Lucinda Austin

Assistant Professor of Communications
Long 208G
2850 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
laustin@elon.edu (336) 278-5598

Professional Expertise

Health communication, public relations, social media, crisis communication

Brief Biography

Lucinda Austin is an Assistant Professor of Strategic Communications at Elon University where she teaches courses in health communication, strategic communication campaigns, strategic writing, and communications research. Her research focuses on social media’s influence on strategic communication initiatives, namely health and crisis communication, and explores publics’ perspectives in organization-public relationship building. Her dissertation examined rural Appalachian women’s health communication needs and empowerment. Her professional experience includes work for the Center of Risk Communication Research at the University of Maryland and for ICF International, a firm offering communication and health marketing support to Federal government and nonprofit organizations, including the CDC, Department of Health and Human Services, FEMA, and the American Red Cross. Dr. Austin has published work in journals including Communication Research, Journal of Public Relations Research, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Public Relations Review, and Journal of Health Communication. She is recipient of NCA's PRIDE Award, AEJMC's Public Relations Division SuPRstar Award, AEJMC's Promising Professors Award, and the Arthur W. Page Center's Legacy Educator and Legacy Scholar Awards. Dr. Austin earned her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she was recipient of the 2011 Charles Richardson Most Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award and the 2009 Outstanding Teaching Award. 

Education

Ph.D., Communication (Specializations: Public Relations and Health), University of Maryland College Park, 2011

M.A., Communication (Specializations: Public Relations and Health), University of Maryland College Park, 2008

B.A., Communication and Media Studies, Radford University, 2003

Courses Taught

  • COM 312 Strategic Writing
  • COM 337 Health Communications
  • COM 362 Communication Research
  • COM 452 Strategic Campaigns

Publications

Selected recent publications:

Jin, Y., Liu, B. F., Anagondahalli, D., & Austin, L. (2014). Scale development for measuring publics’ emotions in organizational crises. Public Relations Review, 40, 509–518.

Jin, Y., Liu, B. F., & Austin, L. L. (2014). Examining the role of social media in effective crisis management: The effects of crisis origin, information form, and source on publics’ crisis responses. Communication Research, 41, 74-94. 

Jin, Y., Liu, B. F., & Austin, L. L. (2014). Examining the role of social media in effective crisis management: The effects of crisis origin, information form, and source on publics’ crisis responses. In T. Coombs (Ed.), Crisis communication, benchmarks in communication (Volume four: Crisis communication evolves: Digital channels, globalization and critiques). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

Liu, B. F., Jin, Y., & Austin, L. L. (2013). The tendency to tell: Understanding publics’ communicative responses to crisis information form and source. Journal of Public Relations Research, 25, 51-67.

Austin, L. L., Liu, B. F., & Jin, Y. (2012). How audiences seek out crisis information: Exploring the Social-Mediated Crisis Communication Model. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 40(2), 188-207.

Austin, L. L. (2012). Government's use of social media to frame health information: A review of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's social media practices. In S.C. Duhe (Ed.), New Media and Public Relations (2nd ed.), (pp. 209-217). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Liu, B. F., Jin, Y., Austin, L. L., & Janoske, M. (2012). The Social-Mediated Crisis Communication Model: Guidelines for effective crisis management in a changing media landscape. In S.C. Duhe (Ed.), New Media and Public Relations (2nd ed.), (pp. 257-266). New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Liu, B. F., Austin, L. L., & Jin, Y. (2011). How publics respond to crisis communication strategies: The interplay of information form and source. Public Relations Review, 37, 345-353.

Austin, L. L., & Toth, E. L. (2011). Exploring ethics education in global public relations curricula: Analysis of international curricula descriptions and interviews with public relations educators. Public Relations Review, 37, 506-512.

Aldoory, L. & Austin, L. L. (2011). Relationship building and situational publics: Theoretical approaches guiding today’s health public relations. In A.M. Dorsey, K.I. Miller, R. Parrott & T.L. Thompson (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication (2nd ed.), (pp. 132-145). New York, NY: Routledge. 

