NOTE: Banner images should be placed in this first content block and should be at least 720px wide.

Making a Difference through Research

The Department of Communication Studies is committed to the promotion of academic excellence through teaching and research that has a positive impact on faculty, students, and the broader community.

Many opportunities exist for students at both the undergraduate and graduate level to become involved in industry-leading research. Students who participate in faculty-led research either as volunteers or as paid research assistants will further their professional, critical thinking and creative research skill by working alongside our interdisciplinary faculty members. Activities may include collecting and analysing data, writing reports, and working on ongoing research projects.

PR Metrix


PR Metrix Image

PR Metrix addresses the need in Public Relations theory and practice for insight into how public relations can better integrate and measure the impact of two-way communication in the owned, earned or paid social media space. Drawing on Grunig and Hunt’s (1984) Excellence Theory, we aim to create a visual toolkit that will allow public relations professionals to see a flow of communication, indicated in the shape of the visual representation, providing insights into the nature of the two-way relationship represented in

social media usage. This study was funded by Communications + Public Relations Foundation.

The research team works with an innovative software called Netlytic to develop a visual maps for organizations that indicated their connections on a social media landscape.Through this process of visualization, indications of the two-way nature of the communication can be identified. This visual application of connectivity through social media are valuable to organizations as they evaluate and plan for strategic communication goals within an integrated media environment.

RESEARCH TEAM: Mount Saint Vincent University, Department of Communication Studies - Dr. Amy Thurlow, Dr. Alla Kushniryk; Graduate Students - Melanie Brister, Alexandra Rogerson.

GAP (VIII) Canada Report


GAP VIII CoverCPRS, the Communication + PR Foundation and Mount Saint Vincent University  partnered to conduct the first Canadian survey of Generally Accepted Practices in Public Relations. This survey is part of the international GAP VIII study, led by the University of Southern California.The international partners in this survey include Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa, Canada and the United States.

Between December 2013 and March 2014 the Canadian team collected data and prepared a data set for the American partners in the GAP study that allowed Canadian data to be included in the international study. This data offers a distinctly Canadian look at some defining characteristics within our practice, and serves as benchmark data for future research on Canadian public relations practice.

RESEARCH TEAM: Mount Saint Vincent University, Department of Communication Studies - Dr. Amy Thurlow, Associate Professor; Dr. Alla Kushniryk, Assistant Professor; Dr. Anthony Yue, Associate Professor; Dr. Karen Blotnicky, Associate Professor, Department of Business; Graduate Students - Lindsay Cross, Master of Public Relations program; Fabiana Gonzales, Master of Arts Communication program.