Department of Advertising and Public Relations and Public Relations Organisation International create research venture

The University of Georgia Department of Advertising and Public Relations (ADPR) recently embarked on an innovative joint research venture with Public Relations Organisation International (PROI) Worldwide designed to gather insights into crises across the world.

The ADPR department and PROI created this longitudinal research project to harness the power of international perspectives and strengthen understanding of crises that befall countries worldwide. The research project, led by UGA Crisis Communication Coalition faculty and student scholars uses the latest technology from UGA’s SEE Suite Lab to identify the most significant global crises of the preceding three months. The UGA research team drafts quarterly reports that outline the crises and provides the reports to PROI for their international readership. Concurrently, the UGA research team develops a quarterly survey—sent to PROI’s members—to capture unique global insights about the preceding quarter’s crises. The project analyzes global perspectives to bridge the gap between academic scholarship and professional best practices in crisis communication.

Because the research will continue on a quarterly basis, longitudinal opportunities arise to cross-analyze significant crises and the survey insights on each crisis report. This analysis will identify which crises are covered the most by news outlets, help researchers and practitioners identify key crisis trends across the world, and keep UGA’s ADPR department on the cutting edge of international crisis research and teaching. The team offers insights into preliminary findings on “sticky crisis” issues confronting global business community and communication industry.

“We offer mix-method driven and analytics-enhanced insights for communication executives around the world to dive deeper into and learn from these challenging and complex crisis issues, such as the Missouri Amtrak collision and the US Federal Trade Commission actions on Cryptocurrency fraud,” says Dr. Yan Jin, ADPR assistant department head and Crisis Communication Think Tank (CCTT) director and co-founder. “We hope this type of knowledge generation and intelligence sharing will help practitioners to understand and lead through crisis effectively and ethically.”

PROI is an organization made up of communication firms around the world that collectively push the market standard by setting trends and continuously identifying the communication’s next best practices. The organization is made up of more than 7,000 employees in more than 165 cities and 50 countries.

The ADPR department research team is led by CCTT co-founders Dr. Yan Jin and Dr. Bryan Reber, with doctoral students Jeong Hyun (Janice) Lee and Taylor Voges as inaugural student scholars.  The research team continuously reaches for new and innovative ways to develop joint projects that offer both graduate and undergraduate students unique opportunities to interact with crisis communication professionals on mutually beneficial research. This progressive research project exemplifies the department’s commitment to offering students prestigious opportunities at a Top-5 nationally-ranked advertising and public relations program.

Grady Ph.D. students take home UGA Graduate School awards

Four Grady College Ph.D. students, JeongHyun (Janice) Lee, Taylor Voges, Jung Min Hahm and Youngji Seo, all recently received significant awards from the University of Georgia’s Graduate School. 

Each student was nominated by their faculty advisor and the Grady Graduate Office. The awards each provide recognition and/or support that will help the students complete their degrees and progress in their respective fields.

Janice Lee holding up her award.
Janice Lee received her award at the Delta Innovation Center on April 5. (Photo: Juan Meng)

Janice Lee receives UGA Graduate School Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Janice Lee, a third-year doctoral student researching in the areas of corporate communication, leadership and technologies, is the recipient of the UGA Graduate School 2021-2022 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. 

Administered by the Center for Teaching and Learning and sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction, this award celebrates teaching assistants who show superior instruction skills while serving in the classroom or laboratory. 

“The award means a lot to me because we have been through the pandemic, and it seems to be a recognition for all of us who teach and learn in this unprecedented era of hardship,” said Lee. “I also appreciate Dr. Juan Meng, my advisor, who has advised me as a researcher and inspired me as a teacher. Lastly, with this award, I am able to strive to focus more on students’ educational experiences.”

Taylor Voges receives UGA Graduate School Dissertation Completion Award 

Taylor Voges, a third-year doctoral student researching public relations and ethics, is the recipient of a UGA Dissertation Completion Award for the 2022-23 academic year. 

This very competitive award recognizes UGA’s top doctoral students. It provides funding during the final year of study so that doctoral students can focus on their dissertation without having to be a departmental graduate teaching or research assistant.  

“The Dissertation Completion Award assistantship is such an amazing opportunity, and I will be forever grateful to the University and my mentors,” said Voges. “The Graduate School was impressed by my dissertation, and this award allows me to focus all my time and energy on my dissertation. I am beyond excited to research and work on my passion project. Here’s to setting a better public relations ethics foundation for current and future practitioners!”

Jung Min Hahm and Youngji Seo receive UGA Summer Doctoral Research Assistantships

Jung Min Hahm, a doctoral candidate researching persuasion in advertising, and Youngji Seo, a fourth-year doctoral student researching health and risk communication, each received a Doctoral Research Assistantship for the summer. This assistantship provides a $3,500 award to assist in dissertation writing and on-time degree completion.

“I am honored to be a recipient of this award! I’m in the very last stage of my Ph.D. journey, and this award will help me cross the finish line towards my degree completion,” said Jung Min. 

“I am so glad that Graduate School and Grady College recognized my effort by supporting and nominating me for this assistantship,” added Youngji. “I view this assistantship as an opportunity to improve my dissertation and complete my Ph.D. degree on time successfully.”