Research and Publications - Department of Advertising and Public Relations

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    Life Satisfaction, Job satisfaction and Well-being in the Public Relations and Communication Industry in the United Kingdom
    (Creative Media and Communications Research Ltd &. EUPRERA, 2024-05-19) Topic, Martina ; Chmiel, Michal
    Although some elements of modern work environment and well-being are shared by many industries, working in PR and communication has its several unique, defining characteristics. Among others, it involves relationship-building skills, requires analysing large portions of data and often makes professionals work outside regular working hours. Maintaining work-life balance and understanding factors affecting well-being of Public Relations and Communication professionals has been a continuously challenging issue for professionals and academic scholars. Only a handful of studies attempted to comprehensively answer the question. This report responds to calls from organisations, professionals and academics to fill this gap. We launched a survey on Public Relations, communications and related disciplines practitioners exploring a set of issues related to different aspects of well-being. Our goals were two-fold. First, our aim was to identify specific factors that explain (impact) job and life satisfaction to help practitioners develop a mindful approach to balancing their work-life balance. Second, we wanted to provide evidence for organisations, line managers and HR professionals to develop approaches increasing job satisfaction and well-being in the work environments they are responsible for. The report presents our key findings.
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    Wellbeing and Workplace Culture in Public Relations and Communication Industries in Croatia
    (Creative Media and Communications Research Ltd. & EUPRERA, 2024) Zeman, Marija Geiger; Miletić, Geran-Marko; Holy, Mirela; Topić, Martina; Topić, Martina
    The Croatian team consists of Dr Marija Geiger Zeman, Dr Geran-Marko Miletić from the Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar (Zagreb), and Dr Mirela Holy from VERN’ University (Zagreb). The research team joined the implementation of the research Wellbeing in Public Relations and Communication Industries in February 2023. Due to the later involvement, the members of the Croatian team did not participate in the conceptualization of the research and the creation of the research instrument. In cooperation with Dr Zdenko Zeman (Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb) and Dr Brigita Miloš (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Rijeka) received questionnaire was modified and adapted to the local context. The online research was conducted in the period from April to July 2023. The online questionnaire with an invitation was sent to: - professional organisations of PR and communication experts (HURA, HUOJ, Croatian Association of Independent Professionals) - creative hub and online market of freelance jobs (Bizkoshnica and Freelance.hr). Also, research was advertised on social networks LinkedIn and Twitter (personal account of research team member Dr Mirela Holy). Participating in the survey took 15 minutes. The biggest challenge for the research team and the primary limitation of the Croatian part of the research is the low response rate (72 respondents out of which 66 were employed participants, and six of them were freelancers). The description of the sample includes data for employees and freelancers, however, due to the small number of freelancers who responded to participate in the research, the report will present data related to employees only. The data will be presented at a descriptive level and results of the regression analysis for predicting job satisfaction will be presented. Despite challenges related to the low response rate, the data can serve as a good starting point for determining the main trends and conceptualization of further research.
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    Women in Public Relations in Portugal
    (Creative Media and Communications Research Ltd. & EUPRERA, 2023) Cruz, Carla; Anunciação, Fábio; Belim, Célia; Cunha, Maria João; Topić, Martina; Topić, Martina
    This report provides an insight into the position of women in Public Relations in Portugal. Our research's main aims were: 1) understanding lived experiences, main challenges, and opportunities for women in PR; 2) exploring PR women's perspectives and preferences on work environment and office culture; 3) understanding socialization and leadership, concerning the engagement of Portuguese women in PR in different communication and leadership styles. To achieve these goals a qualitative method was applied, using semi-structured interviews with women working in the public relations industry (communication agencies or in-house departments) in Portugal. A total of 19 women were interviewed by telephone and email; among interviewees eight were in leadership positions, being communication managers from middle or top management. Interviews were conducted between March and July 2020. Following the framework of Topić (2020), the interview script was built on three sections that examined the (a) lived experiences of women in public relations regarding their career advancement process, work-life balance, and differential treatment and behavior based on gender; (b) the office culture in terms of employee discussions, jokes made by colleagues, and inclusion in decision-making process; and (c) leadership perceptions. Results show that age and experience matter, in the sense that older women in medium leadership positions feel more constraints in career progression for being women and have a more masculine profile in communication and leadership styles, whereas younger, less experienced persons - and the oldest in leadership positions - perceive more gender equality on PR career path between men and women, both on Internal performance and on career development. Interestingly, women under 30 consider age (youth) more discriminating than gender. On the other hand, interviewed women agreed on the importance of networking for PR career development and that, generally, they do not perceive companies privileging males over females for work or leadership. Conversely, the fact that they state working more than 8 hours per day and weekends, not all being paid for this, together with a consciousness of being difficult to have families in this profession, unless they have a support system, reveal transversal gender equality issues related to work-life balance very important in Public Relations industries in Portugal. Furthermore, although some women seem not to understand the differences between female and male leadership, the majority believe they have more feminine leadership characteristics.
