a digital divide in student’s awareness of advergaming. Rural students outperformed urban counterparts in the recognition of online advertising.

Understanding Consumer Animosity in the Politicized Global Market: From the Perspective of Young Transnational Consumers • Qinghua Yang; Katy Snell; Wanhsiu Sunny Tsai, University of Miami • Contextualized in the recent territorial dispute between Japan and China, this research examines consumer animosity from the perspective of transnational Chinese consumers. This study provides a multidimensional model of animosity and tests an integrative model that links cultural identification, antecedents (i.e., patriotism, nationalism, and internationalism), and moderators of consumer animosity (i.e., perceived symbolism and perceived threat). Transnational Chinese consumers’ cultural identification was found to significantly influence the mechanisms underlying their animosity against Japan and Japanese products.

Does “green” work? The role of message framing, construal level and environmental concern • Lingling Zhang, Towson University; Hua Chang • Many firms adopt green advertising and put great emphasis on the value of green marketing strategies. However, little research has examined the effectiveness of green appeal in advertisements. Building on message framing and construal level theory, this study conducts two experiments to examine the interaction effect of construal level and gain or loss framed messages on consumers’ attitudes and purchase intention towards advertised product, as well as the moderating role of consumers’ environmental concern in this interaction. The findings demonstrate that a congruency between loss (gain) frame and low (high) level construal leads to more positive outcomes in consumers’ attitudes and purchase intention. Furthermore, this research reveals that the congruency effect is moderated by the level of consumer environmental concern, which has important theoretical and practical implications.

Special Topics Papers

Connecting Science to Advertising: How John B. Watson Laid the Foundation of Behavioral Targeting • Abigail Bartholomew, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Frauke Hachtmann, University of Nebraska-Lincoln • Behaviorism as defined in 1913 by John B. Watson was a science that used repeated, observable human activity to develop hypotheses that would eventually predict and control responses. Through repeated experiments, Watson developed a thorough knowledge of what he defined as base human reactions. Stanley Resor, then president of J. Walter Thompson Agency, hired Watson to promote a partnership between advertising and science, and the subsequent 15 years of Watson’s career included some notable scientific contributions. This historical study shows that though these outcomes may not have provided many measurable positive results, they set into motion industry-wide change that continued to develop until the present. The study also argues that though behavioristic principles may not have found solid footing in a mass media environment, the current networked communication state provides much more fertile ground for analyzing message receivers and eliciting desired responses.

A Case History of Small Advertising Agency Leadership: An In-Depth Look at Knoxville’s Lavidge & Associates • Daniel Haygood, Elon University • Most of the advertising agency-related articles in the trade press and the research contained in academic journals focus on the large multi-national advertising agencies. This is unfortunate because much innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness are found in the local advertising agency communities. This case history takes an in-depth look at Lavidge & Associates, a small advertising firm located in Knoxville, Tennessee. This advertising agency is in its sixty-third year of business, a journey that has seen the firm begin as a two-person shop, rise to employ fifty to sixty individuals, and then return in the recent decade to a small firm with two full-time business partners. Throughout its long history, the agency has survived by demonstrating leadership in different areas of the business. This quality of leading appears to be the key to its success and survival. Specifically, the firm’s story reveals leadership lessons in management, client service, creative development, and production. It shows that innovation can often come from the smaller firms of the advertising community.”

Educating the Next-Generation Don Draper • Valerie Jones, University of Nebraska-Lincoln • Technology and the proliferation of data have transformed the advertising industry. Those with digital and analytical skills are now more employable than those with “traditional” advertising skills. At the same time, colleges face increasing emphasis on job placement rates. Are advertising programs providing students with the skills needed to win jobs today? Today’s “next-generation Don Drapers” must not only be fluent in creativity and big ideas, but also be fluent in analysis and big data.

