SCOM Alumna Presents Environmental Communication Research at International PR Conference

Written by Elizabeth Schutte

Courtnee Connon, a two-time alumna of the School of Communication, presented her doctoral research at the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC) in March. Connon, a doctoral student at the University of Maryland, currently investigates environmental nonprofits on a national level, looking specifically at their social media posts and press releases to see whether they speak about climate justice in an authentic and race-centered way.

“At the end of the day we want the good things to happen but there are ethical considerations about how we talk about [environmental] issues,” Connon said. In conducting her research, Connon has found that national environmental nonprofits are trying to accomplish authentic and race-centered goals while balancing the limitations that exist from a communication perspective.

The IPRRC was her first research conference. Overall, Connon found the atmosphere of the conference to be conversational, and it provided her with an opportunity to talk about her research with like-minded people who could appreciate the same topics that she enjoys discussing.

Connon called on her experience at Florida State as one of the primary factors that led her to pursue a Ph.D. and conduct the research she presented at the conference. “FSU is where I gained my love of research and the role it plays in the PR industry,” Connon said. After completing her Ph.D., Connon plans to work with environmental nonprofits in a leadership role doing research-oriented communication work.