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Dr. Hong wins PRSA research award

Oct 8, 2018

Posted in: News

By Marcus Messner, Ph.D., Associate Director

Cheng Hong, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Robertson School's advertising sequence.

Robertson School advertising professor Dr. Cheng Hong won the Top Faculty Research Paper Award at the International Conference of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in Austin, Texas. Hong, who joined VCU this fall semester as an assistant professor, won the award at the PRSA Educators Academy with a team of researchers from the University of Miami. The team's research paper is titled "A Social Network Analysis of Public Advocacy on Twitter: Amplifiers and Bridgers in the Era of Polarization and Social Media Echo Chambers."

“We’re very happy for Dr. Hong and very proud of her impressive scholarly achievement in her first semester as a full-time faculty member in the VCU Robertson School,” said Robertson School director Dr. Hong Cheng. “We wish her continued success in her exciting and cutting-edge research about public advocacy on social media.”

The research paper applied "social network analysis to examine how different interactive mechanisms embedded on social media may affect communication within and between communities of different ideological views in the public discourse." According to the research team, the findings of the study "advance existing knowledge on how social media shape the networked public discourse to facilitate or inhibit conversations between publics of different ideological orientations." The study was written by Dr. Wan-Hsui Sunny Tsai, Dr. Weiting Tao, and Dr. Ching-Hua Chuan from the University of Miami and Hong. 

"I am very excited and also honored to work with a great team and win this award," said Hong, who earned her Ph.D. from the University of Miami earlier this year. "Consumer advocacy and boycotting behaviors are where my research passion lies. I will continue my work in this area and apply more advanced data analysis and interdisciplinary theories in my future investigations."