Dr. Yan Jin

Assistant Department Head; Associate Director of Center for Health & Risk Communication; Athletic Association Professor in Grady College; Professor, Public Relations


Dr. Yan Jin teaches undergraduate Public Relations (PR), PR Research, PR Administration, AdPR Health, Crisis Communication, and PR Campaigns courses. She also teaches doctoral-level mass communication theory course. As a public relations scholar, Dr. Jin’s primary research programs are in the areas of crisis communication, strategic conflict management, and health risk communication, focusing on the role of emotions and social media in crisis and risk communication theory and application.

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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 work serves as a framework for crisis and risk communication in a rapidly evolving media landscape and amidst emotionally charged conflict situations, ranging from organizational crises to disasters and public health emergencies. Strategic communicators facing high-stake threats have an increasing need for evidence-based guidelines for crisis and risk information dissemination to address affected communities’ informational and emotional needs, to ensure safety and welfare of publics and organizations, and ultimately to build community resilience and aid crisis recovery. Dr. Jin’s research program in crisis communication, conflict management, and health risk communication contribute to the advancement of strategic communication theory and provide insights for public relations practice.

Dr. Jin has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and over 20 book chapters.  She is the co-editor of the scholarly book Social Media and Crisis Communication (Routlege, 2017): https://www.routledge.com/Social-Media-and-Crisis-Communication/Austin-Jin/p/book/9781138812000. She has presented over 100 refereed papers at leading domestic and international conferences. Dr. Jin was named a Top 2 “Most Productive Scholar” in crisis communication research, according to a 2014 refereed article in International Journal of Strategic Communication. She was recently named a Top 27 “Most Cited Public Relations Author” according to a 2019 refereed article in Journal of Public Relations Research.

Dr. Jin has published in leading journals in the field, including Communication Research, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Public Relations Journal, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, International Journal of Strategic Communication, Corporate Communication: An International Journal, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Vaccine, British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, American Journal of Infection Control, Social Marketing Quarterly, and Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Her work has also been published in leading scholarly books, including The Handbook of Crisis Communication, SAGE Handbook of Public Relations, and New Media and Public Relations. 

Information Vetting as a Key Component in Social-mediated Crisis Communication: An Exploratory Study Xuerong Lu, Yan Jin & Taeyeon Kim

Abstract: In order to understand publics’ information consumption behavior in current media environment, this study addresses how and why individuals vet information (or not) in crisis situations. Grounded in dual-process model and meta-cognition theory, an initial conceptual framework of crisis information vetting was outlined. An exploratory study, including four focus groups and 13 in-depth interviews, […]

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Social Media Strategies for Overcoming Stakeholder Social Media Fatigue: A Trialogue Approach Youngji Seo, Marilyn Primovic & Yan Jin

Abstract: The continuation of rapid changes in Web 2.0 has transformed the practice of business communication and stakeholders’ expectations. One paramount issue facing corporate communicators is stakeholders’ social media fatigue that leads to online disengagement and social media strategy ineffectiveness. To tackle this challenge, a conceptual model is provided to guide the development of alternative […]

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Opening the Minds’ Eye: The Pivotal Role of Sympathy in Depression Coverage Effectiveness Yan Jin

Abstract: Depression is one of the most severe health threats to the college student population. Depression communication plays an essential role in reducing stigma and discrimination against sufferers. However, the effectiveness of such communication remains understudied, especially when it comes to the psychological process connecting depression message and communication outcomes. To tackle this challenge, this […]

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Dissecting the Root of Vaccine Misinformation on Pinterest: A Content Analysis of Vaccine-Related Pins by Influential Social Media Accounts Michael Cacciatore and Yan Jin

Abstract: Given the role the Internet plays in communicating anti-vaccine sentiments, coupled with limited research in this area, this study focused on the social media platform Pinterest, analyzing 1,119 vaccine-related pins posted by six anti-vaccine entities through a quantitative content analysis. Findings reveal that anti-vaccine organizations primarily posted about the flu, MMR, and HPV vaccines, […]

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The State of Crisis Communication Research and Education Through the Lens of Crisis Scholars: An International Delphi Study Bryan H. Reber and Yan Jin

Abstract: This Delphi study explores the status of crisis communication research and education qualitatively through the lens of 22 internationally recognized crisis communication scholars, systematically recruited and retained to serve on the crisis expert Delphi panel in a two-year span. Taking a multi-iteration consensus-building approach, this study enabled the expert panel to individually elaborate and […]

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2019 Emerald Literati Award for Excellence Yan Jin

2019 Emerald Literati Award for Excellence – Highly Commended Paper, Corporate Communications: an International Journal -LaShonda Eaddy and Yan Jin (2018). “Crisis History Tellers Matter: The Effects of Crisis History and Crisis Information Source on Publics’ Cognitive and Affective Responses to Organizational Crisis.” Corporate Communications: an International Journal, 23(2), 226-241.

