Semester of Graduation

Summer 2021

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Sciences

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Dialogic communication is a two-way form of communication that allows entities such as organizations and their publics to share their viewpoints and contribute to decision-making processes openly and equally. The Five Dialogic Principles of Public Relations (ease of use of the interface, usefulness of information, conservation of visitors, generation of return visits, and dialogic loop) is a framework that has been used to examine this form of communication online. Research has shown that organizations’ websites have a generally low presence of features related to the Five Dialogic Principles. The goal of the present study was to determine the presence of the Five Dialogic Principles on environmental organizations’ websites. This was investigated by employing a previously developed dichotomous Dialogic Coding Scheme (Taylor et al., 2001) to content analyze a sample of 56 total environmental organizational websites for the presence of Dialogic Features. Overall, the results were consistent with prior research in that websites had a low presence of Dialogic Features. The organizations were also surveyed online to gain further insight and determine if they would respond to a message from a member of the public. Approximately one-fifth of organizations in the study sample replied, and there was no correlation between response rate and percentage of Dialogic Principle features on the organizations’ websites. Stemming from the findings, this study also proposes a revised Dialogic Coding Scheme focused on website features dedicated to dialogue that aim to show the occurrence of dialogue rather than only capacity for it. Future research on dialogic communication should center on dialogue by organizations and their publics, the views public relations practitioners have about dialogue and their websites, and the formulation of strategies to better employ dialogic communication on environmental organization websites.

Committee Chair

DeLorme, Denise

Available for download on Monday, June 24, 2024

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