NSC Professor Receives APR Title and Two New Research Awards

Dr. Dodd - APR title and awardsOctober 2015 was quite a month for Nicholson’s Melissa D. Dodd, Ph.D. The Ad/PR assistant professor can now proudly add three more letters to her title, upon successful completion of her voluntary APR accreditation. She also learned that she is to be recognized for two prestigious research awards at the International Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Conference in November.

The credential of APR (or, “Accreditation in Public Relations”) recognizes public relations practitioners who have mastered the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and deliver high-level strategic communications. It is administered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a group comprising eight public relations organizations, including the PRSA. Dodd says the APR exam process was rigorous, but very much worth the challenge in expanding and substantiating her professional acumen in the field.

Dr. Dodd is also enjoying recognition of her recent diligent research efforts. At the 2015 International PRSA Conference, held Nov. 8-10 in Atlanta, Dr. Dodd will be recognized as winner of the “Best of Miami” international award. This is for her March 2015 research paper titled “Examining The Impact of Advertising Vs. Public Relations in Communicating Socially Responsible Initiatives,” which was presented at the International Public Relations Research Conference, held in Miami. Her second award is for “Best of Public Relations Journal” and is for her 2015 published research titled, “A Strategic Framework For Communicating With Generation Y Via Emerging Media: A Longitudinal Examination With Public Relations Results And Implications.”

In short, Dr. Dodd said this research addresses two of her major research agendas: the measurement of intangibles and organizational social media use. She relayed that the “Best of Miami” paper was recently invited for publication consideration in a special issue of PRism, a public relations research journal. “The ‘Best of PR Journal’ is significant research recognition,” Dodd said, “because the Public Relations Journal in which it is published emphasizes research that connects the academic to the practical.” She said this is particularly important to an applied discipline like public relations, and added, “I am honored to have the opportunity to present this research to an international audience of public relations professionals.”

Dr. Dodd stressed, “I’m grateful for the wonderful support that NSC and my colleagues have provided me in these achievements.”

We asked Professor Dodd a few specific questions about APR accreditation, and current challenges in the professional public relations field.

Q. “Why did you pursue APR accreditation?”

A. “The APR is the gold-standard in public relations practice. For the legal and medical fields, a practitioner must pass a similarly rigorous exam process and may ultimately be banned from practicing if they violate codes of ethics (i.e., disbarred). Because public relations suffers from problems of definition, and many people who claim to be practicing public relations may not actually be doing so, the APR offers a legitimation to the public relations field. It denotes practitioners who are not only highly skilled, but also committed to ethics and excellence.”

Q. “In your view, what is the most challenging aspect of today’s strategic communication readiness for organizations? Did you find this accreditation helped prepare you to advise professionally on that aspect?”

A. “The most challenging aspect in today’s strategic communication climate is the recognition of the multifaceted expertise of public relations professionals. In the recent past, organizations relegated public relations to a crisis-communication or media-relations only role. However, today organizations have begun to understand the importance of public relations as a management role, but not necessarily how that translates to practice. The public relations professional should serve as an advisor to corporate leaders and always ‘have a seat at the table.’”

“Strategic communicators today should be able to effectively engage in any or all of the following on behalf of their clients/organizations: relationship management with multiple stakeholders (consumers, employees, suppliers, the media, the government, etc.); corporate social responsibility initiatives; crisis communication; demonstrating the achievement of organizational goals and objectives; communication campaigns and programs; and so on.”

NSC congratulates Dr. Dodd on earning this well-deserved credential!

Read the original story here.

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