STOCKS & PUBLISHINGTom Hagley Sr., an outstanding educator, author and public relations expert, reached out to me this week with helpful advice for job seekers. His guest blog post appears below.

There will be an increasing number of job opportunities in what looks like a very dismal market. Out of the current chaos, we already see the need for a fresh resurgence of helpful public relations. For some, the pandemic recovery is depressing, confusing, beyond definition and dangerous. For you, it should be seen as an opportunity for public relations to facilitate change and to be of help to the way people under duress think, speak and behave.  To take advantage of this situation, you need to keep your spirits up, think positively and act creatively. I am going to offer some observations and suggestions for sharpening your tools for a job search.

 The pandemic recovery is creating a new landscape of work and social behaviors. It is raising awareness of:

  • public health and the need for support industries;
  • home-based offices and the need for new telework technologies;
  • stay-at-home life styles and the need for new products for reprioritizing;
  • remote learning and the need for programs for certificates, diplomas, degrees;
  • changes in human behavior and the need for retraining;
  • departure from traditional thinking and pathways to redefined livelihoods;
  • rebuilding and restructuring social interacting;
  • reimagining how to live better based on lessons learned. 

Now is the time to think creatively about ways in which the new landscape will develop public relations jobs, what the jobs will entail, how they will be promoted. Clearly there is a need for professional communication:

  • honest, truthful, complete, accurate, trustworthy discourse;
  • expressions of empathy, compassion, hope;
  • data in understandable terms;
  • guidance and direction in powerful persuasive, creative forms; and
  • solutions for dealing with misinformation, cyber influence and crime.

To take part in a resurgence of PR, you must first pay attention to the confidence you have in yourself, your abilities and your education. You need to shed the image of your predecessors who ventured into interviews with timid expressions, plastic smiles, jittery nerves, and hopeful for any chance of getting attention. You have spent four years working for a degree that sets you far above others in strategic thinking, professional communication and advanced levels of public relations. When you walk through the door of a major company or organization, you will be working side by side with other professionals with various levels of experience in law, human resources, accounting, marketing, senior management and others. Know that you have earned the right to hold the view that your level of advanced training in and knowledge of the use of strategic communication and public relations is greater than that of anyone in any other discipline.

I want to tell you something else about your ability. You have a depth of knowledge that commands respect. It is something seldom talked about and is always taken completely for granted. You are learning the technical aspects of your college degree against an impressive background of knowledge. You have a liberal arts education touching history, psychology, sociology, geography, language, ethics, philosophy, science and math. You may not think about the fact that your technical skills in strategic communication together with your broad range of studies in the arts has increased the depth of your ability to analyze situations, the cultures involved, the mind sets of opposing factions, and other areas critical for problem solving, accommodation and compromise. Your exposure to the liberal arts has taught you how to think, read critically, collect and organize facts, analyze them and form ideas. Further, your background in liberal arts has made you a more interesting person and a candidate for  visionary leadership. You should take great pride in your total education knowing that your liberal arts background sets you apart from many of those obtaining degrees in most other disciplines.

Your search efforts need to be personal, direct, integrated and most importantly, employer oriented. I will call your attention to specific ways to enhance the effectiveness of your job search.

Establish an online network. Reach out to family, extended family, friends, co-workers, guests you have met in class, friends and associates of family members, people you have met through summer jobs. Ask them for names of people who can help you with your job search. Make a list of these influencers or rainmakers—people who can help you meet potential employers. Start to work the list, not with one-shot messages but with two-way dialogue to develop online relationships. Prepare an approach. Reach out like you are making friends. Greet your new friends with genuine feelings. Converse back and forth for acceptance and help. Most people don’t know what public relations is. So make a special effort to help your network of influencers understand precisely what you are seeking. Attach a sample public relations job description and job posting, both strongly oriented to employer needs. Convince your influencers that they can help you and also help their associates learn about PR and get in touch with an outstanding job candidate who can make it work for them.

Cover Letter
An important element for a job search is the cover letter. For many candidates it’s a missed opportunity. In a cover letter, you need to present yourself, but more importantly show recipients that you understand employer interests and needs, and believe that you are a good candidate for a job. The question is, do you really understand the interests and needs of prospective employers? Following is a quick review. You can’t possibly refer to all of these traits in a cover letter, but they can help influence the manner in which you write the letter. Think about what an employer wants:

  1. a person who is technologically savvy
  2. fits right into the organization
  3. won’t require remedial training
  4. has the skills to jump in a share the work
  5. is familiar with the organization’s work
  6. is energetic, enthusiastic
  7. in touch with the real world
  8. relates well to others
  9. requires minimal supervision
  10. eager and quick to learn
  11. takes initiative
  12. good work ethic
  13. good long-term investment; will be on board for while
  14. driven by positive kinds of motivation
  15. gathers information thoroughly and accurately and makes thoughtful decisions
  16. works well alone, as well as with others
  17. has skills for managing others, including outside services
  18. has positive behavioral traits
  19. self-confident
  20. able to travel on business and manage expenses

You want to make hiring you irresistible to prospective employers and to do that you must know and have an appreciation for the process of hiring. Someone doesn’t jump up from a desk and announce: “I’ve decided to hire a coordinator!” Before a job can be offered, hiring must be authorized within an organization. A need must be justified. The job must be described in detail. It must be ranked by criteria with all others. Ranking sets a salary range plus 30 percent or more for medical, vacation and other benefits. Only then can a job be announced by word-of-mouth, advertising and various electronic means. The best way to make yourself irresistible is to show a prospective employer that you know and respect the hiring process and want to fill employer needs.

Too often candidates focus on themselves writing, for example, a me-oriented objective:

  • Candidate: My objective is to obtain a position in the field of public relations that enables me to apply my academic training and experience and further my career.
  • Better: My objective is to be hired as a public relations staff assistant by XYZ Inc. so that I can learn while I assist in the organization’s public relations effort by sharing the workload, contributing ideas and applying my skills and training.

Too often, candidates ignore the most important PR skill, writing:

  • Candidate: Skills—I understand and have sound knowledge of Microsoft Word, Publics, First Choice Web Design, In-Design, PowerPoint, PhotoShop, social media.
  • Better: Skills—research, writing and editing, AP journalistic style, grammar, proofreading, strategic use of social media, interpersonal communication and proficiency in all major software programs.

You must be the presenter of your portfolio. Take charge. You are in the spotlight. An interviewer will welcome your taking the lead in presenting your portfolio. Too often, job candidates hand over their portfolio and simply wait for the interviewer to thumb through it. Politely hold on to your stuff! It’s your show. Turn pages and point to items you have selected in advance to talk about. Mark places with stickies so you remember where to tout your skills. Tell why items should be of interest to the interviewer. Emphasize research, writing, editing, proofreading—skills highly prized by employers. Engage the interviewer. Encourage discussion. Show that you know how to listen. But stay in charge. Have at least one item in your portfolio that enables you to tell a story and explain how you helped with a project. Explain the results. Be able to point to another item demonstrating your problem-solving ability. Show that you know the problem-solving process. Show how you alone, or with others, seized opportunities, met challenges and achieved results. One final word, if you want the job, tell the interviewer. Be frank about it: “This place feels right to me. I like the people. I like the work you do. I would love to work here!”

