Dr. Juan Meng

Associate Professor, Public Relations; Founder & Director, UGA Choose China Study Abroad Program, Public Relations

About: Dr. Meng’s teaching areas include public relations campaigns, research, PR leadership and ethics, and global PR. Her research focuses on leadership in public relations, measurement, trust, employee engagement, and reputation management. Dr. Meng founded and directs UGA’s ADPR Choose China study abroad program. Dr. Meng currently is the Executive Director of Choose China Training, Education and Outreach programs in Grady.

View Curriculum Vitae

Education

Ph.D., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
M.S., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
M.A., Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH
B.S., Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Meng’s current research focuses on leadership in public relations, talent management and leadership development, trust in reputation management, and organizational culture and employee engagement. Dr. Meng has received more than $220,000 in funding grants to support her research in the past seven years. She has published more than 35 referred journal articles in leading scholarly journals in public relations and communication management and contributed to different book chapters.

Meng is the co-editor of the scholarly book, “Public Relations Leaders as Sensemakers: A Global Study of Leadership in Public Relations and Communication Management,” published by Routledge in 2014. Meng is currently working on her new original book project, “PR Women with Influence: Breaking through the Ethical and Leadership Challenges,” selected as part of the AEJMC-Peter Lang Scholarsourcing Series.

Meng was elected to serve on the national board of advisors of the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. She has collaborated with the Plank Center in the past ten years on various research projects, including the largest global study of PR leadership, Millennial Communication Professionals in the Workplace, the biennial Report Card on PR Leaders, and the North American Communication Monitor.

Meng serves on the editorial review board for leading scholarly journals in the field, including Public Relations Review, Journal of Public Relations Research, International Journal of Strategic Communication, Public Relations Journal, and Journal of Promotion Management. Meng is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), the International Communication Association (ICA), and the Academy of Marketing Science (AMS). She also actively serve as reviewer for most leading communication, public relations, marketing, and management journals and conferences nationally and internationally.

Meng is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), the International Communication Association (ICA), and the Academy of Marketing Science (AMS). She also serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of Public Relations Research and as reviewer for most leading communication, public relations, marketing, and management journals and conferences.

Challenges for communication professionals: How communication professionals could address fake news and prevent corporations from suffering the attack of fake news Juan Meng

Invited talk by the Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China. Dr. Meng was invited to share research insights on communication practice and fake news. The talk centers on how fake news could be monitored and identified, and how communication professionals could use their expertise and knowledge […]

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Spotlight: Digital leadership communication: Leveraging an executive brand Juan Meng

Abstract: This research spotlight shares insights on how technology changes how leaders guide their teams and organizations and some of the greatest challenges for leaders to adapt in the digital environment. The author argues the digital environment presents the greatest opportunity to foster a continued and interactive learning environment as the industry has witnessed a […]

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Looking at young millennials’ risk perception and purchase intention toward GM foods: Exploring the role of source credibility and risk attitude Juan Meng

Abstract: This study investigated young millennials’ risk perception, benefit perception, and purchase intention toward GM foods by testing the effects of source credibility and risk attitude. By comparing two samples collected in the U.S. (N = 207) and China (N = 242), we found that source credibility positively influenced benefit perceptions of GM foods among […]

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Three Rs: Resilience, Resourcefulness, and Reform Mindedness in Public Relations Education amid the COVID-19 Pandemic Juan Meng

Dr. Meng serves as an invited panelist to discuss how the double pandemic—the virus and racial reckoning—is continuing to shape resilience, resourcefulness and reform in our industry and how educators can help students test and stretch their resilience in the classroom.

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The role of institutional environment in building communication professionals’ trust and satisfaction: A moderated multiple-mediation analysis. Juan Meng

Abstract: As an important group of internal stakeholders, communication professionals carry the responsibilities to communicate with multiple groups of audience and foster trusted and satisfied relationships, both internally and externally. However, while busy with taking care of various stakeholders, the trust-satisfaction perception of communication professionals is underrated. Therefore, this study shifts the investigation of the […]

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Inclusive leadership and women in public relations: Defining the meaning, functions, and relationships. Juan Meng

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to introduce inclusive leadership as a new theoretical framework to understand its meaning and functions in advancing gender equalities and empowerment in public relations leadership. By proposing an inclusive leadership theoretical model, we explored the roles of inclusive leadership in fostering an organization’s diversity climate and facilitating its […]

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Leading transitions in a traumatically changing working environment: Communication professionals adapt to COVID-19 impacts. Tong Xie, Bryan H. Reber, Juan Meng & JeongHyun (Janice) Lee

Abstract: The paper presents findings from an international survey of communication professionals on change leadership in communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the strong impact brought by the pandemic, communication professionals adapt quickly in change management by using COVID-19 information to build knowledge, enhance trust, develop strategies and guide actions. 

