Dr. Spiro Kiousis’ current research interests include political public relations, political communication, and digital communication. His interdisciplinary research explores the interplay among political public relations efforts, news media content, and public opinion in traditional and interactive mass mediated contexts. Throughout his academic career, he has produced over 170 refereed journal articles, book chapters, books, and conference papers/presentations.
Industry Expertise (4)
Public Relations and Communications
Media - Broadcast
Media - Online
Areas of Expertise (4)
Public Relations Campaign
Public Relations Research
Public Relations Strategy
Media Appearances (1)
Brian Mast, Lauren Baer: National groups pumping more money into 18th District congressional race
Increased ad spending is often a sign a race is growing more competitive, but because it’s less than a month before the election, it could be a sign campaigns are simply emptying their coffers, said Spiro Kiousis, a University of Florida professor who studies political communications. “Two drivers of advertising expenditures are the election coming to a close and an increased concern about a more competitive race on the part of the candidates," he said. "We are in the heat of the election race now, and the campaigns want to make sure they use all their resources up before Election Day.”
He who pays the piper, calls the tune? Examining Russia’s and Poland’s public diplomacy efforts to shape the international coverage of the Smolensk crashPublic Relations Review
Liudmila Khalitova, Barbara Myslik, Agnieszka Turska-Kawa, Sofiya Tarasevich, Spiro Kiousis
2020 The study explores Polish and Russian governments’ communication efforts to shape international news coverage of the 2010 airplane crash near Smolensk, Russia, which killed the Polish President Lech Kaczynski and most of his Cabinet. More specifically, the study attempts to assess the role of government communication in shaping the international agenda regarding the crash vis-à-vis the role of Polish and Russian media outlets which also served as information sources for international media. In addition, it examines politico-cultural proximity and economic relatedness as the factors influencing the outcomes of mediated public diplomacy efforts. The findings suggest that, in addition to the governments’ public relations messages, Polish and Russian news outlets played a significant role as their countries’ advocates in determining the international media agenda. Moreover, we found that it was economic relatedness rather than the similarity of culture or political systems that contributed to the success of governments in shaping the international agenda about the crash. Theoretical and practical implications for public relations and public diplomacy are discussed.
President Trump vs. CEOs: a comparison of presidential and corporate agenda buildingJournal of Public Relations Research
Xiaomeng Lan, Sofiya Tarasevich, Pamala Proverbs, Barbara Myslik, Spiro Kiousis
2020 The purpose of this study was to compare the agenda-building influence of President Trump and CEOs in communicating about a number of political and social issues. Through a content analysis of the president’s (N = 63) and business leaders’ (N = 234) information subsidies and news coverage (N = 270), evidence was found repeatedly supporting the president’s first, second, and third levels of agenda-building influence on news media content. In comparison, CEOs’ agenda-building influence was found at the first and third levels, and this influence was not consistent across issues. Furthermore, an argument was made in light of the study’s findings that direct communication by business leaders generally had a more significant impact on the media agenda than indirect messages from other organizational actors such as their companies or corporate spokespeople.
Mediated public diplomacy in the digital age: Exploring the Saudi and the U.S. governments’ agenda-building during Trump’s visit to the Middle EastPublic Relations Review
Osama Albishri, Sofiya Tarasevich, Pamala Proverbs, Spiro K Kiousis, Abdullah Alahmari
2019 This study analyzed the agenda-building capacity of political public relations messages of the Saudi and the U.S. governments during Donald Trump’s visit to the Middle East and scrutinized their influence on the media coverage and public opinion. The findings indicate that all three levels of agenda-building received solid empirical support from the data: governmental information subsidies significantly influenced media coverage and public opinion on the level of issues and stakeholders (1st level), their attributes (2nd level), and networked co-occurrences of issues/stakeholders (3rd level of agenda-building). Traditional information subsidies emerged as a powerful tool driving the agenda-building process. The study confirms the effective capacity of public relations communication to build the media and the public agendas in non-Western media culture and expands the applicability of the agenda-building network analysis research to the Middle Eastern media market.
Two tales of one crash: Intergovernmental media relations and agenda building during the Smolensk airplane crashInternational Communication Gazette
Barbara Myslik, Liudmila Khalitova, Tianduo Zhang, Sophia Tarasevich, Spiro Kiousis, Tiffany Mohr, Ji Young Kim, Agnieszka Turska-Kawa, Craig Carroll, Guy Golan
2019 This study aims to advance the theoretical and practical knowledge of political public relations, and influence that political profile of the media can have on the agenda-building process. The influences of agenda indexing are also discussed with regard to different media profiles. A quantitative content analysis was conducted to examine the influence of Polish and Russian government messages from presidents and prime ministers regarding the Smolensk plane crash on media coverage in both counties. Newspapers were categorized by political profile representing pro-government, mainstream, or opposition profile. Nearly all of the hypotheses were fully supported for the first, second, and third level of agenda building. Results of this study demonstrate that political public relations’ success and agenda indexing can be affected by a medium’s political profile, particularly in the case of opposition media. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed along with areas of future research.
Ethnic nationalism and gatekeeping in the European media: Linking agenda setting, agenda building, and agenda indexingThe Agenda Setting Journal
Sofiya Tarasevich, Liudmila Khalitova, Phillip Arceneaux, Barbara Myslik, Spiro Kiousis
2019 This study explores relationships between agenda building, agenda indexing (reflected through share of voice as the key variable), and agenda-setting effects, measured through the combination of public opinion survey data and quantitative content analysis. It conceptually distinguishes between the three metrics often used interchangeably in the professional discourse by advertising and media practitioners – share of voice, share of influence, and share of conversation – and explores how they could be applied in political communication research to become useful tools for agenda-setting researchers. The results of the study indicate that an increased level of nationalism serves as a significant predictor for EU policy support through the pathway of decreased pro-EU sentiment, which, on the agenda level, is reflective of pro-nationals being less supportive of the EU policies and the idea of European integration.