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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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Given the need for an integrated model of CSR for relationship management, the purpose of this study is to explore the role of CSR in promoting well-developed organization-public relationships and positive attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. An online survey will be used to collect data, and structural equation modeling will be performed to test causal relations among the variables.

593 Finding Publics within the Blogosphere: The Blogger Public Segmentation Model Nohil Park, University of Missouri JiYeon Jeong, University of Missouri Jung Ho Han, Yonsei University (South Korea) This study aims to suggest a new model for segmentation of blogger publics and identification of active bloggers swarm, addressing the limitations of Grunig’s situational theory in the blogosphere. Specifically, this study attempts to test the situational theory’s accountability using the method of Structural Equation Model, and constructs a new model for segmentation of blogger publics.

614 Doing Measurement Right: On the Road to R.O.I.

Mark Phillips, USO Katie D. Paine, KDPaine & Partners This case study will cover and include discussion of how the second year of USO’s comprehensive measurement program including a second year of survey/relationships data as well as a robust set of social media data. This study will show how this data has been used successfully to shape the USO entertainment, volunteer and media relations programs going forward.

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By utilizing a framework which describes consumers’ attributional judgments of a corporate social action as being values-driven, stakeholder-driven, and strategic-driven, this research sought to broaden this framework to better understand how consumers view the motives behind a company’s social action. The authors sought to investigate if characteristics of a CSR program affected individuals’ perceptions of organizational motives.

659 Crisis of Confidence: News Coverage of America’s Largest Banks During the 2008 Financial Crisis David Remund, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill This study explored how the image restoration strategies used by the 10 largest banks in America during the 2008 financial crisis related to the tone of newspaper coverage and how newspapers, treated the role of banks in the financial crisis. The study examined 592 news releases distributed by these banks from July 1, 2008, through December 31, 2008.

680 When Volunteering is No Longer Voluntary: Assessing the Impact of Forced Volunteerism on Intentions to Volunteer Kate M. Sies Isabel Botero, Illinois State University The current study focuses on understanding how students’ future intentions to volunteer with an NPO are influenced by requiring volunteerism for a class grade. It may be that when volunteering is forced, students may develop negative attitudes toward volunteering, which then will impact future intentions to volunteer.

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This manuscript will examine the contexts of Public Relations applications in four main categories: standard, structure, role and function contexts. Examples from international PR processes are cited to demonstrate the effectiveness and methodology of this categorisation. A resultant discussion and further categorisation will arise from these classifications, examining heuristically the extent to which these take on cultural dimensions.

14 721 Organic Integration: The Natural Process Underlying Communication Integration Brian G. Smith, University of Houston This research progresses integrated communication practice and scholarship through a case analysis of a successful integrated program. Through a case study of a major media company, this research demonstrates that integration is implemented organically—a process of encouraging cross-functional connections and knowledge-sharing through an open organizational structure whereby integration occurs naturally.

734 Corporate Performance Rhetoric: Essential Balance for Effective Internal Public Relations Peter Smudde, Illinois State University This paper reveals more about the discourse and practice of managing organizational performance and it analyzes how one performance measurement approach is both rhetorical and organizational in nature. Accordingly, this paper provides a foundation for improving the rhetorical and organizational dynamics for other performance management approaches.

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Only a few studies have explored the extent to which organizations are using a variety of social media in relation to their websites. This study compares the changes in the websites over two points in time, presents the changes in the use of web sites, and compares the web sites of for-profit corporations and non-profit organizations.

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The goal of this research was to explore whether indirect payments and influences on the media exist in the United States, according to communication professionals who are members of the five international professional associations. The findings of this study indicated that indirect payments and influences on media exist at different levels.

796 Ethicality of Media Opacity as a Predictor of Acceptance of Non-Transparent Media Practices among the Romanian Media Professionals (


only) Katerina Tsetsura Anna Klyueva, University of Oklahoma This study continues the line of research on media transparency around the world. The data was collected from Romanian journalists and public relations professionals via online survey during the spring and summer of 2009 (N = 190). Findings showed that Romanian communication professionals consider acceptance of direct and indirect payments as a normal practice.

797 Applicability of the Generic Principles of Excellent Public Relations in a Different Cultural Context: The Case Study of Kyrgyzstan Elira Turdubaeva, Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University (Kyrgyzstan) Given that there are not even a handful of empirical studies of the public relations industry in Kyrgyzstan, this study is aimed to explore the public relations profession in Kyrgyzstan by using a framework that was based on multinational research. Data will be gathered through a self-administered survey, a series of qualitative interviews with public relations practitioners in Kyrgyzstan.

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In this paper, we study the ethical implications of stealth marketing via social media for the purpose of nation branding, using the case of VisitDenmark. Our data comprises both online and print news articles published by the four major Danish newspapers as well as by international news media in September and October 2009.

856 Constructing European Public Relations in Transnational Research Dejan Vercic, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) Ansgar Zerfass, University of Leipzig (Germany) European public relations is emerging on a world scene with its own identity that is emerging out of a decade long research endeavor in empirical transnational research in public relations. The paper reviews what has been learned about European public relations in the past decade and presents the results of the 2009 European Communication Monitor (ECM).

