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«13TH INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONS RESEARCH CONFERENCE “Ethical Issues for Public Relations Practice in a Multicultural World” Holiday Inn ...»

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OPR needs to also be recognized for its stand-alone value. The research showed that OPR has a strong positive effect on the holy grail of public relations – behavioral intent. While substantial and well-justified attention has been paid to CSR, this study unveils the synergistic relationship between CSR and OPR. It also shows the importance of OPR on company evaluation and behavioral intent. This research puts a face on the maxim that organizations that do good (CSR) and make friends (OPR) will thrive.

This study is important because it built and tested an integrated model of CSR to help those in public relations understand how CSR works to improve relationship management. For those practicing public relations, the findings of this study point to the need for an organization to adopt societal needs and expectations into its daily business and maintain its CSR activities as a long-term strategy. In addition to promoting a company’s sustainable competitive edge, adoption of CSR in public relations practice contributes to enhancing the value of public relations in society.

The model offers scholars a means of comparing CSR practices and OPR between industries and among practices. For example, would CSR programs that focus on “green” initiatives perform better than CSR programs that focus primarily on community or employee needs? How would the model hold up if the organization was faced with a product recall that might shake the important OPR mediator?

585 This study also provides educators a means of explaining, as models do, the interaction of public relations activities. Why is it important to have both strong CSR programs and OPR? What variables influence behavioral intent?

In short, the value of this research is to both help us understand the interactions of these variables, but perhaps more importantly, it lays a foundation for understanding elements of public relations programs and for future research.

Limitations and Future Research Despite its important findings and implications, there are some limitations to this study that should be considered. First, sampling of participants may limit the interpretations of the findings of this study. This study used only a sample of undergraduate students recruited from communications courses at two universities. Although this study assumed that the study companies value them as consumers, the sampled students may not be representative of the population that those organizations are targeting. Another limitation pertains to the selection of companies. Even though several companies from different industries were chosen, this study used only well-known, profitable corporations in their industries. It is plausible that they may invest more money and effort in developing and implementing CSR programs than other companies do. Thus, it may be difficult to generalize the findings from this study without crossvalidating the proposed model with different companies. However, this study is meaningful in that it adds empirical evidence that bolsters the significance of CSR in relationship management.

The findings of this study also provide important insight into the role of well-developed OPRs in optimizing the effect of CSR on its intended outcomes. Future studies can attempt to replicate this study’s findings with samples from various groups and consider selecting companies with different standings in business. Data triangulation using both quantitative and qualitative approaches would provide more in-depth knowledge about the role of CSR in relationship management in public relations.

586

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589

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Although bloggers serve a critical role in the public relations world, research to identify potential target blogger public remains neglected. This study addresses the limitations of a traditional public segmentation model (Grunig’s situational theory) for bloggers in order to propose and verify a new blogger public segmentation model. Results from analyzing 895 online surveys submitted by Korean bloggers confirm the proposed model has good model fit indices in Structural Equation Modeling analyses, and all of the model hypotheses are supported by statistically significant coefficients. The results show the proposed model effectively typolosizes bloggers as active, constrained, latent, and routine publics.

594

Introduction

The increasing substantial influence of social media on journalistic practices has provided a new arena for public relations to execute diverse programs bypassing the traditional media outlets.

When considering blogs as a form of social media, several journalism studies have argued that each blogger is a potential journalist and becomes part of the journalistic process (Carlson, 2007;

Domingo & Heinonen, 2008; Gillmor, 2004; Haas, 2005; Knight, 2008; Matheson, 2004; Regan, 2003). Likewise, recent public relations studies insist that blogs have had a huge impact on the reputation of organizations as well as their products and services (Edelman & Intelliseek, 2005;

Flynn, 2006; Kent, 2008; Scoble & Israel, 2006; Seltzer & Mitrook, 2007; Sweetser & Metzgar, 2007; Yang & Lim, 2009). Recognizing these bloggers’ potential roles in journalism and PR practices, organizations have tried to converse with popular bloggers to generate positive word-ofmouth in the blogosphere.



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