Monday, June 07, 2010

Recent PR Research Summaries

I had some good feedback from PR professionals last time I summarized academic journal articles about PR issues and topics. So, now that summer is here and I’ve caught up on some reading, here are some very abbreviated summaries of findings from academic journals that would be interesting to PR practitioners. Articles are listed in APA reference list style, with comments below. You can get full articles via your local academic library online or in person.

Seungahn, Nah (2010). “Media Publicity and Civil Society: Nonprofit Organizations, Local Newspapers and the Internet in a Midwestern Community.” Mass Communication & Society, 13(1), pp. 3-29.
218 nonprofits in a Midwestern community were analyzed by survey, news archive analysis and other methods to learn that more newspaper coverage of a nonprofit is likely when the organization is financially well-off, locally embedded, and has a larger number of directors and volunteers.

Wirth, Werner; Schermer, Chrisitian; & Matthes, Jorg (2010). “Trivializing the News? Affective Context Effects of Commercials in the Perception of Television News.” Mass Communication and Society, 13(2), pp. 139-156.
An experiment showed that if TV commercials put people in a positive mood, they will perceive news stories viewed either before or after the commercial as more entertaining, realistic and credible.

Kelly, Kathleen; Laskin, Alexander; Rosenstein, Gregory (2010). “Investor Relations: Two-Way Symmetrical Practice.” Journal of Public Relations Research, 22(2), 182-208.
A national survey showed that IR professionals practice two-way symmetrical communications, and this is regardless of whether the practitioner is oriented more toward finance or public relations.

Yan, Changmin; Dillard, James Price; Shen, Fuyuan (2010). “The Effects of Mood, Message Framing, and Behavioral Advocacy on Persuasion.” Journal of Communication, 60 (2), 344-363.
Experimental studies showed that framing a message as something to gain or lose made a difference in persuading people to adopt health behaviors, particularly when combined with a associated moods. A message framed as something to gain was most effective when coupled with positive mood and advocating something to do. A message framed as potential loss was most effective when coupled with a sad mood and a advocating personal restraint.

LaRose, Robert (2010). “The Problem of Media Habits.” Communication Theory. 20 (2), 194-222.
The article is a review of media theory that posits media consumption is largely a result of habit, which occurs after repeated behavior that is initially goal-directed. Over time media consumption may be only habitual and not associated with a particular outcome expected. This has implications for the proliferation of social and mobile media technologies as professionals consider reaching and engaging publics through these new media. However, while media consumption may be habitual, individuals may exert conscious control over media use at any time based on needs, personal experiences, and contexts. The article proposes more research to determine when media consumption is habitual and when goal-directed.

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