Yi-Ru Regina CHEN Yi-Ru Regina CHEN
Yi-Ru Regina CHEN 陳怡如

Head and Professor

University of Maryland, College Park (PhD)
(852) 3411-5057
CVA Room 905
Advice to Students
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Gandhi

Dr. Yi-Ru Regina Chen (PhD, MA: University of Maryland, College Park) is a professor in public relations. Her research focuses on how public relations can bring mutual values to various organizations (corporations, NPOs, governments) and their stakeholders via strategic communication, especially in the context of greater China. Her research interests include shared value creation, stakeholder engagement in mediated social communication and brand communities, and CSR communication strategies and public trust in business among specific stakeholders. Dr. Chen’s work has been published in Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Computers in Human Behavior, Telematics and Informatics, Information, Communication & Society, Social Science Computer ReviewJournal of Medical Internet Research, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, International Journal of Business Communication, American Behavioral Scientist, and International Journal of Strategic Communication. 

Dr. Chen serves as the committee chair to oversee the James E. Grunig and Larrisa A. Grunig Outstanding Thesis and Dissertation Awards of the Public Relations Division, International Communication Association (ICA). She is currently recruiting doctoral students.


Editorial Boards

Public Relations Review
Journal of Public Relations Research
International Journal of Strategic Communication


Research Interests

Public Relations, Strategic Communication
Social Media Engagement
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Creating Shared Value (CSV)
Purpose-Driven Organizations & Stakeholder Behavioral Change
Social Media Influencer Effects



Selected Journal Articles

Chen, Y. R., Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., & Cheng, Y. (2023). When non-CSR-themed social media influencers endorse branded CSR initiativesPublic Relations Review, 49(1). Article e102288. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2023.102288 [SSCI]

Zhao, X., & Chen, Y. R. (2022). How brand-stakeholder dialogue drives brand-hosted community engagement on social media: A mixed-methods approachComputers in Human Behavior, 131, Article e107208. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2022.107208 [SSCI]

Tsang, S. J., Zhao, X., & Chen, Y. R. (2021). Assessing mechanisms underlying the sharing of official and unofficial information during a pandemicInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(24), Article e13298. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413298 [Scopus]

Cheng, Y., Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., & Chen, Y. R. (2021). Social media influencer effects on CSR communicationInternational Journal of Business Communication. Advanced online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/23294884211035112 [SSCI]

Cheng, Y., Chen, Y. R., & Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F. (2021). Social media influencers in CSR endorsementSocial Science Computer Review, 39(4), 744-761. [SSCI]

Chen, Y. R., & Zhao, X. (2021). Digital dialogue in online brand communities: Examining the social network outcomes of brands’ dialogue with Facebook usersTelematics and Informatics, 57, Article e101507. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tele.2020.101507 [SSCI]

Chen, Y. R., Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., Bowen, S. A., Zerfass, A., Stacks, D., & Boyd, B. (2020). The role of leadership in shared value creation from the public’s perspective: A multi-continental study. Public Relations Review, 46(1), Article e101749. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2018.12.006 [SSCI]

Chen, Y. R., Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., & Chen, X. H. (2020). Moving forward the dialogic theory of public relations: Concepts, methods and applications of organization-public dialoguePublic Relations Review, 46(1), Article e101878. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2019.101878 [SSCI]

Chen, X. H., Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., & Chen, Y. R. (2020). Constructing positive public relations in China: Integrating public relations dimensions, dialogic theory of public relations and the Chinese philosophical thinking of Yin and YangPublic Relations Review, 46(1), Article e101770. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2019.04.004 [SSCI]

Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., & Chen, Y. R. (2020). Explicating trust and its relation to dialogue at a time of divided societies. Public Relations Review, 46(1), Article e101890. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2020.101890 [SSCI]

Chen, Y. R., Cheng, Y., Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., & Jin, Y. (2019). Engaging international publics via mobile-enhanced CSR (mCSR): A cross-national study on stakeholder reactions to corporate disaster relief efforts. American Behavioral Scientist, 63, 1603-1623. [SSCI]

Cheng, Y., Chen, Y. R, Jin, Y., &. Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F. (2019).When CSR meets mobile SNA users in mainland China: An examination of gratifications sought, CSR motives, and relational outcomes in natural disasters. International Journal of Communication, 13, 319-341. [SSCI]

Cheng, Y., Jin, Y., Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., & Chen, Y. R. (2019). Mobile corporate social responsibility (mCSR): Examining publics’ responses to CSR-based initiatives in natural disastersInternational Journal of Strategic Communication, 13, 76-93. [ESCI]

Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., Chen, Y. R., Stacks, D. S., Coombs, W. T., & Boyd, B. (2018).  Creating shared value, public trust, supportive behavior, and communication preferences: A comparison study in the United States and China. Public Relations Journal, 11(4). Available at https://prjournal.instituteforpr.org/

