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PR Journal

Title: Beyond Reading, Writing, and Research: Assessing (and Enhancing) the Political and Economic Competency of U.S. Public Relations Majors

Author: Sandra Duhé, Ph.D., APR, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts; Associate Professor and Coordinator, Public Relations Program, Department of Communication, University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Abstract: The guiding purpose of Dr. Duhé’s article is to provide a research design that can be easily replicated on other university campuses, strengthen the global and civic competency-building capacity of public relations education, and, ultimately, enhance the professionalism of the practice. Following a succinct literature review providing rationale for global, political, and economic competency among public relations professionals, the research design is explained and select findings are reported. The article concludes with pedagogical recommendations to enhance political and economic competency among U.S. public relations majors.

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Title: Conceptualizing a Theoretical Model for the Practice of Public Relations in the Small Business Environment

Authors: Nell C. Huang-Horowitz, Ph. D., Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Abstract: The article by Dr. Huang-Horowitz points out that although public relations is equally relevant and crucial for small businesses, there has been a lack of research on the practice of public relations in the small business environment. This article highlights the differences between small and large corporations and reviews limited literature on the public relations activities of small businesses. It argues that existing public relations models may not be readily applicable to small businesses. .

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Title: Leadership Education in the Public Relations Curriculum: Reality, Opportunities, and Benefit

Authors: Elina Erzikova, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism, Central Michigan University; and Bruce K. Berger, Ph.D., Professor Advertising and Public Relations Department, University of Alabama.

Abstract: Using results from a survey of public relations educators and two focus groups, Professors Erzikova and Berger suggest that educators are advocates for leadership education but teach few courses concerned with leadership. Faculty surveyed indicated they believe some leadership skills and knowledge can be taught at the university. However, they felt less strongly that education could develop leadership traits or shape attitudes. Study participants recommend a holistic approach to teaching that includes more specialized leadership content, greater access to PR leaders and role models, and increased opportunities for related experiences outside of the classroom.

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Title: Linking Ethics Congruence, Communication Strategies, and Relationship Building

Authors: Hongmei Shen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Journalism & Media Studies, San Diego State University and Jeong-Nam Kim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Purdue University.

Abstract: The purpose of this study by Drs. Shen and Kim was to examine the conceptual relations among employee-organization ethics congruence, organizations’ internal communication strategies, and relationships with their employees, using structural equation modeling. The study also tested an alternative conceptual model that specified employee-organization ethics congruence as an outcome of employee-organization relationships. Results indicated that two-way symmetrical communication strategies had a significant positive effect on employee-organization ethics congruence and employee-organization relationships. Implications for internal relationship building, communication, and ethics were discussed.

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Title: "Wait a Minute! I Didn’t Know That’s What You Thought": A Case Study About Reaction to Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey’s Editorial About Healthcare Reform 

John G. Wirtz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Mass Communications, Texas Tech University.

Abstract: The article by Dr. Wirtz presents a case study of reaction to Whole Foods founder John Mackey’s editorial about healthcare reform, which was published in the Wall Street Journal. Mackey was CEO when he wrote the editorial, and the positions that he took generated both negative press coverage, as well as a positive response online. The article focuses on the online response to the editorial by analyzing comments posted on the Mackey’s blog. Of particular interest was the response of two publics—existing customers and customers drawn to Whole Foods after the editorial appeared. The case study concludes with theoretical and practical implications of the situation to public relations practitioners.

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Title: The Impact of Corporate Culture on Public Relations: The Role Corporate Culture Plays in the Practice of Public Relations in Japan

Authors: Richard J. Batyko, APR, Fellow PRSA, Executive Director, Cleveland Plus Marketing Alliance, Greater Cleveland Partnership.

Abstract: The article by Richard Batyko examines the impact of Japanese corporate culture on public relations crisis response, using Tokyo Electric Power’s handling of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011 and Toyota’s management of a brake recall issue in 2010 as examples. The article considers the country’s traditional corporate culture norms, including governance, lifetime employment, hierarchy and information sharing. It also examines the evolution and current role of public relations practitioners and firms within this culture. Practitioners will find insights into how local corporate culture can have a dramatic impact on public relations crisis response.

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Title: An Exploratory Investigation of Public Relations Education and Profession Through the Lenses of Undergraduate PR Students

Authors: Serra Celebi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Public Relations and Advertising, Faculty of Communication, Yasar University, Turkey.

Abstract: The article by Serra Celebi explores public relations education and the overall public relations profession through the viewpoints of public relations students in Western Turkey. Through comprehensive studies of undergraduate students, this article assesses the ensuing ethical issues facing professionalism, the theory-practice imbalance in curriculum and current public relations practitioners’ lack of proper public relations training. Through the understanding and assessment of students regarding public relations scholarship, we can further assess the ongoing scholarship of public relations education and curriculum.

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Title: TV Advertising: Lessons for the Public Relations Professional

Author: Reginald F. Moody, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, University of South Alabama.

Abstract: The article by Dr. Moody reports about an experiment involving 105 students from a medium-sized southeastern U.S. university. Participants were treated to a TV advertising stimulus and then were tested before their responses were negatively impacted by the passage of time.  Although advertisers defend such complex and cluttered spots as compatible with the communication needs and habits of today’s younger demographic, who they say feel comfortable with the rapid delivery of new media, results indicate otherwise.  Increasing levels of advertising clutter (thus message complexity) within a TV commercial decreases message attending, comprehension, and recall. Results of this study are valuable for the public relations professional, attempting to influence public opinion through the medium of TV advertising.

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