Luttrell co-authors article on creating a public relations curriculum that reflects industry transformations

Regina Luttrell, assistant professor of public relations, co-authored the article, “Public Relations Curriculum: A Systematic Examination of Curricular Offerings in Social Media, Digital Media, and Analytics in Accredited Programs” with Adrienne A. Wallace of Grand Valley State University; Christopher McCollough of Jacksonville State University; and Jiyoung Lee G’19 of the University of Alabama. The paper was published in the Journal of Public Relations Education from AEJMC.

Luttrell co-authors article on helping students develop media pitching skills

Regina Luttrell, assistant professor of public relations, co-authored the article, “Pitch Perfect: Secrets of Media Relations” with Adrienne A. Wallace of Grand Valley State University and Jamie Ward of Eastern Michigan University. The paper was published in the Journal of Public Relations Education from AEJMC.

Luttrell co-authors article on human-centered SEO

Regina Luttrell, assistant professor of public relations, co-authored the article, “A Human-Centered SEO Approach to Creating Higher Ranking Content for Public Relations using a Content Clustering Method” with Adrienne A. Wallace of Grand Valley State University. The paper was published in the Journal of Public Relations Education from AEJMC.

Schneider co-authors paper about crisis response and social media

Erika Schneider, visiting assistant teaching professor of public relations, authored/co-authored the paper, “The Amplified Crisis: Assessing Negative Social Amplification and Source of a Crisis Response” with Courtney D. Boman and Heather Akin. The paper was published in the journal Communication Reports.


Extending the situational crisis communication theory, this research evaluates how the consequences of a crisis extend to social media and how using internal and external sources influence crisis response processing. A structural equation model assessed the conceptual link between organizational reputation and the negative amplification of a message on social media using data derived from an online experiment. Findings contextualize crisis communication to suggest source and social amplification could lead to a vanguard of future SCCT research that guides researchers and professionals in optimizing a crisis response.

Pike authors paper on using subjective research methodology to evaluate public diplomacy programs

Steven Pike, assistant professor of public relations, authored the paper, “Using Q methodology to augment evaluation of public diplomacy programs.” The paper explores the potential for Q methodology, which allows for the measurement of subjectivity, to improve techniques for evaluating public diplomacy programs, and was published in the journal Place Branding and Public Diplomacy.


The evaluation of public diplomacy programs presents complicated challenges. Discernment of impact is complicated by statistical and practical issues: the nature of individualized personal experiences; the large number of factors that can influence an individual’s response to any experience; the long time horizon required for impact to develop; the influence of politics on defining desired outcomes; and a longrunning debate within the discipline over the proper objectives of exchange programs (mutual understanding for its own sake or the pursuit of foreign policy agendas). Researcher asked current and former participants in the Hubert H. Humphrey Exchange Program at Syracuse University for opinions on the outcomes, benefits, and attributes they expect of exchange programs, and used Q methodology, a scientific method for the study of subjectivity, to discern and describe differing perspectives. Results obtained revealed distinct differences in the opinion patterns of different groups of participants, including identifying participants who valued more agenda- and policy-driven objectives. Demographic information obtained was insufficient to identify the drivers of those groups and additional research, including expansion of the respondent pool and analysis of individual participants, is needed to refine the precise drivers.

Professor wins Facebook Reality Labs research grant to study impacts of augmented and virtual reality

Makana Chock, David J. Levidow Professor of Communications at the Newhouse School, has been awarded a $75,000 research grant from Facebook Reality Labs to explore the impacts of augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) on bystander privacy.

Makana Chock
Makana Chock

Chock will work with Se Jung Kim, a doctoral student in Newhouse’s mass communications program. They will focus on two countries with disparate cultural norms—the U.S. and South Korea—to examine the impact of cultural differences on privacy concerns and ultimately inform the design of AR/VR technology.

“This is another example of how many of the leading communications companies in the world are turning to the Newhouse School to better understand some of the challenges we are facing as a society,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato.

Chock developed her proposal, “AR/VR recording: Cultural differences in perceptions of bystander privacy,” in response to Facebook’s request for proposals on responsible innovation in AR/VR: “Consider Everyone.”  

Chock says the “ubiquitous and covert nature” of AR/VR recording poses the threat of serious privacy violations as bystanders are captured without permission. At the same time, different societies often have different concepts of bystander privacy, and those differences are reflected in the way image recording is regulated.

In the individualist culture of the U.S., recording bystanders in a public space is largely accepted and often protected under the First Amendment. In the collectivist culture of South Korea, where a higher premium is placed on privacy, express permission is required to record individuals. Yet even there, younger adults regularly post images and recordings on social media that may contain bystanders.