Chen, Y. R. (2018). Strategic donor engagement on mobile social networking sites in China: A study of Chinese millennial WeChat users. Chinese Journal of Communication, 11(1), 26-44. [SSCI]

Chen, Y. R. (2017). Perceived values of branded mobile media, consumer engagement, business-consumer relationship quality and purchase intention: A study of WeChat in China. Public Relations Review, 43, 945-954. [SSCI]

Oh, H. J., Chen, Y. R., & Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F. (2017). Exploring effects of CSR initiatives in strategic post-crisis communication among millennials in China and South Korea. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 11, 379-394. [ESCI]

Sheer, V. C., Mao, C., & Chen, Y. R. (2017). Focus group findings of smoking onset among male youth in China. Substance Use & Misuse, 52(7), 866-874. [SSCI]

Chen, Y. R., Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., & Kim, J.-N. (2017). Identifying active hot-issue communicators and subgroup identifiers: Examining the situational theory of problem solving. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 94, 124-147. [SSCI]

Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., Chen, Y. R., & Boyd, B. (2016). Corporate social responsibility, media source preference, trust, and public engagement: The informed public’s perspective. Public Relations Review, 42, 591-599. [SSCI]

Chen, Y. R., & Schulz, P. J. (2016). The effect of information communication technology on reducing social isolation of the elderly: A systematic review. Journal of Medical and Internet Research, 18(1), e18. Available at  https://www.jmir.org/2016/1/e18/ [SCI Expanded]

Bowen, S., Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., & Chen, Y. R. (2016). Ethics as a precursor to organization-public relationships: Building trust before and during the OPR modelCogent Social Sciences, 2(1), 1141467. Available at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23311886.2016.1141467 [ESCI]

Chen, Y. R., & Fu, J. (2016). How to be heard on microblogs? Nonprofit organization‘s follower networks and post features for information diffusion in China. Information, Communication & Society, 19(7), 978-993. [SSCI]

Selected Book Chapters

Chen, Y. R., Ma, M., & Hung-Baesecke, C. F. J. (2023). The role of internal communication in driving corporate volunteering among Chinese employees: An integrated approach of social influence and volunteering motivations. In N. McCown, R. Men, H. Jiang, & H. Shen (Eds.), Internal communication and employee engagement (pp. 233-252). Routledge.

Chen, Y. R., Hung-Baesecke, C. F. J., & Cheng, Y. (2023). Public relations theory development in China: In the areas of dialogic communication, crisis communication, and CSR communication. In C. Botan & E. J. Summerfeldt (Eds.), Public relations theory III. Routledge.

Hung-Baesecke, C. F. J., Chen, Y. R., & Lan, N. (2021). The Excellence theory – Origins, contribution and critique. In C. Valentini (Ed.), Public relations (pp. 313-334). De Gruyter Mouton.

Hung-Baesecke, C. J. F., Chen, Y. R., Ngai, C., & Ma, M. (2019). CSR communication. In B. R. Brunner-Johnson (Ed.), Public relations theory: Application and understanding (pp.185-202). John Wiley & Sons.

Chen, Y. R. (2018). Engagement in corporate communication on social media in China. In K. Johnston & M. Taylor (Eds), Handbook of communication engagement (pp. 475-490). John Wiley & Sons. [Peer-reviewed]

Chen, Y. R. (2018). Public relations research on “publics”: Its development and future research directions. In X. Chen, X. Liu, & C. F. J. Hung-Baesecke (Eds), Public relations. Peking University Press. [in Chinese]

. . .



Selected Grants

2023: Arthur W. Page Center of the Penn State University, USA, “Creating Shared Purpose, Dialogic Communication, Organizational Listening and Tensions: Exploring the Role of Communication to Resolve Ageing-Care Problems in Australia and New Zealand,” Legacy Scholar Grant.

2018: Hong Kong Research Grants Council, “Doing Good while Playing: The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Gamification on Chinese Employee Response,” General Research Fund.

2016: Hong Kong Research Grants Council, “Comparative Strategic Communication Research,” Germany/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme.

2016: Arthur W. Page Center of the Penn State University, USA, “Transforming CSR: Creating Shared Value, Trust and Perceived CEO Quality in the US, Germany and China,” Legacy Scholar Grant.

Selected Awards & Honors

2023: Research Fellow, INTI International University, Malaysia

2018: International Communication Association (Public Relations Division), Top Faculty Papers

2018: International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC), Brigham Young University Top Ethics Paper Award

2023, 2015-2017: Arthur W. Page Center, Page Legacy Scholar

2016: Institute for Public Relations (IPR) in the United States, Research Fellow of the Behavioral Insights Research Center

2015: International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC), Koichi Yamaura International Strategic Communication Award

2014: International Communication Association (Public Relations Division), Top Faculty Papers

2006: International Communication Association (Public Relations Division), Robert Heath Award


Media interviews

July 2015, The challenge of social media in China by SBS Radio (Australia), http://www.sbs.com.au/radio/article/2015/07/13/challenge-social-media-china