Internship and Careers 2015 Abstracts

The global media job market: A comparison of requirements in job listings for six broadcast news organizations • Mariam Alkazemi; Wayne Wanta, University of Florida • ob listings for six broadcast news media were content analyzed for required qualifications for new hires. Only seven of the 120 job notices did not mention some technological skills, supporting a trend of media convergence. Another common requirement mentioned was a college degree. In comparing the six media, Al-Jazeera America differed from other organizations most often. Job postings for Al-Jazeera America were more likely to mention ethics and less likely to mention foreign language knowledge. Both Al-Jazeera America and Al-Jazeera were more likely to mention good news judgment as a requirement for their jobs. The findings have implications for hiring practices in the media industry.

Closed-Cohort Structure In Online Graduate Programs: Advancing Career Opportunities For Mid-Career Communication Professionals • Justin Blankenship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Rhonda Gibson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • In a closed-cohort educational program design, students enter a program together, take the same courses together, and graduate together. This article surveyed students in one of the few closed-cohort graduate programs in a communication school, one intended for mid-career professionals. Results indicate that students found several aspects of closed-cohort important, felt a sense of community among their cohort, and used their cohort to create a professional network of peers.

Avoiding the Bad Jump Cut: Developing a Senior Year Experience For Journalism Students • Lorie Humphrey, Colorado State University; Michael Humphrey, Colorado State University • Leaving college and beginning life outside of the familiar institution is one of the major transitions in many people’s life. This can be especially daunting for journalism students at a time when career paths are muddied by regularly changing economics, platforms and best practices. Both professor and career counselors often struggle to support students in this transition. One initiative, The Senior Year Experience, offers a variety of approaches to alleviate that struggle. This paper discusses the challenges soon-to-be graduating journalism students face, and the types of programs available including formal coursework, experiential learning opportunities, and campus events and activities aimed at smoothing the pathway. Teachers, advisors, and career counselors can play an integral role in developing programs and building coalitions with other partners on campus to guide journalism students in successful transitions.

Inside The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Noetic Crisis of the WGA Strike • Nathan Rodriguez, University of Kansas • I was a production intern at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at a time when the Writer’s Guild of America was on strike. I borrow ethnographic tools to document all-staff meetings and patterns of interaction during the strike. This essay illuminates not only the inner-workings of one of the more successful television programs in recent history, but also shows how a group of individuals dedicated to comedy managed to navigate a workplace crisis.

Revisiting Entering the Game at Halftime: Engaging students in internships and co-curricular activities. • Lauren Vicker, St. John Fisher College • This paper reports a large-scale follow-up to a pilot study that examined ways that mass communication programs engage transfer students in internships and co-curricular activities. The author conducted a large-scale survey of students enrolled in programs listed in the AEJMC directory and also conducted interviews with some survey respondents. Results indicate differences between transfer and native students in key areas and offer suggestions for ways to improve experiences for both populations.

2015 Abstracts

Public Relations 2015 Abstracts

Open Competition
Engaging the Public with CSR Activities Through Social Media • Alan Abitbol, Texas Tech University; Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University •
This study examines how communicating corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives via Facebook impact public engagement. Using the stakeholder and dialogic theories as frameworks, a content analysis of 533 Fortune 500 companies’ CSR-specific posts was conducted. After testing the effects of issue topic and three dialogic strategies on public engagement, results indicated that the use of multimedia content and interactive language in messages affected public engagement most. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed further.

Making social media work: Modeling the antecedents and outcomes of perceived relationship investment of nonprofit organizations • Giselle Auger, Duquesne University; Moonhee Cho, University of Tennessee • A lack of empirical studies prompted the development and testing of a model investigating the antecedents and outcomes of perceived relationship investment (PRI) in nonprofits. All parts of the model were supported including antecedent tactics of tangible rewards, interactivity, and information sharing, their effect on relationship quality, and positive behavioral intentions such as keeping the organization foremost in consideration of volunteer time or large gift allocation when time or financial resources allow.

Campaign and Corporate Goals in Conflict: Exploring Corporate Social Initiative Types and Company Issue Congruence • Lucinda Austin, Elon University; Barbara Miller, Elon University • Corporate social responsibility is increasingly important in boosting public acceptance for companies, and emerging research suggests corporate social marketing could be the most effective type of CSR. However, scholars caution that corporate social marketing is not a one-size-fits-all. Through a content analysis of Coca-Cola’s social media posts on its controversial topics related to sustainability, this study explores how corporate social initiative type and company-issue congruence influence public response to an organization’s social media CSR posts.

Communicating Sustainability: An Examination of Corporate, Nonprofit, and UniversityWebsites • Holly Ott, The Pennsylvania State University; Ruoxu Wang, Penn State University; Denise Bortree, Penn State University • This study analyzed the websites of top corporations, nonprofits, and colleges/universities for the types of sustainability content presented. Comparisons are made between organization types. Few nonprofits in the sample provided sustainability content; however, nearly all universities and over half of the corporations had a designated sustainability section on their websites. Findings suggest that organizations are promoting certain content, and fewer than 40% quantify their sustainability claims on any topic. Implications are discussed.

More than just a lack of uniformity: Exploring the evolution of public relations master’s programs • Rowena Briones, Virginia Commonwealth University; Hongmei Shen, San Diego State University; Candace Parrish, Virginia Commonwealth University; Elizabeth Toth, University of Maryland; Maria Russell, Syracuse University • PR is well known for its adaptability through continual change, and as a result PR master’s programs have been re-conceptualized to remain rigorous and competitive. Twenty in-depth interviews were conducted with administrators of PR master’s programs. Findings demonstrated that although many programs have moved away from traditional curricula, programs exist that still model CPRE recommendations. These findings could be used to better ground the discipline by ensuring a stronger cohesiveness within PR master’s education.

If organizations are people, they need to have the same values: Personal values and organizational values in stakeholder evaluations of organizational legitimacy • John Brummette, Radford University; Lynn Zoch, Radford University • In today’s Linked-in, friend heavy, tweeted about world, in which many organizations have constituents who follow, share and like them, the general public often places anthropomorphic expectations on organizations. This study found a positive relationship between individuals’ personal values and the values they deem as desirable for organizations. Findings from this study also support the assumption that human and organizational values are directly related with the concept of organizational legitimacy.

The effect of CSR expectancy violations on public attitudinal and behavioral responses to corporations: An application of expectancy violation theory • Moonhee Cho, University of Tennessee; Sun-Young Park, Rowan University; Soojin Kim, University of Florida • By applying expectancy violation theory (EVT) to corporate public relations, the study explored how publics respond to an organization’s CSR activities. A 2 (publics’ pre-predictive CSR expectancy) X 2 (CSR practice information) experimental study examined how both negative and positive expectancy violation and conformity influenced publics’ attitude toward an organization and their supportive behavior intention. Also, the study explained the moderating role of corporate likability in influencing the effect of expectancy violation.

Crisis communication and corporate apology: The effects of causal attributions and apology types on publics’ cognitive and affective responses • Surin Chung, University of Missouri Columbia; Suman Lee, Iowa State University • This study examined how corporate apologies influence cognitive and affective public responses during a crisis. A total of 200 participants were exposed to one of the two types of causal attributions (internal vs. external) and one of the two types of apology messages (responsibility-oriented vs. sympathy-oriented). The study found the main effects of causal attributions on public responses. The study also revealed the interaction effects between causal attributions and apology messages on public responses.

Reassessment of audience in public relations industry: How social media reshape public relations measurements • Surin Chung, University of Missouri Columbia; Harsh Taneja, University of Missouri, School of Journalism • The growing adoption of social media in PR practice has provided opportunities for newer audience measurements and contributed to cultivating newer conceptions of their audience. This study conducts a historical textual analysis of articles in PR Week to establish the conception. The analysis maps the structural transformation of the field that has guided the PR industry’s reconceptualization of their audiences from the quantity of media placements to the quantity and the quality of behavioral outcomes.

The Effects of Framing in Mainstream and Alternative Media on Government Public Relationships • Ganga Dhanesh; Tracy Loh • This study aimed to examine the effects of differential framing in alternative media and mainstream media on publics’ perceptions of government-public relationships; an attempt to integrate the rich bodies of work in framing and relationship management theorizing in public relations, in the context of government public relations and the challenges thrown up by the emergence of alternative media. The study employed an experimental design and found that reading alternative media negatively affected publics’ perceptions of trust, commitment, control mutuality and satisfaction, but not communal and exchange relationships. Reading mainstream media on the other hand had no significant relationship with publics’ perceptions of government-public relationship. The difference in effect is attributed to the framing devices employed in alternative and mainstream media. Implications for public relations theory and practice are discussed.

Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right: Journalist perceptions of reputation and errors in corporate communication • Melanie Formentin, Towson University; Kirstie Hettinga, California Lutheran University; Alyssa Appelman, Northern Kentucky University • Exploring reputation and organizational communication, this study tests how journalists perceive press releases containing errors, and examines the legitimacy of using fictional organizations when testing reputation via experiments. Journalists (N = 118) read releases from reputable or fictional companies, with or without typos. Releases without errors and from an existing company were ranked more favorably based on press release judgments and reputation. Analysis showed no interaction effects, suggesting reputation cannot overcome negative error effects.

Care in Crisis: Proposing the Applied Model of Care Considerations for Public Relations • Julia Daisy Fraustino, West Virginia University; Amanda Kennedy, University of Maryland • This work builds global bridges from ethics theory to practice in crisis public relations. It forms foundations for ethical organizational communication throughout the crisis lifecycle and across contexts. The Applied Model of Care Considerations is proposed using the illustration of Nestle’s global baby-formula-promotion crisis. Rooted in feminist normative philosophies, this research addresses public relations literature gaps from lack of: (1) general crisis ethics theory; (2) applied crisis communication ethics for practice; (3) feminist-theory-oriented crisis communication.

Mascot Nations: Examining university-driven college football fan communities • Matthew Haught, University of Memphis • In the sport of college football, engagement with fans drives revenue for the sports teams and the athletic department; the more fans buy, the more money the school gets. This study examines the ways college football teams use Facebook to engage their publics, and how that engagement builds a sense of community. Specifically, it explores six teams that represent new college foot-ball teams, mid-major teams, and state flagship institution teams. Ultimately, it seeks to explain how social media can be a force in establishing and maintaining an online community.

Informing crisis communication preparation and response through network analysis: An elaboration of the Social-Mediated Crisis Communication model • Itai Himelboim, University of Georgia; Yan Jin, University of Georgia; Bryan Reber, University of Georgia; Patrick Grant, University of Georgia • To test and elaborate as necessary the Social-Mediated Crisis Communication (SMCC) model’s key publics classifications (Liu et al., 2012) and to provide practical insight to public identification for crisis communication planning and response, this study uses network analysis to identify social mediators (Himelboim et al., 2014) and clustered publics in airline Twitter networks. In our analysis, social mediators and network clusters are classified according to the publics taxonomy of the SMCC model. The characteristics of the social mediators and the network structure of the clusters are also identified in airline Twitter networks. Our findings suggest further elaborations and more in-depth identification of key publics in social-mediated crisis communication.