Important advice: Think before you speak. Interviewers have reasons for asking certain questions. Interviewers want reasons to hire you, as well as reasons not to hire you. Here are some suggestions for your interview:

  1. Give short, but complete answers
  2. Do not apologize, minimize, or qualify anything about yourself, your actions, your work
  3. Turn on your energy field; be passionate
  4. Show that you can feel and show emotion
  5. Physically lean forward with your responses to questions
  6. Give the best performance of being yourself
  7. If you want the job, say so, enthusiastically
  8. Show a desire to want to be helpful, a most appreciated gesture in the workplace
  9. When asked about weaknesses, provide a positive response, for example, “I love to learn; sometimes I think I ask too many questions.”
  10. Be prepared to identify weaknesses in the profession
  11. Don’t ask for favors, for example, “Before I start, I’d like to go to Europe.”
  12. Present yourself as a good investment. Don not say, for example, “Eventually I’d like to learn culinary arts.”
  13. Show that you appreciate the employer’s need to fill a job.
  14. Be prepared to ask questions: What do you like most about working here? How is the PR function organized? Is there room for a person to advance? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the PR function here? How can I be of most help?
  15. How does senior management regard public relations? Are you satisfied with the budget authorized for PR?

 Prospective Employer
Turn the tables. Interview the employer. An employer can make your professional and personal life miserable. An employer with integrity can make your quality of life totally enjoyable. Prospective employers want to know all about your character traits. But what do employers expect of themselves? You have worked hard to earn your degree. You deserve to work for someone who will treat you with total respect, genuine appreciation for what you have to offer, and pay for the true value of your work. So when you interview for a job, wait for the proverbial question that comes up in every job interview: “What questions do you have?” That is your cue to take over the interview and dig into the heart and soul of the organization’s leader. Ask about the chief executive officer’s or director’s traits of integrity. Use the interviewer to help you evaluate the organization’s leader. Ask some of these probing questions:

  1. Shows total respect for everyone, regardless of pay grade?
  2. Surrounds self with honest , competent people?
  3. Respects the value of science?
  4. Regarded as an honest person?
  5. Known for keeping commitments to employees, customers, clients, investors, everyone?
  6. Trusted to tell the truth in every situation?
  7. Shows compassion for others in need?
  8. Gives people the benefit of the doubt?
  9. Knows what it means to be humble?
  10. Chooses to do the right thing in difficult situations?
  11. Cares about the environment?
  12. Makes thoughtful, not snap judgements?
  13. Cares more about facts than optics?
  14. Takes an interest in other people’s opinions?
  15. Trusts and works well with staff?
  16. Knows the difference between confidence and arrogance?
  17. Can admit when wrong and apologize?
  18. Truthful when saying, “You can count on it.”?
  19. Shows kindness that is always genuine?
  20. Considered moral and ethical?

Keep your spirits up, think positively, act creatively. Best wishes for success!

Tom Hagley Sr.
Veteran Public Relations Practitioner, Educator, Author

Public Relations Student Playbook, Co-author Writing Winning Proposals: Public Relations Cases



magnifying glass on white background with clipping pathIf you are ready to pull data and are looking for advice on how to build a strong Boolean search string, this blog post is for you. I don’t post to this blog often, but I have received several requests about this topic, so I decided to write a blog post about it. I’ll use the Charlottesville protest as an example because my work is in social media and activism.

Discover your keyword pool
Conduct an Advanced Search on Twitter for your event dates and try different keywords to examine tweets. Do the same for hashtag searches during the time of the event through Advanced Search on Twitter. Next, you will sort keywords in an OR paragraph or an AND paragraph that you create in a Word document.

Build a list of OR words
First, identify any anchor word that is undoubtedly about the event you want to capture. For example, HeatherHeyer would be an obvious anchor word choice for the Charlottesville data because you can reasonably expect that anyone talking about her on Twitter is going to be talking about her in the context of the Charlottesville protest. Continue making a list of any word that uniquely connects with your event. Those words will be words that you connect with OR in your Boolean search string.

Build a list of the AND words
Next, you will make a list of “and” words by identifying combinations of words that immediately capture your event. In the context of Charlottesville, you would write something like “KKK and cville” if you think that individually, these words will not capture your event. Put all of your word pairs together and connect them with OR.

After you have finished your OR and AND lists, connect the two lists in a giant search string with OR as a connection word.

Add NOT words if needed (make sure to test your words)
You can easily capture irrelevant data if any of your search terms refer to other people, places, and events than you want to capture (such as a city that has the same name as the last name of a key person). You can test your search terms by individually looking up your OR words and by individually looking up each AND pairing in Advanced Twitter Search to see if irrelevant results pop up, especially if you do not sort by your event date.

Finally, connect the OR list and the AND list with “NOT.”  You can use parentheses for complex search strings (see my example below).

My Charlottesville data pull from GNIP resulted in so many tweets that we had to break up the request into three pulls. You will see that I have some

Pull 1: (Charlottesville OR cville OR VA OR Virginia OR McAuliffe OR @CvilleCityHall OR @VSPPIO) AND (antifa OR Nazis OR Nazi OR neo-Nazi OR Nazi/KKK OR KKK OR (white supremacy) OR (white supremacists) OR (white activists) OR (white activist) OR (James Alex Fields))
Timeline: May 7 to Oct. 12, number of tweets: 3 million approximately
Pull 2: (Charlottesville OR cville OR VA OR Virginia OR McAuliffe OR @CvilleCityHall OR @VSPPIO) AND (antifa OR Nazis OR Nazi OR neo-Nazi OR Nazi/KKK OR KKK OR (white supremacy) OR (white supremacists) OR (white activists) OR (white activist) OR (James Alex Fields))
Timeline: Feb. 7 to May 7, number of tweets: 40,000
Pull 3: (Charlottesville OR cville OR VA OR Virginia OR McAuliffe OR @CvilleCityHall OR @VSPPIO) AND (statue OR memorial OR (Robert E Lee) OR (Lee Park) OR (General Lee) OR Confederate OR (Emancipation Park) OR (Stonewall Jackson) OR protest OR march OR marchers) OR cvilleaug12 OR #invisiblecville OR #HeatherHeyer OR #DeAndreHarris OR (DeAndre Harris) OR #unitycville OR #defendcville OR #cvillestrong OR #standwithcharlottesville
Timeline: Feb. 7 to Oct. 12, number of tweets: 2.8 million approximately

Remember to filter out bots
You’re not out of the woods yet. Once you have your data, make sure to use a method for filtering out bots if you’re doing any theory-building about people’s behavior. There were enough political bots in the Charlottesville data to affect our topic modeling, and this is a fundamental step. Look for identical tweets, nearly identical tweets (because bots can swap out adjectives to try to evade capture), and tweets that tag a bunch of people with the same link. 

Final thoughts for now
One reason I love being at UNC Charlotte is the access to big data and the institutional support for collaborating on interdisciplinary projects! My thanks go to Ryan Wesslen for training me (he is an incredible teacher of more advanced topics, as well). If you have additional tips for search strings or can improve my post, feel free to leave your feedback in the comments area.


J452 class Noon 2015 J452 class 2 p.m. 2015
It was such a treat to work with these promising students, most of whom graduated earlier this month. I miss them already! Listed below are some highlights from their work. The pictures above, as well as the work featured below, are displayed with students’ permission.