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Book Contract: Advancing Crisis Communication Effectiveness: Integrating Public Relations Scholarship with Practice Yan Jin, Glen Nowak & Bryan H. Reber

Abstract:: Advancing Crisis Communication Effectiveness shows how crisis communication plans and efforts for complex and challenging issues benefit when academic perspectives are connected with practitioner experiences. This book brings crisis and public relations scholars together with practicing professionals to integrate academic theories and research with the knowledge and lessons learned on the frontlines of crisis […]

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“Engaging International Publics via Mobile-Enhanced CSR (mCSR): A Cross-National Study on Stakeholder Reactions to Corporate Disaster Relief Efforts.” Yan Jin

Abstract: With globalization, corporations increasingly have to consider both domestic stakeholders and overseas stakeholders (i.e., international publics) in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice. Digitalization empowers international publics to scrutinize and react to a (multinational) corporation’s CSR strategy, further affecting corporate outcomes of CSR practice. Drawing on the social media context and attribution theory, this […]

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“What Makes Social Movement Campaigns Go Viral on Social Media? The Role of Narrative Features and Cultural Influences.” Yan Jin and Xuerong Lu

Abstract: Social movements and social issue related public discourse has become one of the most impactful public communication phenomena in the digital space. Previous studies have examined the association between information utility and content valence on message virality. However, little is known about what makes certain social movement narrative go viral quicker with greater magnitude […]

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The Role of Regret and Hope in Anti-smoking Loss-Framing-Based Narrative Persuasion. Yan Jin and Xuerong Lu

Abstract: this study examines the effect of discrete emotional appeal (i.e., regret and hope) in loss-framing-based narrative by exploring its impact on people’s emotional engagement and attitude toward the smoking issue. Emotional engagement in this study is not only defined as affective response, but also related to emotional sharing process between self and characters therein, […]

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A framework for understanding misinformation and rumor: Analysis of social media crises and misinformation characteristics Yan Jin

Abstract: In a polarizing media environment increasingly fraught with misinformation, disinformation, contradicting information, and rumor, it is tougher than ever for brands and agencies to correct the record or make their voices heard. While misinformation has been examined more extensively from the perspective of journalism, information technology, and politics (Anderson & Rainie, 2017), there is […]

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Crisis Information Vetting in Social-Mediated Crisis and Risk Communication: A Conceptual Framework Yan Jin and Xuerong Lu

Abstract: The proliferation of news sources and user-generated content, which is flooded by misinformation (Southwell, Thorson, & Sheble, 2018), present an urgent need for research that investigates audiences’ information consumption behavior in current media environment. In the past decade, one of the key tasks for crisis and risk scholars was to study the “social mediated […]

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Health Risk Tolerance as a Key Determinant of (Un)willingness to Behavior Change: Conceptualization and Scale Development Yan Jin and Hyoyeun Jun

Abstract: As Heath and O’Hair (2009) defined, crisis is when risk is manifested. The urgency and uncertainty of crisis can induce more complexity to organizations (Seeger, Sellnow, & Ulmer, 1998). Public health crisis and risk communications are tasked to communicate about risks that can harm public health and persuade the public to adopt healthier and […]

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Seeking Formula for Misinformation Treatment in Public Health Crises: The Effects of Corrective Information Type and Source Yan Jin

Abstract: An increasing lack of information truthfulness has become one fundamental challenge to communications. Insights into how to debunk this type of misinformation can especially be crucial for public health crises. To identify corrective information strategy that increases awareness and triggers actions during infectious disease outbreaks, an online experiment (N=700) was conducted, using a U.S. […]

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Communicating about Infectious Disease Threats: Insights from Public Health Information Officers Yan Jin and Hyoyeun Jun

Abstract: The public health communication challenges that arise in times of infectious disease threats (IDTs) were examined using the Risk Amplification through Media Spread (RAMS) Framework and in-depth phone interviews with 40 national, state, and local public health information officers (PIOs).  Interviewees shared their experiences and insights related to how IDTs are communicated to the […]

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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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When CSR Meets Mobile SNA Users in Mainland China: An Examination of Gratifications Sought, CSR Motives, and Relational Outcomes in Natural Disasters Yan Jin

Abstract: With the heavy use of mobile social networking applications (SNA), corporations have widely applied corporate social responsibility activities enhanced by mobile technologies (i.e., mCSR) to target stakeholders. This study examined the relationships among gratifications sought and use on mobile SNA, CSR motives, and the organization-public relationships (OPRs) in the context of the 2017 Jiuzhaigou […]

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Grant Awarded: Misinformation Vulnerabilities among Elderly during Disease Outbreaks Yan Jin

Abstract: This study aims to identify the nature of, and find potential solutions to the kinds of vulnerabilities that misinformation imposes on older adults during infectious disease outbreaks with a demographic that is shown to be especially vulnerable to this problem. Situated in Bangalore, India, the study will comprise of two phases: formative research that […]

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How Financial Crisis History Informs Ethical Corporate Communication: Insights from Corporate Communication Leaders Camila Espina, Yan Jin & Bryan H. Reber