Minding the representation gap: Some pitfalls of linear crisis-response theory • Yi-Hui Huang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Hiu Ying Choy, The School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Fang Wu, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Qing Huang, The School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Qijun He, the Chinese University of Hong Kong; Deya Xu, Department of Communication, CUHK • Scholars assume the direct influence of crisis communication strategies (CCSs) upon representations of CCSs in the media and online public posts. This study 1) introduces the concept of representation gap to address how media and netizen’s gatekeeping practices represent organizational CCSs differently; and 2) highlights how social context leads to an evaluation gap of communication effectiveness. Analysis validates the robust predictive power of this representation gap with regard to interpreting the effectiveness of CCSs.

Too much of a good thing: When does two-way symmetric communication become unhelpful? • Yi Grace Ji, University of Miami; Cong Li, Univ. of Miami • The current study proposes a moderated mediation model by revisiting the effects of two-way symmetric communication on relational outcomes in a social-mediated relationship management context. Through a 2 (interactivity: one-way vs. two way) × 2 (message valence: positive vs. negative) between-subjects experiment, it was demonstrated that two-way symmetric communication led to more favorable relational outcomes only when the communication was centered on a negative subject, and such effects were mediated by perceived source credibility.

Making a good life in professional and personal arenas: A SEM analysis of fair decision making, leadership, organizational support, and quality of Employee-Organization Relationships (EORs) • Hua Jiang, Syracuse University • Scholars and practitioners have well acknowledged the importance of studying influential factors leading to quality employee-organization relationships (EORs). A growing body of literature exist in developing theoretical models to explain the underlying mechanisms between EORs and organizational contextual variables that are closely related to EOR outcomes (trust, commitment, satisfaction, and control mutuality). Based on a national sample of employees (n=795) working in diverse organizations in the US, the present study proposed and tested a model that examined how organizational procedural justice, transformational leadership behaviors of employees’ immediate supervisors, and supportive organizational environment, as three influential factors were associated with time-based and strain-based work-life conflict and employee-organization relationship outcomes. Results of the study supported the conceptual model, except for the direct effect of transformational leadership upon strain-based work-life conflict and that of strain-based work-life conflict upon quality of EORs. Theoretical contributions and managerial ramifications of the study were discussed.

Is there still a PR problem online? Exploring the effects of different sources and crisis response strategies in online crisis communication via social media • Young Kim, Louisiana State University; Hyojung Park, Louisiana State University • This study examined how organizational sources (vs. non-organizational sources) affect perceived source credibility in the context of social media and how the effect of source interplays with crisis response strategy in determining crisis communication outcomes, such as crisis responsibility, reputation, and supportive behavioral intentions. A 3 (source: organization, CEO, or customer) X 2 (crisis response strategy: accommodative or defensive) X 2 (crisis type: airline crash or bank hacking) mixed experimental design was used with 391 participants. The organizational sources, especially CEOs, were more likely to be perceived as more credible than the non-organizational source. The path analysis indicated that perceived source credibility mediated the effect of source on reputation and behavioral intentions; however, this mediation was moderated by the type of crisis response strategy being used. In addition, crisis response strategies had an indirect effect on crisis communication outcomes through perceived company credibility.

Understanding public and its communicative actions as antecedents of government-public relationships in crisis communication • Young Kim, Louisiana State University; Andrea Miller, Louisiana State University; Hyunji Lim, University of Miami • This study explored an effective government-public relationship by understanding its antecedents, public and its communicative actions, in crisis communication. The government-public relationship research has overlooked the importance of its antecedents and focused on the quality of relationship (outcome) in terms of long term relationship building. To fill the gap, the current study attempts to understand public and its communicative actions as antecedents of government-public relationships in a government crisis, problem-solving situation, by applying a Situational Theory of Problem Solving (STOPS) to relationship research. Using an online nationwide survey with 545 participants, this study tested a proposed model employing structural equation modeling (SEM). The findings indicate that active public’s communication behaviors are more likely to positively associate with attribution of responsibility on the organization and, at the same time, negatively associate with relationship outcomes and subsequent consequences, negative reputation and less behavioral intention to support. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

The value of public relations: Different impacts of communal and exchange relationships on communicative behavior • Jarim Kim, Kookmin University; Minjung Sung, Chung-Ang University • The purpose of this paper was to investigate the impacts of relationship on organization-public relationships using the situational theory of publics and its extended model, specifically in a tuition issue context, and to test the different effects of a communal and exchange relationship on a public’s perception regarding the issue. The study employed a survey with 508 university students. The results indicated that the perceived student-university relationship had a positive influence on students’ constraint recognition regarding a university-related issue, whereas the relationship had a negative influence on problem recognition. Problem recognition, involvement recognition and constraint recognition positively predicted students’ motivation to take an action, which further predicted communicative action. The current study also found a different influence of communal and exchange relationships on the public’s perception regarding an issue. Communal relationships had a negative association with problem recognition and a positive one with constraint recognition. Exchange relationships had positive relationships with problem recognition and involvement recognition. As one of the few studies that has examined a relationship’s influence on the public’s perceptions of an issue and that empirically tested the differential effects of different types of relationships, this study advances the field of public relations by theoretically extending the public relations model and by providing solid empirical data to support the current conceptual model.

Examining the Role of CSR in Corporate Crises: Integration of Situational Crisis Communication Theory and the Persuasion Knowledge Model • Jeesun Kim, California State University, Fullerton; Chang-Dae Ham • The impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities on consumer perceptions has widely been discussed. However, knowledge about the role of CSR communication in the corporate crisis context is still limited. In this study we aim to help fill this gap by conducting 2 (crisis type: accidental vs. intentional) x 2 (CSR motives: values-driven vs. strategic-driven) x 2 (CSR history: long vs. short) between-subjects design experiment. In particular, we integrate Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) with the Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM) to better understand how and why consumers, as an active public, cope with rather than simply accept or resist corporate crisis strategies based on their knowledge structure. We found an interaction effect between consumers’ persuasion knowledge (CSR motive perception) and topic knowledge (crisis type perception) on word-of-mouth intention and purchase intention. In addition, persuasion knowledge (CSR motive perception) interacted with agent knowledge (CSR history perception) on purchase intention. We discuss theoretical as well as practical implications.

Relational Immunity? Examining Relationship as Crisis Shield in the case of Purdue’s On-Campus Shooting • Arunima Krishna, Purdue University; Brian Smith, Purdue University; Staci Smith • This study examined the influence of a crisis on relational perceptions by investigating students’ perceptions of their relationship with Purdue University following the on-campus shooting. Findings show that despite the generally positive relationship Purdue maintains with its students, the crisis had a negative impact on the students’ perceptions of their relationship with Purdue. Furthermore, results show how publics’ emotions, especially empathy, about the organization regarding the crisis influence their evaluations of organization-public relationships

Understanding an Angry Hot-Issue Public’s response to The Interview Cancellation Saga • Arunima Krishna, Purdue University; Kelly Vibber, University of Dayton • This study examines comments on online news articles about The Interview’s cancellation and eventual release. We examine these comments from the context of communication behaviors of hot-issue angry publics, and present a longitudinal analysis of themes present over the duration of the issue. Anti-corporate sentiment, conspiracy, and questioning the film content/premise were consistent throughout the timeline. Discussion on how monitoring these types of communication might lead to better engagement with key publics is provided.

Never Easy to Say Sorry: Exploring the Interplay of Crisis Involvement, Brand Image and Message Framing in Developing Effective Crisis Responses • Soyoung Lee, The University of Texas at Austin; Lucy Atkinson, University of Texas at Austin • This study examines how the interplay between crisis involvement, brand image, and message framing has an impact on the effectiveness of brand’s apology message in a crisis context. To determine the effectiveness of an apology, based on SCCT guidance and ELM, a 2 (Crisis involvement: high vs low) × 2 (Brand image: symbolic vs. functional) × 2 (Message types: emotional vs. informational) factorial design are employed. Theoretical and empirical implications are discussed.

The Role of Company–Cause Congruence and the Moderating Effects of Organization–Public Relationships on the Negative Spillover Effects of Partnerships • Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University; Hyejoon Rim, University of Minnesota • The purpose of this study was to explore whether negative spillover effects occur in the corporate–nonprofit partnership context when a crisis strikes a partner organization, and to investigate two factors—company–cause congruence and organization–public relationships (OPRs)—that might affect the degree of negative impact. The results of an experiment proved negative spillover effects; when respondents were exposed to negative information about a partner organization, their attitude toward the principal organization became less favorable. Contrary to our hypotheses, however, the perceived congruence between the company and the cause of the nonprofit organization yielded buffering effects that minimized the negative spillover effects, and OPRs moderated the impacts. We discuss the practical and theoretical implications.

Understanding Consumer Resentment Before It’s too Late: Empirical Testing of A Service Failure Response Model • Zongchao Li; Don Stacks, University of Miami • This paper investigated consumer response mechanism in a service failure context. A Service Failure Response Model was introduced that incorporated emotive and cognitive antecedents, a mediation process and four behavioral outcomes. Data were collected via an online survey (N=371) and further analyzed using the structural equation modeling approach. Results confirmed the Service Failure Response Model: anger, dissatisfaction and perceived betrayal were emotive/cognitive antecedents that lead to consumers’ exit, voice, and revenge responses. This process was mediated by desire for avoidance and desire for revenge.

Crowd Endorsement on Social Media: Persuasive Effects of Organizations’ Retweeting and Role of Social Presence • Young-shin Lim; Roselyn J. Lee-Won, The Ohio State University • Despite the technological affordances of social media platforms allowing organizations to engage in two-way, many-to-many communication with their stakeholders, organizations tend to simply posts unilateral messages. Drawing on the concept of social presence and the theory of reasoned action, this research investigated the persuasive effects of organizations’ retweeting practices. An online experiment was conducted, featuring a Twitter page of a fictitious organization. Results showed that retweeted user messages, when compared with organization’s original tweets, induced higher levels of social presence, which in turn led to higher levels of social norm perception, more positive attitude toward the behavior advocated by the organization, and stronger intention to perform the advocated behavior. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Crucial Linkages in Successful Public Relations Practice: Organizational Culture, Leadership, Engagement, Trust and Job Satisfaction • Juan Meng, University of Georgia; Bruce Berger, University of Alabama • The study examines the effects of critical organizational factors (organizational culture and excellent leader performance) on public relations practitioners’ job engagement and trust in the organization that link to improved job satisfaction. A national online survey of 883 public relations professionals working in a variety of organizations was used as the empirical data to test the relationships in a proposed conceptual model. Results confirmed the strong impact organizational culture and leader performance can have on outcomes at the practitioner level (engagement, trust, and job satisfaction). In addition, results revealed the significant mediating effects of engagement and trust in the relationship between organizational factors and practitioners’ job satisfaction. The study concludes with research and practical implications.

