Dr. Yan Jin

Associate Director of Center for Health & Risk Communication, Associate Professor, Public Relations

About: Dr. Yan Jin teaches undergraduate public relations courses in research, management, and campaigns, as well as graduate communication theory course. Her research includes studies of public relations, crisis communication, conflict management, social media, and strategic health and risk communication, with a strong focus on how emotions influence organizational decision making processes as well as publics’ information seeking behaviors and communicative responses.

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Ph.D., University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

M.A., University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

B.A., Peking University, Beijing, China

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Jin’s research includes studies of public relations, crisis communication, conflict management, social media, and strategic health and risk communication, with a strong focus on how emotions influence organizational decision making processes as well as publics’ information seeking behaviors and communicative responses.

Dr. Jin has published more than 50 articles in top peer-reviewed journals such as Communication Research, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Public Relations Journal, Corporate Communication: An International Journal, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, Journal of Interactive Advertising, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Health Communication, Vaccine, British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research and Newspaper Research Journal, etc. Her co-authored articles in Communication Research, titled “Examining the Role of Social Media in Effective Crisis Management: The Effects of Crisis Origin, Information Form, and Source on Publics’ Crisis Responses” and “Social Media Use during Disasters: How Information Form and Source Influence Intended Behavioral Responses”, were ranked by Sage Publication among the top-read media and communication articles of 2014 and 2016, respectively.

Her work was also published in leading communication books like The Handbook of Crisis Communication and SAGE Handbook of Public Relations. Dr. Jin is the co-editor of the book, Social Media and Crisis Communication, to be published by Routlege.

Organizational Conflicts and Emotions on Social Media Yan Jin

Abstract: For employees, conflicts can be very emotional encounters (Jones, 2000), causing stress, anger, fright, sadness, and anxiety. Increasingly, organizational issues and conflicts are discussed on social media (Meriläinen & Vos, 2011) and social media use can help employees express their emotions and cope with the stress caused by conflict situations (Neubaum et al., 2014). […]

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Treading Troubled Water Yan Jin, Bryan H. Reber, LaShonda Eaddy & Camila Espina

Abstract: Institutional knowledge and collective learning are invaluable resources for the corporate communications profession.  How corporations and government agencies have historically communicated with publics provides historical parameters for developing public communication competencies and ethical standards.  Through the lens of organizational learning and historical analogy, this study examines public relations in the era of the Great […]

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News Media Portrayal of HPV Vaccine Before Its First Implementation in China Yan Jin and Glen Nowak

Abstract: News media stories and content can influence people’s understanding of vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases, including making them more knowledgeable about the need for a recommended vaccination and more willing to receive it (Perez, Fedoruk, et al., 2016). China is one of the most recent countries to license and develop HPV vaccine recommendations. In […]

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Misinformation in Times of Crisis Yan Jin

Abstract: In times of crisis, when information spreads fast and the public need for information is at its highest, misinformation can play a crucial role in the understanding of a crisis and how it develops. This raises questions about the challenge of correcting opinions and beliefs based on misinformation and how these incorrect perceptions can […]

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Factors Affecting Production and Spread of Crisis Information during Infectious Disease Outbreaks Yan Jin

Abstract: How to effectively and ethically engage with publics via both traditional and social media in different types of public health risks and crises with different forms of media has been a critical question for both public health information officers and risk communication scholars.  A particular type of health crisis, infectious disease outbreaks (IDOs), can […]

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Coping with Outbreaks Yan Jin

Overview: Through an online, nationally representative survey of 1,000 participants, this proposed project will examine how publics perceive and cope with the threat of infectious disease outbreaks, in order to information risk and crisis communications strategies for health organizations in times of infectious disease threat (IDT). This study will explore dimensions of threat appraisal, including […]

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How Crisis Managers Define Ethical Crisis Communication Practice Yan Jin

Abstract: Addressing the call by Coombs (2010) to examine the role of culture in crisis communication, this study examines the veracity and relative influences of these variables by examining how public relations practitioners practice them between two cultures, specifically Asian versus Western. Data comes from interviews with 20 senior practitioners from the US and Singapore […]

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Welcome Or Not Yan Jin

Abstract: The current Syrian refugee crisis has resulted in millions of Syrians fleeing their homes in search of safety and hope for their families. This flow of refugees and asylum seekers has both led to humanitarian efforts to assist these refugees as well as increasing views of refugees as a threat to receiving countries’ security […]

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Getting the ‘Picture’ Out about Zika Yan Jin, Bartosz Wojdynski & Yen-I Lee

Abstract: Using a 2 (gain vs. loss message framing) x 2 (photo vs. infographic image type) x 3 (government vs. media vs. peer source)between-subjects experiment with a representative sample of 559 adults in the United States, this study examined the effects of message framing, image types, and source of Zika-focused messages on publics’ emotional responses […]

