TCU Certified Public Communicator Program graduates another cohort!

The School of Strategic Communication, in partnership with the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers, proudly recognizes the second graduating cohort from the Certified Public Communicator program, the nation’s advanced executive education program for public information professionals.

Twenty public communication professionals participated in the cohort, which included 95 hours of instruction in residence since July 2014. The post-baccalaureate, graduate-level residential program includes extensive coursework and each graduate must create a three-year comprehensive communication plan. These plans are reviewed and approved by their organizations and by strategic communication professors from TCU’s School of Strategic Communication, part of the Bob Schieffer College of Communication.

Photo Credit: Bianca Castro (2015)

Congratulations to summer graduates from these cities and other public-sector organizations:

Ginger Awtry, Westlake, Texas
Dana Baird, Frisco, Texas
Jessica Beyer, Blue Earth County, Minn.
Corky Brown, Cedar Hill, Texas
Catherine Carlton, MHMR Tarrant County
Angela Fritz, Rosenberg, Texas
Jennie Huerta, Cedar Park, Texas
Lacey Lively, College Station, Texas
Erin Mynatt, Melissa, Texas
Maria Rios, Texas Council of Community Centers
Pilar Schank, Southlake, Texas
Arianne Shipley, Mansfield, Texas
Sabreana Smith, Cedar Hill (Texas) ISD
Beth Trimble, DeSoto (Texas) ISD
Terri Waggoner, Pflugerville, Texas
Jay Warren, Arlington, Texas
Stephanie Zavala, (Water) Fort Worth
Karen Zitomer, Roswell, Ga.
Two additional students will receive certificates later this year.

The curriculum offers leadership training and coursework designed for the complexities and challenges of communicating with residents and stakeholders specifically for professionals working for cities, counties, school districts and other public and public-private agencies.The third cohort is already underway with 24 participants stretching nationwide to include representatives from cities and counties in Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas, plus from several schools, school districts and colleges in Texas.

Since 2013 TCU has partnered with TAMIO to offer this first-of-its-kind program to public information professionals. Early in 2015, another group joined the partnership: The National Association of County Information Officers.

ABOUT TAMIO: TAMIO is an affiliate of the Texas Municipal League, which represents some 98 percent of Texas’ urban population through its more than 1,000 member cities and towns. Organized in 1913 as an information association of 14 municipalities, TML today is a progressive, multi-million dollar enterprise offering a wide variety of services to Texas cities. As partners, TML and TAMIO offer the best in representation and assistance to cities and their respective colleagues.

ABOUT TCU’s SCHOOL OF STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION: Based in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication, the school serves about 400 undergraduate and master’s students studying advertising and public relations through an integrated curriculum. The school, with 13 full-time faculty members, has offered the Certified Public Communicator program since 2013. For more information about the school, please visit ; for more information about the certificate program, please visit

TCU Honors Ceremony

Very proud of Shelly Crossland for completing her thesis in May and graduating with honors from TCU – it was so fun to work together on her project related to social media use by non-profits. Now it is time for her to go do awesome stuff out in the real world!

Social Media Fatigue

I am very excited to announce that my most recent research, conducted with Susan Kleiser and Stacy Grau, is now available through Computers in Human Behavior. Here is a preview …

Title: “Too Much Facebook?: An exploratory examination of social media fatigue”

Authors: Laura F. Bright, Susan Bardi Kleiser, and Stacy Landreth Grau

Abstract: Social media usage levels continue to climb generating copious amounts of content. As more people crowd social media (e.g. Facebook), and create content, some research points to the existence of a concept called social media fatigue. Social media fatigue is defined as a user’s tendency to back away from social media participation when s/he becomes overwhelmed with information. Lang’s (2000) limited capacity model is used to understand the role of information overload for social media fatigue. This research examines the concept of social media fatigue and its proposed antecedents: social media efficacy, helpfulness, confidence and privacy concerns. Using confirmatory regression, this research determined that privacy concerns and confidence have the greatest predictive value for social media fatigue. This paper has theoretical implications for not only LCM but also other technology acceptance models such as TAM and UTAUT and UTAUT2. It also has implications for those trying to engage with online audiences and their subsequent reactions to that attempt at engagement. Several future research ideas are explored as well.

Texas Media Sweet 16 Reunion

It was excellent to be part of the Texas Media Sweet Sixteen Homecoming Event in October at the new Belo Center for Media at UT Austin. Not only was it great to see old friends and faculty, I was also lucky to receive the award for being from the earliest Texas Media cohort. Looking forward to the next reunion!
(Photo Credit: Laura Kincaid)

Research Meditation

Most academics I know use the summer as a period of research hibernation – all of those projects and ideas that couldn’t get executed during the school year come alive during the dog days of summer.