Austin, L. L., Mitchko, J., Holmes, W., & Freeman, C. (2011). Ensuring individuals have the opportunity to live to their “full potential”: Reframing injury and violence prevention and response. In M. Bran (Ed.) Contemporary case studies in health communication: Theoretical and applied approaches, (pp. 285-298). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.

Austin, L. L. (2010). Framing diversity: A qualitative content analysis of public relations industry publications. Public Relations Review, 36, 298-301.

Austin, L. L., Mitchko, J., Freeman, C., Kirby, S., & Milne, J. (2009). Using framing theory to unite the field of injury and violence prevention and response: “Adding Power to Our Voices.Social Marketing Quarterly, 15(S1), 35-54.

Presentations

Selected recent presentations:

Austin, L., & Jin, Y. (2014). Social media and crisis communication: Explicating the social-mediated crisis communication model. New Agendas in Strategic Communication Conference, Austin, TX.

Austin, L., Liu, B. F., & Jin, Y. (2013). Examining signs of recovery: How senior crisis communicators define organizational crisis recovery. AEJMC Conference, Washington, DC.

Jin, Y., Liu, B. F., Anagondahalli, D., & Austin, L. (2013). Scale development for measuring stakeholder emotions in organizational crises. ICA Conference, London.

Austin, L. L. (2012). Individual and community empowerment through a “Higher Power”:  An exploration of rural Appalachian women’s communication about health, religion, and empowerment. AEJMC Conference, Chicago, IL.

Austin, L. L. (2011). Framing health through government’s use of social media: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ICA Conference, Boston, MA.

Liu, B. F., Austin, L. L., & Jin, Y. (2011). How audiences respond to crisis communication strategies: The interplay of information form and source. ICA Conference, Boston, MA.

Jin, Y., Liu, B. F., & Austin, L. L. (2011). The effects of crisis attribution, information form, and source on publics’ crisis responses: Examining the role of social media in effective crisis management. International Public Relations Research Conference, Miami, FL.

Liu, B. F., Austin, L. L., & Jin, Y. (2010). How publics use social media to communicate during crises: Proposing the Social-mediated Crisis Communication Model. International Public Relations Society of America Conference, Washington, DC.

Austin, L. L., Freeman, C., Mitchko, J. (2010). A multi-level approach to evaluating coordinated communication initiatives: Reframing injury and violence prevention and response. National Conference for Health Communication, Marketing, and Media, Atlanta, GA.

Liu, B. F., & Austin, L. L. (2010). Social-Mediated Crisis Communication Model: Investigating the characteristics and effectiveness of social media in environmental health communications National Conference for Health Communication, Marketing, and Media, Atlanta, GA.

Austin, L. L. & Toth, E. L. (2010). An exploratory search for how ethics is developing in global curricula: Analysis of curricula descriptions and interviews with public relations educators. Presented at the International Public Relations Research Conference, Miami, FL.

Service Activities

Academic Standing Committee
Honor Board
Lumen Prize Advisory Committee
School of Communications Teacher-Scholar Committee
Service Learning Faculty Scholar
Public Health Major Advisory Board

Awards

Selected recent awards and honors:

2014                “SuPRstar” Award for Outstanding Teaching, Public Relations Division, AEJMC
2014                Promising Professors Award, First Place, AEJMC
2014                Arthur W. Page Society Case Study Competition Grand Prize Winner, Faculty Mentor
2014                Page Legacy Scholar Award, Arthur W. Page Center, Pennsylvania State University
2013                “SuPRstar” Award, Public Relations Division, AEJMC
2013                Page Legacy Educator Award, Arthur W. Page Center, Pennsylvania State University
2013                Outstanding Research Poster, Public Relations Division, AEJMC
2013                Faculty Summer Research Fellowship, Elon University
2012                PRIDE Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Relations Education, NCA
2011                Charles Richardson Most Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award, UMD
2011                Grunig Dissertation Research Award, UMD
2011                Jacob K. Goldhaber Travel Award, UMD
2010-2011        Dissertation Fellowship, Department of Communication, UMD
2009                Outstanding Teaching Award, Department of Communication, UMD