Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Walker, Albert, 1920-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Journalism


Universities and colleges--Public relations--Middle West; Community colleges--Middle West--Presidents


Much has been written in the last 15 years about the need for the public relations function to be included in the top level of management. In any setting, the president or chief executive officer sets the tone for the organization and, thus, his or her opinion of the public relations function is vital to the public relations staff's ability to perform to their full potential. It was the purpose of this study to determine the importance that presidents of community colleges in the Midwest place on a variety of public relations functions. These functions range in nature from basic staff functions involving communication to sophisticated management functions requiring involvement in planning and programming. The first hypothesis was that the basic communication and action functions would be considered most important. Nine additional hypotheses suggested certain variables that would have a relation to the degree of importance placed on the different public relations functions. Research methodology consisted of a questionnaire mailed to the 213 presidents of public community colleges in 12 midwestern states. Valid responses numbered 125 for a 58.69% return. The data were tabulated with the use of a computer with computation of t-tests, chi square, and analysis of variance tests for significance of differences. The study confirmed that the presidents consider the "Communication and Action" group of public relations functions to be the most important, followed by "Research and Fact-Finding," "Evaluation" and "Planning and Programming." Variables that have some relation to the importance that presidents place on public relations functions are: setting, the chief public relations officer's title, the person to whom the chief public relations officer reports, and the level of competition for students.


Bibliography: pages 90-94.


vii, 102 pages




Northern Illinois University

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