Nicholas Browning

Assistant Professor of Public Relations

Contact Information

  • Office:
    Franklin Hall, Room M130F (Stack 4)
  • Office Hours:
    Spring 2019: TR, 1 - 2 p.m.
  • Email:
  • Phone:
  • Website:
    Curriculum Vitae

  • Research and Creative Interests

    Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Reputation Management, Political Communication, Public Relations, Corporate Social Performance, Organizational Advocacy, Strategic Communication,



    Professor Browning teaches and researches in the field of public relations. Before arriving at IU, he taught PR courses at the University of Louisville and the University of Georgia. He is an experienced instructor of introductory PR courses as well as skills-based courses in writing and campaigns. He has also taught mass communication theory, as well as courses that examine the role of mass media in producing societal change. As an assistant professor at IU, he teaches the following courses:

    -- MSCH C-208/R-321: Principles of Public Relations

    -- MSCH R-349: Public Relations Writing

    -- MSCH R-429: Public Relations Campaigns

    -- MSCH J-560: Introduction to Strategic Communication (graduate seminar)



    Browning's research focuses on organization-public relationships (OPRs); more specifically, the impacts organizational ethics and actions have on these relationships within business and political contexts. His scholarship is informed by a variety of questions derived from these interests: What factors govern stable relationships? How do organizations manage these factors to their benefit? How is power obtained and leveraged within these relationships? And how can ethical behavior be nurtured to promote societal good? While these questions and themes permeate his various scholarly endeavors, his research agenda is perhaps best categorized as spanning three main areas: communication, business, and PR ethics; PR-centric perspectives on reputation management, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and organizational advocacy; and political public relations.



    Browning, N. (2018). Ethics and the Profession: The Evolution of PR Practice from Association to Accreditation, 1936-1964. American Journalism, 35(2), 140-170. doi: 10.1080/08821127.2018.1455400

    Browning, N., Gogo, O., & Kimmel, M. (2018). Comprehending CSR Messages: Applying the Elaboration Likelihood Model. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 23(1), 17-34. doi: 10.1108/CCIJ-07-2017-0068

    Cacciatore, M.A., Browning, N., Scheufele, D.A., Brossard, D., Xenos, M.A., & Corley, E.A. (2018). Opposing Ends of the Spectrum: Exploring Trust in Scientific and Religious Authorities. Public Understanding of Science, 27(1), 11-28. doi: 10.1177/0963662516661090

    Sweetser, K. D., & Browning, N. (2017). Credibility or Credulity? Examining Political Organization-Public Relationships in an Election of Interloping Candidates. Journal of Public Relations Research, 29(5), 200-218. doi: 10.1080/1062726X.2017.1388240

    Browning, N. (2015). The Ethics of Two-Way Symmetry and the Dilemmas of Dialogic Kantianism. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 30(1), 3-18. doi: 10.1080/08900523.2014.985295

    Browning, N., & Sweetser, K. D. (2014). The Let Down Effect: Satisfaction, Motivation, and Credibility Assessments of Political Infotainment. American Behavioral Scientist, 58(6), 810-826. doi: 10.1177/0002764213515227

    Browning, N. (2011). Mad Money Madness: Jim Cramer's Image Restoration Effort. Public Relations Review, 37(2), 184-186. doi: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2011.01.009



    Browning earned his Ph.D. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Grady College at the University of Georgia. As an undergraduate he studied communication, English, psychology, and philosophy at the University of Louisville.