Madison Hare produced an infographic about the illegal elephant ivory trade.

Lily Steinbock created an infographic about the need to protect coral reefs.

Informational interviews
Jessica Landre wrote about her informational interview with Sara Israel, assistant account executive at Edelman.

Courtney Mains provides an inside look at Nike through her informational interview with Brittney Orth, a communication specialist.

Rebecca Rhodes discusses advice for graduating seniors based on her informational interview with Hilary Marvin, an account coordinator for Allison & Partners PR.

Alex Trulio takes an inside look into sports PR through his interview with Aaron Grossman, corporate communications manager for the Trail Blazers.

Blog posts
Allison Barry shows how a company should apologize after an insensitive tweet through her comparison of the DiGiorno Pizza and Epicurious case studies.

Claire Sanguedolche critiques the CSR strategy of donating money for awareness tweets.

Leigh Scheffey discussed how politicians should react to damaging social media content by their employees.

Following my class, Kati VanLoo wrote a blog post about her application of my presentation tips to speaking articulately in professional settings.

Social media audits
Jessi Hales, Emily Lauder, Claire Sanguedolche, and Madi Weaver performed a social media audit for National Farm to School Network.

Sofia Doss, Jessica Landre, Olivia Gonzalez, and Danielle Friend conducted a social media audit for Inn at the 5th.

Allison Barry, Monique Carcamo, Cody Koenig, and Alex Trulio performed a social media audit for The Hult Center.

Karen Ramming, Skylar Ojeda, Kate McCue, Alejandra Gutiérrez, and Michael Eiden conducted a social media audit for Asbury Design.

Fall 2013 Class

These students have a bright future ahead of them!
(Picture and student work used with permission.)

I had a wonderful public relations class this fall. This quarter was particularly busy with my large lecture class and work on an interdisciplinary NSF grant, among other big things, and it was always a highlight of my week to mentor this enthusiastic group and see their growth in just 10 weeks.

You can see students’ infographic tips and click on the images of their infographics for a close-up view of them.

Jessica Stancil created an infographic to encourage people to watch a one-minute video to learn CPR.

Nicole Marlborough created an infographic for a CSR program she proposed.

Marisa Blair created an infographic about the success of MTV’s Video Awards show.

Lindsey Contino created an infographic about cooking safety as a bulletin board poster for her catering job.

Allie Masterson created an infographic to highlight the accomplishments of the San Francisco Giants.

Taylor Yacobucci created an infographic to encourage communities to support a music festival.

Informational Interviews

Jen Eisenmann shared tips from her informational interview with Nike’s Kayla Glanville.

Bradley Sheets shared tips from his informational interview with federal speechwriter Neil Mansharamani.

Ryan Lundquist shared tips from his informational interview with Megan Bauer, who is now with the Hoffman agency.

Brooke Baum shared tips from her informational interview with Lane PR’s Angie Galimanis.

Haoyun Zhou shared tips from her informational interview with Levi Strauss & Co.’s Ginger Liem.

Insights From Social Media Audits

Kaitlyn Chock discussed social media insights based on her team’s work for Cawood.

Nellie Maher discussed social media insights based on her team’s work for the City of Eugene.

Tori Opsahl discussed social media insights based on her team’s work for Sixth Street Grill.

Sarah Holcombe discussed social media insights based on her team’s work for The Reach Center.

If you’re in a research methods course, you might be studying qualitative methods and have heard of grounded theory. If you’re interested in performing a grounded theory approach to data analysis (or sharing a fresh example with your class), this blog post is for you.

Or, you might be reading this because I mentioned in my research-in-brief article in Public Relations Review that a list of open codes, properties, and examples of participants’ words from my study about Millennial practitioners are available on my blog (that would be this blog post).

One of the challenges of understanding the grounded theory approach to data analysis results from the abstract nature of the explanation:

Open coding: Basically, you read through your data several times and then start to create tentative labels for chunks of data that summarize what you see happening (not based on existing theory – just based on the meaning that emerges from the data). Record examples of participants’ words and establish properties of each code (see my charts below).

Axial coding: Axial coding consists of identifying relationships among the open codes. What are the connections among the codes? This will be easier to understand when you see the last chart of this blog post.

Selective coding: Figure out the core variable that includes all of the data. Then reread the transcripts and selectively code any data that relates to the core variable you identified. Again, this is easier to understand through the last chart of this blog post.

The study I’m using as an example is about relationship building with the Millennial generation of practitioners who work at PR agencies. The data came from asynchronous online discussions (via Focus Forums) with 50 participants and emailed data from one participant.

Research question one: How do Millennial practitioners who work at public relations agencies describe their generation of public relations practitioners?

Open codes for RQ 1

Open code Properties Examples of participants’ words
Wanting experiential learning Seeking credentials
Feeling ambitious
Seeking excitement
Being eager
Seeking experience
Hungry for responsibility
Want to be the next big thing
Ready to roll
Always looking for a new thrill
Grow quickly
Learn things on our own
Pioneering social media and easily adapting to change Being comfortable with social media
Wanting to lead
Creating and embracing new ideas
Not being afraid of technology
Being fresh
Creating and accepting new ideas
Embracing a rapid fire speed
Being creative
Feeling entitled due to unique qualifications, as compared to previous generations Coming equipped with a public relations education and several internships Mostly PR majors instead of majoring in other fields
Being educated in public relations
Starting jobs with several internships under the belt
Having a great foundation from majors and internships
Craving immediate feedback and being motivated by feeling appreciated Desiring attention
Wanting to impress
Wanting a mentor
Want to feel valued and appreciated
Want to be recognized
Want feedback
Want to be rewarded for good work
Advocating a
work-life balance
Seeking personal fulfillment
Recharging by enjoying a rich personal life
Being raised to believe they could have it all
Don’t want to work our lives away
Want to have room for a life outside of work
Raised to expect excellence in our personal lives
Possessing the personal skills and characteristics needed Getting along well with people
Being intelligent
Valuing ethics
Friendly, sociable
Motivated by friendships at work
Smart, clever, sharp

Research question two: What can be learned about cultivating a long-term relationship with Millennial public relations agency employees based on their own perspectives?

Open codes for RQ 2

Open code Properties Examples of participants’ words
Being groomed Being mentored
Getting to work on new accounts
Getting to have face time with the client
Being included in discussions about personal long-term goals and organization’s long-term goals
Getting funding for graduate school and skills workshops
Trained to specialize in a needed area
Assigned to new accounts
Included in new business planning
Involved in conversations about the long-term outlook of the department
Meeting about long-term goals and incentive packages
Sent to professional development sessions
Paid for graduate school
Face time with the client
Constantly learning Having intriguing work
Developing professional skills
Intriguing work
Constantly learning, training
Receiving verbal encouragement and making observations Feeling appreciated
Noticing low turnover and receiving messages about growing the company from within
Asked if I’m happy
Talk about the future
Get regular reviews
Constant congratulations
Get messages about growing the company from within
Very little turnover
Being cared for as a whole person Caring about personal well being by both the organization and senior management
Encouraging and enabling a healthy personal life
Personal development fund
Lacking a personal touch (negative evidence)
[Senior exec.] like a second mother
Long hours, low pay (negative evidence)
Working in a good environment Working in an organic culture
Feeling like they fit in
Working with great people
Agreeing with the organization’s philosophy and values
Personality of the office
If I fit in
Open and honest communication
I love the environment
Wonderful people
We don’t have titles. My old large agency put so much emphasis on titles and I think it hindered work quality
The organization isn’t as dynamic as other employers (negative evidence)
Having interests and preferences accommodated Getting to choose projects, dress and hours Get to choose my accounts
Get to wear jeans
Flexible hours

Research question three: What irritates or upsets Millennials when receiving feedback on their work?

