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G. Clayton Stoldt

John Humenik is the executive director of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Humenik has more than 30 years of experience in athletic communications, including stints as the sports information director at Princeton, Michigan, and Florida. Before assuming the new position with CoSIDA, Humenik was a senior manager for Sports Publishing LLC, a publisher of sports-related books. Humenik is already a member of the CoSIDA Hall of Fame, and he received the organization’s highest honor for professional accomplishment, the Arch Ward Award, in 1994. Established in 1957, CoSIDA has more than 2,300 members, most of whom work in college athletics public relations positions.

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G. Clayton Stoldt and Mark Vermillion

Employing an organizational public relations (PR) roles typology, this study addressed differences in the professional use and perceptions of social media based on the primary PR roles of college athletics communicators. Data were gathered via an online survey of members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (N = 518). Results indicated that those in management roles spent significantly more time working with blogs and social media than technicians did. Managers and technicians also differed significantly in several ways regarding their perceptions of the impact of social media and their relationship with traditional mainstream media. The findings contribute to an understanding of how PR roles have evolved in the era of social media, as well as role-related dynamics specific to social media in college sport PR.

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Martin M. Perline and G. Clayton Stoldt

The purpose of this paper was to measure the change in competitive balance for women’s basketball as a conference merges and changes its membership. Specifically, we surveyed the changes in competitive balance as the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference was merged into the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC). While competitive balance may not have been the primary reason for the merger, it tended to increase fan interest and was, therefore, considered desirable by member institutions. Three measures of competitive balance were used, producing mixed results. However, there was arguably a more competitive balance after the merger, because there tended to be more predictably perennial winners and losers in the Gateway than the MVC.

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Stephen W. Dittmore, G. Clayton Stoldt and T. Christopher Greenwell

This case study explores the use a Major League Baseball team’s organizational weblog. Organizational weblogs are forums for the 2-way exchange of information and commentary between an organization and its publics. Most sport organizations, however, have yet to embrace the weblog as a form of organizational communication. Recent research suggests a greater need to understand how sport organizations might use weblogs to outreach to target audiences from a communications perspective. This study assesses whether readers perceive an organization’s official weblog to be an effective form of 2-way communication and profiles the readers of an organizational weblog based on demographics, consumption patterns, and points of attachment. Results showed that readers perceived the organizational weblog to be highly conversational and effective at communicating organizational commitment. In addition, readers were voracious media consumers of the team’s games, repeat ticket customers, and highly identified, both with the sport and with the team.

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G. Clayton Stoldt, Lori K. Miller and Mark Vermillion

The purposes of this study were to gain insights regarding how sport public relations practitioners in the United States define public relations goals, identify linkages between the public relations function and overall organizational goals, and evaluate public relations’ effectiveness. Using a modified approach to a method first employed by Hon (1997, 1998), the investigators queried 30 public relations professionals in diverse sport settings. Findings indicated that achieving some sort of outcome with an intended audience, although those outcomes varied, was the most common goal. Respondents also indicated that there were linkages between public relations and organizational goals, although the nature of those linkages was not always specified. The most common method of evaluating public relations was tracking media coverage.