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PR Journal

Title: Ethical Decision Making in Issues Management in Activist Groups

Authors: Hua Jiang, Ph.D. and Shannon A. Bowen, Ph.D.

Abstract: Dr. Jiang and Dr. Bowen explore ethical decision making in issues management within activist groups using deontology as a major theoretical underpinning. Demands for accountability, ethical transparency, institutionalization concerns, competing values and demands of various publics groups have made it necessary to examine the ethical basis of decision making in non-profit. Through five-months of participant observation and in-depth interviews with its issues managers and public relations practitioners, this study identified that decision making should be consensus-oriented and based on equal participation and continuous discussion. Findings identified themes including equality, moral autonomy, accountability and transparency. Overall, there was a remarkably high degree of congruence between the philosophical approach of deontology and the beliefs espoused by coalition members.

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Title: Congressional Agenda-Building: Examining the Influence of Congressional Communications from the Speaker of the House

Authors: Spiro Kiousis, Ph.D., APR, Alexander Laskin, Ph.D. and Ji Young Kim, Doctoral Student.

Abstract: Dr. Kiousis, Dr. Laskin and Ji Young Kim explore the role of the Speaker of the House in shaping the salience of political issues and attributes in news media coverage and policymaking in 2007 by analyzing press releases, news articles, and daily Congressional calendars of business. Significant correlations were found supporting traditional first-level and second-level agenda-building linkages between Congressional communications and media coverage.

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Title: Twitter as a Public Relations Tool

Authors: Angelica Evans, M.A., Jane Twomey, Ph.D. and Scott Talan, MPA.

Abstract: Authors Evans, Twomey and Talan uses in-depth interviews with executive-level public relations professionals to explore the uses of Twitter in communications campaigns.  Findings suggest that public relations practitioners consider microblogging to be a valuable asset to a campaign’s social media strategy. In addition, they believe that Twitter offers a form of communication not offered by other social media applications, and that microblogging will continue to be an essential part of an integrated communications campaign. 

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Title: Gatekeeper or Peacekeeper: The Decision-Making Authority of Public Relations

Author: Amanda Ruth-McSwain, Ph.D.

Abstract: Dr. Ruth-McSwain’s article uses interviews and online focus groups using public relations practitioners that are designed to identify the decision making authority of those practitioners. The literary review assesses gate-keeping within a historical context and emphasizes the growing significance of the role. Results suggest that key themes were present when assessing the varying roles of public relations practitioners in gate-keeping. Additionally, an important finding revealed this significant dichotomy between the gate-keeping roles of public relations professionals based on the type of organization they represented.

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Title: Measuring Public Relations Leadership in the Train Approach: A Second-Order Factor Model in the Dimension of Self-Dynamics

Authors: Juan Meng, Ph.D., Bruce K. Berger, Ph.D. and William C. Heyman.

Abstract: This research authored by Dr. Juan Meng, Dr. Bruce K. Berger and William C. Heyman helps to develop measures of public relations leadership from the perspective of individual capabilities, called “Self-Dynamics.”  By conducting an online survey collected from senior public relations executives, a structural equation modeling approach was used to assess the hypothetical hierarchical confirmatory model. The results indicated that public relations leaders’ self-attributes, visionary ability, and team collaboration ability are three key first-order factors at the individual level.  The authors suggested implications for understanding the competitive preconditions an effective public relations leader should have for effective communication management.

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Title: The State of Environmental Communication: A Survey of PRSA Members

Author: Denise Sevick Bortree.

Abstract: Using data collected in a national survey of the professional group Public Relations Society of America, this study authored by Denise Sevick Bortree examines the way that organizations are communicating about the environment. It takes the first step toward understanding how organizations communicate about their environmental policies and practices and how public relations practitioners perceive the environmental transparency of their organizations. Results provide insight into the kinds of topics and channels organizations are using to communicate about environmental topics.

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