Nathan Gilkerson
Dr. Nathan GilkersonMarquette University

Johnston Hall, 323

MilwaukeeWI53201United States of America
(414) 288-4152

Associate Professor and Chair

Communication Studies and Strategic Communication


Ph.D., Mass Communication, University of Minnesota
B.A., English and Psychology, Luther College

Courses Taught

ADPR 2200 Media Writing
CCOM 2000 Issues in Corporate Communication
COMM 6931 Corporate Advocacy
PURE 1800 Principles of Public Relations
PURE 3800 Public Relations Strategies
PURE 4997 Public Relations Campaigns

Research Interests

Political Communication and Political PR
Social Media and Online Political Activism
Public Relations Measurement and Evaluation
Health Communication and Anti-Binge Drinking Campaigns
Entertainment Media and Political Satire

Professional Experience

Senior Account Executive, North Woods Advertising, Minneapolis, MN, 2005-2007
Account Executive, Himle Horner Public Relations, Minneapolis, MN, 2003-2005
Deputy Communications Director, South Dakota Democratic Party, 2002
Press Assistant, U.S. Senator Tim Johnson, 2001

Professional Affiliations

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Public Relations Society of America

Selected Publications

Gilkerson, N. D., Swenson, R., & Likely, F. (2019). Maturity as a way forward for improving organizations’ communication evaluation and measurement practices. Journal of Communication Management, 23(3), 246–264.

Gilkerson, N. (2019). The Internet Asks: Why Are There No Science Shirts for Girls? Examining A Retailer’s Marketing Misstep and Public Relations Success. In Foss, K. (Ed.), Beyond Princess Culture: Gender and Children’s Marketing. Peter Lang.

Gilkerson, N. (2019). The Lands’ End Content Marketing Debacle: A Cautionary Tale of a Retailer’s Inadvertent Foray into Polarized Politics. In B. Brunner & C. Hickerson (Eds.), Cases in Public Relations: Translating Ethics into Action. Oxford University Press.

Swenson, R., Gilkerson, N., Anderson, F., Likely, F., & Ziviani, M. (2019). Insights from Industry Leaders: A Maturity Model for Strengthening Communication Measurement and Evaluation. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 13(1), 1-21.

Gilkerson, N., Anderson, B., & Swenson, R. (2018). Work-Life Balance 2.0? An Examination of Social Media Management Practice and Agency Employee Coping Strategies in a 24/7 Social World. Public Relations Journal, 12(2).

Wolburg, J., & Gilkerson, N. (2018). ‘The Ultimate Cliffhanger:’ Campaign strategies and extreme Drinking Rituals for Turning 21. Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, 40(1), 20-35.

Schriner, M., Swenson, R., & Gilkerson, N. (2017). Outputs or outcomes? Assessing Public Relations Practices in Evaluation of PR campaigns. Public Relations Journal, 11(1).

Gilkerson, N. (2017). Posting, sharing, and tweeting a brand’s politics: Social media and the recent evolution of online corporate activism. In Burns, K.S. (Ed.), Social Media: A Reference Handbook, Vol 1, (pp. 149-154). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Gilkerson, N., Berg, K.T. (2017). Social media, hashtag hijacking, and the evolution of an activist group strategy. In L. Austin &Y. Jin (Eds.), Social Media and Crisis Communication. Taylor & Francis/Routledge.

Anderson, B., Swenson, R., & Gilkerson, N. (2016). “Dialoguing about Rules of Engagement on the Digital Front Lines: Advancing Theory through Communication Experts’ Use of Interactive Writing to Build Relationships.” International Journal of Communication, 10, 4095–4118.

Gilkerson, N., Swenson, R., & Anderson, B. (2016). “Farmed and Dangerous? A Case Study of Chipotle’s Branded Entertainment Series and Polarized Reactions to its Satirical Depiction of Farming and Agribusiness.” Journal of Applied Communications, 100(3), 106–120.

Swenson, R., Gilkerson, N., & Anderson, B. (2016). “Taking Food Fights Online: Analysis of Chipotle’s Attempt to Cultivate Conversation with “The Scarecrow” Video.” Public Relations Review, 42(4), 695–697.

Gilkerson, N. D., & Southwell, B. G. (2016). Interpersonal communication and political campaigns. In C. R. Berger & M. E. Roloff (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Communication. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Gilkerson, N. D., Southwell, B.G. (2016). Interpersonal communication. In Mazzoleni, et al. (Eds.) The International Encyclopedia of Political Communication. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley- Blackwell.

LaMarre, H. L., Landreville, K. D., Young, D., & Gilkerson, N. (2014). Humor Works in FunnyWays: Examining Satirical Tone as a Key Determinant in Political Humor Message Processing. Mass Communication and Society, 17(3), 400–423. doi:10.1080/15205436.2014.891137

Gilkerson, N.D., Gross, M., & Ahneman, A. (2013). “‘The Other Hangover’: A Case Study in Implementing and Evaluating an Original, Student-Designed Campaign to Curb Binge Drinking.” Case Studies in Strategic Communication, 2, 93-131.

Southwell, B.G., Gilkerson, N.D., Depue, J.B., Shelton, A.K., Friedenberg, L.M., & Koutstaal, W. (2010). “Aging and the Questionable Validity of Recognition-Based Exposure Measurement.” Communication Research, 37(5), 603-619.

Recent Presentations and Papers

Gilkerson, N., Swenson, R., Likely, F., Anderson, F.W., & Ziviani, M. (2019, March). “Insider Perceptions of Communications Department Value: Measurement and Evaluation Practice as a Driver of Organizational Influence, Authority and Success.” International Public Relations Research Conference, Orlando, FL.

Swenson, R., & Gilkerson, N. (2018, May). “Common Gaps and Pitfalls in Daily Evaluation Practices.” New Voices in PR Evaluation: Innovative Approaches and New Research Avenues for a Field in Stasis.” 68th Annual International Communication Association Conference, Prague, Czech Republic.