Qian Xu and Shi Chen

Research in Progress: Comparing real news vs. fake news in the Zika epidemic

September 18, 2018

By Qian Xu, Elon University and Shi Chen, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

More and more individuals choose social media as the first source to gain information during health crises and disease outbreaks. While the low cost and easy access of social media make it more convenient for health officials and communicators to disseminate useful information, they also provide the unfortunate opportunities for fake health news to spread quickly and widely.

According to research, this… More

Katie R. Place

Research in Progress: Ethical digital engagement with low-income publics

September 11, 2018

By Katie R. Place, Quinnipiac University


Of the Page Principles, “Listen to Stakeholders” resonates with me the most—and supports ethical and inclusive engagement between organizations and their publics. Unfortunately, through my research, I’ve found that some organizations fail to listen to their publics and “engage a diverse range of stakeholders through inclusive dialogue.”

Among the diverse stakeholders every organization must recognize, low-income publics remain especially marginalized. A 2015 report by the Institute for… More

Bart Wojdynski

Research in Progress: How design influences reactions to fake news stories in social media

September 4, 2018

By Bart Wojdynski, University of Georgia

Social media and contemporary online misinformation are inextricably linked, because social media serves as the main source of traffic for many misinformation sites.

As a primary funnel of audiences to news stories of all kinds, Facebook has taken action several times in the past year in an attempt to decrease exposure to misinformation.

Facebook uses machine learning to identify potentially false stories. It compares them with catalogued fact-checking work by… More

Michail Vafeiadis and Anli Xiao

Research in Progress: Examining the role of message source and rebuttal mechanisms

August 27, 2018

By Michail Vafeiadis, Auburn University, and Anli Xiao, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi

Social media has amplified the rapid dissemination of (mis)information and fake news. A recent study out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that fake news spreads at a much faster rate on Twitter than true news—the likelihood of the former to go viral is 70 percent higher.

The fake news phenomenon is particularly worrisome given that 64 percent of Americans believe that it… More

Michele Ewing, Rita Linjuan Men, and Julie O’Neil

Using social media to enhance employee communication and engagement

August 20, 2018

By Michele Ewing, Kent State University, Rita Linjuan Men, University of Florida and Julie O’Neil, Texas Christian University

The growing use of social media in organizations is causing a reshaping of internal communication strategy. We conducted a study to explore the value of using internal social media. Our research resulted in several recommendations for companies who have or plan to develop social media strategies.

We focused on employee engagement, which we define as workers who are connected… More

Jin, Spector, Reber, Austin

Financial crises provide lessons learned for corporate communicators

July 27, 2018 • Jonathan McVerry

American philosopher John Dewey said a person learns as much from failure as he or she does from success. For corporate communicators, two of the lowest points in U.S. financial history provide real-world lessons on how to maintain ethical communications through crisis.

Years ago, Yan Jin, professor at the University of Georgia, and Shelley Spector, founder of the Museum of Public Relations, discussed the need to chronicle lessons communicators learn after major crises. They specifically targeted the two… More

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