Open codes for RQ 3

Open code Properties Examples of participants’ words
Getting called out Detesting verbal vomit and being ridiculed
Feeling discouraged
Getting ripped apart
Chewed out
Thrown under the bus
Negative tactics don’t motivate us
Not being heard Having work changed, which results in their voice not being heard
Working so hard makes this frustrating
Believing they don’t have power to say anything
You slave away and they’ve completely changed what you’ve done
My art was changed, which I worked really hard on
People are always going to change what you do. Always!
Co-worker presented my ideas as her own; no way to address those issues
Mind reading and expectations for a miracle worker Believing they have a combination of vague instructions and specific expectations, some of which areunrealistic Vague instructions
Having to mind read
Inadequate explanation
I’m not a miracle worker

Axial codes and selective code based on the open codes

Open codes Axial codes Selective code
Wanting experiential learning; constantly learning; working in a good environment;pioneering social media and easily adapting to change; feeling entitled due to unique qualifications, as compared to previous generations; possessing the personal skills and characteristics needed; being groomed Believing they are ready to be set loose on accounts Wanting to make a difference
Craving immediate feedback and being motivated by feeling appreciated; detesting getting called out; receiving verbal encouragement and making observations Seeking external validation
Mind reading and expectations for a miracle worker;getting called out; not being heard Silently blaming employers for failures
Advocating a work-life balance; being cared for as a whole person; accommodating interests and preferences Wanting a meaningful experience at work and outside of work

For more information on grounded theory, I recommend Kathy Charmaz’s “Constructive Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide Through Qualitative Data Analysis.”

If you’re interested in reading the summary of my study, you can find it here, or you can email me for the full-length study at tgallica@uncc.edu.

Happy researching!

Spring 2013

It was wonderful to be a part of these talented students’ journey!

At the end of every quarter I highlight a blog post from each of my students (after obtaining permission). These students’ work is excellent.


Sarah MacKenzie created an infographic about Internet dangers for teenagers.

Nicole Ibarra created an infographic about dark chocolate

Kalli Bean created an infographic about Relay for Life.

Elise Cullen created an infographic about blueberries.

Heaven Lampshire created an infographic about blood donation.

Shae Roderick created an infographic about stand up paddleboarding.

Emily Carey created an infographic about domestic violence.

Ashley Hill created an infographic for United Way of Lane County.

Informational Interviews

Kayla Darrow interviewed Katey Hawbaker of Red Horse Racing about NASCAR PR.

Matt Korn interviewed Lindsey McCarthy of Cawood about agency PR.

Sara Israel interviewed Aaron Grossman of the Portland Trail Blazers about sports public relations.

Grant Templeton interviewed Kevin Brett of the University of Oregon about investor relations.

Carolyne Snipes interviewed Dawn Marie Woodward of Food for Lane County about nonprofit PR.

Taylor Jernagan interviewed Courtney Young of Holt International Children’s Services about nonprofit PR.

Lauren Schwartz interviewed Chris Rossi of Core PR Group about personal public relations.


Ephraim Payne, a journalist and communications consultant who took the graduate version of my class as part of his graduate certificate program in nonprofit management, explores the public relations of the slow food movement.

Cross-posted to the blog of UO PRSSA


The secret to a standout resume is to measure your results, and you’ll need to plan ahead to do this. Here are the steps to follow:

1.    Identify the ultimate goal of your efforts. Why are you about to engage in this public relations endeavor? What is the purpose?

2.    Set objectives. Your objectives are how you measure whether you’ve achieved your goal, so each objective must be measurable. To set objectives, you’ll want to find out what your past performance was. You want to do better than last time, but you don’t want to set objectives that are tough to reach. Make sure to set your objectives with your manager.

Ideally, you’ll have access to the organization’s prior performance, so you can report the difference you have made (e.g., increased museum memberships by 5 percent).

If you cannot get information about the organization’s prior performance, you can at least report on your resume whether you met your objectives, and you can potentially report that you exceeded your objectives by a particular percentage (e.g., exceeded attendance objective by 20 percent).

If you will manage your organization’s social media, make sure to use tools to measure your organization’s performance before you take the helm. You can find these tools through an Internet search for “[name of tool] measurement.”

Some of my favorite measurement tools are Edelman’s TweetLevel and BlogLevelStatigram, and PinPuff. There are plenty of other good tools, as well. Facebook has built-in metrics you can use through Facebook Insights, which you can access as soon as you’re an account administrator. Make sure to record the “before” scores, so you can measure the percentage of improvement at the end of your internship. You might also take some screenshots of the before and after measurements, which would be good visual illustrations for the professional portfolio you’ll prepare during J454.

Another important online tool is bitly, which you can use to measure the number of times people have clicked on a link you share.

3.    Measure your results. To figure out the percentage change between your performance and the prior performance, follow this simple formula:

A. Subtraction: Your performance – prior performance = X
B. Division: X divided by the prior performance

Then move your decimal to the right by two numbers, and you have your percentage change.

If you’re interested in reading more about measurement, subscribe to Katie Paine’s blogcheck out one of her books from the library, or do both. Best wishes with your summer internship!

Photo Credit: MarcelGermain via Compfight cc

This was an amazing group of over-achievers!

This was an amazing group of overachievers!

Winter 2013 marked our first class in Allen Hall 3.0! It’s wonderful to be in an environment that is so conducive to teamwork and creativity. Listed below is one of my favorite blog posts from each of my students (all students featured provided permission to have their picture and blogs featured).

This past quarter, a group of my students took their social media audit and conversation analysis to the next level by partnering with a company and presenting their work. Megan Russell describes the experience in her blog post.

The other blog posts below feature students’ infographics and informational interviews.


Lauren Van Neste created an infographic about a baseball player from the Seattle Mariners.

Anna Reinhard created an  infographic about the global water crisis.

Mandy Shold created an infographic to encourage the use of reusable bags.

Jessica Hamel
 created an infographic about the benefits of red wine.

Catherine Dacquisto created an infographic about the benefits of pet adoption.

Alexis Chan created an infographic about the importance of music programs in schools.

Informational Interviews

Holly Locke interviewed the senior director of communications for Microsoft Advertising Business Group.

Hannah Olson interviewed a former account coordinator (now account executive) at Cawood. A special thanks goes to J452 veteran Lindsey McCarthy, an outstanding public relations professional, who has now done three informational interviews for my students over the years!

Heather Case interviewed the publicity coordinator for the Rachael Ray Show.

Maritza Santillan interviewed an assistant account executive at Waggener Edstrom.

Carly Fortunato interviewed a former account executive for LaunchSquad, who now works for TripIt.

Tammy Nguyen interviewed a former account executive and research strategist at Lippe Taylor.

Austin Foster interviewed the community relations manager for New Seasons Market, an organic Portland grocery store.

Fall 2012

My incredible J452 class – I miss them already!