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Assessing COVID-19 pandemic communication in China: What we know about the communication channels, sources of information, and key message retention. Part of the research panel of Learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic: Cross-cultural differences in risk and crisis communication strategies Juan Meng and Tong Xie

Abstract: This research presents the findings from a large-scale national online survey of Chinese citizens (N = 1,713) about their general knowledge of COVID-19 and the key communication channels that they used both during and after the pandemic. The perceived impact of COVID-19, personal safety concern, and information retention during the times of lockdown and […]

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Better obesity knowledge, healthier food choice? Examining the moderating role of HNR claims in food advertisements. Juan Meng

Abstract: A conditional process model for the impact of obesity knowledge on healthy food choice was proposed to examine how consumers’ obesity knowledge and online search for nutritional information (OSNI) in food products jointly influenced their healthy food choice (HFC) and whether consumers’ attitude toward health and nutrition-related (HNR) claims in food advertisement directly or […]

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Barriers to PR women’s leadership advancement: Current situation and anticipated changes. Juan Meng

Abstract: This study examines current critical situational issues and barriers that are likely to influence women’s leadership advancement along their career paths in public relations. A national online survey of female professionals in public relations was designed and conducted in the United States. Results confirmed the top three situational barriers to PR women’s advancement include […]

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Women in communication: Assessing and advancing gender equality. Juan Meng and Solyee Kim

Abstract: This study addresses the persistent gender discrepancies in the communication profession at three levels (i.e., the micro level with individual communication professionals, the meso level with communication department and/or agency, and the macro level with the communication profession itself). By conducting an online survey of 1,046 communication professionals in the United States and Canada […]

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The roles of instrumental support and mentoring in balancing professional and family responsibilities: Perspectives from women in PR in the United States. Juan Meng

Abstract: The rise of a professional career presents women in today’s public relations profession an intense challenge in balancing professional and family responsibilities. Therefore, this study is motivated to investigate female public relations professionals’ perceptions of work-family conflict in their daily life. Specifically, we focused our research on women working in the professions of communication […]

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Ethical challenges in an evolving digital communication era: Coping resources and ethics trainings. Juan Meng, Solyee Kim & Bryan H. Reber

Abstract: This study is motivated to investigate the ethical challenges facing public relations professionals in today’s digital communication environment. Specifically, we focused our research on the new ethical challenges in digital practice, the resources relied on when encountering ethical challenges, and public relations professionals’ efforts in seeking trainings on communication ethics. Our research found nearly […]

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Leadership in public relations: the state of research Juan Meng

Meng, J. (May 13, 2021). Leadership in public relations: the state of research. Invited talk at the School of Communication and International Relations, Blanquerna—Universitat Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain.  

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Building mentorship and networks: Insights from PR Women with Influence Juan Meng

Meng, J., & Neill, M. S. (May 19, 2021). Building mentorship and networks: Insights from PR Women with Influence. Invited live training session at the 2021 UGA AdPR Academy.  

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Exploring the 2020-2021 North American Communication Monitor Bryan H. Reber and Juan Meng

Meng, J., Reber, B. H., Gower, K., Zerfass, A. (June 9, 2021). Exploring the 2020-2021 North American Communication Monitor. Facebook Live Webinar, invited and hosted by the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.   

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Risk/Crisis Communication Research Related to COVID-19 in Asia Juan Meng

Meng, J. (July 2, 2021). Trusted sources of information, perceived quality in communication, and health knowledge retention: A national study of COVID-19 pandemic in China. Invited presentation as part of the research panel, Risk/Crisis Communication Research Related to COVID-19 in Asia, chaired by Sriramesh, K., presented at the 28th International Public Relations Research Symposium (BledCom).

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Leadership Research Roundtable: Ethics of Care Juan Meng

Neill, M. S., & Meng, J. (July 27, 2021). Leadership Research Roundtable: Ethics of Care, invited and hosted by The Arthur W. Page Center and The Arthur W. Page Society.   

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AEJMC-Peter Lang Scholarsourcing Book Series Panel Karen Miller Russell and Juan Meng

Hopkins, K., Dahmen, N., Russell, Karen M., Meng, Juan, & Neill, M. S. (August 5, 2021). AEJMC-Peter Lang Scholarsourcing Book Series Panel, invited talk at the 2021 annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), August 4-7, 2021.   