“Putting On Campaigns”: A History of 70 Years of Advertising Education at X University • Ronald Taylor, University of Tennessee; Joyce Wolburg, Marquette University • Two philosophies of advertising education have existed in American colleges and universities since the early 1900s. This paper traces the two philosophies—a “how to philosophy” vs. a “why philosophy” as they were sequentially implemented across 70 years at a land grant university in the Southeast.

Assessing Brand Personality on Social Media: An Analysis of External Perceptions of University Twitter Activity • Brandi Watkins, Virginia Tech; Regina Lewis, The University of Alabama • Universities market to diverse audiences and when combined with a common struggle within many universities for funding, online social media marketing possibilities become an important component of the university brand. This investigates the influence of Twitter activity on perceptions of university branding. Findings indicate that there is little difference in how universities are perceived by external audiences; the study contributes to the current body of literature by applying traditional brand personality scales to non-traditional media.

Motivating savings behavior in PSAs: The effect of social norms and the moderating role of financial responsibility • Hye Jin Yoon, Southern Methodist University • Personal savings rates in the United States are low, creating potentially negative consequences. This study conducted two experiments to test the effects of social norms and the moderating role of an individual’s financial responsibility in responses to public service advertisements promoting savings behavior. Across two studies, perception of norm and benefit information varied with financial responsibility. Implications for social norm theory and improving social marketing ad campaigns to promote saving are provided.

Teaching Papers

Blogging In The Classroom: Using WordPress Blogs With Buddy Press Plugin As A Learning Tool. • Keith Quesenberry, Johns Hopkins University; Dana Saewitz, Temple University; Sheryl Kantrowitz, Temple University • Three professors used WordPress blogs with 130 students one semester in three different advertising courses. Descriptions of how blogs were used to enhance student participation, engagement and skill building are included along with students’ quantitative and qualitative assessments. The use of course blogs led to multiple positive self-reported student learning outcomes. Based on the researchers’ self-evaluation and analysis of students’ survey feedback, this article offers insights for using blogging as a learning tool.

Teach Like They Build It: A User Experience Approach to Interactive Media in Advertising Education • Adam Wagler, UNL •
The proliferation of interactive media and new technology on college campuses is blending together student academic work and online personal lives. Advertising instructors have unique opportunities to leverage interactive instructional technology to reach more students and give them various ways to engage in learning materials while modeling professional applications of emerging media. User experience (UX), a term normally associated with interactive design, provides a framework for all advertising instructors to effectively integrate interactive media into their teaching. An in-depth review of the literature is provided to bridge the research between cognition, mass communications, and web usability creating a foundation for a UX approach to using interactive media in advertising education. The purpose of this paper is to provide theory-based strategies for advertising instructors to take advantage of interactive technology for student learning while modeling professional uses of interactive media.

Student Papers

The Moderating Role of Brand Familiarity on Media Synergistic Effect: An Information Processing Perspective • Guanxiong Huang, Michigan State University • Cross-media advertising campaigns have become commonplace in today’s multimedia environment. Drawing from the multiple source effect theorization, this study explores the underlying mechanism of media synergistic effect from an information processing perspective. Brand familiarity is proposed as a moderator of media synergistic effect: people with different level of prior brand-related knowledge tend to process advertisements in diverse cognitive routes. An experiment found that for an unfamiliar brand media synergy outperforms repeated exposures via a solo medium in terms of raising message credibility and generating more positive thoughts, while similar effects were not seen on the familiar brand.

A New Perspective on Brand Avoidance Behaviors: Attention to Social Comparison Information matters! • Eunjin (Anna) Kim, University of Missouri; Eunseon Kwon, University of Missouri • Prior research on brand consumption behaviors, especially those that potentially affect a person’s social identity, has mainly focused on approach rather than avoidance motives. We examine brand avoidance behaviors in the context of an individual-difference construct, attention to social comparison information (ATSCI). Our overarching argument is that high ATSCI consumers, being anxious and uncertain about others’ reactions, will seek to keep a low profile in their brand choices—they will prefer to blend in rather than to stand out. In study 1, we show that although high and low ATSCI consumers identify themselves with equally prestigious brands, the former do so with less distinctive brands. In study 2, we find that high ATSCI consumers, unlike their low ATSCI counterparts, avoid conspicuous brand logos even in the case of highly prestigious brands.

