Michael Kent

Professor PR & A
Professor

Michael L. Kent is a Professor of Public Relations in Public Relations and Adverting, School of the Arts and Media, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, at UNSW (University of New South Wales) in Sydney.

Kent received his PhD from Purdue University, his MS from the University of Oregon, and his BA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Kent conducts research on dialogue, engagement, social media and new technology, international and intercultural communication, and other areas. Kent’s research focuses on the relational and social aspects of dialogue and technology. His examination of new technologies goes back to early search engine technology and has included studies of web communication, blogs, social media, visibility, social network analysis, and other technology focused projects.

Kent’s key scholarly contributions include recognizing the importance of mediated technology to public relations, and advancing dialogic theory as a normative model for enacting ethical and effective public relations. Kent’s academic training in human communication, and rhetorical theory and criticism, provided the critical skills needed to understand the nascent World Wide Web, and to conduct theory building in public relations. Over the last 20-years, dialogic theory has moved from an interesting concept in public relations to one of the central theories guiding research and empirical exploration in the field. Several of Kent’s recent articles have examined an assortment of metaphorical models for thinking about dialogue and engagement and include a Homo-Dialogicus vs. Homo-Economicus approach, a Rhizomatous approach, and using Shiva the Destroyer as a critical model for understanding dialogic theory.

Kent was also one of the first academics to critique the World Wide Web, with his 2001 essay on the metaphor of the World Wide Web that used Sproule’s Managerial Rhetoric as a means of understanding the evolving communication tool.

An active researcher and collaborator, Kent has written more than one hundred articles, chapters, books and other documents, and delivered more than a hundred conference papers and professional presentations.

A Fulbright scholar (Latvia, 2006), Kent has also lectured extensively internationally (Australia, China, New Zealand, Italy, etc.) and taught graduate and undergraduate courses in both Latvia and in Prague.

In terms of his teaching areas, Kent has taught virtually all of the basic public relations courses (Campaigns, Cases, Introduction, Management, Publication, Writing, Advanced Writing, etc.) and many communication courses (interpersonal, intercultural, small group, public speaking, etc.). Over his career, he has taught more than 20 different undergraduate courses and 20 different graduate courses, having taught at more than 10 different universities during his career. Kent has twice served as Chair of the Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association, was graduate advisor for five years in the Department of Communication Studies at Montclair State University in New Jersey, course coordinator of several courses (Public Relations Writing, Publications, etc.) for more than a decade, and has worked extensively on curriculum development.

Kent also has extensive service and administrative experience spanning more than 20-years at all levels of the academy.

Research Areas:
Public Relations, Dialogic Communication, New Technology/Social Media/Mediated Communication, International Communication, Issues Management, Academic Communities, Communication Ethics, Thanatology/Eschatology