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    Women in Public Relations in Québec
    (Creative Media and Communications Research Ltd. & EUPRERA, 2023) Millette, Josianne; Brunelle, Annie-Pier; Brun, Josette; Topić, Martina; Topić, Martina
    This research was conducted as part of the Women in Public Relations project of the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA), which aims to document the realities of women practicing the profession in different countries. Based on an exploratory and qualitative design, this research aimed to fill a lack of data available about the gender issues faced by women working in public relations in the province of Québec and to compare these realities to what has been observed elsewhere in North America, and other national contexts around the world. Keeping with the framework of the Women in PR project, interviews with 15 Frenchspeaking women working in PR in Québec were conducted to gain a better understanding of the gender issues that characterize women’s lived experience of PR work, office and workplace culture, and perceptions and stereotypes associated with the leadership styles in this field.
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    How message appeals and prior product use influence information processing, risk perceptions, trust, attitudes, and genetic test purchase intentions
    (PLOS, 2023) VanDyke, Matthew S. S.; Lee, Nicole M. M.; Abitbol, Alan; Rush, Stephen W. W.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa; Arizona State University; Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix; University of Dayton; Belmont University
    Within the direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic test industry, attracting customers can be difficult especially due to the highly sensitive nature of these products. How these tests are communicated to consumers may be one avenue in which companies can impact customer purchase intentions. A 2 (message sidedness: one-way vs. two-way refutational) x 2 (hedging: present vs. absent) between-subjects experiment was conducted to understand how message features and prior product use influence information processing, risk and trust perceptions, and attitude toward the genetic test, which in turn, may influence direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic test purchase intentions. Results demonstrated that having used a genetic test in the past predicted participants' trust in the company, information processing, and risk judgments; however, among those who used a genetic test, viewing a message that included hedging tended to increase their trust in the message. Trust in the message and company, information processing, and risk judgments significantly predicted participants' attitudes toward genetic testing, which in turn predicted their purchase intentions. The results suggest that in the context of DTC genetic test messaging, practitioners should strive to increase consumer trust in the message and the company and facilitate information processing, and they should work to diminish perceived risk. These results suggest opportunities for identifying other message features that may influence message and company trust, information processing, risk judgments, and attitudes related to DTC genetic testing.
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    From Purchasing Exposure to Fostering Engagement: Brand-Consumer Experiences in the Emerging Computational Advertising Landscape
    (Routledge, 2020) Araujo, Theo; Copulsky, Jonathan R.; Hayes, Jameson L.; Kim, Su Jung; Srivastava, Jaideep; University of Amsterdam; Northwestern University; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa; University of Southern California; University of Minnesota System; University of Minnesota Twin Cities
    Over the past 40 years, we have witnessed seismic shifts in advertising planning and buying processes. Due in no small part to the emergence of digital media, consumer choices have mushroomed, while advertisers understand much more about target audiences. Advertising activities have been drastically transformed by the possibilities that technology creates for targeting and measurement, automation of activities via programmatic advertising, and an overall computational approach in which algorithmic, data-driven decisions dominate. In this era, what does it mean to "do media planning" and to do it well? The present article argues for planning decisions to move away from simply purchasing exposure to instead focusing on fostering engagement through meaningful and sustained interactions with consumers. It provides an overview of the digital ecosystem that makes computational advertising possible, updates the notion of consumer engagement for this context, and reviews how measurement becomes more central to media planning decisions. Ethical and normative considerations and computational advertising as an adaptive learning system are discussed as crosscutting issues, followed by a proposed research agenda.
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    The Political Pulpit: Issue Framing and Conservative Partisanship in Evangelical Protestant Pastors’ Sermons Before and After the 2008 Election of Barack Obama
    (2018) Stokes, Ethan C.; Chicotsky, Brandon K.; Billings, Andrew C.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The intersection between religion and politics in the United States remains prevalent in the 21st century. Especially in regard to many Protestant Christian denominations, the relationship between religion and political partisanship seems to continually intensify. Through a content analysis of online sermon transcripts, this study focuses on Protestant pastors’ interpretations of numerous political issues in the 21st century U.S. both before and after the 2008 election of President Obama. Drawing from framing theory, the majority of pastors primarily framed their sermons in three main ways: (1) increased discussions of political conservatism after the 2008 election, (2) maintained abortion as the most popular social issue discussed, and (3) increased discussions of literalist interpretations of the U.S. Constitution following the 2008 election. The study’s results and implications for various avenues of future research are discussed at length.