Change Management Communication: Barriers, Strategies & Messaging • Marlene Neill, Baylor University • In a world characterized by constant change, there has been a neglect of scholarly research on change management communication in the context of public relations. Through 32 in-depth interviews with executives in marketing, public relations and human resources, this study provides new insights into the barriers, effective strategies and key messaging in change management communication. Change management was examined in 10 sectors representing 15 employers. Barriers for communicators included lack of a plan, changing plans, change fatigue and multiple cultures, missions and priorities. In addition, public relations tended to serve more of a tactical role rather than a strategic one being brought in after key decisions had already been made. Effective communication approaches internal communicators reported using included road trips by senior leaders to meet with employees, videos, testimonials, and recruiting employee ambassadors or influencers. Executives said messages should reinforce core values, communicate what the changes mean for employees, the benefits of the change and end goals.

Political Organization-Public Relations and Trust: Facebook vs. Campaign Websites • David Painter, Full Sail University • This experimental investigation (N = 649) parses the influence of online information source and interactivity on the effects of strategic campaign communications on gains in citizen-political organization-public relations and political trust. Although simple exposure exerted significant effects on all participants, the results indicate Facebook was differentially more effective than campaign websites at building overall citizen-political party relationships (POPRs) and trust in government. Specifically, Facebook was more effective at building relational trust, control mutuality, and political trust; while campaign websites were more effective at building satisfaction and commitment, particularly among those who engaged in dialogic, expressive behaviors on either platform. These findings verify the direction of the exposure effects in the political organization-public relations model and extend two-way communication theory by specifying the online platform on which expression exerts the greatest positive influence on citizen-political organization relationships and political trust.

Fashion Meets Twitter: Does the Source Matter? Perceived Message Credibility, Interactivity and Purchase Intention • Yijia Wang; Geah Pressgrove, West Virginia University • Through an online survey, this study explored the perceived source credibility of fashion industry Twitter messages with varying message sources (the brand itself, celebrity endorser, friend/acquaintance). Online interactivity and purchase intention of potential customers were also assessed to examine if a particular message source and its credibility increase the likelihood of online engagement with the message and customers’ intention to purchase.

How Negative Becomes Less Negative: The Interplay between Comment Variance and the Sidedness of Company Response • Hyejoon Rim, University of Minnesota; Doori Song, Youngstown State University • The study examined the influence of the public’s negative comments regarding the CSR campaign in the social media setting, and how best to respond to them. A 2 (variance of comments: positive vs. negative) x 2 (company’s responding strategy: 1-sided vs. 2-sided message) between-subjects experiments was employed. The results revealed that two-sided CSR messages, compared to one-sided responses, are more effective in enhancing altruistic motives of CSR, reducing perceived negativity in consumers’ comments, and eliciting favorable public’s attitudes, especially when the consumer’s comments were negative. The effects of message sidedness disappeared when the consumer’s comments were positive. The results also showed that perceived altruism and perceived negativity mediates the effects of message strategies on the public’s attitudes toward the company.

Taking the ice bucket plunge: Social and psychological motivations for participating in the ALS challenge • Soojin Roh, Syracuse University; Tamara Makana Chock • An online survey (N = 511) investigated the impact of narcissistic personality, selective self-presentation, and the need for interpersonal acceptance in people’s decision to take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. We also examined how and to what extent these factors differed in terms of the type of contribution (e.g. dumping water over head, donation, and doing both). Implications for social media campaign strategies for long-term engagement and directions for future research were discussed.

Time-lagged Analysis of Third-level Agenda-building: Florida’s Debate on Medical Marijuana • Tiffany Schweickart; Jordan Neil; Ji Young Kim; Josephine Lukito, Syracuse University; Tianduo Zhang; Guy Golan; Spiro Kiousis • This study aims to advance theoretical and practical understanding of political public relations in the context of Florida’s Amendment 2 about the legalization of medical marijuana. This unique context was used to explore the salience of stakeholders, issues, and related attributes between public relations messages and media coverage at all three-levels of agenda-building’s theoretical framework using a time-lagged analysis. Our results present strong support for shared influence between campaign and media agenda-building at three levels.

Biological Sex vs. Gender Identity: Nature vs. Nurture in Explicating Practitioner Roles and Salaries in Public Relations • Bey-Ling Sha, San Diego State University; Courtney White; Elpin Keshishzadeh; David Dozier • Using an online survey of members of the Public Relations Society of America (response rate = 14%), this study found that enactment of the manager and technician roles in public relations was unrelated to practitioners’ biological sex, but was related instead to their avowed, predominant gender identity. Both biological sex and predominant gender identity were found to contribute to the persistent, gendered pay gap in public relations. (67 words)

An Analysis of Tweets by Universities and Colleges: Public Engagement and Interactivity • jason Beverly; Jae-Hwa Shin, University of Southern Mississippi • The analysis of 1,550 individual tweets by colleges and universities suggest that institutions of higher learning are not necessarily using Twitter in a dialogic manner that promotes two-way communication. This supports findings from previous studies that have suggested that colleges and universities fail to incorporate the dialogic features of Twitter as part of their online public relations efforts.

Public Relations as Development Communication? Conceptual Overlaps and Prospects for a Societal Paradigm of Public Relations • Katie Brown, University of Maryland; Sylvia Guo, University of Maryland; Brooke Fowler, University of Maryland; Claire Tills, University of Maryland; Sifan Xu, University of Maryland; Erich Sommerfeldt, University of Maryland • A thorough discussion of the overlaps between development communication and public relations is missing from the literature. This paper provides a first step towards an integration of public relations and development by reviewing theories and concepts within development communication literature and public relations scholarship examining areas relevant to international development practice. The paper highlights theoretical and conceptual overlaps between the disciplines as well as similar challenges in practice, and offers suggestions for developing a societal paradigm of public relations.

The Importance of Authenticity in Corporate Social Responsibility • Mary Ann Ferguson; Baobao Song • This experimental research with 395 consumers explored the effects of prior corporate reputation, stated CSR motive (self vs. social), and CSR brand-cause fit on consumers’ attitude towards the company and behavioral intention. In addition, the study incorporated a new variable in CSR communication model – perceived CSR authenticity. Having a poor corporate reputation requires specific attention be paid to the fit and stated motive of the CSR program particularly when the authenticity of the communication is under suspicion. Corporate messages that are perceived as highly authentic will provide equally positive results for companies with good and bad prior reputations. Overall, this study suggested a holistic view on effective CSR communication.

Towards effective CSR in controversial industry sectors: Effect of industry sector, corporate reputation, and company-cause fit • Baobao Song; Jing (Taylor) Wen, University of Florida; Mary Ann Ferguson • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been well recognized as a critical component for any company to maintain organizational legitimacy and increase consumers’ positive company evaluation. However, only a few CSR studies have focused on controversial industries. In fact, controversial industry sectors tend to be more committed to CSR, in order to defy their negative images and reputations. Given the conflicted nature of companies in controversial industries, this study is aimed to further unveil the differences between controversial industries and non-controversial industries in terms of CSR outcomes. Particularly, this study tries to dissect the concept of corporate reputation from industry controversy, and examine whether corporate reputation and CSR company-cause fit will affect controversial industries vs. non-controversial industries differently.

Do you see what I see? Perceptions between advertising and public relations professionals • Dustin Supa, Boston University • This study represents an initial step in the empirical understanding of integration as it relates to the advertising and public relations fields. Using a survey of practitioners (n=1076) it finds that while many practitioners are aware of integration efforts within organizations, they may be less than enthusiastic about the concept. The results offer suggestions both for the practice and education of professional communication.

Understanding Shareholder Engagement: The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility • Nur Uysal, Marquette University • The rise of shareholder activism for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in recent years charters a new role for public relations professionals. This study analyzes social activism enacted by institutional shareholders through filing resolutions at publicly traded U.S. corporations between 1997 and 2011 (N = 14, 271). Building on the literature in public relations, management, and social movements, the study develops and tests a theory of shareholder engagement through a tripartite framework. The findings showed that corporate stakeholder commitment, issue type, and sponsor type affect the outcomes of shareholder activist-corporate engagement on CSR issues. We argue that CSR is both an antecedent to engagement and also an outcome and public relations professionals can facilitate the engagement process between corporations and shareholder activists groups on mutually acceptable social expectations.

PR Credibility as News Unfolds: How Perceptions Gauged in Real Time and Post Exposure Differ • Matthew S. VanDyke, Texas Tech University; Coy Callison, Texas Tech University • This study investigates how perceptions of news conference sources vary from measures taken in real-time to those taken retrospectively after exposure by having participants (N = 184) view four organizational spokespersons responding to environmental crises. Results suggest while PR practitioner credibility suffers in comparison to that of other sources when participants evaluate following exposure, practitioners see a real-time bump in trustworthiness following revelation of job title that is common across other source job affiliations.

Within-border foreign publics: Micro-diplomats and their impact on a nation’s soft power • Kelly Vibber, University of Dayton; Jeong-Nam Kim • This study tests the relationship between antecedents of the perceived relationship a within-border foreign public (e.g. international students) has with its host country (e.g. the United States) and how this relationship impacts their communicative action to their social networks living in their home country (e.g. positive or negative megaphoning). It also examines the role this megaphoning has on the communicative action of members of the home country, in order to understand the potential of micro-diplomacy.

Experimenting with dialogue on social media: An examination of the influence of the dialogic principles on engagement, interaction, and attitude • Brandi Watkins, Virginia Tech • Much of the public relations research on online relationship building has examined social media content for the use of the dialogic principles outlined by Kent and Taylor (1998). These studies, using content analysis as the primary methodology, have found that the dialogic capabilities of social media are under-utilized. However, there is limited research on the effectiveness of these methods. Therefore, the goal of this study is to examine the influence of social media content utilizing these principles on engagement, interactivity, and attitude. Results of this study indicate that usefulness of information can have a significant influence on engagement and attitude.

Examining the Importance and Perceptions of Organizational Autonomy among Dominant Coalition Members • Christopher Wilson, Brigham Young University • Scholars have defined the value of public relations in terms of organizational autonomy. Nevertheless, only a few public relations studies have attempted to measure it. In addition, there is no empirical research to document whether or not dominant coalition members actually consider organizational autonomy important. This study seeks to advance theory by examining whether this fundamental concept is as important to public relations as current theories assume it to be.

Public Relations Role in the Global Media Ecology: Connecting the World as Network Managers • Aimei Yang, University of Southern California; Maureen Taylor; Wenlin Liu, University of Southern California • Media studies in public relations have predominantly focused on the dyadic relationship between public relations practitioners and journalists. This focus reduces public relations practitioners to information providers and obscures the broader functions of public relations. We argue that this narrow view of media relations as public relations is increasingly outdated. This paper advocates for a network ecology approach to public relations-media relationships, and identifies four roles that public relations organizations perform in a media network ecology: relationship initiator, relationship facilitator, relationship broker and fully functioning society facilitator.