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The Spread of Zika Twitter Conversation Itai Himelboim, Glen Nowak & Yan Jin

Presentation Slides:  http://tinyurl.com/ZikaTwitter

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The Effects of News Framing and Issue Attribution on Chinese College Students’ Responses to Depression Coverage Yan Jin and Yen-I Lee

Abstract: Depression is now one of the most severe public health threats in China and among Chinese college students. To examine the role of depression news coverage and address barriers in communicating with Chinese college students about the risk of depression and the importance of providing social support to depressed individuals, a 2 (episodic vs. […]

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Corporate WeChat Communication in China Yan Jin

Abstract: This study tackles the gap in public relations research on how corporations utilize WeChat, the dominant social media in China, to communicate and interact with publics. Using a content analysis of 1,488 WeChat posts of 15 top Chinese business-to-consumer enterprises, this study examined how the organizational factors (i.e., company type, ownership, and industry) and […]

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Inseparable Duos Yen-I Lee, Yan Jin & Glen Nowak

Abstract: This study examined the effects of message framing and presentation in flu vaccine public service advertisements (PSAs) using a 2 (gain vs. loss) x 2 (image-based vs. text only presentation) between-subject experiment with a sample of U.S. college students (N = 122). The findings indicated that flu vaccine PSAs that utilized a gain-framed image-based […]

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Yesterday is Tomorrow Yan Jin and Bryan H. Reber Read More
Informing crisis communication preparation and response through network analysis Itai Himelboim, Bryan H. Reber & Yan Jin

Abstract: To test and elaborate as necessary the Social-Mediated Crisis Communication (SMCC) model’s key publics classifications (Liu et al., 2012) and to provide practical insight to public identification for crisis communication planning and response, this study uses network analysis to first identify clustered publics in airline Twitter networks –direct social media followers that are centered […]

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Picture This and Take That: Strategic Crisis Visuals and Visual Social Media (VSM) in Crisis Communication Yan Jin

Abstract: Taking a content-form integrated approach to visuals in crisis communication, we argue that visuals play a dual-role in crisis information or crisis message design: Visuals can be both form and content.  In this presentation we review communication literature on visuals and their effects; identify types of visuals in crisis communication and how these types […]

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Dissecting the Root of Vaccine Misinformation on Pinterest Sungsu Kim, Michael Cacciatore & Yan Jin

Abstract: This study employs a quantitative content analysis approach to the issue of vaccines, analyzing a total of 1,000 vaccine-related pins posted by four anti-vaccine organizations (Mercola, Natural News, Health Impact News, and GreenMedInfo) on the social media platform “Pinterest”. Pinterest was chosen as a platform to explore given the high percentage of active female […]

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Teaching Specialties

Dr. Jin’s teaching areas include public relations research, public relations management, public relations campaigns, crisis communication, strategic health communication, international communication, and communication theories. She has guest-lectured for a number of universities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.


Dr. Jin has served on the editorial board for the Journal of Public Relations Research since 2009. In 2015, she became the editor of the Corporate Communication International (CCI) annual conference proceedings. She is an affiliated researcher of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland. She is also an affiliate of the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research (OIBR) at the University of Georgia.

Actively engaging herself in the public relations and corporate communication profession, Dr. Jin has conducted or led consumer communication research projects for a number of Fortune 500 companies such as The Estée Lauder Companies, CarMax, The Home Depot, and Amgen. She is on the Corporate Communication International (CCI)’s advisory board and the Museum of Public Relations’ board of advisors. She has contributed numerous articles to professional publications and outlets such as Communication Director, PR News, PR Tactics, and Institute for Public Relations’ Social Science for Social Media Research Center. Dr. Jin gave seminar talk at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), conducted professional workshops at the PRSA international conferences, and presented as a panelist at the 2012 Public Relations Leadership Summit. Dr. Jin also serves on the national research committee of the Association for Business Communication (ABC) and the work, life and gender committee of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Awards and Fellowships

Dr. Jin has won 14 top research awards at leading international conferences including: International Public Relations Research Conference (2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016), International Communication Association (2015), Association for Journalism and Mass Communication (2004, 2007), and National Communication Association (2003). She also received the Academic Scholarship Award for Outstanding Research at the Summit on the Future of Measurement for Professional Communicators (2004).

According to a productivity analysis presented at International Communication Association (ICA) conference, Dr. Jin was ranked among the top 10 most productive public relations scholars in crisis management research. In 2014, she received the prestigious Krieghbaum Under-40 Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) for her overall achievements in teaching, research and public service. In 2016, Dr. Jin was inducted as a member of the Arthur W. Page Society.

Dr. Jin has contributed scholarly work in public relations, crisis communication, and health and risk communication projects funded by the National Institutes of Health, Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, and C. R. Anderson Research Foundation of the Association for Business Communication, etc. Dr. Jin was named 2013-2014 and 2016-2017 Page Legacy Scholar by the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication.

Jin, Yan