JoonSoo Lim is an assistant professor of public relations in the Newhouse School. He received his Master’s in mass communications from Korea University and earned his Ph.D. in mass communications from the University of Florida. Lim is currently teaching Public Relations Research and will be teaching Campaigns in the spring. He says PR Research is essential for students to understand the need and benefit of research skills in planning PR campaigns. In addition to teaching, Lim is doing research on the effects of communications strategies in PR campaigns on achieving public relations goals. He says he usually conducts an experiment to see the effect of different versions of the campaign message on perception and persuasion.


Q: Do you have any particular interests within public relations?

A: I am very interested in PR campaign message strategies and tactics for CSR communication, crisis communication and public health risk communication. I am also interested in the design and creativity in public relations publications.

Q: What motivates you?

A: I am motivated by my passion for keeping abreast of the latest and emerging technology trends and updating my skills in software use. One of the ways I do this is by keeping track of new articles published in academic journals.

Q: What has been your proudest moment in your communications career?

A: I am always proud when my students’ campaign work is used and appreciated by the clients. I was also happy when I was recognized in 2010 by graduating seniors as a professor who “significantly contributed to the success of the students while at the University.” That was a great moment for me as an educator.

When it comes to my research career, I was honored to be named a Page and Johnson Legacy Scholar for the 2012-13 academic year, and awarded the Chaffee and McLeod Top Student Paper Award in 2006 when I earned my Ph.D.

Q: Do you have any fun fact(s) about yourself?

A: I like to travel and visit museums, and bringing my sons is a great educational opportunity for them. The audio and video guides are technological advancements that make the museums more engaging for kids. This summer I took my sons to all the great museums in London, Brussels, and Paris, all in 10 days. I love getting the audio guide when I visit museums because I like understanding the background of the artwork. I also read magazines and non-fiction, and I like the writings of Malcom Gladwell and James Surowiecki, both of whom are staff writers for the New Yorker. 

Q: What is/are your favorite quote(s)?   

A: “Neo, sooner or later you’re going to realize, just as I did, that there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.” This quote gives us insight in relation to achieving public relations goals as well as life goals. We know that there’s a long, bumpy road between awareness and action. It also resonates with a Page principle: “Prove it with action.”

Q: What qualities do you think make a student successful?

A: I learned that successful students have good attitudes in general – attitudes toward the class, the instructor, and classmates. Interestingly, successful students do not sit in the  back. They are good listeners.

Q: What qualities do you think make a person successful?

A: Recently, we heard the inspiring story of Diana Nyad, who at the age of 64 completed the Cuba-to-Florida swim. The New York Times attributes her success to “four years of training, precision planning and single-minded determination.” One needs to have focus and concentration on a single, central goal to succeed and make an impact. We know that he or she who begins many things, finishes but few.

Q: Do you have a personal message for Newhouse students?

A: Read the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal every day. Personally, I learned a lot of useful information from the Media and Marketing section of the Wall Street Journal. We’re living in an information-overload era, and you will waste a lot of time unless you make an effort to separate the wheat from the chaff. I also recommend Zite – a smartphone and tablet app that curates content from reliable sources. You can select some topics of interest – for example, crisis communication, corporate social responsibility, public relations, social media marketing – and the app will deliver the types of articles you like to read.