Public Relations and Community Support: Assessing Fortune 500 Web Sites

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Virginia Tech


This content analysis examined presence of 47 public relations community support variables on a systematic random sample of 166 Fortune 500 corporate web pages. Three hypotheses and two research questions guided the analysis. Hypotheses predicted (1) the increased implementation of community support gateway links on corporate web sites since 2000, (2) that corporate industry type influences the Web presence of community support, and (3) that corporate rank influences the Web presence of community support. Research questions analyzed one-way and two-way tool presence as well as community support presence at local, national, and global community levels. Results supported corporate rank as an indicator of community support on corporate web pages; however, results did not support corporate industry as an indicator of community support or the increase of community support presence on corporate web sites. Analysis includes discussion regarding reasons for lack of community support and two-way communication tool presence on corporate web sites. The thesis concludes with recommendations for implementation of two-way public relations community support tools in order to facilitate mutual understanding, trust, and dialogue between a corporation and its local, national, and global communities.



Public Relations, Web Sites, Community Support, Fortune 500, Community Relations