Grady College researcher, David Clementson, was competitively awarded a research grant from the Glen M. Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations.
Clementson, an assistant professor of public relations, will conduct an experiment to test the effectiveness of narrative appeals used by PR spokespeople.
Some of his recent research has included the effect of comments associated with political interviews published in “Political Psychology” and perceived trustworthiness of politicians based on questions from journalists, published in the “Journal of Communication.”
This is the first time that the Broom Center, named for the academic known as the professor of the profession for having written the most widely used textbook in the field, funded faculty research at the national level.
“The work that Dr. Clementson is doing is vital to everyday practitioners,” said Kaye Sweetser, APR+M, Fellow PRSA who serves as the director of the Broom Center. “Dr. Clementson’s research will help the industry while adding to theory in our field. These two elements were so important to the namesake of our center, and we immediately saw that spirit of Glen Broom in the scholarship making the decision to support it easy.”
The experiment is intended to “assess the effects of public relations spokespeople employing varying degrees of narrative appeals in their media relations messaging,”Clementson said. “My research findings will improve the practice of public relations by exploring whether crisis spokespeople should employ narrative messaging or ‘just the facts’ when relating information to the public amidst scandals.”
Clementson noted that his research would not have been possible without the support from the Broom Center.
“I hope that my research will further the strong legacy of Glen Broom as I advance theory, explicate concepts for public relations and advance the practical applications of crisis communication and strategy through my empirical scholarship,” he added.
Clementson earned his doctorate in communication in 2017 from Ohio State University, and is an alumnus of University of Miami and James Madison University. He has more than a dozen scholarly journal articles, which focus on political public relations and issues of speaker credibility. He is currently on the leadership board for the Public Relations division for the National Communication Association.
The Broom Center, established at San Diego State University in 2012, seeks to invest in the people of public relations who push the status quo. Clementson’s scholarly work helps practitioners identify best practices, and adds to the body of knowledge in the industry.
“When we support rising star scholars like Dr. Clementson, we support the future of our industry. An investment in him pays back the field in orders of magnitude,” Sweetser said.