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Barriers to leadership advancement in an age of turbulence: Perspectives from Women in PR in the United States Juan Meng and Solyee Kim

Abstract  This chapter presents the research findings from a national research project on women and leadership in public relations in the United States (Meng & Neill, 2021). Through its 51 in-depth interviews and a large-scale survey of women working in the public relations in the United States in the years of 2019-2020, the chapter offers […]

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The role of institutional environment in building communication professionals’ trust and satisfaction: A moderated multiple mediation analysis. Juan Meng

Abstract As an important group of internal stakeholders, communication professionals carry the responsibilities to communicate with multiple groups of audience and foster trusted and satisfied relationships, both internally and externally. However, while busy with taking care of various stakeholders, the trust-satisfaction perception of communication professionals is underrated. Therefore, this study shifts the investigation of the […]

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Measuring the value of public relations: An international investigation at how communication practitioners view the challenges and suggest solutions Michael Cacciatore and Juan Meng

Abstract This research is motivated to advance our understanding of measurement challenges in communication practice and coping strategies from a global perspective. To do so, we relied on data from a global online survey of communication practitioners in more than 20 countries, which result in five country clusters for final analysis and comparisons. Communication practitioners […]

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Digital competencies in communication management: A conceptual framework of Readiness for Industry 4.0 for communication professionals in the workplace JeongHyun (Janice) Lee and Juan Meng

This research is motivated to explore communication professionals’ understanding of the digital changes brought by the Industry 4.0 revolution and how such changes may affect the strategies and skills expected in effective communication management. A specific focus of the research is to define the concept of Readiness for Industry 4.0 in communication and propose a […]

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Strategic Communication in a Global Crisis: National and International Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic Juan Meng

Strategic Communication in a Global Crisis: National and International Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The impact of COVID-19 pandemic, ethical challenges, gender issues, cyber security, and competence gaps in strategic communication. Juan Meng and Bryan H. Reber

North American Communication Monitor 2020-2021. The impact of COVID-19 pandemic, ethical challenges, gender issues, cyber security, and competence gaps in strategic communication.

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The 2021/2022 Page/Johnson Legacy Scholar Award Juan Meng

Meng, Juan: The 2021/2022 Page/Johnson Legacy Scholar Award for research contributions to the ethics of care in public relations research and practice. Awarded by The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communications at Penn State University  

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Ethics of Care and Servant Leadership  Juan Meng

Neill, M. S. (CO-PI) at Baylor University and Meng, Juan (CO-PI) at University of Georgia: $6,000 (funded) (July 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022)  Funder/Sponsor: The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communications.  Project description: This sponsored study will focus on investigating the roles of ethics of care and servant leadership in building […]

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Ethical leadership and influence building: An examination of female public relations’ perceptions on preparedness, role modeling, and influence strategies Juan Meng

Abstract: Practices of ethical leadership in public relations can be context-specific but they can influence organizational effectiveness. By conducting a national survey, this study examines female public relations professionals’ perspectives on ethical leadership. The results suggest that female professionals feel ready and confident in providing ethics counseling as needed. Public relations leaders’ ethical conduct help […]

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Leading transitions in a traumatically changing working environment: Communication professionals adapt to COVID-19 impacts Juan Meng, Bryan H. Reber, Tong Xie & JeongHyun (Janice) Lee

Abstract: The paper presents findings from an international survey of communication professionals on change leadership in communication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the strong impact brought by the pandemic, communication professionals adapt quickly in change management by using COVID-19 information to build knowledge, enhance trust, develop strategies and guide actions.

Read More
Assessing COVID-19 pandemic communication in China: What we know about the communication channels, sources of information, and key message retention Juan Meng and Tong Xie

Abstract: This research presents the findings from a large-scale national online survey of Chinese citizens (N = 1,713) about their general knowledge of COVID-19 and the key communication channels that they used both during and after the pandemic. The perceived impact of COVID-19, personal safety concern, and information retention during the times of lockdown and […]

Read More
Better obesity knowledge, healthier food choice? Examining the moderating role of HNR claims in food advertisements Juan Meng

Abstract: A conditional process model for the impact of obesity knowledge on healthy food choice was proposed to examine how consumers’ obesity knowledge and online search for nutritional information (OSNI) in food products jointly influenced their healthy food choice (HFC) and whether consumers’ attitude toward health and nutrition-related (HNR) claims in food advertisement directly or […]

Read More
Barriers to PR women’s leadership advancement: Current situation and anticipated changes Juan Meng

Abstract: This study examines current critical situational issues and barriers that are likely to influence women’s leadership advancement along their career paths in public relations. A national online survey of female professionals in public relations was designed and conducted in the United States. Results confirmed the top three situational barriers to PR women’s advancement include […]

Read More
Trusted sources of information, perceived quality in communication, and health knowledge retention: A national study of COVID-19 pandemic in China Juan Meng

Abstract: This research presents the findings from a large-scale national online survey of citizens in Mainland China about the perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the time of lockdown and post-pandemic. The study sheds light on the relationship between the trusted sources of COVID-19 information and the perceived quality in communication by jointly […]

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Book Contract Juan Meng

Tench, R., Meng, J., & Moreno, A. (eds.) (2022). Strategic Communication in a Global Crisis: National and International Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic. London: Routledge.