A major highlight for me this fall was getting to work with this wonderful group of women in my J452 class. They have bright futures ahead of them, and I would recommend them in a heartbeat! Below is each student’s e-portfolio and a favorite blog post. I have received each student’s permission to share their picture and work on this blog.

Blog posts that feature students’ infographics from class
Edelman’s Academic Summit for public relations professors inspired me to adopt this new assignment. My students used piktochart.

Ellie Boggs shares her infographic about the benefits of joining the Army.

Maggie Hilty shares her infographic about the importance of donating blood.

April Robinson shares her infographic about the importance of swim lessons.

Blog posts that share insights from informational interviews
I encourage students to develop a specialization in an area of public relations. For this assignment, they interviewed someone in an area that interests them.

Caitlin Harrington gives readers an inside look at donor relations in her informational interview with Patrick Hosfield, director of corporate and donor relations at the Oregon Bach Festival.

Yuzhu Zhang shares what she learned about the transition from school to life at a PR agency from her informational interview with James Watkins, an outstanding J452 veteran who works at VOX PR in Portland.

Kelly Brokaw describes what she learned in her informational interview about health communication with Mark Riley, a marketing manager for Sutter Health Peninsula Coastal Region.

Blog posts that highlight public relations studies
To develop an understanding of an area of public relations theory and to gain practice with translating complex information for a lay audience, students choose a public relations study to summarize for their readers.

Nicole Dionisopoulos shares surprising insights about crisis theory in her summary of a study by Michel Haigh and Frank Dardis.

Jen Popp discusses strategies for cultivating relationships with volunteers in her summary of a study by Denise Sevick Bortree.

Molly Monihan discusses how the Red Cross uses social media in her review of a study by Rowena Briones, Beth Kuch, Brooke Fisher Liu, and Yan Jin.

Blog posts about strategies for reaching out to diverse audiences
To develop an understanding of how to reach out to diverse audiences, students highlight a case study or two that interests them.

Cecilia Bianco
 highlights similar strategies in two campaigns to reach out to diverse audiences.

Casey Liu presents tips for communication with Asian audiences.

Taylor Danowski describes Ketchum’s campaign to reach out to African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans for a tourism campaign in Florida.

Jordyn Neerdaels highlights the efforts of Sporting Kansas City Soccer Club to reach out to the Latino community.

Huge wall of videos displayed on plasma and LCD televisionsDate disclosure: I’m publishing this blog post on Jan. 27, 2013 (within a week of the publication of the study), rather than Sept. 7, 2012, as the permalink suggests. I had to change the date on my dashboard because I included a link to this blog post in the author note portion of the study when submitting this manuscript last September, and I had to backdate this blog post for the link to work. 

I partnered with UO doctoral student Erica Ciszek to discover how advocacy organizations attempt to influence stigmatizing portrayals of vulnerable populations and how they build exigence among their supporters and the cultural producers they attempt to influence.

I chose a mental health organization, and Erica Ciszek chose an LGBT organization to study, both of which have impressive records of achievement in this area. We interviewed three people for this study and conducted a thematic analysis of the alerts the organizations use to educate, update and mobilize supporters.

Our study was published this week as a “research in brief” in Public Relations Review. It was hard for us to decide whether to cut our research study down to a short summary or whether to take our chances with the full manuscript at another journal. Unfortunately, the journal does not accept visual models for research in brief articles, but the good news is that I can share it freely here: pdf of the cultural byproducts advocacy model.

We call it the cultural byproducts advocacy model because it is a model that describes how advocacy organizations attempt to influence cultural byproducts. Why do we use the term “cultural byproducts?” People who contribute to stigma are not necessarily trying to do so. Often times, the point is to entertain, but the route the cultural producer chooses is one that involves stigmatizing a vulnerable group. Stigma, then, can be an unintentional result of a cultural producer’s creation.

If you’re familiar with the work of Kenneth Burke, you’ll recognize that we have diagrammed the process that organizations use to influence cultural producers by using Burke’s redemption ritual. (Many thanks to one of my mentors at the University of Maryland, Jim Klumpp, for teaching me about Burke.) We have added to the model by noting where public relations efforts fit into the model and what organizations should do at every stage of the redemption ritual.

The cultural byproducts advocacy model
first stage is the social order. Any time there is a social order, people will break the rules. In the context of our study, breaking the rules happens when cultural producers stigmatize a vulnerable population, even if they don’t mean to do so.

When a cultural producer violates the social order by engaging in questionable behavior, an advocacy organization creates pollution by trying to establish that the cultural producer did something wrong. Advocacy organizations can use facework by reaching out to the cultural producer privately and taking an approach as if the cultural producer did not know any better. To strengthen the argument that the producer has violated norms of social responsibility, research, facts and narratives are used to demonstrate the danger of stigma and the vulnerability of the group.

The advocacy organization’s goal at this point is to get the cultural producer to experience guilt. If no guilt is experienced, the advocacy organization will create a call to action and alert its supporters, who will express their thoughts to the cultural producer (and sometimes the corresponding advertisers) through petitions, emails, phone calls, or some combination of these avenues.

If there is sufficient pollution, the cultural producer will experience guilt. Guilt results in the next stage, which is purification. The cultural producer needs to deal with the guilt through purification, and a cultural producer will do this through one of two ways.

As explained by Burke, someone can deal with guilt through victimage by blaming outside forces for the problem. In the context of this study, victimage would include blaming the organization and its supporters for being hypersensitive (i.e., I didn’t intend it that way, and you shouldn’t be taking it that way).

An advocacy organization’s use of facework and a strategic construction of the vulnerable group will hopefully result in Burke’s other way to achieve purification, which is through mortification. A cultural producer uses mortification to achieve purification by taking responsibility.

If the cultural producer achieves redemption through mortification, he or she will be an ally. Some cultural producers have become financial contributors, and some have shared scripts in advance for the organizations’ feedback. If the cultural producer achieves redemption through victimage, a further distancing with the advocacy organization occurs, and the producer becomes more insulated from future audience complaints.

Why this topic matters, insights from other organizations and parts of our discussion section
We had to cut our introduction and literature review, as well as major parts of the discussion from the research in brief, but the upside to that is we get to include these parts of the study here.

Why the topic matters
Eight recent studies concluded that the media’s negative portrayals of people with a mental illness influence other people’s opinions (Edney, 2004). In fact, news media depictions can be so compelling that they can be a stronger source for opinions than people’s personal interactions provide (Edney, 2004). Some entertainment media producers also generate stigma. Research reveals the destruction that can result from stigma in the media. Half of the participants in a survey of people with a mental illness indicated that the media harmed their mental health, and 34% reported that this effect amplified their anxiety and depression (BBC News Online, 2000). Furthermore, watching negative depictions of mental illness can erode a healthy self-concept: “It is difficult to feel good about yourself when confronted by constant messages that people such as yourself are flawed, disapproved of, and disliked” (Wahl, 1997, p. 106).

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community has also struggled for accurate visibility in the mainstream media. For much of history, representations of LGBT people in the mainstream media had been virtually absent, which rhetorically diminished the identity group and cast them as outsiders (see Rossman, 2000). In the 1960s, the silence was broken by spotty, hostile coverage; for example, a front-page headline in The New York Times read, “Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern” (Gross, 2001). During the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s and 1990s, negative news coverage about the LGBT community increased (Gross, 2001). Because of negligent coverage of AIDS and due to the homophobia of some reporters, the AIDS epidemic contributed to a moral panic and stigma of the gay community (Bell, 2006; Goh, 2008). However, the coverage of AIDS brought an end to gay invisibility in the mainstream media (Gross, 2001). Most recently, scholars have been interested in the effects of the polemic discourses in the media during LGBT marriage debates (Rostosky, Riggle, Horne & Miller, 2009).

