Public relations (PR) is considered a fast-paced and dynamic industry, but do gender differences in the communication styles of men and women hinder the practice of PR? If communication styles were more in sync with one another, could the work of PR practitioners improve? How do these differences influence workplace communication and the development of PR campaigns or projects?

As part of her Ph.D program through the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, University of Wisconsin River Falls marketing communications faculty member Amelia Reigstad is exploring these questions and conducting research to determine whether this is the case in the Twin Cities. The aim of her study is to explore whether gender and the different communication styles of men and women influence workplace communication and how PR activities are performed within PR firms and internal PR departments.

“As a faculty member and former PR practitioner, I have always been intrigued with gender and how men and women communicate with one another,” said Reigstad. “The study and practice of PR woven together with the concepts of gender, power and communication styles have the ability to manifest into a new body of knowledge within the PR industry and I am excited to initiate this type of conversation.”

Her study will specifically focus on what role gender and communication styles have on the practice of PR, how men and women work in groups, brainstorm, generate ideas, use language and develop public relations tasks, projects and campaigns. The study will also address how PR practitioners use internal power and status to position themselves for advancement within the industry.

Reigstad is looking for PR practitioners, employed in either an internal department or PR agency, who would be interested in participating in a 60 to 90 minute interview during the summer months. The interview schedule is flexible and Reigstad is available to meet at a location convenient to you.

Further details are outlined in a participant information sheet. If you are interested in becoming involved in this study or have any insight you would like to share, email Amelia at

In November, Reigstad will present initial research findings at the IABC Heritage Region Conference in Pittsburg.