Faculty Research

Antoneta Vanc, Ph.D.

Vanc, A.M. (2012). Post 9/11 US public diplomacy in Eastern Europe: Dialogue via new technologies or face-to-face communication? The Global Media Journal, 11(21). http://journals.textual.info/index.php/gmj-american/issue/view/4

The main purpose of this study was to explore the shift in U.S. public diplomacy practices from "telling America's story to the world" to "engaging with the world" during the years following the events of September 11, 2001. This work found that during 2001-2009 U.S. public diplomacy practices in Eastern Europe were based on a multilayered approach. In addition to disseminating the U.S. message, U.S. diplomats embraced and applied dialogic principles, and employed dialogue to establish long-term collaborative relationships built on trust and credibility with foreign publics. Communicating with foreign publics in transitional societies required a multifaceted approach and various communication tools, among which the prevailing preference was for face-to-face communication. This work contributes to the understanding of two approaches in U.S. public diplomacy practices. One, the concepts of "engage with" rather than "communicate to" foreign publics in the pursuit of more collaborative relations and two, understanding the feasibility of genuine dialogue as a defining conceptual framework for U.S. public diplomacy in other parts of the world.

White, C., Vanc, A.M., & Coman, I. (2011). American corporate social responsibility in Romania:  Corporate diplomacy as a component of public diplomacy. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 5(4), 281-292. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1553118X.2010.549815

This work explored the concept of corporate diplomacy by examining the role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in public diplomacy among U.S. corporations with locations in Romania. The study also looked at the congruency of American CSR messages with the cultural values of Romania and whether they indicate cultural sensitivity and value congruence in international public relations. Findings were two-fold. One, although CSR activities of U.S. companies were not always congruent with Romanian cultural norms, they may contribute to a culture-building process in transitional, post-Communist countries. Two, global public relations plays a diplomatic role in building relationships, promoting trust, cultivating positive public opinion, and communicating the values of the free marketplace in transitional societies.

White, C., Vanc, A.M., & Stafford, G. (2010). Internal Communication, Information Satisfaction and Sense of Community: The effect of personal influence, in the Journal of Public Relations Research, 22(1), 65-84.

This study examined how employees of a multi-campus university view information flow from top administrators in positions of personal influence, employees' communication preferences (amount, channels, types of information), their sense of community within the organization, and the relationship between those perceptions and their willingness to advocate for the university. Open-ended interviews with 147 employees found the personal influence of the chancellor and top administrators has an effect on information satisfaction. Employees who have a relationship with the chancellor are more satisfied with the information they receive and feel a greater responsibility to advocate for the organization. Even the perception of a relationship with top administrators leads to satisfaction. The direction dimension of internal communication, as well as the channel dimension is important. Although e-mail is efficient for information exchange, the preference for communication among all groups of employees is face-to-face, interpersonal, dialogic interactions. Meetings, despite being acknowledged as time-consuming, were valued as a channel for feedback and providing face time with top managers. Electronic channels, if used thoughtfully, can flatten the traditional, hierarchical structure of internal communication and give employees at all levels of the organization the sense of hearing things first-hand, from the top.

Hilary Fussell Sisco, Ph.D.

Fussell Sisco, H., Pressgrove, G., & Collins, E. (2013). Paralleling the practice: An analysis of the scholarly literature in nonprofit public relations. Journal of Public Relations Research, 25(1), pp. 282-306.

Although analysis of public relations scholarly literature has become an ongoing topic of investigation, there has been little examination of how different areas of public relations have been studied, and no studies specifically on the nonprofit sector. Therefore, this study investigated scholarly articles about nonprofit public relations in the top public relations and international communications journals (n = 206). Employing a quantitative content analysis, we examined the selected articles in terms of theoretical perspectives, research topics, methodologies, data collection and types of nonprofit organizations. We conclude that, despite an overall paucity of published research, the last 6 years has evidenced a notable increase in the number and proportion of scholarly articles about this topic. If scholarly articles published in 2012 are any indication, then the future of scholarly study of nonprofit public relations looks to be more promising than ever.

