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Marlene Neill, Ph.D. - Baylor University . Waco, TX, US

Marlene Neill, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Journalism, Public Relations and New Media | Baylor University


Professor Neill's research interests include internal communication, public relations management and ethics






Dr. Marlene Neill, Ph.D., associate professor of journalism, public relations and new media loading image Dr. Marlene Neill, Ph.D., associate professor of journalism, public relations and new media loading image loading image




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.

Areas of Expertise (8)

Internal / Employee Communication

Integrated Communication

Advertising Management

Public Relations Management

Public Relations Ethics

Strategic Communication Research

Ethics in Public Relations

Ethics in Advertising

Accomplishments (7)

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

Education (3)

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 (13)

Business Review: Model of Leadership

KWBU-FM  online


AUDIO: Marlene Neill, Ph.D., associate professor of journalism, public relations and new media at Baylor, explains how crucible experiences can test, develop and transform leaders.

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PRSA Honors Public Relations Professionals For Career Achievements And Contributions To The Profession

PRSA  online


Marlene Neill, Ph.D., associate professor of journalism, public relations and new media and graduate program director at Baylor, received PRSA’s Outstanding Educator Award, which recognizes and celebrates those who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of public relations education through college or university teaching.

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The Role of Ethical Leadership in Building Influence: A Female Perspective

Ethical Voices  online


AUDIO: Marlene Neill, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, associate professor and graduate program director of journalism, public relations and new media and Juan Meng, Ph.D., associate professor of public relations at the University of Georgia, share insights from their recent journal article, “The Role of Ethical Leadership in Building Influence: Perspectives from Female Public Relations Professionals.”

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Making a Great Leader: Servant Leadership and Ethics of Care

Institute for Public Relations  online


Marlene S. Neill, Ph.D., an associate professor of journalism, public relations and new media at Baylor who researches ethics, internal communication and public relations leadership, co-authored a recent study on the concepts of servant leadership and ethics of care, which stress the value of interpersonal relationships, listening to others and empathy and are critical to public relations practice.

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"That’s My Idea”

KWBU  online


Marlene Neill, Ph.D., associate professor and graduate program director in the department of journalism, public relations and new media, shares women’s frustrations as employees in a male-dominated workplace.

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Managing Up In A Virtual Workplace

Forbes  online


Marlene Neill, Ph.D., associate professor of journalism, public relations and new media, is quoted in this article about the challenges for employees and managers to continue to build and manage relationships from behind a screen.

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Trends and challenges revealed in new book about women and leadership in public relations

Agility/PR Solutions  online


Marlene S. Neill, Ph.D., associate professor of journalism, public relations and new media, discusses the challenges faced by women leaders in public relations, the topic of a new book she co-authored.

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Coronavirus: What Voices Should We Listen To In These Uncertain Times?

ExpertFile  online


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.

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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.

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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)...

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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...

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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.”...

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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...

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Articles (5)

Silent & unprepared: Most millennial practitioners have not embraced role as ethical conscience

Public 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.

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Who is responsible for what? Examining strategic roles in social media management

Public 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...

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PR professionals as organizational conscience

Journal 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 ...

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Beyond the c-suite: corporate communications’ power and influence

Journal 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.

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Functional Silos, Integration & Encroachment: How IMC impacts the Practice of Internal Communication

Public 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.