Perfect Mothers: How Mothers are Presented in Images in Food Advertising • Jinhee Lee; Jimi Hong, University of Texas at Austin • The purpose of study is to explore how food advertising portrays mother images in food advertising and which advertising themes in food advertising. The study selected sample advertisements from three magazines: Parents, Family Fun, and Working Mother. For analyzing data, content analysis was conducted. The study showed that food advertising portrayed traditional mother images and highlighted the traditional meanings of mothering. Theoretical and practical implications were addressed.

Anonymous vs. Non-anonymous Online Comments: The effects of Comments’ Visual Anonymity and Valence on Consumers’ Attitude and Purchase Intention • Chen Lou, Michigan State University; Pradnya Joshi; Eunsin Joo • Using the theoretical framework of social identity model of deindividuation (SIDE) and elaboration likelihood model, this study investigated how online commenters’ visual anonymity and comments’ valence (either positive or negative) affect consumers’ attitude and purchase intention toward products sold on social commerce websites. In a 2 (commenters’ visual anonymity: anonymous vs. recognized) x 2 (comments’ valence: positive vs. negative) between-subjects factorial design, participants (n= 157) were exposed to one of the four Groupon webpage selling a printer before being asked to indicate their evaluation and purchase intention toward the printer. Results indicated that online peer comments do have persuasive effects on online users, and such effects are not limited to only anonymous users’ reviews. Also, visually recognized negative comments – compared to anonymous negative comments – seem to be more efficient in persuading users not to buy the product. Findings are discussed in the context of computer-mediated-communication with new technology change in relation to consumer behavior research and social commerce marketing.

Playing with the Brand: Exploring the Influence of Advergame Play on Company Evaluations and Recall • Matthew VanDyke, Texas Tech University; Ann Rodriguez, Texas Tech University • This experiment employed a 2 X 2 factorial design to assess the influence of advergame play on evaluations of a company and game-specific information recall. Advergame play did not influence participants’ attitude toward the company or an ambiguous company news event. Participants’ perceptions of the advergame’s interactivity predicted whether the game was perceived as informative and enjoyable. Recall data suggested that regardless of interactivity perceptions, participants tended to recall game-specific information.

Mouse Tracking as a Method to Explore Brand Personality Distinctiveness • Zongyuan Wang, University of Missouri at Columbia; Russell Clayton, University of Missouri • Brand personality is an important value for a brand to differentiate itself from other brands and to create unique brand images. This study used mouse tracking as an unobtrusive cognitive indicator measure of brand personality distinctiveness and examined how product involvement and function orientation might jointly influence brand personality distinctiveness. Results showed that brand personality distinctiveness and accessibility was higher for functional brands than for sensory brands and was the lowest for low-involvement sensory brands.

Larger, Closer, Brighter: How Advertising Design Influence Advertising Recognition • Zongyuan Wang, University of Missouri at Columbia; Mikkel Christensen, University of Missouri; Andrew Brown, University of Missouri at Columbia; Michelle Reed, University of Missouri at Columbia • Ads on media suffer from competitions of their counterparts, which can be detrimental to ad recognition. Physical properties ad design may influence ad recognition. This study examined how brand name contrast, brand name size, and distance between the brand name and the product image influenced ad recognition. Findings suggest that larger brand name, shorter distance between the brand name and the product image, and higher brand name contrast produced the highest ad recognition.

Disgust in Advertising – Social and Gender Implications • Kivy Weeks, University of Connecticut • This exploratory research increases understanding of the implications for disgust in marketing communications. It details an experiment manipulating the amount of disgust in an advertisement depicting a low involvement, brand new product. It evaluates the importance of gender, social variables, as well as state and trait disgust on product attitude. Important findings include a significant interaction between gender and disgust manipulation, such that gender moderates the relationship between disgust advertising and product attitude, with disgust having a greater negative effect on attitude for women than men.