Fussell Sisco, H. & McCorkindale, T. (2013). Communicating "Pink": An analysis of the communication strategies, transparency, and credibility of breast social media sites. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, DOI: 10.1002/nvsm.1474

This study quantitatively analyzed the transparency and credibility of breast cancer nonprofits are participating on social media sites, specifically Facebook and Twitter, and how these sites affect perceptions of credibility and transparency. Overall, most top breast cancer nonprofits are active on both Twitter and Facebook but differ in terms of activity, credibility, and transparency. Organizations that tweeted more had more "likes", more followers, and more overall tweets and were seen to be more transparent and credible by virtue of activity alone. This study also found a strong relationship between the transparency and credibility of the organization. Therefore, organizations need to use social media sites not only to communicate with their audiences but also to engage in dialogue on a regular basis. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

McCorkindale, T., DiStaso, M., & Fussell Sisco, H. (2013).  How Millennials Are Engaging and Building Relationships with Organizations on Facebook. Journal of Social Media in Society, 2(1). http://thejsms.org/index.php/TSMRI/article/view/15

More than half of Facebook's 900 million active users in the U.S. consist of the Millennial generation (ages 13 to 29). With more organizations taking advantage of the site's reach, determining how organizations are interacting with Millennials on Facebook is important.  This study used qualitative focus groups and a quantitative survey to examine how Millennials preferred to interact and engage with organizations on Facebook. Results found participants were not opposed to interacting with organizations on Facebook, but were very specific in terms of how, with who, and why they wanted to engage. While Millennials did want updates and other information depending on the type of organization or group, they also wanted discounts or other benefits. Millennials identified reasons why they would actively terminate the relationship with an organization.

Alexander V. Laskin, Ph.D.

Laskin, A.V. (2010). Managing investor relations: Strategies for effective communication. New York: Business Expert Press.

This book examines the profession of investor relations from the practical standpoint. The book defines what investor relations is, what investor relations professionals do, what skills and competencies are required to become a successful investor relations practitioner and, finally, how to outsource investor relations services. The book is targeted at people unfamiliar with the practice of investor relations, who suddenly found themselves faced with the responsibility for the investor relations tasks or hiring investor relations experts. It will also address the needs of those considering investor relations as one of their potential career tracks. Investor relations is a profession on the borderline between communication, finance and law. This book will address each of these three competencies as essential for successful practice. The book will discuss how these areas contribute to the day-to-day practice of investor relations and what demands they impose on the investor relations professionals.

Laskin, A.V. (2011). How investor relations contributes to the corporate bottom line. Journal of Public Relations Research, 23(3), 302-324.
DOI: 10.1080/1062726X.2011.582206

Investor relations officers say that one of the biggest challenges of their work is proving to the senior management that investor relations contributes value to the organization. This study provides an initial step in evaluating investor relations' contribution to an organization's bottom line. The study first offers a theoretical overview of academic and professional literature dealing with the contribution of investor relations to the organizational bottom line. Second this theoretical overview serves as a starting point for an empirical investigation organized as a Delphi panel. Investor relations officers from corporations and investor relations agencies were recruited to participate in the panel and share their practical insights in response to the theoretically identified indicators of investor relations value. As a result, the study found 4 key areas of investor relations contribution: fair share price, improved liquidity of stock, enhanced analyst coverage, and building and maintaining investor relationships.

Laskin, A.V. (2013). Financial performance and reputation. In C. Carroll (Ed.), The Handbook of Communication and Corporate Reputation, pp.376-387. Malden, MA: Wiley.

With the latest insights from the world of communication studies into the nature of corporate reputation, this new addition to Wiley-Blackwell's series of handbooks on communication and media reflects the growing visibility of large businesses' ethical profiles, and tracks the benefits that positive public attitudes can bring.
- Serves as the definitive research collection for a fast-growing field featuring contributions by key international scholars
- Brings together state-of-the-art communication studies insights on corporate reputation
- Identifies and addresses the lacunae in the research literature
- Applies new theoretical frameworks to corporate reputation

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