Penn State Official Sheild
Joe Downing
Assistant Professor, Communication Arts & Sciences (CAS)
The Pennsylvania State University

personal photo
Address York Campus

1031 Edgecomb Avenue

Information Sciences & Technology Center, Rm. 214

York, PA 17403-3398

Office Address ISTC 214

Phone (717) 771-4131
Fax (206) 202-3154

Research Interests | Education | Publications | Professional Affiliations | Courses Taught

Research Interests

How the National Weather Service, through FEMA's Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN), communicates "Imminent Threat" messages to mobile stakeholders

Employee Crisis Response Strategies in For-Profit Organizations

Organizations' Use of Mass Notification Services During a Crisis


Ph.D., Communication, August 1998

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

M.A., Human Communication, December 1993

University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO

B.A., English, Technical Communication, May 1990

University of Maine, Orono, ME

Recent Publications

Refereed Articles

Downing, J., & Casteel, M. (accepted for publication). “What's going on?” Issues and challenges involved in communicating crisis events on college campuses. In S. C. Duhé (Ed.) New Media and Public Relations. New York: Peter Lang.

Downing, J. (2011). Linking communication competence with call center technicians’ up selling skills. Journal of Business Communication, 48(4), 409-425. doi: 10.1177/0021943611414539

Downing, J. (2011). K-12 parents’ attitudes about their school district's mass notification service. Journal of School Public Relations, 32(2), 90-121.

Downing, J. (2007). No greater sacrifice: American Airlines employee crisis response to the September 11 attack. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 35(4), 350-375.

Downing, J. (2007). Using customer contact center technicians to measure the effectiveness of online help systems. Technical Communication, 54(2), 201-209.

Downing, J., & Clark, R. (2007). Using electronic surveys in organizational/employee communication research: A study at GE’s Global Research Center. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 50(3), 249-262.

Downing, J. (2004). American Airlines’ use of mediated employee channels after the 9/11 attacks. Public Relations Review, 30(1), 37-48.

Downing, J. (2004). ‘It’s easier to ask someone I know:’ Call center technicians’ adoption of knowledge management tools. Journal of Business Communication, 41(2), 166-192.

Downing, J., & Garmon, C. (2002). A guide to implementing PowerPoint and overhead LCD projectors in communication classrooms. American Communication Journal, 5. Available online at

Downing, J., & Garmon, C. (2001). Teaching students in the basic course how to use presentation software. Communication Education, 50(3), 218-229.

Payne, K., Downing, J., & Fleming, C. (2000). Speaking Ebonics in a professional context: The role of ethos/source credibility and perceived sociability of the speaker. Journal of Technical Writing & Communication, 30(4), 367-383.

Peer-Reviewed Book Chapters

Downing, J. (2008). Why first-level call center technicians need knowledge management tools. In K. O’Sullivan (Ed.) Strategic Knowledge Management in Multinational Organizations (pp. 53-63). Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Downing, J. (2007). Using mediated communication channels in a crisis: American Airlines’ employee crisis response to the 9/11 attack. In S. C. Duhé (Ed.) New Media and Public Relations (pp. 449-463). New York: Peter Lang.

Encyclopedia Entry [Invited]

Downing, J. (2008). Computers and display programs in education. In W. Donsbach’s (Ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Communication (Volume 3, pp. 902-904). Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford, UK.

Book Review

Downing. J. (2008). Thinking and interacting like a leader: The TILL System for effective interpersonal communication, by Kim Sydow Campbell. [Book Review.] Journal of Business Communication, 45(4), 503-507.

Professional Affiliations

National Communication Association

Southern States Communication Association

Pennsylvania Communication Association

Courses Taught

CAS 100B: Group Discussion

CAS 202: Communication Theory

CAS 204: Communication Research Methods

CAS 496: Public Relations

CAS 496: Crisis Management

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