Dr. Marcia DiStaso

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Marcia DiStaso, Ph.D., APR, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Relations at the University of Florida. She is also the Director of IPR’s Digital Media Research Center and an IPR trustee. With a background in financial services and over 13 years of teaching experience, her research focuses on exploring and informing the strategic role of social media. She has won multiple industry awards including a Silver Anvil and MarCom Awards. Plus, she was recognized as the 2016 PRSA Outstanding Educator.

Prior to entering academia, DiStaso worked in management and as a high-net-worth stock broker for the global investment management firm T. Rowe Price. She also has experience in agency (at Ketchum), nonprofit (at the American Red Cross), and university (at University of South Florida) public relations. She currently has an active consulting business primarily focusing on social media. Additionally, she has taught in higher education for over eleven years including appointments at the University of South Florida, the University of Miami, and Pennsylvania State University, where she won the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Promising Professor Award.

DiStaso is very involved with the profession. She is an Arthur W. Page Society member and active in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), especially the Financial Communications section after serving as chair for three years and the Educators Academy where she is the 2015 chair. She also serves as an editorial board member of four journals including the Journal of Public Relations Research and is a research editor for the Institute for Public Relations Science of Social Media Research Center. Plus, she is an advisory board member for the International Public Relations Research Conference and a senior research fellow for the Arthur W. Page Center.

Her public relations campaigns with her students have received national recognition winning: A 2013 Silver Anvil Award of Excellence, Hermes Creative Awards in 2013 and 2014, a 2013 MarCom Award, a 2014 Communitas Award, and was a 2013 IPRA Golden World Award finalist.

DiStaso has been recognized as an AEJMC Emerging Scholar, having Excellence in Research from the College of Communications, and as a top paper award winner. Her research focuses on exploring and informing the practice of social media, financial communication, and investor relations. She has a book on the ethical practice of social media in public relations along with over 70 publications in journals, books, and online outlets. She often presents on social media and her research projects with over 80 presentations around the world.

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