PRIDE and Top Paper Awards

The PRIDE awards are given by the PR Division of the National Communication Association, which is comprised primarily of faculty in the area of communication. Winners have proven to be some of the seminal works in the field.

The awards date back to at least 1989 and are designed to recognize achievement in public relations research. The number of categories has varied over the years, but some version of the best book/monograph and best research article have existed since the start. Some years include a best PR textbook category.

The winners are determined by a committee of three NCA PR Division members. Two are elected at the business meeting the preceding year. The third member, and chair, is the immediate past chair of the division. The committee automatically reviews all articles in Public Relations Review andJournal of Public Relations Journal, but accepts nominations from other journals.

See information about PRIDE Awards procedures (pdf).


PRIDE Book Award for Outstanding Innovation, Development, and Educational Achievements in Public Relations:

“The Moral Compass of Public Relations”, edited by Brigitta R. Brunner.

“International Public Relations:  Perspectives From Deeply Divided Societies”,  edited by Ian Sommerville, Owen Hargie, Maureen Taylor and Margalit Toledano.



PRIDE Article Award for Innovation, Development, and Educational Achievement in Public Relations

Linjuan Rita Men Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai Infusing social media with humanity: Corporate character, public engagement, and relational outcomes. Public Relations Review, 41(3)

PRIDE Contribution to Public Relations Education Award

Dean Kruckeberg for his years of dedication to the advancement of public relations education.

Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Top Student Papers

Teressa Del Rosso
”Intersectionality and LGBTQ youth advocacy: an analysis of the agenda building strategies of the GSA network and PFLAG”

Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Top Student Papers

Josh T. Watson
“Extending dialogic theory of public relations through an appreciative inquiry approach to strategic planning”

Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Top Student Papers

Yixiao Zhou
“The emerging values of global CSR discourse: a cross-national big data analysis of fortune global 500 companies’ LGBT values”

Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Top Student Papers

Luke Capizzo
“The Right Side of History, Inc.: Corporate public engagement and the Obergefell v. Hodges decision”

Public Relations Division Top Faculty Papers

Robert L. Heath Jaesub Lee Michael J. Palenchar Laura L. Lemon
Risk Communication and Emergency Response Preparedness: Contextual Assessment of the Protective Action Decision Model

Seoyeon Hong Hyunmin Lee Erika Johnson
“The face tells all: Testing the impact of physical attractiveness and social cues of spokesperson on public relations effectiveness”

Nur Uysal
“Voluntary Corporate Disclosure: The Role of Shareholders in Elevating Sustainability Reporting Practices”

Nneka Logan
“The Flint Water Crisis: An Analysis of PR as a Mediator of the Relations between Natural and Artificial Persons”


Book Award for Innovation, Development, and Educational Achievement in Public Relations-
Donnalyn Pompper

Article Award for Innovation, Development, and Educational Achievement in Public Relations –
Petra Theunissen & Larissa Ott

Award for Innovation, Development, and Educational Achievement in Public Relations (Textbook) –
Peter Smudde

Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Top Student Papers:

Young Kim, Louisiana State University
“Building an Effective Government-Public Relationship: Understanding Integrity, Dependability, and Competence for Public Trust in Government”

Amanda K. Kennedy, University of Maryland
“Boundary Work: Mapping the “Critical” in Public Relations Theory”

Angela Murphy, University of Kansas
“A Tale of Two Universities: Organizational Responses to Serious Misconduct to Stakeholders ”

Sifan Xu, University of Maryland
“Empowering Them is Empowering Us: Activist Public Relations from a Non-System Perspective”

Public Relations Division Top Faculty Paper Panel:

Adam Saffer, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
“Zones of Meaning in Networks: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Studying Social Capital ”

Nur Uysal, Marquette University
Aimei Yang, University of Southern
Maureen Taylor, University of Tennessee
“How stakeholder salience affects shareholder activism outcomes: An empirical study”

Shari R. Veil, University of Kentucky
Kathryn E. Anthony, University of Southern Mississippi
“The Pariah Effect of Toxic Trailers: FEMA’s Legitimacy Challenges in the Post-Katrina Formaldehyde Crisis”

