2000 Ketchum Excellence in PR Research Award Winner
Maria E. Len-Rios
University of Georgia
How do corporate-sponsored Web sites serve to enhance and maintain the corporation’s relationships with customers or Web site users? How do Web sites build a sense of “community” (or “family”) so that users become involved online on the organization’s behalf?
The purpose of this paper is to propose a new research methodology, based on established theory and tested scale techniques, for evaluating organization-public relationships, and particularly those conducted in an online environment. Corporate or organizational Web sites are defined and their would-be users explored. Next, an outline is presented of research done thus far on organization-public relationship measurement tools. This is followed by an explanation of the rules-based theory used here for relationship measurement. The research method is then provided with illustrations of how it was adapted to two different types of Web sites. Lastly, findings are introduced and discussed.