In this spirit, here is a nice relaxing video to get your mind settled before you begin – it was taken on the grounds of the Kimbell Museum of Art in Fort Worth, Texas. You can have the place almost entirely to yourself on a weekday evening :).

The UT PhD Crew

A happy reunion of UT Austin PhD graduates at the recent American Academy of Advertising conference in Atlanta, Georgia. From right to left: Harsha Gangadharbatla, Mark Yi-Cheon Kim, Steve Edwards, Glenn Griffin, Jennifer Ball, Laura Bright, and Barbara Phillips.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Jef Richards.

Exciting News at TCU!

The Strategic Communication faculty at Texas Christian University (TCU) is excited to announce the launch of the School of Strategic Communication effective June 1, 2014. The School of Strategic Communication will be part of the newly formed Bob Schieffer College of Communication, which also includes the School of Journalism and the departments of Communication Studies and Film-Television-Digital Media.

Strategic Communication majors can pursue advertising, public relations, or integrated degree plans and have access to a variety of programs including the National Student Advertising Competition, a student-driven strategic communication agency (Roxo), and the PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition.

For more information, visit

Recent Activity from Fall 2013

It has been another busy Fall with many fun projects underway in the areas of research and teaching. Here are a few things I have been working on this semester:

  • Bright, Laura F. (2014 – forthcoming). Taming the Information Beast: Content Customization and Its Impact on Media Enjoyment. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Vol. IV, Issue 3 (July 2014).
  • Landreth-Grau, Stacy, Laura F. Bright, Kelty Logan, Chris Wilson, and Arnel Santiago (2014). So Long Don Draper?: Account Planning, Big Data and the Implications Inside and Outside the Advertising Classroom. American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, March 27th – 30th, 2014.
  • Logan, Kelty, and Laura F. Bright (2014 – forthcoming). Deal Me In!: Assessing Consumer Response to Daily-Deal Websites. International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising (Details coming soon).
  • Ranked as one of “Top Marketing Professors on Twitter” by Social Media Magazine
  • Continued launch of new co-teaching format of Research and Evaluation course
  • Launched Digital Academy Internship Program with Online Performance Marketing
  • Launched second cohort for Certified Public Communicator Program at TCU

Happy holidays!

Certified Public Communicator Program Launches at TCU

After a year of hard work, lots of meetings and planning, I am proud to announce the launch of the Certified Public Communicator Program at TCU!

My colleague,Dr. Jacque Lambiase, is the master mind behind this innovative new program that offers public information officers a place to learn and hone their skills in strategic communication. The program is the first of its kind to be offered to communication professionals who work in city, county and public sector agencies. The CPC program is a partnership of TCU’s Schieffer School of Journalism, Extended Education, and the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers.

The Certified Public Communicator Program at TCU is a post-baccalaureate, graduate-level residential program for two summers (one week each in 2013 and 2014), plus a two-day winter session with strategic communication professors from TCU’s Schieffer School of Journalism.

Professional communicators working for city, county, and public-sector agencies create three-year comprehensive communication plans for their organizations during the program.

I am excited to be a member of the core team launching this program in July 2013. If you are interested in the program or want to learn more, visit our website at

Fall 2012 Activity

Classes are finally wrapped up, grades are in, and it is time to take a few weeks to relax and recuperate before things kick off again in mid-January. It was a very busy fall semester but lots of things were accomplished – here are the highlights:

  • Bright, Laura F. (2013). Taming the Information Beast: Content Customization and Its Impact on Media Enjoyment for Online Consumers. American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 4 – 7.
  • Bright, Laura F., and Glenn Griffin (2013). Finding Synergy: How Creative and Media Can (and Should) Work Together. American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico, April 4 – 7.
  • Cunningham, Nicole, and Laura F. Bright (2012 – in press). The Tweet is in Your Court: Measuring the Effectiveness of Athlete Endorsements in Social Media. International Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications.
  • Lambiase, Jacqueline, and Laura F. Bright (2012). Beyond the Basics: How Social Media Can Change Your City for the Better. 100th Texas Municipal League Annual Conference, Grapevine, Texas, November 14th.
  • Logan, Kelty, Laura F. Bright, and Harsha Gangadharbatla (2012). Facebook Versus Television: Advertising Value Perceptions Among Females. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 6(3), pp. 164 – 179.
  • Ranked in “Top Marketing Professors on Twitter” by Social Media Marketing Magazine
  • Ranked in “Top 100 Web Savvy Professors” by Best Online Universities
  • Successful launch of the Certified Public Communicator Program with Dr. Jacqueline Lambiase at TCU Extended Education

More to come in the spring … until then, have a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!

