How public relations practitioners at historically black colleges & universities define influence
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This study is a replication and extension of the Influence Interviews conducted by Berger and Reber. Their study, conducted in 2004, interviewed 65 public relations professionals to examine how practitioners defined influence. The current study examined how public relations practitioners at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) define influence within the practice. Analysis of interviews with twenty-five practitioners, representing roughly one-fourth of all HBCUs today, found that practitioners at HBCUs define influence in many of the same ways as their counterparts in other areas of public relations. More often than not, practitioners deemed influence as having a seat at the decision-making table, which essentially represents an opportunity for one’s voice to be heard and recommendations to be taken into consideration. Other important factors mentioned, but the most consistent response was having direct access to the president and upper levels of administration.