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(In the video, Frank Ovaitt invites PR scholars to share useful, practical findings with the IPR audience.)

This year’s IPRRC included exciting studies. Since it is safe to mention conference findings without disqualifying anyone from having their studies considered in an academic journal, I’d like to highlight one of the many presentations I am thinking about from IPRRC.

We know from Tina McCorkindale, Marcia DiStaso and Hilary Fussell-Sisco’s research that a “like” on an organization’s Facebook fan page doesn’t equal engagement.

Considering Groundswell’s social technographics, we know that even spectators can be engaged (i.e., people who do not “like” or comment).

So how do we measure engagement in a way that includes spectators and excludes people who might click “like” but do not have a real connection with the organization?

Minjeong Kang offers an answer with her public engagement scale, which has three components (alpha=.91).

1. Affective commitment (alpha=.89)

  • Feel emotionally attached
  • Feel like part of the family
  • Feel a strong sense of belonging

2. Positive affectivity (alpha=.89)

  • Interested
  • Attentive
  • Excited
  • Enthusiastic
  • Proud

3. Empowerment (alpha=.89)

  • Can make differences
  • Determined to develop the organization
  • Have a control over the organization’s decision making
  • Confident about the ability to improve the organization
  • Collaborate with the organization

There were many other great studies! You can see highlights from a handful of them, thanks to Constantin Basturea, who has aggregated highlights from the #IPRRC Twitter feed.

Also, you might enjoy reading my highlights from IPRRC two years ago.

IPRRC attendees, what was one of the studies that interested you at the conference?

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There were many insightful presentations today. I’ve summarized a few of the great ones. Feel free to join us tomorrow on Twitter at #IPRRC2010. Many thanks to the Institute for Public Relations, the University of Miami, and our other conference sponsors for this incredible experience.

Pretty charts didn’t matter to analysts:

  • KDPaine & Partners examined analyst reports about whether to buy or sell a particular company’s stock; one conclusion was that the company’s charts and tables had no impact on the tonality (e.g., positive, negative, neutral) or valuation (e.g., outperform, buy/medium risk) of analyst reports.

Three top companies spent 81% of Twitter time building one-on-one relationships:

  • Gee Ekachai and Amanda Stageman from Marquette University studied three Fortune 100 companies and found that 81% of the tweets they examined were replies to people or were addressed to people, which shows strong engagement efforts.

Shifts occurred on the social media scene following the recent gift disclosure law:

  • Kelli Burns from University of South Florida studied “momfluentials” (mom bloggers with a large following). Her participants noticed that some companies have sent fewer free products for review since the passage of the law requiring disclosure. Momfluentials also observed that some companies have been more insistent about disclosing free gifts. Several momfluentials have responded to the law by not only adding disclosures to blog posts but also having disclosure policies as separate sections on their blogs.

Kelli also described various approaches momfluentials adopt with regard to negative evaluations of free products, such as

  • checking with the company to see if the company would even want them to post a review because the review would be negative
  • writing a negative review while finding some good things to say
  • writing a negative review and warning all gift givers in advance that a negative review will be posted if the product is disliked

What do you think about these approaches?

For conference attendees: Feel free to share one of your research highlights from today.

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