The great thing about strategic communication right now is how quickly it’s changing and evolving. Every day someone tries something else–a new platform, a different tactic, a new way to apply an old strategy–and it changes what that you thought you knew into something different.

My previous experience in the public relations field led me to where I am today as a New Media Professor of public relations. I have experience as a former PR writer for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, PR specialist for the American Camping Association and photography and publicity assistant for Common Wealth Development. In 2017, I was named one of five Josiah Meigs Professors at UGA and am a recipient of top research awards in the public relations field, including the Pathfinder Award from the Institute of Public Relations.

My research is on the history of public relations, which I think gives me a really different perspective on digital media from most people. On one hand, it’s just the latest in a long line of technological innovations in how we communicate, but on the other hand, its two-way nature does make it different. I have authored The Voice of Business: Hill and Knowlton and Postwar Public Relations. I have also been able to write articles for Communication Yearbook, Journal of PR Research, Public Relations Review, Business History Review, American Journalism and Journalism Monographs and delivered numerous conference papers. Her book, Promoting Monopoly: AT&T and the Politics of Public Relations, 1876-1941, was published in 2020.

I hope my students learn to read critically, form their own opinions, and use evidence to support their views. I also hope they consider the consequences of communication and put ethical communication in the forefront of strategic decision making.

When I am not teaching I try to travel whenever I can, read books as much as possible and hang out with my teenage daughter and our dog.

Karen Russell
Education: 
  • Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.A., Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • B.A., Mass Communication, University of West Georgia
Department: 
New Media Institute