The media present social constructions of reality (L’Etang, 2012) that can harm members of vulnerable identity groups. Several studies have documented the link between media representations and stigma, particularly pertaining to the gay and lesbian community (e.g., Corrigan & Matthews, 2003; Herek, 2009; Herek, Gillis & Cogan, 2009; Meyer, 2003) and the mental illness community (e.g., Caputo & Rouner, 2011; Corrigan, 2005; Henson et al., 2009; Klin & Lemish, 2008; Thompson, 2010; Wall, 1997).

Thus, it is important for advocacy organizations to focus on changing stigmatizing representations by the media and by other cultural producers. It provides a significant contribution to the public relations literature by providing a general model that advocacy organizations can use to influence cultural producers. In addition, this study documents the ways in which advocacy organizations have successfully convinced mass communicators to change their stigmatizing representations.

Mental illness, LGBT and language
Language provides the vehicle through which meaning is constructed and carried out. Therefore, the way cultural producers represent mental illness and topics involving the LGBT community can influence the meaning that is generated. Blumer’s (1969) symbolic interactionism provides a framework for understanding the way meaning emerges out of social interaction. According to a basic tenet of the theory, meaning is derived from the social interaction that one has with others and society. In this way, meaning is a social product that is created and “grows out” of the ways in which “other persons act toward the person with regard to the thing,” and it is precisely these actions that “operate to define the thing for the person” (p. 4). Through images and discourses in the media of particular individuals and groups, cultural producers establish and spread representations that are then ascribed meaning. While cultural content affirms worldviews, it simultaneously subverts alternatives (Burke, 1966). “By its very nature as a terminology it must be a selection of reality; and to this extent it must function also as a deflection of reality” (Burke, 1966, p. 45).

Efforts to change cultural byproducts in the media
Many social organizations have concerned themselves with monitoring and mediating representations of their publics in the media. The legal system is not an efficacious approach for influencing media content (Heinke & Tremain, 2000); however, organizations have successfully used public relations methods (e.g., Aoki, 2000; Montgomery, 1989; Rossman, 2000).

In 1999, ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC signed a memorandum of understanding with the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition to advance the cause of diversity in the entertainment industry (National Latino Media Council [NLMC], 2009). The Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition is comprised of the National Latino Media Council (NLMC), the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Asian/Pacific American Media Coalition, and the American Indians in Film and Television. As part of the memorandum of understanding, the networks developed programs to assist individuals and promote diversity in the areas of acting, writing, directing, and production (National Latino Media Council [NLMC], 2010). The advocacy organizations that are a part of the Multi-Ethnic Media Coalition utilize a common set of strategies and tactics to influence cultural production.

Build coalitions. One strategy is to engage in coalition building (Aoki, 2000; Charren, 2000). For example, the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) engaged in coalition building to protest “Rising Sun,” a movie that portrays Japanese businessmen as unethical people who are focused on conquering the United States both economically and politically (Aoki, 2000). MANAA’s coalition included 16 civil rights organizations and community groups, including Asian American organizations and non-Asian American organizations. The president explained, “Our feeling has always been that our cause gains credibility when non-Asians join us in our fight” (Aoki, 2000, p. 31). Coalition building is especially important given the following comment from a vice president of program practices at CBS:

The advocacy group universe is so fragmented and splintered that just when you think you have come to an agreement, a different “chapter” or “region” decries the settlement, arguing that its membership was not consulted. …We cannot listen to every fragmented and splintered entity that calls something to our attention, each of which requires – or demands – a different response. (Altieri, 2000, p. 126)

Empower supporters. A second strategy is to help supporters engage in advocacy. Organizations using this strategy can issue a call to action to supporters in which tactics such as boycotts and letter writing are employed (Montgomery, 1989; Rossman, 2000; Watson & Corrigan, 2005). At minimum, a count is made of the letters, and some are read (Johnson, 2000). An example of a boycott occurred when the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and the NAACP promoted a two-week viewing boycott of national television in response to the release of the major networks’ fall television line-ups in 1999 (National Association of the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP], 2009).

Pekurny (2000) argued, however, that boycotts are no longer effective due to the fragmented nature of television audiences and because media companies are diversified with their holdings. The Southern Baptist Convention’s boycott of Disney/ABC due to the corporation’s same-sex domestic partners policy and media content has failed to affect Disney’s economic performance, as shown through Disney’s quarterly earnings reports. Boycotts can actually improve ratings, which occurred when a television viewer organized a boycott campaign against “Married With Children.” A head of policy and standards for ABC who had 35 years of industry experience added that the negative publicity that can result from a boycott mattered more to ABC than the actual boycott itself (Schneider, 2000), and a former FCC commissioner expressed the same opinion (Johnson, 2000).

Organizations can also encourage supporters to target a media shows’ advertisers, which can be effective (Montgomery, 1989; Watson & Corrigan, 2005). In addition, organizations can use the strategy of empowering supporters by inviting them to report problematic media representations. For example, MANAA has a 24-hour hotline for supporters to report media representations (Aoki, 2000).

Assess media representations. A third strategy is to evaluate and critique the status of media representations of the organization’s public (Aoki, 2000; Rossman, 2000). A tactic for employing this strategy is a state of the media report. Such reports provide a benchmark and assessment of the climate in the media as it pertains to representations of the organization’s public. For example, the National Latino Media Council’s TV Network Report Card (2010) is an annual diversity report that serves as a barometer of the current state of Latinos in the media. Recently, the NLMC “lauded the networks for incremental progress in diversifying their workforces in front and behind the camera”; however, one year later, the report revealed that the networks are “in need of reaffirming their commitments to including Latinos in creative positions and procurement opportunities” (para 1). These assessments provide feedback to supporters regarding the effectiveness of the organization’s efforts in influencing cultural production, and the assessments can be used to reward and pressure media networks.

Another tactic that represents the strategy of assessing media representations is to post negative reviews about a media product and influence media coverage. For example, the MANAA president posted negative reviews in his newspaper column about “Rising Sun” (Aoki, 2000). MANAA was also successful in influencing media coverage about the film. Before the movie debuted, news coverage suggested the movie was racist, and the interviews with the stars of the movie when the film debuted were focused on the controversy (Aoki, 2000). The movie cost approximately $40 million and grossed $62 million; in fact, it only made a profit through overseas movie consumption and home video rentals and sales, which MANAA considered to be a great success (Aoki, 2000).

