How African Americans Make Meaning of Political Messages



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The purpose of this research is to identify how African Americans make meaning to political messages and what factors influence African Americans’ perception about political involvement. The study included 15 face-to-face semi-structured interviews with African Americans. The situational theory of publics guided the research questions, data collection, and analysis to explore the applicability of this theory in the political arena. The following research will assist public relations practitioners to design political messages tailored to African Americans. Since most of public relations academia neglects the public viewpoint, this study helps overcome the organizational bias by specifically focusing on African American publics. Furthermore, the study reveals the role public relations plays in political communication and how this area is need of further development. Understanding the perceptions of African Americans will help in the construction of political messages, and in turn warrant more political involvement from African Americans and other minority groups.



African Americans, Situational theory of publics