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JMC Professor Recognized for Internal Communication Research
Michele Ewing, associate professor in Kent State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC), was recently recognized for her research on internal communication at the International Public Relations Research Conference in Orlando.
Ewing and the team of researchers – Julie O’Neil, of Texas Christian University; Stacey Smith, of Jackson, Jackson & Wagner; and Sean Williams, of True Digital Communications – earned the IPR Top 2 Papers of Practical Significance Award for the paper “A Delphi Study to Identify Standards for Internal Communication,” which is focused on a two-year research project.
The research began with an 11-member international task force with the goal of developing recommendations for internal communication measurement standards. Ewing, O’Neil, Smith and Williams then extended the task force’s initial work by conducting a Delphi study in 2016 with a purposive sample of internal communication thought leaders. The team sought to determine if a wider audience of internal communication practitioners agreed with the task force’s recommended standards and definitions.
The 2016 study asked participants to indicate their level of agreement with the recommended definitions of the proposed standards, their usage of the proposed standards, whether they recommended additional standards and which standards they viewed as most important and why. The researchers also presented the proposed standards at three public relations conferences and obtained feedback about the proposed standards from hundreds of academics and communication practitioners.
The IPR-recognized paper describes the findings of the Delphi Study and introduces and defines 21 measurement standards that internal communication practitioners can use to create more effective communication plans and measure the value communication brings to their organizations.
“The recommendations have potential value for both academics and practitioners in terms of showing how to measure internal communication in a consistent and comparable manner—the ultimate goal of standardization,” Ewing said.
The research team plans to begin a second phase of the study to determine methodology for how to measure the defined standards.
The Institute for Public Relations (IPR) is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to research in, on and for public relations. IPR investigates the science beneath the art of public relations™. IPR focuses on research that matters to the practice, providing timely insights and applied intelligence that professionals can put to immediate use.