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PR Women with Influence: Breaking Through Ethical and Leadership Challenges Juan Meng

Meng, J., & Neill, M. S. (2021). PR Women with Influence: Breaking Through Ethical and Leadership Challenges. New York: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers. *This book is Volume 6 of the AEJMC-Peter Lang Scholarsourcing Series. https://www.peterlang.com/view/title/70618

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The Arthur W. Page Center Top Ethics Paper Award Juan Meng

Juan Meng, University of Georgia, and Marlene S. Neill, Baylor University won The Arthur W. Page Center Top Ethics Paper Award in recognition for exceptional research that refines and expands the practices related to public relations pedagogy, Awarded by Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Educators Academy, Oct. 23, 2020.

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2020 Best Master Thesis Award for Excellence on Theoretical Impact Juan Meng

Daniel Ziegele (Grady visiting graduate student), Master’s thesis title, “Work stress among communication professionals: A comparative study between Germany and the United States,” received the 2020 Best Master Thesis Award for Excellence on Theoretical Impact, awarded by the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA), Brussels, Belgium (www.euprera.org), November 19, 2020. Thesis Co-Chairs: Ansgar […]

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Empowering women in PR: Breaking through ethical and leadership challenges Juan Meng

Panel description: This joint panel between Media Ethics Division and Public Relations Division explores in depth the topic of women’s ethical and leadership challenges in public relations and communication management. This panel is based on an original research project jointly funded by the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and the Arthur W. Page […]

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The role of effective leadership performance in constructing an engaging institutional environment for communication professionals: Evidence from a global study Juan Meng

Abstract: Communication leaders can strategically use organizational resources to co-define functions (the constructionist approaches in leadership) and to establish interpersonal alliances within and beyond communication units (the relational approaches in leadership). In the present study, we incorporated these theoretical lenses to evaluate how communication leaders’ performance helps build a positive communication structure and culture in […]

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Building trusting and committed relationships: The role of job cognition and face-and-favor in the context of Chinese organizations Tong Xie, Juan Meng & Solyee Kim

Abstract: This study tests how the cognitive component of work attitude, particularly the job cognition as tested by Williams and Anderson (1991), affects the dynamic relationships among trust, commitment, and satisfaction. Our interests emanates from researchers’ continued focus on the dynamic and relational processes in constructing workplace relationships. However, few attention has been paid to […]

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Award: The Most Dedicated Reviewer Award – Meng, Juan (2019). Juan Meng

Meng, J. (2019). The Most Dedicated Reviewer Award, recognized by Public Relations Division at the 2019 International Communication Association annual conference in Washington, D.C., May 27, 2019,

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Research Report: Juan Meng and Bryan H. Reber

Meng, J., Berger, B. K., Heyman, W., & Reber, B. H. (2019). Public relations leaders earn a “C+” in The Plank Center’s Report Card 2019. Gender and hierarchy gaps widen, gains are elusive. Tuscaloosa, AL: The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.

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Book Contract: Communication Management Toolbox: Thinking tools and methods for managing corporate communications Juan Meng

Zerfass, A., Volk, S. C., Meng, Juan., & Chen, P. (2021, forthcoming). Communication Management Toolbox: Thinking tools and methods for managing corporate communications. New York: Springer. * This book will be included and featured in the Springer series Management for Professionals comprises high-level business and management books.

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Book Published: North American Communication Monitor 2018-2019. Tracking trends in fake news, issues management, leadership performance, work stress, social media skills, job satisfaction and work environment. Juan Meng, Bryan H. Reber, Tong Xie & Solyee Kim

Meng, J., Reber, B. H., Berger, B. K., Gower, K. K., & Zerfass, A. (2019). North American Communication Monitor 2018-2019. Tracking trends in fake news, issues management, leadership performance, work stress, social media skills, job satisfaction and work environment. Tuscaloosa, AL: The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. ISBN (paperback): 978-0-578-50179-6. ISBN (electronic): 978-0-578-50180-2. […]

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Grant: Best practices and cases in communication management tools Juan Meng

This project is jointly funded by the National Social Science Fund of China (NSSFC) (Funded Project Series ID: 18BXW065) and the Academic Research Project Funds of Shanghai International Studies University, 2019-2020.