Zongchao Cathy Li, University of South Carolina
Don W. Stacks, University of Miami
“Does Power Make Us Mean? An Investigation of Empowerment and Revenge Behaviors in the Cyberspace”


PRIDE Book Award for Innovation, Development, and Educational Achievement in Public Relations

Kristin Demetrious
Public Relations, Activism, and Social Change: Speaking Up

PRIDE Article Award for Innovation, Development, and Educational Achievement in Public Relations

Erich J. Sommerfeldt
“The Civility of Social Capital: Public Relations in the Public Sphere, Civil Society, and Democracy”

PRIDE Lifetime Award for Innovation, Development, and Educational Achievement in Public Relations – Don W. Stacks

Top Student Paper Panel –

Adam Saffer, University of North Carolina
“Applying a Social Network Perspective to Pubic Relations Pedagogy: Examining the Relationships that will Build the Profession”

Plank Center for Leadership PR Division Top 3 Student Paper Panel

Timothy Penn, University of Maryland
“Do Feds and States Evaluate? Examining Evaluation of Risk and Crisis Communication in the Government and Military Sectors”

Julia Fraustino, University of Maryland
“Replacing Codes with Guidelines: Exploring the Role of Ethics in Crisis Management at a Major Public Relations Agency”

Nicholas P. Browning, University of Georgia
“Ethics, Reputation, and the Profession: The Crystallization of Public Relations from Incorporation to Accreditation”

Public Relations Division Top 4 Paper Panel

Joshua M. Bently, University of New Mexico
“Talk is Cheap: Organizational Apologies from the Stakeholder’s Perspective”

Rhonda S. Zaharna, American University and Nur Uysal, Marquette University
“Going for the Jugular: The Challenge from the 4th Quadrant of a Relational Public Diplomacy Model”

Melissa Graham, University of Central Oklahoma; Elizabeth J. Avery, University of Tennessee; and Sejin Park, University of Tennessee
“The Role of Social Media in Local Government Crisis Communication”

Anna Klyueva, University of Oklahoma
“The Presence of the Past in Public Diplomacy: Problematizing the Use of Soft Power in Public Diplomacy Conceptualizations”


Contribution to Public Relations Education Award – Damion Waymer

  • Culture, Social Class, and Race in Public Relations: Perspectives and Applications (editor), Lexington Books, 2012
  • Each One, Reach One: An Autobiographic Account of a Black PR Professor’s Mentor-Mentee Relationships with Black Graduate Students, Public Relations Inquiry, 1(3), 403-419

 Article Award – W. Timothy Coombs & Sherry J. Holladay,

  • The Paracrisis: The Challenges Created by Publicly Managing Crisis Prevention, Public Relations Review, 38(3), 408-415.

 Book Award

  • Gender and Public Relations: Critical Perspectives on Voice, Image and Identity, Christine Daymon & Kristin Demetrious, Editors, Routledge, 2013

Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Top Student Papers

4th place: Connecting the theory and practice of public relations leadership: A case study on the Center for Teaching Excellence

  • Steven Cohen, University of Baltimore

 3rd place: Evolving relationships in an online advocacy coalition: A public goods theory perspective

  • Adam Saffer, University of Oklahoma

2nd place: A postmodern feminist model of public relations

  • Amanda Kennedy, University of Maryland

 1st place: We are all Sikhs: A case study of community response and renewal

  • Michael Paquette & Shuying Shi, University of Maryland

 Top Faculty Papers

4th place: A bottom-up rebuilding of an innovative organization: Motivating employee intrapreneurship and scouting and its strategic values

  • Soo Hyun Park, Purdue University

 3rd place: Instructional crisis communication: Connecting ethnicity and gender in the assessment of receiver-oriented message effectiveness

  • Robert Littlefield, North Dakota State University; Derek Ray Lane, University of Kentucky; Kim Beauchamp, North Dakota State University; Deanna Sellnow, Tim Sellnow, Bethney Wilson, University of Kentucky; Steve Venette, University of Southern Mississippi

 2nd place: Connecting discourse of renewal to community recovery: A study of governmental discourse in rebuilding Wenchuan Earthquake-damaged communities

  • Yue Hu, Xiamen University

 1st place: Differences in Twitter content in the early stages of natural disaster: Implications for crisis communication

Patric Spence, University of Kentucky; Ken Lachlan, Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston; Xialing Lin, Western Michigan University; Maria Del Greco, Univ. of Massachusetts, Boston


Outstanding Journal Article:

Ganesh, S., & Zoller, H. M. (2012). Dialogue, activism, and democratic social change. Communication Theory, 22, 66-91.