Estimating the Weights of Media Tonalities in the Measurement of Media Coverage of Corporations • XIAOQUN ZHANG, University of North Texas • This study estimated the weights of media tonalities in the measurement of media coverage of corporations by using linear regression analysis. Two new measures were developed based on these estimations. These two new measures were found to have higher predictive power than most other linear function measures in predicting corporate reputation. The estimations were based on a content analysis of 2817 news articles from both elite newspapers and local newspapers.

A Case Study of the Chinese Government’s Crisis Communication on the 2015 Shanghai Stampede Incident • Lijie Zhou, University of Southern Mississippi; Jae-Hwa Shin, University of Southern Mississippi • This study analyzed the Chinese government’s crisis communication efforts during 2015 Shanghai Stampede incident and offered insight into difference between traditional and social media in relation to media frame, response strategy, government stance and role of emotions. Findings indicated traditional and social media followed similar dynamic pattern across lifespan of the incident, yet revealed different features in message frames and presence of emotions. The government has demonstrated changing stances differently in social and traditional media.

Hootsuite University: Equipping Academics and Future PR Professionals for Social Media Success • Emily S. Kinsky, West Texas A&M University; Karen Freberg, University of Louisville; Carolyn Kim, Biola University; Matthew Kushin, Shepherd University; William Ward •
Through survey and in-depth interviews, this research examines the social media education program Hootsuite University. Researchers assessed perceptions of Hootsuite University among students who completed the certification program as part of communication courses at five U.S. universities between 2012 and 2014. Researchers also assessed perceptions of professors and employers regarding the value of the program. Implications for public relations education in an age of social media are discussed.

Teaching, tweeting, and telecommuting: Experiential and cross-institutional learning through social media • Stephanie Madden, University of Maryland; Rowena Briones, Virginia Commonwealth University; Julia Daisy Fraustino, West Virginia University; Melissa Janoske, University of Memphis • This study explores how to improve student preparedness for a technological working world. Instructors at four institutions created and implemented a cross-institutional group project that required students to create and share an instructional video on a social media topic. Students then discussed the videos and teleworking experience through three subsequent cross-institutional Twitter chats. Results include suggestions for helping students learn through teaching, and a discussion of the benefits and drawbacks of teleworking.

Exploring diversity and client work in public relations education • Katie Place, Quinnipiac University; Antoaneta Vanc • This exploratory study examined public relations students’ meaning making of diversity and the role of diverse client work within the public relations curriculum. Findings are based on in-depth interviews with 19 students at two private universities who completed a public relations campaign course. Findings illustrate the evolution of students’ interpretation of diversity from passive exposure to active awareness to a new mindset. In addition, it offers insights regarding public relations and diversity pedagogy.

The Best of Both Worlds: Student Perspectives on Student-Run Advertising and Public Relations Agencies • Joyce Haley, Abilene Christian University; Margaret Ritsch, Texas Christian University; Jessica Smith, Abilene Christian University • Student-led advertising and/or public relations agencies have increasingly become an educational component of university ad/PR programs. Previous research has established the value that advisers see in the agencies, and this study reports student perceptions of agency involvement. The survey (N=210) found that participants rated the ability to work with real clients, the importance of their universities having agencies, and the increase in their own job marketability as the most positive aspects of the agency experience. Participants said that the most highly rated skills that agency participation built were working with clients, working in a team structure, and interpersonal skills.

An Examination of Social TV & OPR Building: A Content Analysis of Tweets Surrounding The Walking Dead • Lauren Auverset, University of Alabama •
This study investigated a growing second-screen media phenomenon, Social TV, and examined how entertainment media organizations utilize Social TV to communicate with their publics. A content analysis was conducted using publicly available conversations (via Twitter) surrounding a popular television program, AMC’s The Walking Dead. Through the analysis of these Social TV dialogic exchanges, this study highlights how one entertainment media organization uses Social TV and Twitter to respond to and interact with their online publics.

Attribution Error of Internal Stakeholders in Assessments of Organizational Crisis Responsibility • Jonathan Borden, Syracuse University; Xiaochen Zhang, University of Florida • This paper sheds further light on the mechanics of responsibility attribution for organizations in crisis. Utilizing a two-group experimental design, relationships of organizational identification, evaluation, collective self-esteem, in-group preference, attribution bias, and attitudes regarding norm violation were examined among stakeholders in the post-crisis phase. Findings show that identification with and assessment of the organization are linked and significant predictors of attribution bias and violation minimization. Theoretical and professional implications are discussed.

SeaWorld vs Blackfish A Case Study in Crisis Communication • Ken Cardell • This case study examines SeaWorld’s strategic response following from the release of Blackfish. An analysis of SeaWorld’s communicative response to various reputational threats can be understood through the application of corporate apologia theory, by explicating the message strategies used within the discourse. Elements of Grunig’s conception of activist publics are also used to provide perspective as to the factors that contributed to the level of opposition that followed from Blackfish.

To whom do they listen? The effects of communication strategy and eWOM on consumer responses • Zifei Chen, University of Miami; Cheng Hong, University of Miami • This study examined the effects of corporate communication strategy and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) valence on responses from an important stakeholder group—consumers on social media. A 3 (communication strategy: corporate social responsibility/CSR, vs. corporate ability/CAb, vs. hybrid) x 2 (eWOM valence: positive vs. negative) between-subjects experiment was conducted. Results showed significant interaction effects on consumers’ CSR associations and significant main effects of both strategy and eWOM valence on CAb associations, perceived reputation, and purchase intention.

A New Look at Organization-Public Relationship: Testing Contingent Corporation-Activist Relationship (CCAR) in Conflicts • Yang Cheng, University of Missouri • Content analyses of 696 news information on the conflicts between corporations (Monsanto and McDonald’s) and their activists provide a natural history of the use of contingent organization-public relationship (COPR) in public relations. By tracking the changing stances of each corporation and its activists longitudinally, results generate the frequency and direction of six types of contingent corporation-activist relationship (CCAR) over time. Findings show that CCAR is dynamic and contingent upon stances of both parties on a specific issue. No matter the conflict is finally resolved or not, competing relationship occurs more frequently than cooperating relationship does in the conflict management process, which supports the argument that both parties in conflicts maintain a competitive relationship for self-interests, and when possible may adopt strategies to achieve mutual benefits. Theoretical and practical implications of findings are discussed.

Public Relations’ Role in Trust Building for Social Capital • Shugofa Dastgeer, University of Oklahoma • Social capital is a building block of social and political communities. At the same time, trust is the foundational prerequisite for the formation of social capital. Public relations plays a role in fostering social capital and trust in society. This paper proposes a model for public relations in building trust for social capital. The model illustrates that trust, communication, and engagement are vital for the development of social capital.

Stealing thunder and filling the silence: Twitter as a primary channel of police crisis communication • Brooke Fowler, University of Maryland • Twitter can be used successfully by police departments as a channel for stealing thunder and establishing the department as a credible news source. A case study on the Howard County Police Department’s use of Twitter during the Columbia Mall Shooting was conducted. Results reveal the potential benefits and limitations of using Twitter to steal thunder and a new technique, filling the silence, is proposed for maintaining an audience once an organization has stolen thunder.

Between Ignorance and Engagement: Exploring the Effects of Corporations’ Communicatory Engagement With Their Publics on Social Networking Sites • Eun Go • Two-way communication tools have expanded and magnified the range and scope of interactions between an organization and its publics. To understand the value of such communication tools, the present study identifies significant psychological factors as outcomes of using these tools. Employing a series of mediation analyses (N=148), this study particularly explores how the commenting function on social networking sites can be strategically used to promote online users’ favorable attitudes toward an organization. The findings show that active communication by an organization via the commenting function promotes favorable attitudes toward the organization by way of heightening the organization’s social presence and creating enhanced perceptions of the organization’s relational commitment. On the other hand, an organization’s dismissal of its users’ comments leaves a negative impression, suggesting to the public that the organization has exaggerated its social commitment. Further theoretical and practical implications of the study are also discussed.

Crisis Response Strategies of Sports Organizations and Its Fans: The Case of Ray Rice • Eunyoung Kim, University of Alabama • This study employs a content analysis to examine how a sports organization and its fans interactively used social media and how they utilized crisis response strategies in the Ray Rice case. The study compares crisis response strategies by the Baltimore Ravens team and its identified fans through social media. The results confirm (a) interactive use of Twitter with hyperlink, (b) utilization of separation strategy, and (c) sports fans’ communicating role with various strategies.

CSR without transparency is not good enough: Examining the effect of CSR fit and transparency efforts on skepticism and trust toward organizations • Hyosun Kim, Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Tae Ho Lee, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • In order to tackle recent challenges surrounding CSR initiatives—stakeholder skepticism—this study aims to understand how CSR fit and transparency affect the enhancement of trust and encourage organization advocacy while lessening skepticism. In a 2 (CSR fit) X 2 (levels of transparency) between-subject experiment, this study discovered a significant main effect of transparency on skepticism, trust, and organization advocacy. A significant interaction on trust was also found, suggesting that low fit with high transparency increases trust.

Institutional Pressure and Transparency in CSR Disclosure: A Content Analysis of CSR Press Releases at • Tae Ho Lee, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This content analysis examines CSR press releases from 2007 to 2014, finding that coercive institutional pressures as manifested in CSR press releases are significantly related to a low level of accountability—one of the three transparency dimensions. This confirms previous suggestions that coercive isomorphism would generate nominal compliance without substantive efforts. Additionally, the integration of global perspectives from institutional theory and the general representation of transparency in CSR press releases are investigated and discussed.

Reputation from the inside out: Examining how nonprofit employees perceive the top leader influencing reputation • Laura Lemon, University of Tennessee • In-depth interviews with nonprofit employees were conducted to examine how nonprofit employees perceive the top leader and the top leader’s influence on the organization’s reputation. Participant perceptions primarily focused on positive and negative personality attributes that contributed to or detracted from perceptions of leadership style. One emergent finding was that most participants considered the top leader responsible for employee engagement. Additionally, some employees perceived the organization’s reputation as starting with the top leader. The top leader’s ability to create an internal participatory environment was the primary influence on the organization’s internal reputation. Participants perceived the top leader as the face of the organization and being recognized as an expert influencing the organization’s external reputation. One significant contribution from this study was the role of supporting manager that emerged in the interviews. In the case of perceived poor leadership, a supporting manager stepped in to compensate for the top leader’s management weaknesses.

Another crisis for government after crisis: A case study of South Korean government’s crisis communication on the Sewol Ferry disaster • Se Na Lim, university of alabama; Eunyoung Kim, University of Alabama • The current study investigates the crisis response strategies of South Korean government organizations on social media after the Sewol Ferry disaster. By conducting content analysis of 288 posts on Facebook of 13 South Korean government organizations, this study assesses their communication response strategies based on framing and situational crisis communication theory. The findings indicate that South Korea government organizations perceive the crisis with various perspectives and accordingly use various crisis response strategies.

