This fall 2009 Dr. Sweeter's PR students completed and presented original, IRB-approved research conducted entirely by the students. The students did great work, as you will see. You can see it on the sites listed below:
Fortune 500 Blogs
UGA Grady College PR undergraduate students Abby R. Marcinko, Casey N. Carter, Courtney A. Garmhaus, Erin E. Wilson, Jason H. Davis, Katie A. Brown, Kayla M. Payne, Elizabeth M. Peterson, Staci L. Dale and Tessa V. Baker present their original research "Closing the Loop: Reconceptualizing Message Control and Creating Dialogic Loop through the Maintenance of Corporate Weblog." This study content analyzed Fortune 500 corporate weblogs to measure relationship building through the historically influential features of dialogic theory.Their final research report is at http://podcasting.gcsu.edu/4DCGI/Podcasting/UGA/Episodes/28322/13563.pdf
Use of Social Tools among Nonprofit Publics
UGA Grady College PR undergraduate students Catherine Capers, Lesley Anne Dickerson, Kristin Eichbauer, Rebecca Holton, and Lauren Miller present their original research “Relationship Management: A Study of Non-profit Internet Presence.” This online survey investigates how a non-profit organization's Internet presence strengthens relationship management between the organization and its publics, as reported by 222 respondents. Respondents reported online behaviors and interaction with non-profit groups, such as the American Red Cross. Data indicates a positive, moderate statistically significant correlation between donor’s and volunteer's trust and the relationship management factor of conversational human voice. Their final research report is at http://podcasting.gcsu.edu/4DCGI/Podcasting/UGA/Episodes/13833/9369.pdf
Fans, Relationship & PR
UGA Grady College PR undergraduate students Samantha Badcock, Lauren Coppage, Meghan Crites, Katherine Durham, Mary Featherstone, Elizabeth Fries, & William Inman present their original research "Fan Identification in Sports: Public Relations as a Management Function." This study assesses the strength of fan identification of both sports fans and non sports fans based on their perceptions of two factors: team community involvement and sports’ benefit to society. A non-probability convenience sample of individuals (N = 172) from the University of Georgia was surveyed to determine if there is a correlation between community presence of professional sports clubs and the strength of their fan identification. The study also examines whether respondents perceive sports to have an impact on society and a personal benefit. Results indicated a statistically significant correlation as well as the presence of this respondent perception, showing that team community incorporation is im!
portant to sports fans, therefore demonstrating the need for public relations practitioners to understand and promote their organizations’ involvement in local communities and the benefits of their organization to society. Their final research report is at http://podcasting.gcsu.edu/4DCGI/Podcasting/UGA/Episodes/17969/17308.pdf
Source Credibility in Tourism PR
UGA Grady College PR undergraduate students Laura Lyn McLeod, Lauren Kelley, Morgan Ingram, Brooke Drinkard, Elizabeth Ragland, Brooke Gerber, and Emily Knab present their original research “Who Do You Trust?: The Source of Visual Social Media and its Effect on Perceived Credibility.” With the rising prevalence of social media in the public relations arena, travelers searching for a desirable destination have various sources for travel information, which means that in turn consumers must assess levels of credibility for information sources. Using the relationship management theory and a posttest experiment, this study analyzes the perceived credibility of a destination and its source based upon user-generated versus professionally-developed content in visual social media. Participants responded to an image of a little-known travel destination, answering questions regarding their reaction to the source of the photo. Findings revealed that potential travelers exposed to a !
destination through visual social media perceived a professional source as more credible than a personal account holder sharing photos. Their final research report is at http://podcasting.gcsu.edu/4DCGI/Podcasting/UGA/Episodes/9706/15363.pdf
Sports Reputation Crisis Experiment
UGA Grady College PR undergraduate students Kristin Ballard, Leah Bishop, Molly Davis, Holly DeJong, Jacqueline Derron, Alexandra Lanier, Megan Trammell, Van Vu, Casie Walker, and Mackenzie Washington present their original research “Sports Reputation Management: Crisis Communication Among Professional Athletes.” This post-test only quasi-experiment manipulates the variables of response strategy and history of drug usage to examine the effects of crisis communication strategies of professional athletes. The most prominent hypothesis in the study was that the mortification response strategy will have a positive impact on reputation management when paired with no history of drug use. Their final research report is at http://podcasting.gcsu.edu/4DCGI/Podcasting/UGA/Episodes/2267/7101.pdf