Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Michael Mitrook


Decision Making, Developing practitioners, Excellent Leadership, Experience, Public Relations


To better understand excellent leadership in public relations (PR) of developing and experienced PR practitioners, this study focuses on the important qualities and dimensions of excellent leadership practitioners. This study continues on the work of Meng, Berger, Gower, and Heyman (2012) in their attempt to advance understanding of leadership in the PR field.

According to the study's participants (N = 72): strategic decision-making capability, problem-solving ability, and communication knowledge and expertise are the three most important qualities of excellent leadership. Moreover, respondents rated that communication skills training, individual initiative and desire, and on-the-job experiences lead to excellent PR leadership. About half of the respondents indicated that PR leadership differs in three ways from leadership in other fields: ability to strategically construct messages, possession of comprehensive vision of how communication connects an organization to its publics in the larger social system, and the possession of an unwavering belief in the importance of honest and ethical organization communications and actions.

Minimal differences between the importance levels of excellent PR leadership variables are noted; all the excellent PR leadership variables clustered around the "very important" score. It is presumed that one's stance toward excellent PR leadership reflects the current deficiency or the lack of experience one is experiencing in the realm of PR leadership.