Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations


Public Relations & Advertising


Ric Edelman College of Communication & Creative Arts


Bagin, Don


Communication in personnel management; Electronic mail messages; Publishers and publishing--Employees


Public Relations and Advertising


The purpose of this study was to determine how employees in the publishing industry prefer to receive information from their managers and whether face-to-face communication is still valued in today's technology-focused society.

Using a mail survey, developed after a Lexis-Nexis literature review at Rowan University, the author polled 163 employees from three Philadelphia-area publishing companies regarding the channels through which they preferred to receive messages from their managers. The author hand-coded the survey results, analyzed the data and developed conclusions and recommendations.

The study found that employees (72.1%) preferred to receive messages through face-to-face communication. Men (8.3%) were more likely to prefer a paper memo than women (4.0%) while women (21.5%) were more likely to prefer e-mail than men (17.2%). More than 25% of 18 to 25 year-old respondents, 21.0% of 26 to 34 year-old respondents, 21.1% of 35 to 49 year-old respondents and 17% of respondents 50 years and older preferred e-mail communication. The number of years experience did not significantly impact preference for one channel over another.

Overall, men tended to prefer more traditional forms of communication (paper memo, face-to-face) than women. Young employees were more likely to prefer e-mail communication than older employees. Regardless of age, gender and experience, respondents most often chose face-to-face communication as their preferred method of receiving information from managers.