Calling Dr. Jekyll, not Mr. Hyde: Effects of Bridging Strategy on Relational Outcomes, Perceptions and Supportive Communication Behaviors by Staunch and Hostile Publics

Publication Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



This study focuses on students as potential extreme publics – staunch publics, or those who evaluate a highly positive relationship with the university, and hostile publics, those who evaluate highly negative relationship with the university. The impact of the university’s communication strategy on perceptions of authenticity, likelihood of being staunch or hostile publics, reputation, and student publics’ communicative actions for or against the university were examined. Surveys conducted with 611 university students reveal that students are more likely to be staunch supporters of the university when the latter adopts a bridging strategy. These staunch publics were also more likely to engage in positive communicative actions about the university. Conversely, hostile publics, those who evaluated their relationships with the university negatively, were more likely to engage in negative communicative actions. Finally when students see their relationships with the university as communal relationship, they are more to them to engage in positive communication actions while publics in exchange relationship are more likely to engage in negative communicative actions. Practical implications for public relations practitioners, including recommendations about communication practice to encourage more publics to become fans are discussed.



Research Areas

Corporate Communication


International Communication Association

City or Country

San Juan, Puerto Rico

This document is currently not available here.