Date of Award

Fall 12-3-2020

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

School

Communication

Committee Chair

Fei Xue, Ph.D.

Committee Chair School

Communication

Committee Member 2

Christopher Campbell, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2 School

Communication

Committee Member 3

Jae-Hwa Shin, Ph.D.

Committee Member 3 School

Communication

Committee Member 4

Vanessa Murphree, Ph.D.

Committee Member 4 School

Communication

Committee Member 5

Cheryl D. Jenkins

Committee Member 5 School

Communication

Committee Member 6

None

Abstract

This two-component study assessed public relations educators’ (n=18) and public relations practitioners’ (n=53) perceptions and realities of public relations education in Mississippi today. A Qualtrics-designed survey ascertained the quantitative data for Study I (N=71). The researcher used telephone and email interviews to gather qualitative data from a convenience sample (N=10) of five public relations practitioners and five public relations educators for Study II. The dual study used education recommendations from the Commission on Public Relations Education (CPRE) 2017 Report, Fast Forward: Foundations and Future State. Educators and Practitioners, as assessment variables.

The survey was distributed to the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM) members via its newsletter and other Mississippi public relations educators and practitioners via email. The overall findings indicated, from an Analysis of variance (ANOVA), that there were significant differences between the practitioners and educators in six of the reality (actuality) assessment areas. They were stronger and effective writing, ensuring diversity in student/educator based, diversity and inclusion in teaching, ethics, enhanced technology KSAs on the part of the educator, and actual enough hands-on practices. The study found no significant differences in perceptions.

ORCID ID

None

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