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PR Journal

Title: Measuring the Impact of Employee Communication on Employee Comprehension and Action: A Case Study of a Major International Firm

Author: Julie O’Neil, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Journalism and Division Chair, Advertising and Public Relations, College of Communication, Texas Christian University.

Abstract: This study describes the employee communication strategy of a global firm and the research that compares communication output and outcome data from 2004 and 2007.  The paper also examines the impact of various employee communication tactics and channels in engendering employee comprehension and action in support of the firm’s objectives. Results of a global communication survey indicate that timely, complete, and accurate corporate communication and face-to-face managerial communication can help to secure employee action in favor of company goals. This case study also serves as an example of how corporate communicators can measure and evaluate their employee communication programs.

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Title: Measuring the Relationship Between Organizational Transparency and Employee Trust

Author: Brad L. Rawlins, Ph.D., Associate Chair, Department of Journalism, Department of Communication, Brigham Young University.

Abstract: The literature on transparency and trust suggest the two concepts are related.  While this idea is logical on its face, would it hold true if measured?  Using an instrument that measures both transparency and trust, analysis of employee opinion supports this notion.  In particular, organizations that encourage and allow public participation, share substantial information so their publics can make informed decisions, give balanced reports that hold them accountable, and open themselves up to public scrutiny, are more likely to be trusted.

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Title: How Blogs and Social Media are Changing Public Relations and the Way it is Practiced

Authors: Donald K. Wright, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, Professor of Public Relations, College of Communication, Boston University and Michelle D. Hinson, M.A.,Director of Development, Institute for Public Relations, University of Florida.

Abstract: This article reports on a three-year-long international survey of public relations practitioners examining the impact blogs and other social media are having on public relations practice. Findings show these new media are dramatically changing public relations. Results indicate blogs and social media have enhanced what happens in public relations and that social media and traditional mainstream media complement each other. The study also finds the emergence of blogs and social media have changed the way their organizations communicate, especially to external audiences. Findings suggest social media complement traditional news media, and that blogs and social media influence coverage in traditional news media. The study reports blogs and social media have made communications more instantaneous by encouraging organizations to respond more quickly to criticism.

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Title: Business Blogging In the Fog of Law: Traditional Agency Liability Principles and Less-Than-Traditional Section 230 Immunity in the Context of Blogs About Businesses

Authors: Samuel A. Terilli, J.D., Assistant Professor of Journalism in the School of Communication at the University of Miami, Paul D. Driscoll, Ph.D., Program Director of Electronic Media, Broadcast Journalism and Media Management in the School of Communication at the University of Miami, Don W. Stacks, Ph.D., Program Director and Professor of Public Relations in the School of Communication at the University of Miami.

Abstract: Businesses of every size and type are involved in blogging – a novel and changing form of corporate communication that resides in an unsettled legal world. These blogs come in different varieties. Some are written by CEOs or other C-suite executives. Some are written by employees with a particular expertise. Some are directly supported, even hosted on the web, by the corporation. Some claim to be independent of any corporate influence, control or editing. Some are simply silent on those questions. Practitioners of businesses and public relations cannot safely treat any of these corporate blogs as fully-protected First Amendment speech. This study examines the legal issues stemming from various kinds of corporate blogs, analyzes the impact of legal issues on corporate and public relations blogging, and suggests a methodology for classifying various blogs and evaluating the risks presented by each.

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Title: The Influence of New Communication Technologies on Undergraduate Preferences for Social Capital Formation, Maintenance, and Expenditure

Authors: William R. Kennan, Ph.D.; Vincent Hazleton, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA; Melissa Janoske, M.Sc., Instructor of Communication Studies, Lynchburg College, and Melissa Short, M.Sc., Information Security Policy, Awareness and Training Coordinator, Longwood University

Abstract: This article reports on a survey measuring how university students communicate with various audiences and found that the use of technology centers on social (rather than work or task) functions. Results suggest that social capital involves a choice among various communication technologies. The preference for and attachment to cellphones, instant messaging, and email and the willingness to use technology as a part of an approach to engaging in social capital formation, maintenance, and use marks college age individuals as unique. Results also suggest a collision of sorts in which individuals with very diverse approaches to social capital must find ways to come together, to adapt, and to cooperate to produce the very outcomes that many social capital theorists have lamented the loss of.

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