2014 Abstracts

2014 Abstracts

AEJMC 2014 Conference Paper Abstracts
Montréal, Canada • August 6 to 9

The following AEJMC groups conducted research competitions for the 2014 conference. The accepted paper abstracts are listed within each section.


Interest Groups:


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Tips from the AEJMC Teaching Committee

Rewarding Good Teaching

Karen Miller RussellBy Karen Miller Russell
Associate Professor
Standing Committee on Teaching
University of Georgia, Grady College

(Article courtesy of AEJMC News, March 2014 issue)

One of the best things that the AEJMC Standing Committee on Teaching offers is its Best Practices in Teaching Competition.

Becoming a good or even great teacher is a life-long process, one that is not always rewarded by educational institutions in the same way that good or great research can be.

“Currently, research universities base tenure decisions primarily on research productivity and quality,” organizational psychologist Adam Grant recently stated in an op-ed in The New York Times. “Teaching matters only after you have cleared the research bar: It is a bonus to teach well.”

Of course, not all universities overlook good teaching, and many colleges and departments of mass communication recognize teaching through annual awards. These awards are significant ways to reward good work, but they don’t go far enough.

Writing for Inside Higher Ed, Elizabeth H. Simmons points out that faculty must be strategic in how they spend their time. Therefore, she argues, “If a department or college believes that innovative teaching is important, then innovative teaching must be rewarded in decisions related to salaries, reappointment, promotion and tenure.”

The Standing Committee on Teaching tries to facilitate that process by providing a national forum to call attention to innovative teaching in journalism and mass communication. Each year the committee selects a different theme — this year it’s “Globalizing the Classroom” — and members submit their assignments, classroom activities or ideas for competitive review.

Winning faculty members will be invited to present their ideas at the national convention in Montreal, and they’ll receive a cash prize.

But the competition does more than reward faculty who are trying innovative approaches; it also allows them to share their ideas with other faculty. In addition to being presented at the meeting, the winning entries are published in an e-booklet, and I cheerfully admit to shamelessly copying at least one past winner in my own classroom.

“Teaching is the core of what we all do. Recognizing great teaching ideas helps us learn from each other and become better teachers,” said Chris Roush of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this year’s competition chair. “I’m constantly learning from my peers at UNC, and this is how I can expand that learning to the best around the country.”

If you would like to enter this year’s competition, the process is simple. Just write a two-page statement describing a new and effective approach you used to bring global ideas into your classroom. The call for entries (on p. 10) specifies that you need not be teaching a class specifically on international media. In fact, the committee would like to learn how you incorporate awareness of global communities and/or the practice of journalism and mass communication beyond national borders into any course.

I also urge you to take a few minutes to check out the downloadable booklets from past best practices competitions, on subjects ranging from writing to ethics and from information gathering to critical thinking. They can be found on the AEJMC website at

You might find inspiration for your own great teaching ideas.


<<Teaching Corner

2014 Election – George Sylvie Profile

George SylvieGeorge Sylvie is associate professor of the School of Journalism at The University of Texas at Austin. The former reporter, columnist and editor earned his MA at the University of Missouri and PhD at the University of Texas.  Focusing on decision-making, Sylvie studies organizational culture; newsroom management, diversity, and ethics; management styles; and the Black Press.

He has authored, coauthored or edited 8 books on media management, reporting, and writing and has chapters in 9 others.  He is a two-time visiting scholar at Jönköping International Business School Media Management & Transformation Centre.

As Chair and Vice Chair of the Media Management & Economics Division and Research Chair for MME and the Newspaper divisions, he promoted transparent planning, increased submissions, recruited more diverse reviewers, and supported better assessment while fostering relationships with Graduate Student Interest Group. On the editorial board of several journals (including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly), Sylvie headed The AEJMC Reporter (the first daily convention paper), chairs the Strategic Plan Implementation Committee, and serves on the Future of News Audience Engagement Committee.

