Dr. Kelleher's expertise is in online strategic communication, public relations, and ethics. He is currently researching how consumers interact with live chat agents when it’s unclear if the agents are real people or AI.
Industry Expertise (2)
Public Relations and Communications
Areas of Expertise (6)
How CEO Social Media Disclosure and Gender Affect Perceived CEO Attributes, Relationship Investment, and Engagement IntentionJournalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
Cen April Yue, Yoo Jin Chung, Tom Kelleher, Amanda S Bradshaw, Mary Ann Ferguson
2020 How does a chief executive officer (CEO)’s social media content disclosure on Twitter affect perceived CEO attributes, relationship investment, and public engagement, and to what extent does the CEO’s gender (male vs. female) moderate how publics evaluate content disclosures? A 2 (CEO gender: male vs. female) × 4 (level of disclosure: 100% corporate vs. 70% corporate and 30% personal vs. 30% corporate and 70% personal vs. 100% personal disclosure) between-subject experimental design was used to address these questions with a random sample of 465 adult Twitter users in the United States. Results showed that posts that featured high personal disclosure did not increase the perceived likability or competence of the CEO. Nor did CEO gender impact these outcomes. However, CEO professional disclosure proved to be an effective means to gain high levels of perceived relationship investment from publics. Finally, publics may hold implicit gender bias in cognitive (i.e., perceived relationship investment) and behavioral evaluation (i.e., engagement intention) of a female CEO.
Degree satisfaction and likelihood of giving: A survey of professional school millennial alumniJournal of Education Advancement & Marketing
Margaret Gaylord, Tom Kelleher
2019 An online survey of millennials who graduated from a large southeastern US university’s college of journalism and communication between 2004 and 2016 (N = 664) was conducted to study how experiences that alumni remember from their student years, including engagement with faculty outside of class, extracurricular activities and career support relate to alumni degree satisfaction and likelihood of giving back to the programme. Degree utility, faculty engagement and career support all significantly related to degree satisfaction and likelihood of giving. Additional analyses suggest models for a relationship marketing approach in future research and practice. Recommendations include managing programmes in a way that enhances student experiences in identified areas such as faculty engagement and career services, developing message appeals to alumni that remind them of professionally relevant and satisfying experiences that they had when they were in school and testing/refining those messages to ensure they reinforce a healthy cycle of programme development.
Employee Perceptions of CEO Ghost Posting and Voice: Effects on Perceived Authentic Leadership, Organizational Transparency, and Employee-Organization RelationshipsPublic Relations Journal
Tom Kelleher, Patrick Thelen
2017 An online survey of a national sample of employees of mid-to large-size organizations in the US (N= 549) was conducted to examine employees’ general acceptance of CEO ghost posting practices on social media and to test a conceptual model that links perceptions of CEO ghost posting and perceived CEO voice to perceptions of authentic CEO leadership, organizational transparency, and employee-organization relationships. CEO ghost posting was found to be commonly expected and generally tolerated by employees. However, results of the structural equation model indicate that employee perceptions of CEO voice were found to play a more important role than their beliefs about CEO ghost posting in relation to perceptions of CEO authentic leadership, organizational transparency, and employee-organization relationships. CEO voice on social media and CEO authentic leadership were found to foster organizational transparency, which was shown as a determinant of employee-organization relationships.
What Universities Can Do About Digital Literacy in the Age of Fake NewsMediashift
2017 You would know the difference between a “real” news story and a story written for or by an advertiser, right? Especially when a story is labeled “advertisement” right there at the top of your screen. Even if that label was something murkier like “BrandVoice” and pushed down to the bottom of the story, most of us would recognize sponsored content as advertising, right? A few years ago, noting that $3.2 billion had been spent on native advertising in 2014, two University of Georgia researchers set out to take a closer look into what happens in our minds when we see native ads. Bart Wojdynski and Nate Evans defined native advertising as “any paid advertising that takes the specific form and appearance of editorial content from the publisher itself.”
Communicated commitment and conversational voice: Abbreviated measures of communicative strategies for maintaining organization-public relationshipsJournal of Public Relations Research
Kaye D Sweetser, Tom Kelleher
2016 Guided by relationship theory, this study develops and tests abbreviated operational definitions of communicated commitment and conversational voice as communicative strategies in maintaining organization-public relationships (OPRs). Researchers first identified 25 relational maintenance items from 12 prior published studies. Then surveying three independent subsamples of an organization’s key public (N = 1,169), the distilled list revealed two univariate concepts measured with a total of 11 items. The shorter scales make the measurement and evaluation of communication online and real-world activities more accessible and manageable for practitioners and academics focused on organization-public relationships.