Abstract: This study explored how financial crisis history can inform corporate crisis communication practice across industries and over time. Thirty-eight interviews with chief communications officers (CCOs) and their counselors were conducted to explore what lasting lessons these corporate communication leaders learned from their crisis communication practice during the 2008 Financial Crisis. Key lessons learned include: […]

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Mobile Corporate Social Responsibility (mCSR): Examining Publics’ Responses to CSR-Based Initiatives in Natural Disasters Yan Jin

Abstract: As social media use on mobile devices has been integrated in people’s daily lives, corporations began to target the publics on corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities on mobile devices. In the context of a natural disaster, this study examines how publics respond to CSR-based initiatives by way of mobile corporate social responsibility (mCSR), including […]

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How Financial Crisis History Informs Ethical Corporate Communication: Insights from Corporate Communication Leaders Camila Espina, Yan Jin & Bryan H. Reber

Abstract: This study explored how financial crisis history can inform corporate crisis communication practice across industries and over time. Thirty-eight interviews with chief communications officers (CCOs) and their counselors were conducted to explore what lasting lessons these corporate communication leaders learned from their crisis communication practice during the 2008 Financial Crisis.  Key lessons learned include: […]

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Crisis Information Seeking and Sharing (CISS): Scale Development for Measuring Publics’ Communicative Behavior in Social-Mediated Public Health Crises Yan Jin

Abstract: This study first refined the conceptual framework of publics’ communicative behavior in social-mediated health crises. Then two multiple-item scales for measuring publics’ health crisis information seeking and sharing (CISS) were developed and tested by employing online survey datasets from a random national sample of 279 adults and 280 adults in the United States, respectively. […]

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Teaching Specialties

Dr. Jin teaches PR Research, PR Administration, PR Campaigns, AdPR Health, Crisis Communication, and Mass Communication Theory. Her PR Campaigns class has collaborated with The Home Depot and eBay, while her AdPR Health class has worked on strategic health communication projects with Amgen and Publicis Health. She also served as faculty advisor for Grady PRSSA Chapter’s Bateman Team (2016, 2017 and 2018).

In 2016, Dr. Jin led the Grady@Oxford Summer Study Abroad Program at Oxford University, UK. She has guest-lectured for a number of universities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.


Dr. Jin serves on the editorial board of Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Communication Research, Journal of International Crisis and Risk Communication Research, and Journal of Public Interest Communications. She is the editor of the proceedings of Corporate Communication International (CCI) Conference on Corporate Communication. She is an affiliated researcher of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Owens Institute for Behavioral Research (OIBR) at the University of Georgia.

Actively engaged in bridging the gap between academia and industry, Dr. Jin has contributed over a dozen articles to professional publications and outlets with a global outreach, such as Communication Director, PR Tactics, and Institute for Public Relations’ Social Science for Social Media Research Center. She has given a seminar talk at the National Conference of State Legislatures, conducted professional workshops at the Public Relations Society of America’s international conferences, and presented at the Public Relations Leadership Summit sponsored by The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. She was a keynote speaker at the 2019 International Crisis and Risk Communication Conference. Dr. Jin serves on the research committee of the Association for Business Communication. She is a member of CCI’s board of trustees. She also serves on the Museum of Public Relations’ board of trustees.

She is the co-founder and co-host of Crisis Communication Think Tank (CCTT) at UGA, which aims to advance crisis communication effectiveness through dialogue and collaboration among leading public relations scholars and practitioners on emerging and complex crisis issues.

Awards and Honors

Dr. Jin received the 2014 Krieghbaum Under-40 Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). This prestigious national award is given annually by AEJMC to recognize the recipient’s outstanding achievement in research, teaching, and public service. In 2016, Dr. Jin was elected to the Arthur W. Page Society based on her teaching and research distinction in corporate communications. In 2017, Dr. Jin was accepted for placement on the Fulbright Specialist Roster (2017-2020) by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, becoming eligible to be matched with projects designed by international host institutions. In 2019, Dr. Jin received the Kitty O. Locker Outstanding Researcher Award from the Association for Business Communication (ABC), an international award that recognizes excellence in business communication research and outstanding contribution to the business communication discipline.

Dr. Jin has earned numerous top paper awards at leading conferences, including the International Public Relations Research Conference, the International Communication Association, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and the National Communication Association conferences. She was named a Page Legacy Scholar in 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2019 by the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication.

 Serving as principle investigator (PI), co-investigator (CI), or lead researcher, Dr. Jin has contributed to public relations, crisis communication, strategic conflict management, 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, C. R. Anderson Research Fund of the Association for Business Communication, and WhatsApp Research Awards for Social Science and Misinformation.

Dr. Jin was named the Georgia Athletic Association Professor in Grady College in November 2018.

In the News

Yan Jin named Kitty O. Locker Outstanding Researcher Award Recipient

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Yan Jin selected for membership in the Arthur W. Page Society

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