A research panel member for Borrell Associates and The McKinsey Quarterly, Sylvie has published in JMCQ, Journal of Media Economics, International Journal on Media Management, Journal of Media Business Studies, Howard Journal of Communications, Newspaper Research Journal, and Mass Comm Review. He has had seven Top 3 papers.

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2014 Election – Jane Singer Profile

Jane SingerJane Singer is Professor of Entrepreneurial Journalism in the Department of Journalism at City University London and associate professor (on leave) in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa. She was elected to the PF&R committee in 2011 and currently serves as its chair.

Her teaching and research, which for nearly two decades have focused on dramatic and continuous newsroom change, have kept her well-connected to journalists and their concerns. Her current position at a university just down the road from London’s “Silicon Roundabout” (!) reminds her daily of the need for innovation, the opportunities it affords and the challenges it poses. She would welcome the opportunity to continue helping AEJMC strengthen its international commitment to a level of professional excellence that is more vital than ever in an open, networked world.

Singer is co-author of two books, on participatory journalism and online journalism ethics. Her work has been published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism, Journalism Studies and elsewhere; she serves on the editorial board of these and several other journals. She is editor of the forthcoming International Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies, which will be published by Wiley-Blackwell. She is a former AEJMC division head and former president of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national journalism honor society housed at her alma mater, the University of Missouri.

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2014 Election – Scott Reinardy Profile

Scott ReinardyAssociate professor Scott Reinardy has been the News and Information Track Chair at the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications since May 2011.

Reinardy serves on AEJMC’s Graduate Student Recruitment and Information Center Committee, and was elected as the inaugural AEJMC Sports Communication Interest Group chair in 2010-11. He’s been an AEJMC member since 2003.

Since 2005, Reinardy’s work has earned eight top research paper awards among national and international journalism and mass communications organizations, including AEJMC’s Newspaper Division, Broadcast Education Association’s Sports Division, and the International Communication Association’s Journalism Division.

For more than a decade, Reinardy has researched the organizational change of newspaper and television newsrooms by examining burnout and job satisfaction among news workers. His work has been published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly; J&MC Educator; Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism; Journal of Media Business Studies; Atlantic Journal of Communication; Newspaper Research Journal; Journalism Practice; and Journal of Sports Media. Reinardy also conducts research that examines journalism ethics, and journalism education.  At the University of Kansas, Reinardy has developed Media Crossroads Multimedia Center at the student union, and the KU Statehouse Wire Service, which provides coverage of the legislative session to Kansas media.

Reinardy worked 15 years at five different daily newspapers before earning his PhD from the University of Missouri in 2006.

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2014 Election – Tim Gleason Profile

Timothy GleasonTim Gleason is a Special Assistant to the Provost and a Professor of Journalism at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), where he joined the faculty in 1987, and was dean from 1997 to 2013. As dean, he led the SOJC through three successful reaccreditation reviews. Gleason is the recipient of the 2012 Scripps Howard Foundation Journalism Administrator of the Year Award. He has been an active member of AEJMC and ASJMC for more than 25 years. A member of accreditation site teams since 1995, Gleason represented ASJMC on the Accrediting Council for two terms and twice chaired the ACEJMC Appeals Board. He served on the ASJMC Executive Committee, an ASJMC Constitutional Review Committee, the ASJMC Publications Committee, the ASJMC/AEJMC Committee on Alliances, the Communication Law & Policy Publications Committee, and as a Law Division Research Co-Chair. Gleason’s research and teaching focuses on communication law and ethics. He was a guest editor of Communication Law & Policy and has served on the editorial boards of Communication Law & Policy, Journalism History, American Journalism, Mass Communication and Society, and Journalism Educator.  He was the first recipient of the SOJC Jonathan Marshall Award for Innovative Teaching. Gleason holds the PhD in Communication from the University of Washington. In an earlier career, Gleason was a photojournalist and reporter in New York State.

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