Outstanding Book:

Holtzhausen, D.R. (2012). Public relations as activism: Postmodern approaches to theory & practice. New York: Routledge.

Outstanding Contribution to Public Relations Education:

2011 Special Issue on Pedagogy in The Public Relations Review  (Guest Editor: Dr. Maureen Taylor, University of Oklahoma)

Top Student Papers

  1. “The Impact of Crisis Response History on Organizational Outcomes.”
    Kristin Pace, Michigan State University
  2. “When Apologies Make Things Worse: An Analysis of Netflix’s Image Restoration Strategy.” Josh Bentley, University of Oklahoma
  3. “Utilizing Narrative to Understand Activism: A Case Study of Invisible Children.” Stephanie Madden, University of Maryland
  4. “Keeping the Faith: The Roman Catholic Church’s Response to the Clergy Sex Scandal in Ireland.” Philip Kostka, Georgia State University

Top Faculty Papers

  1. Online Stakeholder Targeting and the Acquisition of Social Media Capital.” Gregory Saxton, University at Buffalo, SUNY & Chao Guo, University of Georgia
  2. “Reconceptualizing Crisis Renewal Theory: Developing a Community-based Model.” Jennifer L. Reierson, The University of Minnesota Duluth & Robert S. Littlefield, North Dakota State University
    – tied with –
    “Building Interorganizational COMMunityy during Disaster: Social Media Use, Social Networks, and Public Relations Management.” Marya L. Doerfel & Muge Haseki, Rutgers University
  3. “Toward a Model of Contextualizing Organizational Relationships: A Network Ecology Framework.” Aimei Yang, University of Dayton & Maureen Taylor, University of Oklahoma


Outstanding Journal Article:

Sommerfeldt, E., & Taylor, M. (2011). A social capital approach to improving public relations’ efficacy: Diagnosing internal constraints on external communication. Public Relations Review, 37, 197-206.

Outstanding Book:

Ihlen, O, Bartlett, J., & May, S. (2011). The Handbook of Communication & Corporate Social Responsibility. 

Outstanding Textbook:

Stacks, D. & Michaelson, D. (2010). A Practitioner’s Guide to Public Relations Research, Measurement, and Evaluation

Top Student Papers (Plank Awards and Checks): 

  1. Applying Dialogic Public Relations Theory to Public Relations Education Author: Joshua Bentley, University of Oklahoma
  2. Online Crisis Communication: A Comparative Study Author: Vaibhavi Kulkarni, Rutgers University
  3. Public Relations and Public Diplomacy: A New Look at Publics, Communication, Political Complexity, and Management Author: Leysan Khakimova. University of Maryland

Top Faculty Papers:

  1. BP’s ‘Voices from the Gulf and the Stories They Tell: A Case Study of Neo-PR Authors: Chris T Caldiero, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Kathleen C, Haspel, Fairleigh Dickinson University
  2. Race to the Bottom in Corporate Voice: Incivility, Undesirability, and Inevitability Authors: Sarah VanSlette, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and Joshua Boyd, Purdue University
  3. So What it Happened? Who’s Going to Fix it? Addressing the Impact of Media Frames and Treatment Responsibility within the Situational Crisis Communication Theory Framework Authors (all from Pittsburg State University): Alicia Mason, Andrew Doherty, Rodney Kimlin, Christopher Powers, Laura Pyle, Holly Roberts, Sarah Valencia, and Justin Young


Best Article

Renita Coleman, University of Texas-Austin, and Lee Wilkins, University of Missouri, ‘The Moral Development of Public Relations Practitioners: A Comparison With Other Professions and Influences on Higher Quality Ethical Reasoning’, published in the Journal of Public Relations Research, 21: 3,2009.