Blog Feeds to Follow

As we all know, the flow of information we deal with each day can easily become very overwhelming. Many years ago I adopted Google Reader to help manage the blogs and websites I enjoy following – it allows me to organize my feeds by topic area while always being up to date on the latest content. In this regard, it has been a huge timesaver as it aggregates information into a central location – it is my own personalized daily newspaper!

Here are a few blogs / online media outlets that I enjoy following. This is not a definitive list by any stretch – I am always adding new sites, trying them out and then amending the list when I need to:

Blog / Online Media List
Ad Age Digital
Advertising Lab
A List Apart
Behavioral Insider
Boxes and Arrows
Conversion Rate Marketing Blog 
Cool Hunting
Daring Fireball
Derek Powazek
Fast Company
Metrics Insider
NYT Media and Advertising
Presentation Zen
Research Brief
Signal vs. Noise
TED: Ideas Worth Spreading

And a few just for fun …
If we don’t, Remember me
Impossible Cool
Nerd Boyfriend
Style Rookie

Hope you find something great to add to your daily feed!

Academic Portfolios

Ask any newly minted PhD who is working as an assistant professor and they will have the same answer for what keeps them up at night … the TENURE portfolio! Of course, this is not the only thing that keeps us up at night (insert manuscripts, conference papers, students, and committees here!) but it does weigh on the psyche quite a bit as you prepare to “go up” for tenure.

To lighten this psychic load, I undertook an academic portfolio workshop this past summer and it was a fabulous experience. The teaching center at TCU offers a course for tenure-track faculty with limited spots available each summer and I was lucky enough to score a spot during the June sessions. Here is basically how it goes …

1) You sign up to participate during a week that is convenient for you with a mentor that seems to fit your situation (Hint: I think it is best to sign up for a mentor completely outside of your area of expertise so you are forced to explain yourself more thoroughly … kind of like you will have to do for the tenure board!)

2) You complete a “Getting Started” guide that outlines all of your accomplishments to date including research, teaching, and service and share that with your mentor before your first meeting.

3) Your portfolio coaching week then starts on a Monday and you meet with your mentor for three hours each day for four days – it is intense, time-consuming, and tiring … but, it lets you talk through each portion of your career and how it relates back to why you are doing what you are doing. Each day you talk about a different topic – i.e., Monday is teaching, Tuesday is research and so on. By the end of the week you have an extensive outline that highlights the BEST work you have done to date with explanations of why you are proud of it!

4) At the close of the workshop you are sent off to create your portfolio. One of the best parts of creating this style of portfolio – it CANNOT be more than 15 – 20 pages of text (excluding appendices). This style forces you to concentrate on the activities and accomplishments that are MOST important to you as an academic. Instead of throwing everything and the kitchen sink into your tenure portfolio you create a concise, focused document that truly highlights who you are as a teacher, scholar and member of the community (WOW).

The process of creating this style of academic portfolio takes between 20 – 30 hours of your time and is documented in this book:
The Academic Portfolio: A Practical Guide to Documenting Teaching, Research, and Service by Peter Seldin and J. Elizabeth Miller (@ Amazon for $30.24)

I highly recommend going through this process if you are struggling with the idea of getting your tenure materials together. Luckily for me, my university encourages this portfolio format and, thanks to this program, I have a head start on getting my materials together. Tenure is a big, stressful deal – having your materials in order and ready to go will no doubt make the process less intense.

And, finally, a shout out to my incredible faculty mentor Dr. Melanie Harris (total bad-ass in the TCU religion department) – thanks for all of the support!

Classroom Technology

Technology in the classroom is always a hot topic in academia and rightfully so – when it is bad it can break your stride during lecture and when it is good it gives you an awesome technology high. As such, I have been on the quest for the ultimate technology setup for the last four years. I am happy to report that I am getting close.

This semester I set out to change the way I deliver my lectures – I vowed to use my iPad as much as possible, bring an “interactive” chalkboard to the classroom, and to not be attached to the podium at the front of the classroom. Here are the tools that have gotten me close to a daily technology high …

1) My new iPad
2) iPad VGA Adapter
3) A nice bluetooth remote
4) These excellent apps –> DropBox, Keynote, and Paper by 53

Using Drop Box, I can easily create lectures on my laptop, upload them to the cloud, and have them available on my iPad whenever I want. The Keynote app for iPad is great and easy to use – I have not created an entire presentation using the app but it is easy for quick edits. It also nicely goes into presentation mode which shows you the current slide, next slide, presenter notes and presentation time. Lastly, the Paper by 53 app has allowed me to bring an interactive chalkboard type presence to the classroom. Instead of using the white board, I can use the Paper app to draw out equations, show formulas, and best of all, I can quickly erase them all when I am done and start over. Using this setup, I can sit with my students and work through problems on the iPad while they watch on the big screen – moving me away from the podium and into a better teaching space.