Collaborate with cultural producers. A fourth strategy is to work with cultural producers, which is not always effective (Aoki, 2000; Rossman, 2000). For example, Fox repeatedly cancelled meetings with MANAA regarding “Rising Sun,” and an inside source told MANAA’s board of directors later that the studio’s strategy was to continue to hold up meetings with the advocacy organization, believing that the issue would then disappear (Aoki, 2000). MANAA formed a coalition with other civil rights groups and asked Fox to include a statement at the film’s beginning that would discourage hate crimes, hire consultants for future films about Asians or Asian Americans, and hire additional Asian Americans in influential positions at Fox; however, Fox refused these demands (Aoki, 2000). Nevertheless, meetings can be an effective tactic for working with cultural producers (Baehr, 2000; Charren, 2000; Montgomery, 1989; Pekurny, 2000; Schneider, 2000). Lunch meetings work well because they do not significantly cut into media executives’ time (Pekurny, 2000). As described by Montgomery (1989), organizations should follow the approach used by the Gray Panthers Media Watch Task Force, which is a social justice organization focused on aging issues. This organization approaches cultural producers as if they do not know any better.

There are several approaches advocacy organizations should consider for meetings with network executives. One approach is to encourage media executives to sympathize with the advocacy organization’s supporters by helping them to see the effect of the portrayal on individuals: “Arguing about masses of generic, unspecified viewers whose faces and lives the writer cannot conjure up in his or her mind will have less effect than painting a picture of one individual reacting as a human being” (Pekurny, 2000, p. 111). Another approach is to attempt to convince executives during meetings that requested changes can improve the media’s market position by increasing the audience size (Rossman, 2000). In addition, advocacy organizations can make appeals based on what would be the most dramatically effective or comedic. In one case, a group of writers for “Happy Days” agreed to spend five minutes coming up with a better joke than one that was potentially harmful, and the group succeeded in doing so (Pekurny, 2000). Action for Children’s Television (ACT) discovered that adapting appeals to the executives’ beliefs and values was a successful approach (Hendershot, 1998).

A friendly approach during meetings with executives tends to result in more changes to media programming than a hostile approach for several reasons, as described by Rossman (2000). Media executives do not like being told what to do. Also, a hostile approach tends to result in an artistic freedom defense; plus, there is pressure by media executives’ colleagues to not “cave in” to an advocacy group’s demands for fear of being viewed as “spineless” by their peers (p. 95). Some experts advise advocacy organizations to compromise with executives (Pekurny, 2000; Montgomery, 1989).

When an organization expresses concerns persuasively, networks sometimes invite the organizations to provide script consultation, which is an action that the National Education Association effectively used for portrayals of teachers (Montgomery, 1989). Panels of the organizations’ members reviewed every script for the show Mr. Novac, which was about a young teacher. However, sometimes script consultations do not work because networks are not willing to make major compromises, and even when consultations do work, sometimes publics still react negatively to episodes. For example, The Gray Panthers Media Watch Task Force defended an episode of Lou Grant about abuses in nursing homes because it had provided script consultation, although some members of its key public were offended by the episode.

Another method for working with cultural producers is to cultivate individual relationships with people who are sympathetic to the organization’s cause and are willing to reveal internal information. For example, MANAA received secret copies of the “Rising Sun” script and received script revisions, which enabled MANAA to engage in media relations four months ahead of the movie’s release (Aoki, 2000).

In addition, advocacy organizations can work with cultural producers by providing a media guide for how to handle language and stereotypes that are related to the group (Montgomery, 1989; Rossman, 2000). They can also offer workshops and seminars, and they can send mailings to the Writers Guild of America membership or the Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors (Altieri, 2000; Pekurny, 2000). Another outreach method is to provide contact names and numbers for representatives of the advocacy organization who can quickly answer questions when consulted by phone (Pekurny, 2000).

Reward cultural producers. A fifth strategy that is used by some organizations is to recognize cultural producers after moments of production (Aoki, 2000; Montgomery, 1989; Hendershot, 1998). Some organizations, such as MANAA, involve their supporters by inviting them to report praiseworthy depictions (Aoki, 2000). A tactic used by the Christian Film and Television Commission (through its Movieguide subsidiary), MANAA, and NAACP is to hold award ceremonies for “those specific media portrayals that are exemplary in reflecting the world in a way that is in sync with an advocacy group’s ideology” (Rossman, 2000, p. 93). Some writers and producers can be motivated to include certain content in their programming with the hope of obtaining an award (Pekurny, 2000). For example, an entry-level staff writer might aim for an award because an agent could use it to negotiate a better package on a current or different television show (Pekurny, 2000). Organizations can also send letters of praise to cultural producers (Rossman, 2000).

More needs to be learned about how advocacy organizations can influence cultural producers. This study contributes to the literature by investigating how advocacy organizations influence cultural byproducts.

(Here, you can read the parts of our discussion section that we couldn’t fit into the research in brief version.)

RQ 1: Process for influencing representations. The first research question contributes a process for understanding how to successfully influence cultural byproducts, including the presentation of criteria for determining whether and how cases of cultural byproducts should be prioritized. Although the process does not always result in an apology and behavioral change by the cultural producer, it has resulted in many changes to the cultural landscape regarding mental illness and LGBT issues. The organizations’ process and resulting successes provide empirical support for recommendations that call for advocacy organizations to initiate contact and lead with symmetrical strategies, followed by pressure tactics if the cultural producer does not cooperate (J. E. Grunig & L. A. Grunig, 1997). In this way, both organizations appear to adopt the same approach that is recommended in the literature (see Baehr, 2000; Charren, 2000; Montgomery, 1989; Pekurny, 2000; Schneider, 2000). This study contributes to the literature by providing insight into the process of partnering with cultural producers as a strategy for changing portrayals.

Asking an organization to change its ways before generating bad press and approaching an organization as if it doesn’t know any better also reflects the application of facework, which is a strategy for cultivating relationships. Facework involves helping people protect their image, which is casually known as saving face (Huang, 2001). The fact that most cultural producers change what they are doing without the use of pressure tactics demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of giving organizations a chance to respond to problems before resorting to publicity, and this approach saves time and energy that can be focused on targeting uncooperative cultural producers.

Recognizing cultural producers for good portrayals is another key part of the relationship building process, and both organizations give awards for portrayals, which is a tactic described by several authors (Aoki, 2000; Montgomery, 1989; Hendershot, 1998). The LGBT organization also rewards media networks (and punishes others) through its annual media responsibility report, which is the same tactic that the NLMC (2010) uses, and it is a tactic described by Montgomery (1989). This study also reinforces previous findings by demonstrating the effectiveness of empowering supporters to engage in advocacy when a cultural producer does not cooperate (also see Montgomery, 1989; Rossman, 2000; Watson & Corrigan, 2005), as well as the importance of prevention efforts, such as distributing guidelines to the Writer’s Guild of America and issuing an annual media reference guide (also see Altieri, 2000; Montgomery, 1989; Pekurny, 2000; Rossman, 2000).

This study contributes new insight to the literature by showing that an outcome of effectively working with targeted cultural producers can be the successful recruitment of new event sponsors, which provides much-needed energy to advocacy organizations. Advocacy organizations depend on energy, such as money, to maintain themselves and prevent entropy (Katz & Kahn, 1978). Also, this study contributes new details to the literature by recommending that local advocates address local issues. Thus, if a national organization is outraged by a local issue, it should work through local leaders.

RQ 2: Communication strategies. (The discussion for the second research question is included in the research in brief, so I can’t duplicate the discussion here, but I have summarized it at the beginning of this blog post.)