Best Textbook:

W. Timothy Coombs and Sherry J. Holladay, University of Central Florida, Public Relations Strategy and Application: Managing Influence, published in 2009 by Wiley Blackwell

Best Scholarly Book:

Robert L. Heath, University of Houston, Editor, The Sage Handbook of Public Relations, published in 2010 by Sage Publications.

Top Student Papers

  1. “Researching Ourselves to Death: What Public Relations Research Really Tells Us.” Anna Klyueva, University of Oklahoma; Prisca Ngondo, Texas Tech Univ.
  2. “Rethinking Activism in Public Relations: An Introduction to Resource Mobilization Theory.” Erich Sommerfeldt, University of Oklahoma
  3. “Hermeneutics – Public Relations as Interpretation.” Johanna Fawkes, Leeds Metropolitan University

Top Faculty Papers

  1. “Memorializing Crisis: The Oklahoma City National Memorial as Renewal Discourse.” Shari Veil, University of Kentucky; Timothy Sellnow, University of Kentucky; Megan Heald, University of Oklahoma
  2. “Explicating a Broader Role of Public Relations in Society: Reconciling the Functional and Co-Creational Approaches.” Maureen Taylor, University of Oklahoma; Michael Kent, University of Oklahoma
  3. “Building Bridges Between Corporations and Their Publics: Does Perceived Corporate Social Responsibility Influence Organization-Public Relationships?” Hyojung Park, University of Missouri; Bryan H. Reber, University of Georgia


Best Book

Handbook of Risk and Crisis Communication, edited by Robert L. Heath and H. Dan O’Hair

Best Article

“Use of Scanning Research in Decision Making: An Examination of the Environmental Imperative and Power-Control Perspective” – Masako Okura, David Dozier, Bey-Ling Sha, C. Richard Hofstetter

Top Faculty Papers

  1. “Effectiveness of Advertising and PR Message Sequencing in Product Introductions: Corporate Credibility and Image as Moderators of Message Sequencing Success.” Bobi Ivanov, University of Kentucky; Kimberly Parker, Bellarmine Univ; Jeanetta D. Sims, University of Central Oklahoma
  2. “Toward Theoretical Advancement of International Public Relations: A Critical Assessment of Cross-national Comparative Public Relations Research, 1991-2007.” Hyung Min Lee, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Tsan-Kuo Chang, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  3. “Parent and High School Student Preferences of College Web sites.” Sheila McAllister-Spooner, Monmouth University


Best Book : Hansen-Horn, T.L., & Neff, B. (2007). Public relations from theory to practice. Boston, Allyn & Bacon.

Best Textbook: no award

Best Article: Oyvind, I. (2007). Building on Bourdieu: A sociological grasp of public relations. Public Relations Review, 33(3), pp. 269-274.

Top Student Papers

  1. Women and Ethnic Diversity in Public Relations: The Unconventional Role of Public Relations in Advancing Diversity, Jeanetta D. Sims (University of Central Oklahoma) & Atoya Sims (University of Central Oklahoma)* TOP PAPER
  2. An Examination of Michael Vick’s Speech of Apologia: Implications for the Study of Sports Apologia and Image Repair, Kevin R. Meyer (Ohio University)
  3. Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America: A framing Analysis, Amy Carwile, University of Alabama
  4. Attributions in Crisis Communication: A Test of Attribution Model and Situational Crisis Communication Theory, Se-Hoon Jeong (Univ of Pennsylvania).

Top Faculty Papers

  1. An Extended Rhetorical Typology of Crisis Communication: Managing the Roman Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis, Suzanne E. Boys (University of Cincinnati)* TOP PAPER
  2. Classifying Publics: Communication Behaviors and Problem-Solving Characteristics in Controversial Issues, Lan Ni (University of Houston), Jeong-Nam Kim (Purdue University), Eun-Ju Lee (Korea Press Foundation)
  3. The Dialogic Turn in Public Relations: Toward a Theory of Dialogic Practice, Michael L. Kent (University of Oklahoma).


Best Book : McKie, D & Munshi, D. (2006). Reconfiguring Public Relations: Ecology, Equity, and Enterprise. Routledge.

