William J. Gonzenbach, Ph.D., is a professor in the Advertising and Public Relations Department and a fellow in the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.
He holds a doctorate in mass communication research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Gannett Foundation Scholar and a Vermont Royster/Dow Jones Fellow. He has a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Gonzenbach served as the chair of the APR Department for seven years and as associate director of the College’s Institute for Communication and Information Research for 12 years. Gonzenbach has worked as a communications research consultant and as a public relations consultant for more than 25 years in Indiana, North Carolina and Alabama, serving such clients as AT&T, Time Warner’s Southern Living, Cooking Light and Health magazines, Randall Communications’ Equipment World and Overdrive magazines, Business Council of Alabama, Waste Management, Inc., John Deere Corp., Coachman Industries, The Birmingham News, Congoleum Corp., Caterpillar, Vermeer Manufacturing and Wacker Corp.
His current research interests focus on the relationship among the media, public relations and public opinion formation. His research publications include articles in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, International Journal of Strategic Communication, Political Communication, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Communication and Gazette. He has made numerous conference presentations on media effects, public opinion and public relations, including presentations to the World Association of Public Opinion Research and the Republican National Committee. He has published a book about public opinion and the drug issue, entitled The Media, The President and Public Opinion: A Longitudinal Analysis of the Drug Issue, 1984-1991 and is co-author of an introductory mass communication text. Gonzenbach also served as associate and managing editor of International Journal of Public Opinion Research.