This correlational study identifies opportunities for PR (public relations) professionals to gain trust by engaging online communities using unprecedented levels of transparency. The thesis begins by reviewing literature and setting the stage for how and when PR gained its PR problem (Thomas et al., 2009). The study observes how PR professionals are currently engaging these audiences, and also demonstrates how the public perceives these actions. The philosophical framework for this study stemmed from Aristotle's belief in goodwill in communities (Book 1, Chapter 1), and Augustine's (1909) belief that "All wish to rejoice in truth" (p. 186). Sherif's Social Judgment Theory (1965) was used to identify favorable social cues, and was used as the lens in evaluating online survey data collected from 84 participants who answered open-ended questions. Results confirmed correlations exist between the use of social media by public relations professionals and public perceptions of transparency and credibility for the represented organizations. Findings will further communication studies by identifying opportunities for PR professionals to gain trust from the publics they serve.
|Advisor:||Caputo, John, Tormey, Pete|
|Department:||Communication and Leadership|
|School Location:||United States -- Washington|
|Source:||MAI 50/03M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Marketing, Communication, Web Studies, Mass communications|
|Keywords:||Communication, Dialog, PR, Public relations, Social media, Transparency|
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