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An Examination of the Roles and Work Activities of the Public Relations Officer in Higher Education Using the Five-Factor Model Open Access

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Abstract of DissertationAn Examination of the Roles and Work Activities of the Public Relations Officer in Higher Education Using the Five-Factor Dimension ModelThis study offers an examination of the technical and managerial public relations roles and respective work activity among higher education public relations officers, and to empirically conduct a goodness-of-fit test of a hypothesized role typology model in a higher education environment. This study addressed a gap in the literature, which is the degree to which higher education public relations officers are actually practicing public relations roles as defined by the five-factor model developed by DeSanto, Moss and Newman (2005, 2007). This study further examined the extent to which the managerial and technical roles are related to the public relations officers' access to the president and type of institution in which the public relations officer works. This project used a quantitative survey research design for collecting and analyzing the research data obtained from the Senior Practitioner Survey instrument administered to 74 members of the Counselors to Higher Education section of the Public Relations Society of America. Descriptive statistics, confirmatory factor analysis using structural equation modeling, Procrustes rotation, and independent sample t tests were used to address the five research questions that guided this study.The study's findings provided evidence, with caution, that senior public relations officers in higher education environments primarily assume a technician role, with marginal engagement of managerial role enactment, despite holding senior-level job titles. Also, the study reveals that regardless of institution type, senior public relations officers, for the most part, do not have direct access to the president of the institution.

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