Publications

Book Chapters
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Lane A; Kent ML, 2018, 'Dialogic engagement', in The Handbook of Communication Engagement, pp. 61 - 72, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/9781119167600.ch5
2018
Kent ML; Lane A, 2018, 'Engagement as dialogue, dialogue as engagement.', in Johnston K; Taylor M (ed.), Handbook of Engagement, Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken NJ, pp. 61 - 72
2018
Kent M, 2018, 'Dialogic Theory', in Chen X (ed.), Public Relations: Theories for contemporary China, edn. 1, Communication University of China Press, Beijing China, pp. 001 - 871
2018
Kent ML; Taylor M, 2018, 'Understanding the Rhetoric of Dialogue and the Dialogue of Rhetoric.', in Heath RL; Ihlen O (ed.), Handbook of Organizational Rhetoric and Communication: Foundations of Dialogue, Discourse, Narrative, and Engagement, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA, USA, pp. 315 - 327
2018
Xiong Y; Taylor M; Kent M, 2017, 'Image repair in a Chinese brand identity crisis: Will the real herbal tea company please stand up?', in Liberman C; Rodriguez D; Avtgis TA (ed.), , Kendall Hunt, Dubuque, IA, pp. 25 - 41
2017
Maureen T; Kent M, 2017, 'Nation building in the Former Yugoslavia: A 20-year retrospective to understand how public relations rebuilds relationships in divided societies', in Somerville I; Hargie O; Taylor M; Toledano M (ed.), , Routledge, New York, pp. 9 - 26
2017
Kent M; Maureen T, 2016, 'Building an Ethic of Responsibility: Dialogue and Communitarianism as Public Relations Archetypes', in Brunner B (ed.), , Routledge, New York, pp. 75 - 84
2016
Conference Abstracts
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Kent M; Li C, 2019, 'Building Social Media Theory in Public Relations: Conversational Human Voice as a Precursor to Engagement and Dialogue', in Building Social Media Theory in Public Relations: Conversational Human Voice as a Precursor to Engagement and Dialogue, International Communication Association, Prague, Czech Republic, presented at International Communication Association, Prague, Czech Republic, 22 May 2018 - 28 May 2018
2019
Conference Papers
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Li C; Kent M, 2018, 'Explorations on Mediated Communication and beyond: Toward a Theory of Social Media', Salt Lake City, Utah, presented at National Communication Association, Salt Lake City, Utah, -
2018
Lane A; Kent M, 2018, '“Can you hear me? The role of listening in dialogic engagement.”', Prague, Czech Republic, presented at International Communication Association, Prague, Czech Republic, -
2018
Kent M; Cypher J, 2018, 'Authenticity in the Dialogic Encounter.', Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, presented at Central States Communication Association, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, -
2018
Kent M; Taylor M, 2018, 'Genuine Dialogic Engagement: What is the Architecture of a Genuine, Dialogic, Social Media', in Maureen, Auckland, New Zealand, presented at Australia and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA, Auckland, New Zealand
2018
Kent M, 2018, 'The Authentic Communicators of YouTube: More Than Just the ‘Cinnamon Challenge’ and Cute Cat Videos', Sydney, AU, presented at Public Relations Institute of Australia PRIA, Sydney, AU, -
2018
Kent M; Theunissen P, 2018, 'Toward a Theory of Mediated Dialogic Communication', Salt Lake City, Utah, presented at National Communication Association, Salt Lake City, Utah, -
2018
Kent M; Boatwright B, 2018, 'Ritualistic Sacrifice in Crisis Communication: A Case for Eliminating Scapegoating From the Crisis Lexicon', Salt lake City Utah, presented at National Communication Association, Salt lake City Utah, -
2018
Kent M; Xiong Y, 2017, 'Case Studies of Narrative Theory and Cultural Activism: Feminism, Activism, and Ideology as Public Relations Techniques.', Dallas Texas, presented at National Communication Association (NCA), Dallas Texas, -
2017
Kent M; Taylor M, 2017, 'The Rhetorical Evolution of Dialogue: Implications for Public Relations Theory and Practice.', San Diego California, presented at International Communication Association (ICA), San Diego California, -
2017
Sommerfeldt E; Kent M, 2017, 'An Intervention: Disconfirmation, Cognitive Dissonance, and Emotional Labor among Public Relations Professors', San Diego CA, USA, presented at International Communication Association, San Diego CA, USA, -
2017
Lane A; Kent M, 2017, 'Dialogic Engagement: A Multi-Level Conceptual Model', San Diego CA, presented at International Communication Association, San Diego CA, -
2017
Kent M; Gamo L, 2017, 'Alternative Facts and Alternative Realities: The Implications of a Loss of Trust in the Political and Mediasphere.', Dallas Texas., presented at National Communication Association, Dallas Texas., -
2017
Kent M; Dugger J, 2016, 'A Meta Analysis of Persuasion in Social Media Merging Theory and Practice', Chinese University, Hong Kong, presented at International Conference on Emerging Trends and Challenges of Public Rela-tions and Strategic Communication in the Digital Era, Chinese University, Hong Kong, -
2016
Kent M, 2016, 'Rescuing Social Media: Combatting Encroachment From Marketing and Advertising', Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, presented at National Communication Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, -
2016
Kent M; Theunissen P, 2016, 'Strategic Rhetoric, Dialogue, and the Long Now', Fukuoka, Japan, presented at International Communication Association (ICA), Fukuoka, Japan, -
2016
Kent M; Taylor M, 2016, 'Building an Ethic of Responsibility: Communitarianism and Dialogue as New Public Relations Archetypes', Las Vegas, NV, USA, presented at International Association of Business Disciplines, Las Vegas, NV, USA, -
2016
Taylor M; Kent M, 2015, 'Towards Legitimacy and Professionalism: A Call to Repeal the Gillett Amend-ment.', Las Vegas Nevada, USA, presented at National Communication Association, Las Vegas Nevada, USA, -
2015
Kent M, 2015, 'The fourth persona: Transcending the toolmaker’s paradigm', San Juan, Puerto Rico, presented at International Communication Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, -
2015
Kent M; Sommerfeldt E; Saffer A, 2015, 'Social Network Analysis and Public Relations: Tertius Iungens as a Path to Organizational Trust and Relationship Building', San Juan, Puerto Rico, presented at International Communication Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, -
2015
Conference Presentations
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Kent M, 'Dialoguing about Dialogue: Enacting Dialogue in Social Media and Social Settings', presented at National Communication Association, Salt Lake City, Utah, -
