College of Media | News

Article by advertising professor recognized in ‘best research’ panel

10/28/2013  8:00 am

An article written by John G. Wirtz, assistant professor in the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising, was selected as one of the top articles appearing in Public Relations Journal in 2012-13.

Wirtz traveled to Philadelphia Oct. 27 to present his article in a “Best Research of the Year” panel at the Public Relations Society of America annual conference. PRSA is a 21,000-member organization for public relations practitioners and researchers, and Public Relations Journal is the PRSA’s outlet for peer-reviewed academic research.

Wirtz wrote the article with Prisca Ngondo, his doctoral advisee and currently assistant professor of public relations at Chico State University.

Wirtz said he was grateful that the research was recognized by his academic and professional peers.

“I think the article raises an interesting issue—the degree to which public relations practitioners are influenced by academic research,” he said. “Often we talk about the need to make our research relevant, but this article identified at least one area where academic recommendations are not followed by practitioners.”

The article, “An Analysis of the Website Strategies of Top-Fee Producing U.S.-based Public Relations Agencies,” studied the degree to which PR agency websites demonstrate principles of dialogic communication. Dialogic communication is a style of communication that emphasizes two-way communication, and it has often been promoted as a “best practice” for managing organization-public relationships.

The article found that on average PR agency websites failed to demonstrate principles of dialogic communication, and the article considers implications for academic research and PR practice.

“I think we should be careful not to overemphasize the results of one study,” Wirtz said. “But we also need to find ways to make applied research more relevant to non-academic audiences.”