Marlene Neill, Ph.D., APR, is an associate professor at Baylor University. She teaches courses in public relations and advertising. She also serves as the faculty adviser for the Baylor PRSSA chapter.
Her research interests include public relations management and ethics. She has published research in the following journals: Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Public Relations Review, Journal of Communication Management and Journal of Advertising Education.
Neill is an accredited member of the Central Texas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She served as the chair for the Southwest District of PRSA in 2011. At the national level, Neill served a three-year term on the Universal Accreditation Board, which administers the examination for Accreditation in Public Relations; the Nominating Committee, which selects national board officers in 2012; and was appointed to the Board of Ethics & Professionals Standards in January of 2013.
She received her Ph.D. in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, her Master of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia, and her Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.
Industry Expertise (2)
Public Relations and Communications
Areas of Expertise (8)
Internal / Employee Communication
Public Relations Management
Public Relations Ethics
Strategic Communication Research
Ethics in Public Relations
Ethics in Advertising
Public Relations Society of America
Member of the Universal Accreditation Board
2008 - 2010
Member of PRSA's Board of Ethics and Professional Standards
2013 - Present
Accreditation Marketing Committee for PRSA
2007 - 2008
Chair for the Southwest District of PRSA
2011 Oversaw 14 PRSA chapters in 6 states
PRSA Nominating Committee
2012 Participated in meeting in Chicago to select slate of national officers for 2012
Faculty adviser for Baylor PRSSA chapter
2012 - Present
University of Texas at Austin: Ph.D., Advertising
Dissertation: Seat at the Table(s): An Examination of Senior Public Relations Practitioners' Power and Influence Among Multiple Executive-Level Coalitions
University of Missouri: M.A., Journalism - Strategic Communication
University of Kansas: B.Sc., Journalism - Broadcast News
Media Appearances (6)
Coronavirus: What Voices Should We Listen To In These Uncertain Times?
Marlene Neill, Ph.D., APR, associate professor of journalism, public relations and new media, who is an expert on public relations ethics and management and integrated communications, shares some tips to discover which voices to trust and follow during the coronavirus crisis.
PR With The Pros: Marlene Neill
PR With The Pros radio
During this podcast, Neill, assistant professor at Baylor University, touches on topics such as Accreditation in Public Relations, ethics and PRSA/PRSSA.
New Course Aims to Boost Ethical Management Skills
Learning and Development Professional
Promoting core values is a way to engage employees, increase their commitment and loyalty, and encourage ethical decision making, according to Marlene Neill, assistant professor of journalism, PR and new media in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences. Neill’s study found that building a business reputation “from the inside out” – with employees acknowledging their company as an ethical place to work – is increasingly being praised as a way to get an edge on competitors (alongside customer service and quality products)...
Millennials in PR Feel Unprepared to Offer Companies Advice on Moral Dilemmas at Work, Study Finds
Baylor Media Communications
Millennials or Generation Y — generally identified as people born between 1981 or 1982 through 2000 — are projected to make up one third to one half of the country’s workforce by 2025. They will shift from being “doers” to being “deciders” in businesses, and their ethical compass will set the course for subsequent generations of public relations professionals, said study author Marlene Neill, Ph.D., assistant professor of journalism, public relations and new media in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. “The study findings about lack of ethical readiness are a cause for concern,” Neill said. “If Millennials don’t feel equipped, they may be misled by their superiors or used as instruments of unethical behavior.” Without mentoring or training, they must learn by trial and error...
Gaps in Advertising and Public Relations Education Are Due to New Roles in Social Media, Baylor Study Finds
Baylor Media Communications
“Educators need to address the deficiencies identified in this study and find ways to build these skills and competencies in their courses,” said Marlene S. Neill, Ph.D., assistant professor of journalism, public relations and new media in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. “In the study, we have provided some specific and practical recommendations on how to do so.”...
10 Tips From CEOs for Everyone Dreaming of Getting to the Top
According to Dr. Marlene Neill, an assistant professor at Baylor University, companies often groom future CEOs (whether they know it or not) by placing them on special projects and committees. In that case, she advises making a name for yourself by making substantive and noticeable contributions...
Silent & unprepared: Most millennial practitioners have not embraced role as ethical consciencePublic Relations Review
Marlene S. Neill, Nancy Weaver
Millennial public relations practitioners do not feel prepared to offer ethics counsel and do not expect to face ethical dilemmas at work. Through survey research with more than 200 young professionals, statistically significant differences were found regarding perceptions of readiness to offer ethics counsel based on the availability of a mentor, ethics training in college, and ethics training at work. Through the lens of social identity theory, significant differences were found based on familiarity and likelihood to use ethics resources provided by professional associations. Finally, confidence in discussing ethical concerns with their mentor or direct supervisor did impact their likelihood to offer ethics counsel.
Who is responsible for what? Examining strategic roles in social media managementPublic Relations Review
Marlene S Neill, Mia Moody
2015 This study examines the strategic roles associated with social media management through the lens of role theory. By analyzing the responses from participants in two focus groups and a survey of public relations and human resources practitioners, we identified nine strategic roles and the associated responsibilities including policy maker, internal collaborator, technology tester, communications organizer, issues manager, relationship analyzer, master of metrics, policing, and employee recruiter...
PR professionals as organizational conscienceJournal of Mass Media Ethics
Marlene S Neill, Minette E Drumwright
2012 Scholars have long asserted that public relations (PR) professionals should play the role of organizational conscience, but little research has focused on why and how they play this role effectively. We found that PR professionals who played the role of organizational conscience had broadened conceptions of their roles and responsibilities, including a fervent duty to the public interest. This often put them in the position of providing criticism to powerful organizational players. Rather than raising their ethical concerns as persuasive ...
Beyond the c-suite: corporate communications’ power and influenceJournal of Communications Management
Marlene S Neill
2015 The purpose of this paper is to examine what formal executive-level committees senior corporate communications executives are members of and what value they contribute. Design/methodology/approach–The researcher conducted in-depth interviews with 30 senior executives at four US companies who discussed corporate communications' involvement in eight strategic issues. Findings–The focus on the C-Suite is too narrow as strategic issues arise at the division level and in executive-level committees.
Functional Silos, Integration & Encroachment: How IMC impacts the Practice of Internal CommunicationPublic Relations Review
Marlene S. Neill, Hua Jiang
Some companies and organizations are pursuing joint planning and coordination between internal and external communicators; however, functional silos still appear to be a barrier and concern. Through in-depth interviews with 28 communication executives working in the United States, this study provides evidence that dual oversight of external and internal communication by a senior executive from marketing or corporate communication appears to be a good way to reduce functional silos, but the arrangement can weaken the power and influence of internal communicators. Recommendations and implications for practice are provided.