Kent M, 'Risk, Trust, and Narcissism, Three Parts of a Conversation', presented at National Communication Association, Salt Lake City, Utah, -
Journal articles
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Kent ML; Li C, 2019, 'Toward a normative social media theory for public relations', Public Relations Review, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2019.101857
2019
Kent ML; Boatwright BC, 2018, 'Ritualistic sacrifice in crisis communication: A case for eliminating scapegoating from the crisis/apologia lexicon', Public Relations Review, vol. 44, pp. 514 - 522, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2018.06.006
2018
Kent ML, 2018, 'Compromised Data: From Social Media to Big Data', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION, vol. 12, pp. 2725 - 2729
2018
Kent ML; Lane AB, 2017, 'A rhizomatous metaphor for dialogic theory', Public Relations Review, vol. 43, pp. 568 - 578, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2017.02.017
2017
Kent ML; Sommerfeldt EJ; Saffer AJ, 2016, 'Social networks, power, and public relations: Tertius Iungens as a cocreational approach to studying relationship networks', Public Relations Review, vol. 42, pp. 91 - 100, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2015.08.002
2016
Kent ML; Taylor M, 2016, 'From Homo Economicus to Homo dialogicus: Rethinking social media use in CSR communication', Public Relations Review, vol. 42, pp. 60 - 67, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2015.11.003
2016
Kent M; Theunissen P, 2016, 'Elegy for mediated dialogue: Shiva the Destroyer and reclaiming our first principles', International Journal of Communication, vol. 10, pp. 4040 - 4054
2016
Kent M; Saffer A; Sommerfeldt E, 2016, 'From communitarianism to dialogue: Building better relationships.', NIDA Journal of Language and Communication, vol. 21, pp. 1 - 15
2016
Kent M; Taylor M, 2016, 'Putting the social back in social media: A longitudinal, meta-analysis of social media research', International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, vol. 5, pp. 62 - 75
2016
Taylor M; Kent ML, 2016, 'Towards legitimacy and professionalism: A call to repeal the Gillett Amendment', Public Relations Review, vol. 42, pp. 1 - 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2015.09.012
2016
Kent ML, 2015, 'The power of storytelling in public relations: Introducing the 20 master plots', Public Relations Review, vol. 41, pp. 480 - 489, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2015.05.011
2015
Paquette M; Sommerfeldt EJ; Kent ML, 2015, 'Do the ends justify the means? Dialogue, development communication, and deontological ethics', Public Relations Review, vol. 41, pp. 30 - 39, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2014.10.008
2015
Yang A; Kent M, 2014, 'Social media and organizational visibility: A sample of Fortune 500 corporations', Public Relations Review, vol. 40, pp. 562 - 564, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2014.04.006
2014
Kent ML; Saffer AJ, 2014, 'A Delphi study of the future of new technology research in public relations', Public Relations Review, vol. 40, pp. 568 - 576, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2014.02.008
2014
Kent ML, 2013, 'Using social media dialogically: Public relations role in reviving democracy', Public Relations Review, vol. 39, pp. 337 - 345, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2013.07.024
2013
Sommerfeldt EJ; Kent ML; Taylor M, 2012, 'Activist practitioner perspectives of website public relations: Why aren’t activist websites fulfilling the dialogic promise?', Public Relations Review, vol. 38, pp. 303 - 312, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2012.01.001
2012
Kent ML; Carr BJ; Husted RA; Pop RA, 2011, 'Learning web analytics: A tool for strategic communication', Public Relations Review, vol. 37, pp. 536 - 543, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2011.09.011
2011
Taylor M; Kent ML, 2010, 'Anticipatory socialization in the use of social media in public relations: A content analysis of PRSA's Public Relations Tactics', Public Relations Review, vol. 36, pp. 207 - 214, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2010.04.012
2010
Kent ML, 2008, 'Critical analysis of blogging in public relations', Public Relations Review, vol. 34, pp. 32 - 40, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2007.12.001
2008
Veil SR; Kent ML, 2008, 'Issues management and inoculation: Tylenol’s responsible dosing advertising', Public Relations Review, vol. 34, pp. 399 - 402, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2008.08.004
2008
Kent ML; Taylor M, 2007, 'Beyond excellence: Extending the generic approach to international public relations', Public Relations Review, vol. 33, pp. 10 - 20, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2006.11.002
2007
Taylor M; Kent ML, 2007, 'Taxonomy of mediated crisis responses', Public Relations Review, vol. 33, pp. 140 - 146, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2006.11.017
2007
Kent ML; Taylor M; Turcilo L, 2006, 'Public relations by newly privatized businesses in Bosnia-Herzegovina', Public Relations Review, vol. 32, pp. 10 - 17, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2005.10.001
2006
Kent ML; Taylor M; White WJ, 2003, 'The relationship between Web site design and organizational responsiveness to stakeholders', Public Relations Review, vol. 29, pp. 63 - 77, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0363-8111(02)00194-7
2003
Kent ML; Taylor M, 2002, 'Toward a dialogic theory of public relations', Public Relations Review, vol. 28, pp. 21 - 37, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0363-8111(02)00108-x
2002
Taylor M; Kent ML; White WJ, 2001, 'How activist organizations are using the Internet to build relationships', Public Relations Review, vol. 27, pp. 263 - 284, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0363-8111(01)00086-8
2001
Kent ML, 2001, 'Teaching mediated public relations', Public Relations Review, vol. 27, pp. 59 - 71, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0363-8111(01)00070-4
2001
Taylor M; Kent ML, 1999, 'Challenging assumptions of international public relations: When government is the most important public', Public Relations Review, vol. 25, pp. 131 - 144, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0363-8111(99)80158-1
1999
Kent ML; Taylor M, 1998, 'Building dialogic relationships through the world wide web', Public Relations Review, vol. 24, pp. 321 - 334, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0363-8111(99)80143-x
1998
Other
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Kent M, 2018, Book Review: Compromised data: From social media to big data, University of Southern California, http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/viewFile/9653/2388
2018