Dr. Karen Miller Russell

Jim Kennedy New Media Professor. Associate Professor, Public Relations

About: Karen Miller Russell is Jim Kennedy Professor of New Media and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, teaching public relations and media history and advising the college’s Integrated ADPR master’s program.

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Education

Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison

M.A., Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison

B.A., Mass Communication, University of West Georgia

Research Interests and Activities

Dr. Russell studies media history with an emphasis on public relations and is interested in qualitative research, such as ethnography and case studies, on PR. She is the author of two books, “Promoting Monopoly: AT&T and the Politics of Public Relations, 1876-1941,” and “The Voice of Business: Hill and Knowlton and Postwar Public Relations.” She has published articles in the Journal of PR Research, Public Relations Review, Business History Review, Communication Yearbook, Journal of Political Marketing, American Journalism, and Journalism and Communication Monographs. She served as editor of the Journal of Public Relations Research from 2009 to 2015.

The Power of Women: Flanley & Woodward and the Women’s Angle in U.S. Public Relations Karen Miller Russell

Abstract: After working in corporate public relations during the 1930s, Mabel Flanley and Sally Woodward opened an all-woman agency in New York City in 1944. Their specialty was targeting women publics, and they drew on their experiences with home economics and women’s clubs to promote a variety of clients from agribusiness, heavy industry, and government […]

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Recent PhD graduate Dr. Amie Jones has been named winner of the Margaret A. Blanchard Dissertation Prize Janice Hume, Peggy Kreshel & Karen Miller Russell

Recent PhD graduate Dr. Amie Jones has been named winner of the Margaret A. Blanchard Dissertation Prize, awarded by the American Journalism Historians Association for best dissertation of the year.  The award will be presented in October at the AJHA conference. Amie is assistant director of student services in UGA’s Graduate School. Dissertation Title: The […]

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Image Repair in the Aftermath of Inaccurate Polling: How the News Media Responded to Getting It Wrong in 1948 and 2016 Karen Miller Russell

Abstract: The US presidential elections of 1948 and 2016 produced surprise outcomes when the predicted winners ended up losing the election. Using image repair theory, this article explains the strategies the media used to repair their image in light of predicting the wrong winner. Using a qualitative analysis of news coverage that immediately followed the […]

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The Misunderstood Nineteenth Century Press Agent Karen Miller Russell

Abstract: Analysis of press coverage of nineteenth century American press agents indicates that, although press agents worked in a variety of sectors, their primary motivation was profit, their main strategy was media relations, and their tactics often relied on hype or outright lying. These characteristics would appear to support previous descriptions of press agentry, yet […]

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Teaching Specialties

Dr. Russell teaches public relations core courses in both the undergraduate and graduate programs, with a particular interest in social media, globalization, and corporate social responsibility initiatives. She also teaches media history and is a member of the UGA graduate faculty.

Experience

Dr. Russell is a former PR writer for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, former PR specialist for the American Camping Association and former photography and publicity assistant for Common Wealth Development.

Awards and Fellowships

  • Outstanding Contribution to Historical Research commendation, International History of Public Relations Conference (2019).
  • Darwin-Davis Award recipient, honoring the spirit of the College of Journalism and Mass Communication (2018).
  • Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, UGA’s highest award for teaching (2017).
  • UGA Teaching Academy induction (2017).
  • Advisor to national championship team, PRSSA Bateman National Case Study Competition  (2007).
  • Pathfinder Award winner, recognition of original scholarly research which has made a significant contribution to the body of knowledge and practice of public relations by the Institute for Public Relations (2001).
Russell, Karen
In the News

Russell uncovers earliest known corporate PR practitioner in new book

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Karen Russell: 2017 Josiah Meigs Teaching Professor

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Karen Russell named one of five 2017 Meigs Professors

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