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Can Google Analytics Certification Cultivate PR students’ competency in digital analytics? A longitudinal pedagogical research Yan Jin, Solyee Kim & Juan Meng

Abstract: This longitudinal pedagogical research investigates students’ perceptions and learning outcomes by integrating web and social analytics-based learning activities (i.e., Google Analytics courses and certification test) into Public Relations Research course design. Results from the pre-test before introducing the analytics learning assignment confirmed that students’ knowledge on web and social analytics is low but their […]

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The impact of organizational culture and leadership performance on PR professionals’ job satisfaction: Testing the joint mediating effects of engagement and trust Juan Meng

Abstract: The study examines the impact of critical organizational factors (organizational culture and excellent leader performance) on public relations professionals’ overall job satisfaction by focusing on testing the joint mediating effects job engagement and trust could generate. A national online survey of 838 public relations professionals working in a variety of organizations was used as […]

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Maximizing the potential of millennial communication professionals in the workplace: A talent management approach in the field of strategic communication Juan Meng

Abstract: Although millennials have been extensively examined in the popular and academic literature, there have not been sufficient studies in strategic communication that help us fully understand this unique and influential cohort in the communication profession. The purpose of this research is to take a talent management approach to gain a deep understanding of millennial […]

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Maximizing the potential of millennial communication professionals in the workplace: A talent management approach in the field of strategic communication Juan Meng

Abstract: Although millennials have been extensively examined in the popular and academic literature, there have not been sufficient studies in strategic communication that help us fully understand this unique and influential cohort in the communication profession. The purpose of this research is to take a talent management approach to gain a deep understanding of millennial […]

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Teaching Specialties

Dr. Meng’s teaching areas include public relations campaigns, research, global PR, PR leadership and ethics. Dr. Meng founded and directs UGA’s ADPR Choose China study abroad program. She leads the program since 2014 and takes students to Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong to learning global advertising and public relations. To know more about the program, please visit the Choose China website.

Experience

Prior to moving to the United States, she practiced communication in Shanghai for a few years, including being a journalist and editor at the Shanghai TV Network, correspondent in Xinhua News Agency (Shanghai Bureau), media relations specialist in Shanghai Media Group (SMG), and other strategic communication & marketing consulting service for various organizations. Before joining the faculty at Georgia, she was faculty at the University of Dayton and Oklahoma State University.

Awards and Fellowships

Dr. Meng has received multiple awards for teaching and research in public relations, including the Wilcox Award for Best Teaching Paper from AEJMC, the Red Raider Award from the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), and several top research paper awards from AEJMC, ICA and IPR.

  • Member, The Page Society, since 2019
  • Women’s Leadership Fellow, 2019-2020
  • Board Member, The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, since 2018
  • Member, The Page Up Society, since 2016
  • Fellow, 2015-2016 UGA Service-Learning Fellowship Program
  • Fellow, 2013-2014 UGA Teaching Academy Fellowship Program
Meng, Juan
In the News

The 2020-2021 North American Communication Monitor identifies trends and challenges in a year of continuous crisis

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Trends and challenges revealed in new book about women and leadership in public relations

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Millennial Communication Professionals Study Published in International Journal

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Public Relations Leaders Earn a “C+” in The Plank Center’s Report Card 2019

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Trends and challenges revealed in first North American Communication Monitor

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Grady College professors help lead research for largest worldwide communication study

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Focus on Faculty: Juan Meng

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Gender differences deepen, leader-employee gap remains in 2017 ‘Report Card on PR Leaders’

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Study shows sharp differences between millennial communication professionals and their managers

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"Study: Generation gap could advance PR industry" via UGA Columns

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"A talent management ecosystem that works: From personalizing to contextualizing" via Institute for Public Relations

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"Study: Why millennials should be taken seriously in the PR workforce" via PRWeek

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"New Plank Center and IPR study reveals sharp differences between millennial communication professionals and their managers in perceptions of workplace factors, values and attributes" via Institute for Public Relations

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"Millennial communication professionals in the workplace" via Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations

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"PR Leaders are Pretty Average | Plank Center Report Card 2017" via Institute for Public Relations

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"Report: New study highlights PR's deficiencies" via Ragan.com

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"PR leaders’ grades slide on Plank Center’s 2017 'Report Card' " via Agility PR Solutions

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"Planck Center: Male vs. female perception gap of PR is widening" via PR Week

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"Gender Differences Deepen, Leader-Employee Gap Remains and Grades Slide In Plank Center Report Card 2017 on PR Leaders" via The Planck Center

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