Additionally, Chock says bystander privacy issues are especially important when it comes to vulnerable populations like immigrants.

“Over the last few years, immigrants in both the U.S. and South Korea have faced restrictions and increased scrutiny from the government agencies, as well as discrimination and bullying from some members of their communities,” she says. “These factors may heighten concerns about privacy and the potential misuse of immigrants’ personal information or images. It is therefore important to increase awareness among AR/VR users of bystanders’ concerns and the potential for inadvertent harm.”

The three-part study will begin with an online survey conducted in both countries to assess potential differences in bystanders’ privacy perceptions and concerns and identify additional concerns of targeted immigrant groups. The team will then conduct a series of in-depth interviews with a subset of survey participants to provide additional qualitative data about cultural differences in bystander privacy concerns. Finally, they will facilitate a series of focus groups comprised of U.S. and South Korean users in a multi-user social VR environment in order to determine if the cultural differences seen in “real world” public spaces also apply in social VR spaces.

Chock is set to be the founding research director of the Newhouse School’s new XR lab and is co-leader of the Virtual and Immersive Interactions research cluster at Syracuse University.

Henderson and Chock co-author paper on local news influence

Keren Henderson, associate professor of broadcast and digital journalism, and Makana Chock, associate professor of communications, co-authored the paper, “Could cutting costs mean changing minds? Effects of local television news work routines on viewer attention, information-processing, and perceptions of story importance.” The paper was published in the journal Journalism.


Market-driven changes to local television news content can come with consequences to viewers in terms of understanding, remembering and subsequently deliberating about news information. This study focuses on the effects of television news packages on viewers with the understanding that ‘high-effort’ storytelling is not supported uniformly across stations. Using an experiment, this study compares the effects of high- and low-effort storytelling on viewers’ memories for story facts, reported emotional states and perceptions of the importance of stories to determine whether cost-cutting measures will have important consequences for the half of US adults who report relying regularly on local television news for their civic information and for the multi-platform audiences whose preferred content originates from traditional television news work routines.

Ortiz co-authors peer-reviewed article on #MeToo in the workplace with Newhouse Ph.D candidate

Rebecca Ortiz, assistant professor of advertising, co-authored the peer-reviewed article “MeToo Social Media Engagement and Perceived Hypersensitivity in the Workplace” with Newhouse Ph.D. candidate Andrea Smith as first author. The article was published in the Communication Studies journal.


The #MeToo movement initiated a prominent shift in our awareness of sexual violence in the workplace by encouraging millions of survivors to share their experiences on social media and the movement sought to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. This study examined how employees’ selective engagement with the #MeToo movement influenced their acceptance of rape myths and their perceptions of the movement’s impact on gender dynamics in the workplace (i.e., perceived increased hypersensitivity). A sample of U.S. employees completed the relevant measures in an online survey. Results indicated that the more a participant engaged with the #MeToo movement on social media the less accepting they were of rape myths and the less they perceived the #MeToo movement as increasing hypersensitivity about sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace. Practical implications for improving workplace dynamics, such as using employees’ perceptions of the #MeToo movement to help inform organizational trainings, policies, and procedures are discussed.

Aileen Gallagher authors chapter for book on twentieth century magazines

Aileen Gallagher, associate professor of magazine, news and digital journalism, authored a chapter in “Curating Culture: How Twentieth-Century Magazines Influenced America,” published July 13 by Rowman & Littlefield

Luttrell publishes research paper on social and digital media practice in public relations education

Regina Luttrell, associate dean of research and creative activity and associate professor of public relations, co-authored the paper “Connecting Pedagogy to Industry: Social and Digital Media Practice as Research in Public Relations Education“which was published in the Teaching Journalism and Mass Communication journal. The article was co-authored with Christopher J. McCollough of Jacksonville State University and Adrienne A. Wallace of Grand Valley State University.


This paper discusses a qualitative content analysis of course descriptions in an exploratory effort to identify the focus and emphasis of public relations curricular offerings in emerging technologies and their strategic application. Findings show an emphasis on an integration of disciplines and technology, an emphasis on content production and strategic application of social and digital media, and applied learning approaches designed to promote professional development among students. Findings also show a limited discussion of models of best practice, absence of theory as it relates to practice, shortage of appropriate methodology in analyzing big data, and a limited discussion of branding and influencers as emerging strategic resources and topics of discussion. The paper also identified future directions for expanded analysis to better understand the relationship between social and digital media courses and if they serve to appropriately train future industry professionals.