Enhancing OPR Management through SNSs: The Role of Organizations’ SNS Message Strategies and Message Interactivity • Xinyu Lu, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Hao Xu, University of Minnesota • Heeding the limited research on the effects of corporate SNS communication strategies on relationship building, this experimental study examined the effects of two corporate SNS communication strategies—message strategies and message interactivity—on relationship building. The results suggest that both message strategies and message interactivity have strong effects on publics’ perception of organization-public relationship outcomes. Moreover, people’s identification with a company to some extent moderates the effects of these two strategies.

I am One of Them: A Social Identity Approach to Crisis Communication • Liang Ma • This study focused on how an individual’s ethnic and organizational memberships influence his/her emotional and cognitive experiences in a crisis. College students (N = 638) from a mid-Atlantic university participated in an online quasi-experiment. SEM was used to test the mediation model. Organizational membership protects organizational reputation and increases guilt. Shared ethnicity with victims has no effects on either organizational reputation or anger. Guilt threatens organizational reputation indirectly via anger. Reputation then predicts NWOM intentions.

Government Relationship-Building Practices Online: An Analysis of Capital City Websites • Lindsay McCluskey, Louisiana State University • Government public relations professionals have many opportunities to communicate directly with their publics; however, some practitioners have expressed concern about their website efforts. Websites are one popular and consequential medium for engagement and the government organization-public relationship. This study examines the website homepages of 50 capital cities through qualitative content analysis. The researcher assesses what website features and characteristics promote and advance Hon and Grunig’s relationship outcomes and Kent and Taylor’s dialogic public relations principles.

If Anything Can Go Wrong, It Will: Murphy’s Law, and the Unintended Consequences of Deliberate Communication • Timothy Penn, University of Maryland • Murphy’s Law popularly describes the unpredictable and often capricious relationship between humans and the modern technological world. The global media environment, changing cultural landscapes and changing social norms amplify this phenomenon. This case study explores this phenomenon by examining the JWT India, Ford Figo advertising campaign scandal. Poster cartoons, submitted for an advertising competition, that featured popular sport, celebrity and political figures kidnapping other celebrities, caused a worldwide media sensation, and led to the resignation of JWT executives. Borrowing from sociological theory, this exploratory study uses Merton’s (1936) typology of the unanticipated consequences of social action as a lens to analyze factors that led to JWT’s releasing the ads, and the worldwide reaction to them. The study used qualitative textual analysis of traditional and social media, on-line interviews and web logs. Analysis found five themes of Merton’s typology, lack of foreknowledge, habit, myopia, values, and self-defeating prediction, could partially explain or describe both the campaign’s release and the subsequent worldwide media reaction. Future research could lead to developing a typology of unintended consequences of deliberate communication for public relations.

Mobile Technology and Public Engagement: Exploring the Effects of College Students’ Mobile Phone Use on Their Public Engagement • Yuan Wang, University of Alabama • Mobile communication technology has been exerting a substantial impact on our society and daily lives. This study examined the effects of college students’ mobile phone use on their public engagement and the impacts of public engagement on behavioral intentions. More specifically, it conducted a survey of 409 college students in the United States to investigate college students’ use of mobile phone for information seeking and social media applications. The current study could advance the literature on public relations and mobile communication technology. Furthermore, this study could make some practical implications for university management to utilize mobile technology effectively to engage their students and establish relationships with them.

Ethical Approaches to Crisis Communication in Chemical Crises: A Content Analysis of Media Coverage of Chemical Crises from 2010 to 2014 • Xiaochen Zhang, University of Florida; Jonathan Borden, Syracuse University • Through a content analysis of media coverage of chemical crises in the U.S. from 2010 to 2014, this study examined chemical companies’ crisis communication strategies. Results revealed that, compared with large Fortune 500 corporations, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) were more likely to delay their response and to use more legal strategies and less public relations strategies. SMEs were also less likely to use base response strategies in their crisis response.

2015 Abstracts

Magazine 2015 Abstracts

The Uses and Gratifications Theory and the Future of Print Magazines • Elizabeth Bonner, University of Alabama • In the midst of the persistent discussion that print journalism is dying, data suggests many magazines are still thriving, particularly with Millennial audiences. The uses and gratifications theory emerges as a pivotal tool for magazines hoping to make it through this time of technological transformation. If print magazines wish to survive, they must make efforts to understand how this instrumental Millennial demographic uses magazines and what gratifications its members seek in those uses.

Finding the Future of Magazines in the Past: Audience Engagement with the First 18th-Century Magazines • Elizabeth Bonner, University of Alabama • In the midst of the discussion that print journalism lacks value today because it cannot provide the interactive platform modern audiences desire, data suggests many magazines are thriving. Assessing this print versus digital debate in the context of historical magazines reveals readers’ desire for interactivity is actually age old. This study examines the audience engagement efforts of America’s first two magazines founded in 1741 and seeks to shed light on the future of print magazines.

Survivors and Dreamers: A Rhetorical Vision of Teen Voices magazine • Ellen Gerl, Ohio University • This study explores how Teen Voices, a magazine written and edited by teenage girls, created a rhetorical vision of empowerment through its text and photographs. Using social convergence theory and fantasy theme analysis, the researcher identified four fantasy types: 1) I am a survivor, 2) I am a dreamer, 3) I am an activist, and 4) I can do anything. Findings discussed within the framework of third wave feminism show the rhetorical community established within Teen Voices magazine valued individualism and personal strength.

App Assets: An Exploratory Analysis of Magazine Brands’ Digital Drive for Audience Attention • Elizabeth Hendrickson, Ohio University; Yun Li • This research examines the evolution of today’s consumer magazine content distribution and considers how a media organization’s digital developments might reflect a further tapering of consumer demographics. This study applies the diffusion of innovation framework to magazine media convergence trends and explores how the industry’s leading publishing organizations respond to the changing needs and expectations of its already-niche audiences.

The Ethics of Common Sense: Considering the Ethics Decision-Making Processes of Freelance Magazine Journalists • Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri • Freelance journalists face many of the same ethical dilemmas as journalists working in newsrooms. Because they work independently for various organizations, they may develop different strategies for making ethical decisions. This study used in-depth interviews with freelance magazine journalists (N = 14) to explore how they define ethical dilemmas and the individual and organizational frameworks guiding their decision-making. The study sheds light on the forces shaping ethical decision-making, particularly in the context of magazine journalism.

Picturing Cities: A Semiotic Analysis of City and Regional Magazine Cover Images • Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri; Keith Greenwood • City and regional magazines serve multiple functions in communities, providing ideas for how residents should spend their time and money and offering insight into the people and experiences that define urban life. The covers of these publications both promote this content and reveal the images of cities these magazines perpetuate. This study used content analysis to examine the covers of nine award-winning city and regional magazines. The study aimed to assess the philosophy of selection the magazines used when choosing cover content, particularly whether covers were created to accurately reflect the community and the challenges and opportunities it faces or to enhance sales through promoting a limited vision of urban life. The analysis indicated that city magazines focused on items to be consumed over depictions of people, but when people did appear, they reflected a narrow demographic slice of city’s populations. The magazines also emphasized lifestyle topics and more often represented generic backdrops than specific locations. Lastly, the covers relied on photographic approaches through which readers could establish social connections with the subjects presented. These findings suggest that city magazines emphasize depictions of affluent urban lifestyles over representing more diverse images of city life.

Looking Westwards: Men in Transnational Men’s Magazine Advertising in India • Suman Mishra • This study examines advertising content of four top-selling Indian editions of transnational men’s lifestyle magazines (Men’s Health India, GQ India, FHM India, Maxim India) to understand how it is constructing masculinity for urban Indian men. Through content analysis, the study finds greater presence of international brands and Caucasian models than domestic Indian brands and models in the advertisements. Male models often appear alone and in decorative roles as opposed to professional roles promoting clothing and accessories. Advertisements with sexual explicitness and physical contact are few, which is in line with global trends and local conservative Indian culture. The study discusses the emergence of class-based masculinity that helps to assimilate the upper class Indian men into global consumer base through shared ideals, goals and values.

A Boondoggle in Space: Themes in 1960s Era Space Exploration Journalism • Jennifer Scott, Regent University; Stephen Perry • The success of Sputnik I in 1957 both propelled Russia to the forefront of the Space Race and challenged the United States to invest more time, resources, manpower, and finances into space exploration. By the 1960s, skepticism grew concerning the United States’ objectives and ability to enter space and eventually reach the moon. This study examines articles published in The Saturday Evening Post that editorialize on the U.S. space program. A fantasy theme analysis shows exaggerated and negative language used to inflate the severity of the Space Race and criticize the United States’ failures and disorganization. Themes emerge in the articles that construct a rhetorical vision of the United States far behind Russia in the highly dangerous, overly expensive, and severely wasteful arena of space travel.

Sexuality and Relationships in Cosmopolitan for Latinas Online and Cosmopolitan Online • Chelsea Reynolds, University of Minnesota SJMC • Since 2012, leading publishers have launched magazines targeting Latina readers. This study positions those titles within the larger Latino marketing boom and problematizes their representations of Latina women. This qualitative framing analysis contrasts frames of sexuality and relationships in Sex & Love articles published on Cosmo For Latinas online with those from Cosmopolitan online. While CFL stereotyped Latinas’ bodies as caught up in political and family struggles, Cosmo focused on readers’ sexual and romantic autonomy.

2015 Abstracts

International Communication 2015 Abstracts

Robert L. Stevenson Open Paper Competition
The Promise to the Arab World: Attribute Agenda Setting and Diversity of Attributes about U.S. President Obama in Arabic-Language Tweets • Mariam Alkazemi; Shahira Fahmy; Wayne Wanta, University of Florida; Ahmedabad Abdelzaheer Mahmoud Farghali, University of Arizona •
In 2009 U.S. President Barak Obama travelled to Cairo promising a new beginning between the US government and the Arab world that has been angry about the two US led wars in two Muslim nations and its perceived favoritism toward Israel (Kuttab, 2013; Wilson, 2012). Five years later, we analyzed Arabic-language twitter messages involving President Obama to examine cognitive and affective attributes. Results show that tweets by members of the media differed greatly from tweets by members of the public. The public was much more negative towards the U.S. President. Members of the public also were more likely to link the President to a wider range of countries, suggesting a greater diversity of attributes. The location of the source of the tweets showed a wide range, though dominated by the Middle East.

The New York Times and Washington Post: Misleading the Public about U.S. Drone Strikes • Jeff Bachman, American University’s School of International Service • This paper examines The New York Times’ and Washington Post’s coverage of U.S. drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan to determine whether they have accurately reported on the number of civilians killed in drone strikes and the overall civilian impact, as well as whether they have placed drone strikes within their proper legal context. The author concludes that both newspapers have failed to accurately report the number of civilian casualties and have underemphasized the civilian impact of drone strikes, while also excluding international legal issues from their coverage.

Experiencing sexism: Responses by Indian women journalists to sexism and sexual harassment • Kalyani Chadha; Pallavi Guha; Linda Steiner, University of Maryland, College Park • This paper examines the everyday sexism and workplace sex discrimination experienced by women journalists in India. Nearly all attention to Indian women focuses on high profile cases of sexual assault. Our interviews with Indian women journalists, however, indicate that the problem is everyday sexism and workplace discrimination. Moreover, women say laws designed to protect women are ineffective and largely unenforced. We highlight the impact of the casualization of journalists labor, resulting from global market forces.

