The purpose of this research is to identify best practices for public relations professionals when engaging with a Millennial performing arts audience, focusing on Hon and Grunig's relationship management theory (1999) and Kent and Taylor’s theory of dialogic communication (2014) to build interactivity in a digital space. Performing arts organizations have successfully engaged with previous generations, but are facing new challenges when communicating with millennial audiences. Changing demographics have led to a stagnation and decline of performing arts attendance as the millennial generation has come of age. This massive population has new priorities for spending and consumption of entertainment, and social media is their preferred channel of communication as opposed to print and broadcast media. The researcher distributed a survey to patrons of the Orlando Shakespeare theatre to identify their perspectives of current public relations practices. Results from 148 respondents indicated that the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre maintains strong relationships with Millennials (N=6) and non-Millennials alike, as made evident by their practice of Baumgarth's cultural consumer behaviors (2014). However, a larger sample of Millennial patrons is necessary to determine best practices for the specific population. The primary product of this research is the creation of a theory-driven survey that can be used to effectively measure the depth of a performing arts organization's relationship with its patrons, and a case study exemplifying a successful organization.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Dodd, Melissa


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Sciences


Nicholson School of Communication

Degree Program

Advertising/Public Relations


Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date