There are still some tweaks that I need to make to my presentation style but the upgrades I have made this semester are already paying off. I am always looking for new teaching apps that can bring more to the classroom experience – right now, I am starting to experiment with the TED app, iTunes U, and Wolfram Alpha. I will post an update about my teaching trials here again soon. For now, here is a picture of what I take to class – definitely weighs less than my laptop bag (my shoulder thanks me!).

Links to products:
Apple iPad
Apple VGA Adapter
Keynote App
Paper by 53 App
Presentation Remote

Summer Accomplishments

The summer hibernation has paid off this year … here are a few publications and conference papers that have come out over the last couple of months. Fingers are crossed that more are on the way for the fall!

  • Bright, Laura F. and Nicole R. Cunningham (2012). The Tweet is in Your Court: Measuring the Effectiveness of Athlete Endorsements in Social Media. Direct Marketing Education Foundation Research Summit, Las Vegas, NV, October 13 – 14.
  • Bright, Laura F., and Julie O’Neil (2012). Five New Channels & Five New Measures for Non-Profits. DFW Non-Profit Communicators Conference, Fort Worth, Texas, May 18th.
  • Lambiase, Jacqueline, and Laura F. Bright (2012). The Certified Public Communicators Program Proposal and Survey Results. Annual Conference for the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers, Keynote Presentation, Round Rock, TX, June 19 – 21.
  • Logan, Kelty and Laura F. Bright (2012). Deal Me In!: Assessing Consumer Response to Daily Deal Sites. Direct Marketing Education Foundation Research Summit, Las Vegas, NV, October 13 – 14.
  • Logan, Kelty, Laura F. Bright, and Harsha Gangadharbatla (In press – 2012). Facebook Versus Television: Advertising Value Perceptions Among Females. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing (forthcoming in Fall 2012).

Now it is time to enjoy my vacation before school starts in 20 days!

American Advertising Federation Pedagogy Conference

In early June, I presented the top poster for the American Advertising Federation Pedagogy Conference in Austin, Texas. This conference is affiliated with both the AAF Ad Expo and the National Student Advertising Competition. It was a fun weekend watching our TCU team compete in the finals as well as meeting folks who are also interested in social media and pedagogy research.

Summer Hibernation

Now that the loose ends of the spring semester have all been tied it is time to settle into summer hibernation mode in Texas. What does summer hibernation mean for me, you ask? Many days working on research and writing under the cool blast of the air conditioner with my dog Oscar at my feet.

In preparation for the research and writing work I have ahead I took it upon myself to check out a new book on creativity – “Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Ever Told You About Being Creative” by Austin Kleon. The book is spot on and a quick afternoon read. Among my favorite pieces of advice are to “use your hands”, “don’t wait until you know who you are to get started”, and “be boring (it’s the only way to get work done)”. Kleon uses his own advice and adeptly steals like an artist by providing insightful quotes and anecdotes from great minds the world over. Using this information, Kleon weaves a story of his own struggles with creativity and how he finds inspiration to continue doing great work.

As I make my transition from the hectic days of spring into summer hibernation I have one particular quote from the book that keeps bouncing around in my mind: “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work” –Gustave Flaubert (pp.118).

Most who know me can attest that I have the regular and orderly component covered – now it is time to get to work and await flashes of violent originality. Let the hibernation begin!

Recent Work

Here are a few projects I have been working on in recent months. If something peaks your interest, please don’t hesitate to get in touch so that we can discuss it further.

Bright, Laura F. (2012). Advertising Curriculum in 2012 and Beyond: The Future of Media Planning. American Academy of Advertising Annual Conference (Pre-Conference Symposium), Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, March 15 – 18.

Bright, Laura F., and Harsha Gangadharbatla (2012). Hey, Whipple, Tweet This: A Guide to Bridging the Gap Between Social Media Education and Practice in 2012 and Beyond. Advertising Education Federation Annual Pedagogy Conference, Austin, Texas, June 2 – 5.

Cunningham, Nicole, and Laura F. Bright (2012). The Power of a Tweet: An Exploration of Female Perceptions of Celebrity Endorsements on Twitter. American Marketing Association Summer Marketing Educators’ Conference Proceedings, Chicago, IL, August 17 – 19.

Gangadharbatla, Harsha, Kelty Logan, and Laura F. Bright (2012). Just How Valuable is Television Advertising Compared to Advertising in Social Media in the Minds of Consumers?. “What is TV?” Conference, Portland, OR, March 2 – 5.

Landreth-Grau, Stacy, Laura F. Bright, and Susan Bardi Kleiser (2012). Too Much Facebook: An Exploratory Examination of Social Media Fatigue. American Marketing Association Summer Marketing Educators’ Conference, Chicago, IL, August 17 – 19.

More coming soon!