Integrating Self-Construal in Theory of Reasoned Action: Examining How Self-Construal, Social Norms, and Attitude Relate to Healthy Lifestyle Intention in Singapore • Soo Fei Chuah, Nanyang Technological University; Xiaodong Yang, Nanyang Technological University; Liang Chen, Nanyang Technological University; Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University • This study would like to investigate Singaporeans’ intention to adopt healthy lifestyle by integrating the concept of self-construal into the Theory of Reasoned Action. The results revealed that attitudes toward healthy lifestyle and subjective norms are associated with healthy lifestyle behavioral intentions. Besides, interdependent self-construal is associated with individuals’ attitude and subjective norm. The study also found that there is an indirect relationship between subjective norms and behavioral intention through individuals’ attitude.

We Choose to Tweet: Twitter Users’ Take on Rwanda Day 2014 • Sally Ann Cruikshank, Auburn University; Jeremy Saks, Ohio University • This study centers on the usage of Twitter related to Rwanda Day 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. The event allowed Rwandan diaspora to gather to celebrate Rwandan culture and included a speech by President Paul Kagame. A content analysis of two hashtags related to the event, #RwandaDay and #Twahisemo, was performed. Utilizing social identity theory, the researchers explored how various groups tweeted about Rwanda Day 2014 and President Kagame. Findings and implications are discussed at length.

Testing the effect of message framing and valence on national image • Ming Dai, Southeastern Oklahoma State University • Using the episodic and thematic framing concepts, the study was designed to understand the influence of message format and its interaction with message valence in influencing perceptions of foreign countries, policy attitudes and policy choice. The experimental study examined young Americans’ responses to news articles about the US’s policy toward China to change the human rights conditions in the country. The findings indicated that episodically framed message was more interesting to read. The episodically framed positive article improved perceptions of China’s human rights conditions, but it did not worsen the perceptions. The episodically framed negative article was not the most powerful influence on the perceptions, policy attitudes and policy choice. Thematic frame was more powerful than episodic frame on policy attitude in both positive and negative stories. Implications for national image promotion through media are discussed.

Fighting for recognition: online abuse of political women bloggers in Germany, Switzerland, the UK and US • Stine Eckert • This study finds that women in Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States who blog about politics or are feminists face great risks of online abuse. In-depth interviews with 109 bloggers who write about women, family, and/or maternity politics revealed that 73.4 percent had negative experiences. Using theoretical approaches that emphasize how offline hierarchies migrate online, this study calls for more empirical work on and global recognition of online harassment as punishable crimes.

Ironic Encounters: Constructing Humanitarianism through Slum Tourist Media • Brian Ekdale, University of Iowa; David Tuwei, University of Iowa • Following Steeves (2008) and Chouliaraki (2013), we argue that slum tourist media signify an ironic encounter, one in which tourists construct a humanitarian Self in contrast to an impoverished Other. Our analysis focuses on three-high profile texts produced by tourists of Kibera, a densely populated low-income community in Nairobi, Kenya: the BBC’s reality television special Famous, Rich and in the Slums, the book Megaslumming: A Journey Through sub-Saharan Africa’s Largest Shantytown, and a White House slideshow about Jill Biden’s tour of Kibera. In these ironic encounters, slum tourism is justified as necessary for coveted experiential knowledge, as a platform for tourists to share their newfound expertise on global poverty, and as a source of encouragement and enlightenment for slum residents.

The Signs of Sisi Mania: A Semiotic and Discourse Analysis of Abdelfattah Al-Sisi’s Egyptian Presidential Campaign • Mohammed el-Nawawy; Mohamad Elmasry • This study employed semiotic analysis to examine the sign system in two of Abdelfattah Al-Sisi’s 2014 Egyptian presidential campaign posters, and discourse analysis to uncover dominant discourses in Al-Sisi’s most prominent campaign video. The semiotic analysis showed that the campaign presented Al-Sisi as a familiar, yet transcendent, figure, while the discourse analysis suggested that the video producers discursively constructed Al-Sisi as the ultimate patriot and a strongman with immense leadership abilities.

Exploring the relationship between Myanmar consumers’ social identity, attitudes towards globalization, and consumer preferences • Alana Rudkin, American University; Joseph Erba, University of Kansas • Myanmar is transitioning to an open market economy, but very little is known about Myanmar consumers and their attitudes towards globalization. Using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and social identity theory, this exploratory study aimed to shed light on the role Myanmar consumers’ cultural values and social identity play in consumer preferences. Results from a cross-sectional survey of Myanmar consumers (N = 268) provide insights into Myanmar culture and how to effectively communicate with Myanmar consumers.

Food and Society: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Food Advertising Claims in the U.S. and China • Yang Feng, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise; Lingda Li, Communication University of China • This study explored the socio-economic (food safety issues and regulations) and cultural factors affecting the use of advertising claims across two countries: the U.S. and China. Results from the content analyses of 324 U.S. and 81 Chinese food advertisements indicated that quality claims, health claims, nutrient content claims, and structure/function claims were more often used in Chinese food advertisements than in the U.S. food advertisements, whereas taste claims were more frequently adopted in the U.S. food advertisements than their Chinese counterparts. Moreover, while Chinese food advertisements tended to include more healthy foods than their U.S. counterparts, the U.S. food advertisements were inclined to contain more unhealthy foods than their Chinese counterparts. Overall, results suggested that the use of food advertising claims reflected the local market’s socio-economic situations and cultural values. Implications and limitations were discussed.

To Share or Not to Share: The Influence of News Values and Topics on Popular Social Media Content in the U.S., Brazil, and Argentina • Victor Garcia, University of Texas at Austin; Ramón Salaverría, School of Communication, University of Navarra; Danielle Kilgo; Summer Harlow, Florida State University • As news organizations strive to create news for the digital environment, audiences play an increasingly important role in evaluating content. This comparative study of the U.S., Argentina, and Brazil explores values and topics present in news content and the variances in audience interaction on social media. Findings suggest values of timeliness and conflict/controversy and government/politics topics trigger more audience responses. Articles in the Brazilian media prompted more interactivity than those in the U.S. or Argentina.

Journalists in peril: In-depth interviews with Iraqi journalists covering everyday violence • Goran Ghafour, The university of Kansas; Barbara Barnett, The University of Kansas • After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraqi journalists enjoyed an unprecedented free press—albeit short-lived. With the emergence of ISIS, Iraqi journalists have witnessed a harsher wave of violence. Based on in-depth interviews with nine Iraqi journalists, this study found that journalists not only covered violence but perceived violence as a government tool used to control them. In spite of threats to their lives, journalists said they were committed to their jobs.

Advocating Social Stability and Territorial Integrity: The China Daily’s Framing of the Arab Spring • Jae Sik Ha, Univ Of Illinois-Springfield; Dong-Hee Shin • This study examines how The China Daily, China’s authoritative English newspaper, framed the Arab Spring, a social movement in the Middle East. Specifically, it compares news stories appearing in The China Daily from Chinese reporters with those obtained from Western wire services. The study found that the Chinese journalists attempted to accuse the West, including the U.S. government, of being responsible for the chaos and violence occurring in the Arab world. The Chinese journalists also stressed China’s national interests and concerns (i.e. social stability, national unity, and territorial integrity) in their coverage. They relied on Chinese government officials and experts as news sources, whereas Western journalists quoted those involved in the protests more often. China’s national interests primarily shaped the news within The China Daily; the paper has served as a useful tool for the Chinese government in its public diplomacy efforts, which seek to present China as a harmonious, stable, and reliable nation.

Depiction of Chinese in New Zealand journalism • Grant Hannis • Media depictions of Chinese in Western countries often rely on the Yellow Peril and model minority stereotypes. This paper considers the nature of coverage of Chinese in New Zealand print journalism to determine whether it uses these stereotypes. Although the rampant Yellow Peril hysteria of early 20th-century coverage had largely disappeared 100 years later, there continued to be a significant amount of negatively toned coverage – primarily crime – rather than use of the model minority stereotype.

Liberation Technology? Understanding a Community Radio Station’s Social Media Use in El Salvador • Summer Harlow, Florida State University • This ethnographic study of the Salvadoran community station Radio Victoria explores how the radio used Facebook to encourage citizen participation and action, despite the digital divide. Analysis showed who participated and how they participated changed because of Facebook. This study contributes to scholarship by including technology as fundamental to the study of alternative media and by expanding our conceptualization of the digital divide to include whether social media are used in frivolous or liberating ways.

Predicting international news flow from Reuters: Money makes the world go round • Beverly Horvit, University of Missouri; Peter Gade, University of Oklahoma; Yulia Medvedeva, University of Missouri; Anthony Roth, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Michael Phinney, University of Missouri • This content analysis surveyed more than 13,000 news stories to identify the factors that predict the amount of business and non-business coverage allocated to world countries by Reuters newswire in 2006 and 2014. Findings revealed that country’s world-system status ratio suggested by Gunaratne serves as the most reliable predictor of the volume of coverage. U.S. firms’ investments in a country and the number of significant events serve as additional reliable predictors of country’s news visibility.

Learning how to do things right: Lessons from the digital transition in Bulgaria • Elza Ibroscheva, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; Maria Raicheva-Stover, Washburn University • The paper examines the latest developments in the digital switchover in Bulgaria, focusing on the specific the challenges that this new EU member faces. Exploring the digitization efforts of a novice EU policy actor such as Bulgaria is critical as it demonstrates the complex processes that nations in transition undergo as they build a Western-type democracy and navigate the complexities of media policies attached to such transitional adjustments. By offering an in-depth media analysis of the current developments, the players in the process of digital conversion in Bulgaria and its political prominence, might reveal the obstacles and challenges that other transitional democracies might face when media developments are caught at a crossroad— at the international level, the EU call for a free market competition and transparency of capital, and at the local level, continuous attempts to obscure the source of capital and thus, protect powerful local players that wield enormous power and control over public opinion, thus, single-highhandedly steering the processes of democratization and media transformation they foster.

Determining the Factors Influencing the News Values of International Disasters in the U.S. News Media • YONGICK JEONG, Louisiana State University; Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University • We explore various factors that influence the news value of international disasters in 10 representative U.S. news outlets over a four-week period. Our findings suggest that internal disaster factors are most consistent and significant in covering international disasters in the U.S. When disaster coverage is extended over a longer period, other external factors, such as trade relations with the U.S., distance from the U.S., GDP, military expenditure, and political rights, come into play as well.

