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Author Penning, Timothy S
Title Factors affecting organizational blog content: Public relations practitioners and organizational context
book jacket
Descript 103 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 71-08, Section: A, page:
Adviser: Keith Adler
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Michigan State University, 2010
Normative theory has asserted that public relations is essentially about the formation and maintenance of relationships between an organization and its publics. Ethically, the profession has been positively associated with a contribution to informed decision making in democratic society. Additional research has been mostly descriptive with regard to how characteristics of public relations practitioners and the settings of organizations where they work, as well as the different models of public relations practice, are in keeping with the normative and ethical ideals for the profession. Critical theory, meanwhile, has presented public relations negatively for its potential to manipulate or deceive. Much of this research has looked at the effects public relations has on the public
This dissertation is an attempt to move research about public relations from descriptive to predictive. Specifically, it is an attempt to associate independent variables related to public relations practitioners, the internal and external settings of the organizations where they work, and the primary model of public relations they practice with public relations content as dependent variables. A contribution of this study is the typology of public relations content as being relational or promotional
Combined methods included an online survey (to identify independent variables) of public relations professionals solicited through social media platforms and a content analysis of their organizational Web logs (blogs). Blogs were selected as the content of focus because the nature of blogs allows for a range of tone and format for more variance in terms of relational vs. promotional content
The sample was small, largely due to the relatively slow adoption of blogs for organizational use by public relations practitioners. This made it difficult to achieve statistical significance in analyses of regression. However, an examination of mean differences produced some interesting results. Specifically, more relational content appears to be associated with PR practitioners having more years of experience and years with a current employer, acting in a managerial capacity, not needing approval of content, perceiving a high public demand for information, and the two-way asymmetrical model of public relations. These findings were consistent with the hypotheses in the study. Other variables were not found to affect content in a meaningful way, which may be explained by the small sample, but is also consistent with other research that shows public relations professionals have positive attitudes about blogs and social media but are as yet slow to use them for public communication and relationship building
School code: 0128
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 71-08A
Subject Web Studies
Mass Communications
Alt Author Michigan State University
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