Best Textbook: Coombs, W.T. & Holladay, S. (2007). It’s not just PR. Malden, MA: Blackwell

Best Article: Palenchar, M. & Fitzpatrick, K. (2006). Disclosing Special Interest: Constitutional Restrictions on Front Groups. Journal of Public Relations Research18(3). 203-224.

Lifetime achievement award: Robert Heath.


Best Book: Botan, C., &  Hazelton, V. (Eds.) (2006).  Public relations theory II.  Mahwah, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Best Textbook: Heath, R., & Coombs, T. (2006).  Today’s public relations.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage

Best Article: Heath, R. (2006) Onward into more fog: Thoughts on public relations’ research directions.  Journal of Public Relations Research, (18) 2, 93-114


Best Book: Enclyclopedia of Public Relations Volumes I and II Robert L. Heath, Editor Sage Publications, Inc.

Best Journal Article: Tie:

Category I: All Round
Donnalyn Pompper – “Difference” in Public Relations Research: A Case for Introducing Critical Race Theory Journal of Public Relations Research, Vol 17, (3): 139 – 169

Category II: International Public Relations Scholarship: 
Mohan J. Dutta-Bergman – Civil Society and Public Relations: Not So Civil AFter All Journal of Public Relations Research, Vol. 17 (3): 267- 289


Best Book:  Millar, Dan, & Heath, Robert (Eds.) (2004)  Responding to crisis: A rhetorical approach to crisis communication.  Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Best Journal Article: Leichty, Greg (2003)  “The cultural tribes of public relations,” Journal of Public Relations Research, 15 (4), 277-304.

Before 2004:

(many thanks to Chuck Lubbers for providing this information)
Best Book/Monograph in Public Relations – NCA Public Relations Division
2002 – Larissa A. Grunig, James E. Grunig & David M. Dozier, Excellent Public Relations and Effective Organizations (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates)
2001 – Robert L. Heath, Handbook of Public Relations (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage)
2000 – W. Timothy Coombs, Ongoing Crisis Communication: Planning, Management and Responding. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage)
1999 – Karen S. Miller, The Voice of Business: Hill and Knowlton and Postwar Public Relations. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press)
1998 – Judith Hoover
1997 – Robert L. Heath, Strategic Issues Management (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage)
1996 – William Elwood (Ed.), Public Relations Inquiry as Rhetorical Criticism. Case Studies of Corporate Discourse and Social Influence. (Praeger)
1995 – No book recipient

Best Text Award — NCA Public Relations Division
2002 – Don W. Stacks, Primer of Public Relations Research (New York: Guildford Press).

Best Article in Public Relations Scholarship – NCA Public Relations Division
2002 – W. Timothy Coombs and Sherry J. Holladay, An Extended Examination of the Crisis Situations. Journal of Public Relations Research, 13(4) 341-340 (2001) 2001 – Yi-Hui Huang, OPRA: A cross-cultural, multiple item scale for measuring organization-public relationships. Journal of Public Relations Research, 13(1), 61-90 (2001).
2000 – Robert L. Heath and Michael Palenchar. Community Relations and Risk Communication: A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Emergency Response Messages. Journal of Public Relations Research, 12(3), 131 (2000).
1999 – Stephen D. Bruning and John A. Ledingham, Relationships Between Organizations and Publics: Development of a Multi-Dimensional Organization-Public Relationship Scale,” Public Relations Review, 25(2), 157-170. (1999).
1998 – Lisa Tyler
1997 — Glen M. Broom, Shawna Casey and James Ritchey. Toward a Concept and Theory of Organization-Public Relationships, Journal of Public Relations Research, 9(2), 83-98 (1997).
1996 – Keith Michael Hearit. The use of Counter Attack in Apologetic Public Relations Crises: The Case of General Motors vs. Dateline NBC, Public Relations Review, 22(3), 233-248 (1996)
1995 – Robert Heath, Shu-Huei Liao and William Douglas, Effectives of Perceived Economic Harms and Benefits on Issue Involvement, Use of Information Sources and Actions: Study in Risk Communication, Journal of Public Relations Research, 7(2), 89-110 (1995).