Military Intervention or Not?: A Textual Analysis of the Coverage on Syria in Foreign Affairs and China Daily • Cristina Mislan; Haiyan Jia, The Pennsylvania State University • A growing public conversation about the United States’ pivot toward the Asian continent has highlighted the tense relations between the United States and China. While convergence of each country’s foreign policy interests has become of great concern for the United, US influence throughout the Middle East demonstrates the United States’ inability to disengage from the Middle East. This paper contributes to historical conversations about the lifespan of foreign policy by comparing US and Chinese foreign policy through an analysis of both countries’ national media coverage. The authors conducted a discourse analysis of the coverage on intervention in the Syrian civil war in Foreign Affairs and China Daily between April and September 2013. Findings illustrate three themes addressing the intervention strategies and underlying approaches adopted in each media source, their representations of the international structure, and the perceptions of each country regarding China’s international presence in the twenty-first century.

Social Network Discussion, Life Satisfaction and Quality of life • Chang Won Jung; Hernando Rojas • The study explores the relationship between the cross-cutting discussion and two aspects of satisfaction: life satisfaction (individual) and quality of life (societal). This research suggests how individuals’ media use, SNSs, social network discussion, heterogeneous discussion, and associational membership contribute to satisfaction based on a Colombia national sample, N=1031 (2012). The finding suggests that heterogeneous discussion negatively predicts life satisfaction, yet positively predicts quality of life. The use of SNSs only positively predicts quality of life.

Influence of Facebook on Body Image and Disordered Eating in Kazakhstan and USA • Karlyga N. Myssayeva, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University; Stephanie Smith, Ohio University; Yusuf Kalyango Jr., Ohio University; Ayupova Zaure Karimovna, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University • Women in the United States of America (USA) are ranked fourth heaviest in the world, while women in Kazakhstan are generally thin. This difference in average female weight leads to interesting questions regarding perceptions of beauty. Is there less negative body image in Kazakhstan given that, on average, Kazakh women are slimmer compared to American women? The thin ideal is pervasive in all genres of mass media and has been linked to negative body image, which in turn is a risk factor for eating disorders, and a significant predictor of low self-esteem, depression, and obesity. Young women spend an increasing amount of time with social media both in Kazakhstan and the USA, but the relationship between this growing exposure and body image is not fully understood. This study uses objectification to examine the relationship between time spent on Facebook and body image among Kazakh and American college women. Time on Facebook predicted BSQ and EAT-26© scores in Kazakhstan but did not in the USA, suggesting Facebook may have a more subtle effect in the USA. Time on Facebook predicted attention to appearance and negative feelings in both countries. Practical and theoretical implications are detailed.

Dirty Politics in New Zealand: How newspaper reporters and online bloggers constructed the professional values of journalism at a time of crisis • Linda Jean Kenix • This research explores how different facets of the New Zealand media system conceptualized journalism and their own perceived role within journalistic practice at a particular moment of crisis. This study found a recurrent reflexive protectionism displayed by journalists while bloggers readily explored the extent of journalism doxa, albeit through a politicized lens. If journalism is measured, in part, by the values on display in written text, then bloggers emerged from this controversy as professional journalists.

A Theoretical Approach to Understanding China’s Consumption of the Korean Wave • Sojung Kim, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Qijun He, the Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study investigates how globalism, proximity, and modernity influence China’s motivation to consume the Korean wave and its subsequent consumption of Korean TV programs. The findings suggest that the motivation to consume the Korean wave is positively related to globalism and proximity. Modernity, however, is found to have a negative influence on the motivation. The study also finds that the motivation to consume the Korean wave has a significant impact on the consumption of Korean TV programs. In the revised model, the study suggests that proximity, followed by globalism, has the strongest positive relationship with the motivation. Such a finding suggests that proximity approach could serve as a better theoretical perspective to explain the phenomenon of the Korean wave in China.

Soft Power and Development Efforts: An Analysis of Foreign Development Efforts As Covered in 28 Senegalese Dailies • Jeslyn Lemke, University of Oregon, School of Journalism and Communication • This study is a quantitative content analysis that explores the connection between foreign development initiatives in Senegal and the rate of coverage these foreign initiatives receive, using a sample of 28 editions of five major Senegalese daily newspapers. The purpose of this study is to explore the connection between J. Nye’s soft power, Western imperialism and the related influence of Western organizations intervening into the Senegalese economy and civilian life, as measured in these newspapers.

Migrant Worker of News vs. Superman: Why Local Journalists in China and the U.S. Perceive Different Self-Image • Zhaoxi Liu, Trinity University • Conversations with local journalists in China and the U.S. reveal quite different self-image as journalists. Whereas Chinese journalists label themselves migrant workers of news, American journalists generally hold the notion that journalists inform the public to maintain democracy and even act like superman to make a change. To better understand such differences, the article argues, one has to examine journalists as interpretive communities situated in specific social environment.

Beyond Cultural Imperialism to Postcolonial Global Discourses: Korean Wave (Hallyu) and its Fans in Qatar • Saadia Malik, Qarar University • This paper aims to understand K-pop culture and its fans in Qatar through asking the question: How audiences/fans of K-pop culture in Qatar interact, negotiate and define themselves as audiences/fans of Korean pop-culture. To answer this question, the papers adopts postcolonial discourses on globalization as a theoretical approach that advocates multi-flow of culture and globalization and places fans of K-pop culture in Qatar within the framework of transnational fandom of non-western hybrid popular culture. Moreover, the theoretical framework advocates audience’s (fans) agency in negotiating and consuming K-pop cultural products. Group interviews were conducted with some young Arab women who define themselves as fans of K-pop culture in order to bring their views and opinions as K-pop fans to the center of analysis in this paper. The Young Arab women I interacted with through this research have created their own non-institutionalized voluntary fan ‘community’ (subculture) as K-pop fans. This ‘community’ or cultural ‘ecumene’ stands as an ‘identity space’ through which they can express their cultural identity as fans of K-pop culture bonded by Korean language and by shared expressed cultural symbols from K-pop culture itself.

He is a Looker Not a Doer: New Masculinity in Men’s Magazine In India • Suman Mishra • After 2005, several transnational men’s magazines have been introduced in India because of changes in Indian government’s policy. However, little is known about how these magazines are shaping masculine ideals of urban Indian men. Through an examination of magazine advertising content, this study finds a focus on aesthetic metrosexuality. This form of masculinity sits comfortably at the global-local nexus and serves to assimilate upper class Indian men into a global consumer class.

Asian Crisis Communications: Perspectives from the MH370 Disappearance and Sewol Ferry Disaster • Jeremy Chan; Bohoon Choi; Adrian Seah; Wan Ling Tan; Fernando Paragas • This paper examines two national addresses by the leaders of South Korea and Malaysia in response to pivotal crises in their respective countries. Using Critical Discourse Analysis, our findings show both speeches employed crisis communication strategies aligned with the Situational Crisis Communications Theory. However, key differences in how these strategies have been used in either speech precludes a prescription of a uniform Asian crisis communication response given the diversity of national cultures in the continent.

Idiocentrism versus Allocentrism and Illegal Downloading Intention between the United States and South Korea • Namkee Park, Yonsei University, South Korea; Hyun Sook Oh, Pyeongtaek University, South Korea; Naewon Kang, Dankook University, South Korea; Seohee Sohn, Yonsei University, South Korea • This study employed the personality dimension of idiocentrism and allocentrism to examine the difference in illegal downloading intention between the U.S college students and South Korean ones. The study uncovered that South Korean students had a higher intention of illegal downloading than the U.S. counterparts. The study also found that, for the U.S. students, idiocentrics exhibited a higher intention of illegal downloading than allocentrics. For South Korean students, allocentrics showed a higher intention than idiocentrics.

Cultural Capital at its Best: Factors Influencing Consumption of American Television Programs among Young Croatians • Ivanka Pjesivac, University of Georgia; Iveta Imre, Western Carolina University • This study examined factors that influence the consumption of American television programs among young Croatians, by conducting a paper and pencil survey (N=487). The results indicate that young Croatians are avid consumers of American dramas and sitcoms, and that a set of cultural capital variables is a significant predictor of the consumption of American TV. Knowledge of English language, of U.S. lifestyle, consumption of American movies and American press all had a significant unique contribution to the model.

Do Demographics Matter? Individual Differences in Perceived News Media Corruption in Serbia • Ivanka Pjesivac, University of Georgia • This study examined individual differences in perceived news media corruption (PNMC), by conducting a face-to-face survey on a representative sample of the Serbian population (N=544). Extremely high levels of PNMC were found, as well as significant differences in PNMC scores for gender, education level, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, and membership in majority ethnic and religious groups. Corruption perception persona types are created and results are discussed in terms of importance of societal integration for PNMC.

Charities in Chile: Trust and Commitment in the Formation of Donor’s Behavioral Loyalty • Cristobal Barra; Geah Pressgrove, West Virginia University; Eduardo Torres-Moraga • This study explores the ways in which trust and commitment lead to loyalty in the Latin American organization-donor context. Findings support a multi-dimension sequentially ordered conceptualization of loyalty that starts with cognitive loyalty, followed by affective loyalty and with behavioral loyalty as the penultimate outcome. Further, findings indicate that neither trust nor commitment affects behavioral loyalty directly; rather, the effects of these variables are present in earlier stages of the formation of loyalty

Thatcherism and the Eurozone crisis: A social systems-level analysis of British, Greek, and German news coverage of Margaret Thatcher’s death • Sada Reed, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Yioryos Nardis, Unaffiliated; Emily Ogilvie; Daniel Riffe • The following study examines British, Greek, and German newspapers’ coverage of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s death in order to argue that proximity as a news value is not limited to media routines, but is part of nations’ social systems. Results suggest that journalists interpreted the meaning of Thatcher’s legacy and death more in proximity to their respective nation’s weathering of the European economic storm than through the lens of their newspaper’s political leaning.

An Exploratory Study on Journalistic Professionalism and Journalism Education in Contemporary China • Baohui Shao; qingwenn dong Dong, university of the pacific • Journalism education plays an important role to cultivate future professional journalists. Chinese journalism education has boomed up in recent decades, however, journalism graduates are not welcomed by media organizations. Through in-depth interviews with professional journalists and journalism educationalists, this paper finds that their perception of journalistic professionalism is focusing on journalistic expertise, commitment, and responsibility but eschewing journalistic autonomy deliberately and Chinese journalism education concentrates on rigid journalism knowledge without profession or practical ability.

Sex Trafficking in Thai Media: A content analysis of issue framing • Meghan Sobel, Regis University • Understanding how news media frame sex trafficking in Thailand, a country with high levels of trafficking and an understudied media landscape, has strong implications for how the public and policymakers understand and respond to the issue. This quantitative content analysis analyzed 15 years of trafficking coverage in five English-language Thai newspapers and found a focus on female victims, international aspects of trafficking and official sources with a lack of discussion of risk factors and solutions.

Reimagining Internet Geographies: A User-Centric Ethnological Mapping of the World Wide Web • Angela Xiao Wu, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Harsh Taneja, University of Missouri, School of Journalism • Existing imageries of the WWW prioritize media infrastructure and content dissemination. We propose a new imagery foregrounding local usage and it’s shaping by local cultural identity and political economy. We develop granular measures and construct ethnological maps of WWW usage through a network analysis of shared global traffic between top 1000 websites in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Our results reveal the significant growth and thickening of online regional cultures associated with the global South.