870 The Translucency Corollary: Why Full Transparency is not Always the Most Ethical Approach Robert Wakefield Susan B. Walton, Brigham Young University This article argues that the term transparency as applied to public relations behaviors has weaknesses that need to be scrutinized and clarified. There are times when it is in the best legal and logistical interest of the organization to not disclose information, and in these times this is the most ethical stance for both the organization and its stakeholders.

889 The Senior Communicator of the Future – Competencies and Training Needs Tom Watson Chindu Sreedharan, Bournemouth University (United Kingdom) The research to be reported in this paper analyses the responses of leading European and international senior-level communicators as to the knowledge, skills, relationships, 360degree vision, and managerial abilities that senior communications professionals will need in five years’ time, and what it takes to prepare the next generation of leaders in globally integrated organizations.

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This paper will explore current literature on social media use in public relations generally, and apply Excellence and other theories to attempt to explain social media’s potential impact on business communications through a content analysis. This is envisioned as a foundation for other research, informing the creation of a qualitative assessment to be conducted and eventually, a quantitative survey.

924 Alienating Publics; Activating Publics: A Case Study of Whole Foods Market and CEO John Mackey’s Editorial about Healthcare Reform John Wirtz Austin Sims, Texas Tech University Using the editorial written by John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, and the reaction that followed for case study, the paper considers several questions about corporate communication in the public sphere. One example is, how should corporate executives balance their fiduciary responsibility to employees and stockholders, while maintaining an ethical communication position characterized by openness and honesty?


Building Ethical Customer Relations in Electronic Commerce Environment:

Dialogical Communication and Making Customers’ Expectations Real Ming-Yi Wu, Western Illinoi University In order to explore consumers’ expected relationship building strategies from the on-line vendors, the researcher conducted 9 structured focus group interviews with 69 (31male; 38 female) young consumers (mean age=20) in the United States. The results of this study extend the knowledge about customer relations in electronic commerce environments.

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During the last years, a lively debate on the concept of “communication controlling” has emerged in European public relations. The paper develops a definition of communication controlling, explaining the interplay of communication management, communication controlling, corporate communications and corporate strategy, and discusses the status of communication controlling in Europe based on an empirical survey in 34 countries.


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Extremist groups throughout the world rely on sophisticated public relations campaigns to attract members and undermine their opponents. In an article on outlaw discourse, Boyd and VanSlette (2009) argued that "the consequences of terrorism make understanding it and how it operates as public relations of paramount importance" (p. 337). Encounters with al Qa'ida messages stir debates over the ethical nature of public relations practices worldwide. Western publics often condemn al Qa'ida public relations campaigns as unethical because they use tactics such as threats of violence, distorted reasoning, and emotional appeals. This study applied multiple ethical perspectives, including non-Western approaches, to determine if al Qa'ida public relations campaigns were unethical, and if so, what standards could be used to judge the ethics of a public relations campaign.

Fourteen al Qa'ida messages produced between 1998 and 2006 were examined. These campaigns were directed toward the general population in the United States, as well as specific publics such as government officials and voters. The messages were analyzed within multiple ethical frameworks. In addition, the study examined how frequently al Qa'ida used values-based arguments as distinct from arguments based on threats and power. Generally, the al Qa'ida campaigns used extensive ethical argumentation, including appeals to reason and the moral autonomy of the publics. However, some publics were denied status as moral beings. This denial of humanity violates a standard for judging public relations campaigns as ethical.



Extremist groups throughout the world rely on sophisticated public relations campaigns to attract members and undermine their opponents. Boyd and VanSlette (2009) have argued that "the consequences of terrorism make understanding it and how it operates as public relations of paramount importance" (p. 337). Craig (2006) has urged public relations scholars and practitioners to examine these messages as a type of communication practice. To date, however, few public relations studies have examined terrorist messages within the framework of ethical treatment of publics and stakeholders.

Al Qa'ida has been conducting a public relations campaign since 1995-1996 (Wright, 2006). Many Westerners dismiss al Qa'ida media efforts as raw propaganda aimed at recruiting financial supporters and suicide bombers from among poor and disgruntled Muslims in the Middle East (Richardson, 2006, pp. 219-220). As Americans, we often assume that al Qa'ida messages overflow with tactics based on fear or hatred, threats, distorted reasoning, and exhortations based on religious texts that advocate violence (Scheuer, 2006). These assumptions can block our understanding of how these messages motivate others to violence. As a communication discipline, we lack tools for analyzing public relations campaigns that seem to violate our Western ethical standards.

This study tested the accuracy of perceptions that al Qa'ida public relations campaigns use unethical tactics. It examined ethical argument appeals in the persuasive campaigns directed by al Qa'ida toward various American publics between 1998 and 2006. The research drew upon the rich field of ethical behavior and decision-making in public relations scholarship (Bowen, 2007a; Pearson, 1989). The overarching research question asked whether al Qa'ida conducted an ethically acceptable campaign directed toward its American publics. Three content questions guided the study: what public relations goals al Qa'ida has tried to achieve by reaching out to American publics; what ethical and moral arguments al Qa'ida has employed; and what type of modes of address, or appeals, were used in the campaign (Richards, 2004).

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