Applications of research. The process and strategies described in the research questions have broad applications for a non-violent method for responding to problematic representations perpetuated by cultural producers. In both cases, the process and strategies used by the advocacy organizations usually result in success for the organizations in this study, meaning that the producer complies with the organization’s requests, such as issuing an apology, removing the offensive communication, and avoiding future transgressions. Findings from the research questions can be used to provide insight regarding how a maligned culture (e.g., based on religious beliefs, geography, class) could change its toxic media environment through non-violent advocacy. The cultural byproducts model presents a general framework that can be used by mainstream advocacy organizations in future work with cultural producers.

Citation for the research in brief
, E. L., & Gallicano, T. D. (2013). Changing cultural stigma: A pilot study of LGBT and mental illness organizations. Public Relations Review, 39(1), 82-84. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0363811112001828

, C. (2000). Advocacy Groups Confront CBS: Problems or Opportunities? In M.Suman & G. Rossman (Eds.), Advocacy groups and the entertainment industry (pp. 125-129). Westport, CT: Praeger.

Aoki, G. (2000). Strategies of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans. In M. Suman & G. Rossman (Eds.), Advocacy groups and the entertainment industry (pp. 29-36). Westport, CT: Praeger.

Baehr, T. (2000). How Church Advocacy Groups Fostered the Golden Age of Hollywood. In M. Suman & G. Rossman (Eds.), Advocacy groups and the entertainment industry (pp. 37-39). Westport, CT: Praeger.

Bailey, T. (2010, August). Effect of message type in strategic advocacy communication:Investigating strategies to combat ageism. Paper presented at the meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Denver, Colorado.

BBC News Online. (2000, February 9). Media unfairly stigmatises mental illness. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/health/635415.stm

Bell, J. (2006). Framing the AIDS Epidemic: From “Homo”genous Deviance to Widespread Panic. In L. Castaneda & S. Campbell (Ed.), News and sexuality: Media portraits of diversity (pp. 95-109). New York, NY: Sage.

Bitzer, L. (1968). The rhetorical situation. Philosophy and Rhetoric, 1(1), 1-14.

Blumer, H. (1969). Symbolic interactionism: Perspective and method. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Burke, K. (1966). Language as symbolic action: Essays on life, literature, and method. Berkeley, CA: University of California.

Burke, K. (1989). On symbols and society. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Campbell, R., Martin, C. R., & Fabos, B. (2010). Media & culture: An introduction to mass communication. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Caputo, N., & Rouner, D. (2011). Narrative processing of entertainment media and mental illness stigma. Health Communication, 26(7), 595-604. doi:0.1080/10410236.2011.560787

Charren, P. (2000). Principles for Effective Advocacy from the Founder of Action for Children’s Television. In M. Suman & G. Rossman (Eds.), Advocacy groups and the entertainment industry (pp. 9-11). Westport, CT: Praeger.

Corrigan, P. W. (2005). On the stigma of mental illness: Practical strategies for research and social change. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Corrigan, P. W. & Matthews, A. (2003). Stigma and disclosure: Implications for coming out of the closet. Journal of Mental Health, 12(3), 235-248.

Edney, D. R. (2004, January). Mass media and mental illness: A literature review. Ontario: Canadian Mental Health Association. Retrieved from http://www.ontario.cmha.ca/docs/about/mass_media.pdf

Goh, D. (2008). It’s the gays’ fault: News and HIV as weapons against homosexuality in Singapore. Journal of Communication Inquiry, 32(4), 383-399. doi:10.1177/0916859908320295

Gross, L. (2001). Up from invisibility: Lesbians, gay men, and the media in America. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Grunig, J. E., & Grunig, L. A. (1997, July). Review of a program of research on activism: Incidence in four countries, activist publics, strategies of activist groups, and organizational responses to activism. Paper presented at the Public Relations Research Symposium, Lake Bled, Slovenia.

Heinke, R. S., & Tremain, M. H. (2000). Influencing Media Content Through the Legal System: A Less Than Perfect Solution for Advocacy Groups. In M. Suman & G. Rossman (Eds.), Advocacy groups and the entertainment industry (pp. 43-52). Westport, CT: Praeger.

Hendershot, H. (1998). Saturday morning censors. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Henson, C., Chapman, S., McLeod, L., Johnson, N., McGeechan, K., & Hickie, I. (2009). More us than them: Positive depictions of mental illness on Australian television news. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 43(6), 554-560. doi:10.1080/00048670902873623

Herek, G. (2009). Hate crimes and stigma-related experiences among sexual minority adults in the United States: Prevalence estimates from a national probability sample. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24(1), 54-74. doi:10.1177/0886260508316477

Herek, G., Gillis, J., & Cogan, J. (2009). Internalized stigma among sexual minority adults: Insights from a social psychological perspective. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(1), 32-43. doi:10.1037/a0014672

Huang, Y.-H. (2001). Values of public relations: Effects on organization-public relationships mediating conflict resolution. Journal of Public Relations Research, 13(1), 265-301. doi:10.1207/S1532754XJPRR1301_4

Katz, D., & Kahn, R. L. (1978). The social psychology of organizations (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.

Klin, A., & Lemish, D. (2008). Mental disorders stigma in the media: Review of studies on production, content, and influences. Journal of Health Communication, 13(5), 434-449. doi:10.1080/10810730802198813

L’Etang, J. (2012). Public relations, culture and anthropology — Towards an ethnographic research agenda. Journal of Public Relations Research, 24(), 165-183. doi:10.1080/1062726X.2012.626134

Meyer, I. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129(5), 674-697.

Montgomery, K. C. (1989). Target: Prime time: Advocacy groups and the struggle over entertainment. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. (2009). Diversity in Hollywood. Retrieved from http://www.naacp.org/index.php/pages/diversity-in-hollywood

National Latino Media Council. (2009). NLMC Diversity Report Card 2009. Retrieved from http://nalip.org.nalip/documents/NLMC_Diversity_Reportcard_2009.pdf

National Latino Media Council. (2010). 2010 NLMC Network Diversity Report Card Narrative. Retrieved from http://www.nalip.org/nalip/documents/2010-NLMC-Network-Diversity-Report-Card-Narrative.pdf

Pekurny, R. (2000). Advocacy Groups in the Age of Audience Fragmentation: Thoughts on a New Strategy. In M. Suman & G. Rossman (Eds.), Advocacy groups and the entertainment industry (pp. 105-113). Westport, CT: Praeger.

Rossman, G. (2000). Hostile and Cooperative Advocacy. In M. Suman & G. Rossman (Eds.), Advocacy groups and the entertainment industry (pp. 85-103). Westport, CT: Praeger.

Rostosky, S. S., Riggle, E. D. B., Horne, S. G., & Miller, A. D. (2009). Marriage amendments and psychological distress in lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(1), 56–66. doi:10.1037/a0013609

Schneider, A. R. (2000). Dealing With Advocacy Groups at ABC. In M. Suman & G. Rossman (Eds.), Advocacy groups and the entertainment industry (pp. 131-138). Westport, CT: Praeger.

Thompson, M. (2010). Race, gender, and the social construction of mental illness in the criminal justice system. Sociological Perspectives, 53(1), 99-126. doi:10.1525/sop.2010.53.1.99

Wahl, O. F. (1997). Media madness: Public images of mental illness. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers.

Watson, A. C., & Corrigan, P. W. (2005). Challenging Public Stigma: A Targeted Approach. In P. W. Corrigan (Ed.), On the stigma of mental illness: Practical strategies for research and social change (pp. 281-295). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.