While Extension communication units have seen success in implementing brand strategies to raise awareness of Extension, the public value and need for Extension programming continue to be misunderstood. College students have the potential to ensure the future of Extension is viable. To expose undergraduate students to the brand and value of Extension, a public relations seminar was developed and delivered by a state Extension specialist to 95 students enrolled in an agricultural technical writing course at a land-grant university. The seminar served as a treatment in the quasi-experimental design, which included information about the land-grant mission, Extension resources, and potential careers related to Extension. Findings revealed that the public relations seminar had a significant impact on the students’ awareness and value of Extension and their consideration of Extension as a career. Implications from this study support strategic public relations having a positive, short-term impact on students’ perceptions of Extension. While future research should explore the long-term impacts of public relations on students’ perceptions of Extension, it is recommended that Extension professionals and agricultural communicators implement public relations activities targeting undergraduate students and use brand advocates, like Extension specialists, to elevate the brand.
Baker, L. M.,
Zagonel, A. M.,
Lindsey, A. B.
(2023). Rewarding Relationships: A Quasi-Experimental Design Evaluating the Impact of an Extension Public Relations Seminar.
Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 11(1), 4.
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