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PR Journal

Title: Designing an Employee-Centered Intranet and Measuring Its Impact on Employee Voice and Satisfaction

Authors: Bethe Spurlock, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at North Hills Hospital, and Julie O’Neil, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Strategic Communication Division of the Schieffer School of Journalism at Texas Christian University.

Abstract: The purpose of this research was twofold: (1) to describe how a hospital garnered input from its employees to design an intranet that enables its employees to do their jobs more effectively and to communicate with management and with each other, and (2) to test whether employees’ level of satisfaction and perceived input into the decisions of the hospital increased after using the new intranet. Research included a baseline survey (n= 718), a follow-up survey (n= 393), and interviews with a purposive sample. Hospital communication effectiveness, perceived employee voice, and employee satisfaction increased after employees had used the new intranet.

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Title: An Updated Look at the Impact of Social Media on Public Relations Practice

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

Abstract: This article provides the fourth annual report about an international, trend study examination of the impact blogs and other social media are having on public relations practice. Findings continue to show these technologies are dramatically changing public relations. Results of this year’s study show considerably more agreement in some areas than was the case in previous years. In 2008, 61 percent believed the emergence of blogs and social media had changed the way their organizations (or their client organizations) communicate. The score on that item in 2009 is 73 percent. Findings continue to suggest these changes are more prominent in external than internal communications but numbers are up considerably there also. The majority (93%) of this year’s respondents spent part of their  average workdays with some aspects of blogs and the social media. Results continue to show that traditional news media receive higher scores than blogs and social media in terms of accuracy, credibility, telling the truth and being ethical.

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Title: Reflections of Perceptions: Measuring the Effects Public Relations Education has on Non-majors’ Attitudes Toward the Discipline

Authors: Lisa Fall, Ph.D., APR, Associate Professor in the School of Advertising & Public Relations at University of Tennessee, and Jeremy Hughes, graduate student in the School of Advertising & Public Relations at University of Tennessee.

Abstract: This study compares before and after perceptions of the public relations field among a population of nationwide non-major students enrolled in a graduate public relations management course. Results indicate significant decreases regarding how much the media, general public, and practitioners’ behavior influence their viewpoints about the profession. Additionally, after completing this course, students’ overall impression toward the public relations field significantly increased – as did their perception about how the industry serves the good of the public. These results support the need for continued public relations education among students beyond those who are majoring in public relations.

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Title: Expanding the Public Relations Palette: Facilitation as a Means toward CSR Policy Development

Author: Alan R. Freitag, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of North Caroline at Charlotte.

Abstract:  As organizational leadership increasingly appreciates the benefits that accrue from Corporate Social Responsibility, the need arises for a systematic framework for crafting CSR policies. This paper proposes that public relations take the lead in that effort through several deliberate and integrated measures. First, scholars and practitioners should explore the CSR concept thoroughly and analytically, identifying points of tangency between CSR and current public relations practice as well as potential areas of additional compatibility. Second, practitioners should acquire structured facilitation skills to guide panels of organizational managers, employees, and citizens in a purposeful exploration of policy possibilities in regard to CSR. Further, this paper suggests that facilitation skills may offer management-centered applications to public relations practice beyond CSR.

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Title: An Exploratory Study of the Media Transparency in Ukraine

Authors: Katerina Tsetsura, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at University of Oklahoma, and Anastasia Grynko from the Kiev Mohyla Academy in Kiev, Ukraine.

Abstract: This study extends the global media credibility research by analyzing the phenomenon of media transparency in Ukraine. A survey of journalists and public relations practitioners revealed that both direct and indirect forms of media influence distort the independent news coverage in Ukraine. Public relations practitioners, advertisers, and publishers often pressure the Ukrainian media to place publicity materials as news stories on the pages or on the air. The pressure to place publicity in exchange for advertising is the most wide-spread practice. Results indicated that media non-transparency occurs at three levels in Ukraine: interpersonal, intra-organizational, and inter-organizational. The qualitative data showed that this country’s media professionals as well as public relations practitioners have yet to identify the modern roles and functions of both media and media relations and have yet to find ways to underpin their professional codes of ethics.

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Title: Two Sides To Every Story: Using Coorientation To Measure Direct And Meta- Perspectives Of Both Parties In Organization-Public Relationships

Authors: Trent Seltzer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Public Relations in the College of Mass Communication at Texas Tech University, and Michael Mitrook, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Relations in the College of Journalism and Communications at University of Florida.

Abstract: This study extends the study of organization-public relationships through the development of a new methodology for measuring organization-public relationships. The Hon-Grunig (1999) relationship scale was applied in a coorientational framework to assess agreement between the direct perspectives of both an organization and a stakeholder public. This represents a departure from existing organization-public relationship measurement. Additionally, the meta-perspectives of each party were also included to assess the degree of accuracy and congruency (perceived agreement) between the perspectives of the two parties in the relationship. The effect of time in the relationship on the coorientational relationship variables was also examined.

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