Professor of Communication
Abilene Christian University
J. D. Wallace, Ph.D. is a Professor of Communication at Abilene Christian University, as well as the former Chair of “Human Communication and Technology” and “Training and Development” Divisions of the National Communication Association. He is an award winning teacher and scholar at Abilene Christian University who specializes in the study of various kinds of organizational communication with particular emphases in crisis communication, technology and assessment. His most recent scholarship has been in the areas of corporate image restoration, enhancing organizational training and organizational civility.
Breakout session: Effectiveness in Image Repair: Comparisons of Public Relations and Journalistic Perceptions of Message Strategies Deployed in Post-Scandal/Post-Crisis Public Communication*
Recent organizational crises and increased public accountability have focused attention on and study of the role of crisis communication, issues management and corporate reputation repair. Despite a growing understanding of crisis communication strategies and tactics, different perceptions of what constitutes effective image repair strategies persist. The findings of this study contrast previous research findings from comparisons of journalistic pre-professionals’ effectiveness preferences with those of public relation practitioners. Fifteen core rhetorical choices are examined for the perceived degree of effectiveness in three different types of crisis events. Previous research has suggested a degree of homogeneity in strategy efficacy among catalytic audiences such as those affiliated with public relations, journalism and law. This study extends the previous findings by revealing a high degree of commonality and some differences concerning public relations practitioners’ judgments with journalistic views. Results are presented in terms of effective, ineffective and highly ineffective tiers. Public relations professionals report more rhetorical strategies that are viewed positively, and do not see transcendent and counter-attacking strategies as negatively as do burgeoning journalists. Findings are discussed in terms of application for communication professionals.