Producing Communities and Commodities: Safaricom and Commercial Nationalism in Kenya • David Tuwei, University of Iowa; Melissa Tully, University of Iowa • This research analyzes Safaricom, one of the most established mobile operators in Kenya. Alongside the provision of mobile services, Safaricom has closely engaged with the government of Kenya, even getting involved in the nation’s politics. This study specifically examines Safaricom’s marketing, which reflects a commitment to promoting the country and its products through discourses of commercial nationalism. These discourses link Kenyan identity, pride, and distinctiveness to commercial success, profit, upward mobility, and development.

The dependency gap: Story types and source selection in coverage of an international health crisis • Fred Vultee, Wayne State University; Fatima Barakji, Wayne State University; Lee Wilkins • The growing interactivity of news, and the growing number of ways in which it can get around traditional barriers of news practice or social/legal constraint, underscores the value of revisiting theory as a guide to analysis and practice. This paper adds to media systems dependency theory by reinterpreting its emphasis on the individual actor to incorporate both audience members and journalists themselves as well as the political context in which news accounts are created and recounted. It then tests these revised theoretical notions in a cross-national content analysis of coverage of an emerging disease in the Arabian Gulf. Results suggest that predictable patterns of sourcing and topic selection hold in some circumstances and are challenged in others.

Africa rising: An analysis of emergent mass communication scholarship in Africa from 2004 – 2014. • ben wasike • In the first comprehensive and longitudinal analysis of Africa-based mass communication research since David Edeani’s (1995) study of the same, this study analyzed a census of Africa-based mass communication research published worldwide between years 2004 – 2014. Results show that Africa-based scholarship uniquely differs from mainstream and other emergent research in terms of analyzing newspapers content over television and the heavy use of case studies. Confluence with other research spheres includes being atheoretical, qualitative and non-empirical.

Examining global journalism: how global news networks frame the ISIS threat • Xu Zhang, Texas Tech University; lea hellmueller, Texas Tech University • The results of a quantitative content analysis of 393 news reports on the ISIS threat from CNN and Al-Jazeera English suggests that in time of globalization different transnational news outlets share common features in their news coverage of global challenges, while important differences still co-exist. On the contrary to the concept of global journalism, reporting the global event from a global perspective is far from conclusion, even for those transnational news outlets.

Markham Student Paper Competition
Source Nationality, Authority and Credibility: A Multi-National Experiment using the Diaoyu/Senkaku Island Dispute • Krystin Anderson, University of Florida; Xiaochen Zhang, University of Florida; Shintaro Sato, University of Florida; Hideo Matsumoto, Tokai University •
This study investigates the relationship between source authority type and source nationality on credibility and peace message reception in context of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Island dispute. Through three separate experiments conducted in the U.S., China and Japan, it finds a significant relationship between source nationality and credibility and an interaction between nationality and authority type. The study offers implications for peace journalism, suggesting that source choice is an important factor in reporting peace initiatives.

What’s in a name? The renewal of development journalism in the 21st century • Kendal Blust • Development journalism has been dismissed as a form of government controlled media but continues to interest scholars and practitioners alike. A new form of development journalism is being used in which international development issues are reported from the outside in. The Guardian’s Global Development site is explored through ethnographic content analysis as a model for development journalism from the outside and a comparison with previous definitions.

Young wife from Sikkim allegedly raped: Understanding the framing of rape reportage in Indian media • DHIMAN CHATTOPADHYAY, Bowling Green State University • This paper explores the framing of rape reportage in India’s English language media, conducting a mixed method content analysis of how 25 Indian newspapers, magazines and television channels reported the same incident of rape on their respective websites. The results showed that the victim’s credibility was often doubted and both victim and accused were otherized. Also attributes such as marital status, age, profession and ethnicity were considered vital information to be conveyed to audiences. This study hopes to contribute to the nascent but growing body of academic work that has started to look at the growing incidents of rape in India and how the media frames and communicates incidents of rapes and rape culture in general to its audiences

Permission to Narrate? Palestinian Perspectives in U.S. Media Coverage of Operation Cast Lead • Britain Eakin, University of Arizona • This study explores the presence of Palestinian narratives in U.S. media coverage in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times during Operation Cast Lead, the 22-day long Israeli military operation in Gaza, which lasted from late December 2008 through January 22, 2009. Utilizing a postcolonial framework this study examines the coverage as part of the Orientalist legacy that shapes American perceptions of Palestinians, and how those perceptions might manifest themselves in relation to the presence of or lack of Palestinian narratives in media coverage of Operation Cast Lead. This study finds that to a limited extent, Palestinian narratives are present in the reporting, however lack of context overshadowed their legitimacy.

MH17 Tragedy: An Analysis of Cold War and Post-Cold War Media Framing of Airline Disasters • Abu Daud Isa, West Virginia University • This paper builds on similar studies that examined newspaper coverage of airline disasters during the Cold War in the 1980s. It explores new Cold War frames in The New York Times and The Moscow Times coverage of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine in 2014. The research reveals an absence of hostile Cold War assertions, but found frames were consistent with the respective U.S. and Russian diplomatic positions.

Journalists Jailed and Muzzled: Government and Government-inspired Censorship in Turkey during AKP Rule • Duygu Kanver, Michigan State University • During Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule, politics have been overly influential on news media in Turkey. The AKP government’s connections with highly politicized media owners have led to a politically-oriented, polarized media landscape where journalists cannot report freely and objectively. This study explores limitations on freedom of the press, which include ongoing censorship due to direct and indirect involvement of the government, and hundreds of journalist imprisonments between 2008 and 2013.

Burma/Myanmar’s Exile Media in Transition: Exploring the Relationship between Alternative Media, Market Forces & Public Sphere Formation • Brett Labbe, Bowling Green State University • This study examines the historical development of Myanmar/Burma’s independent exile media alongside their recent integration into the country and ongoing financial reconfigurations. Employing documentary research, observation of Burma/Myanmar’s current media landscape, and interviews with senior editors of the country’s former exile media, this investigation explores these organizations’ changing institutional practices and relationships to the nation’s political and public spheres in order to examine reigning conceptualizations of ‘alternative media’ and its relationship to market forces and public sphere formation. This study found that the country’s exile media’s transition into the country has provided new avenues of journalistic ‘space,’ yet not necessarily conductive to these organizations’ traditional alternative media values.

Spotlight on Qatar: A framing analysis of labor rights issues in the news blog Doha News • Elizabeth Lance, Northwestern University in Qatar; Ivana Vasic, Independent; Rhytha Zahid Hejaze • This study examines coverage of labor rights issues in the online-only news blog Doha News (Qatar) to identify the prominent frames used. Additionally, this study compares those prominent frames with those found in the English-language daily Gulf Times (Qatar), identifying several differences. This study is useful in understanding how an online-only news blog covers a controversial issue in a restrictive press environment.

Digitally enabled citizen empowerment in East and Southeast Asia • SHIN HAENG LEE, University of Washington • This study assessed the impact of new information technologies on citizen empowerment in Asian political communication systems as the emerging digital network market. The World Values Survey provided cross-national data, gathered during the two periods: 2005–2007 (Wave 5) and 2010–2013 (Wave 6). The results showed that online information seeking had mobilizing effects on political participation in both WVS waves. This relationship was nevertheless conditional on the existing information gap.

Linguistic Abstractness as a Discursive Microframe: LCM Framing in International Reporting by American News • Josephine Lukito, Syracuse University • This study examined whether American news coverage of a country would be framed differently based on the country’s proximity or interactions with the United States. The Linguistic Category Model was used to code for language abstractness. Seven proximity and interaction variables were studied. Results suggest that countries with little proximity or with weak ties to the U.S. were framed abstractly. Implications are discussed, and the LCM frame is identified as a discursive microframe (DMF).

Online networking and protest behaviors in Latin America • Rachel Mourao, The University of Texas at Austin; Shannon McGregor, University of Texas – Austin; Magdalena Saldana, The University of Texas at Austin • The relationship between online networking and protest participation is a focal point of scholarly attention, yet few studies address it in the context of Latin American democracies. Using data from the 2012 Americas-Barometer public opinion survey, we assess how online networking affects protest behavior in the region. Findings suggest that online networking leads to moderate protest behaviors. Results indicate protest participation has been normalized in the region, a sign of the strength of democratic states.

Twitter Diplomacy between India and the United States: A Qualitative Content Analysis of Tweets during Presidential State Visits • Jane O’Boyle, University of South Carolina • India’s economic and political influence is growing, and its expansion of Twitter users provides more opportunity for international agenda-building. This qualitative analysis studies Twitter comments from the U.S. and India (N=11,532) during reciprocal state visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama, when the most retweets in both countries were from the White House and Times of India, reflecting agenda-building effects. American comments were more negative about Obama than about Modi. Analysis addresses implications for agenda-building global public diplomacy.

Jokes in Public: The Ethical Implications of Radio Prank Calls • Subin Paul, University of Iowa; John C Carpenter • The use of prank calls is becoming increasingly common among radio hosts in the international arena. This study examines the ethics behind the practice of radio prank calls and their implications for mainstream journalism through Systematic Moral Analysis and Kantianism. It shows that while radio prank calls can contribute to the public sphere, they can also have unintended negative consequences that reflect badly not only on radio hosts, but also on mainstream journalists.

Reporting in Latin America: Issues and perspectives on investigative journalism in the region • Magdalena Saldana, The University of Texas at Austin; Rachel Mourao, The University of Texas at Austin • Despite its importance in fostering transparent democracies, watchdog journalism is not exempt from external influences. This study investigates the challenges faced by investigative journalism in Latin America. Guided by the Hierarchy of Influences model, we analyzed answers from 1,453 journalists in the region. Results reveal that more than two decades after the liberalization of media systems, journalists still face constraints related to clientelistic practices and personal security as the main challenges to investigative reporting.

Protesting the Paradigm: A Comparative Study of News Coverage of Protests in Brazil, China, and India • Saif Shahin, The University of Texas at Austin; Pei Zheng, The University of Texas at Austin; Heloisa Aruth Sturm, University of Texas at Austin; Deepa Fadnis • This study examines the coverage of Brazilian, Chinese, and Indian protests in their domestic news media to clarify the scope and applicability of the protest paradigm—a theory based primarily on U.S. media coverage of social movements. Using comparative analysis, it shows that the paradigm does not squarely apply in foreign contexts, but also identifies those aspects of it which are relevant for international research. Broader implications and ideas for future studies are discussed.

Trust in the media and its predictors in three Latin American countries • Vinicio Sinta, University of Texas at Austin; Victor Garcia, University of Texas at Austin; Ji won Kim • Declining public trust in the news media continues to be a matter of concern for scholars of mass communication and politics. In Latin America, the historically close links between media and political elites present an opportunity to obtain new insights about how trust in the news media relates to trust in other social institutions. In addition to these relationships, this study explores how demographic variables, media use and perceptions of public issues shape confidence in the news media in three Latin American countries: Chile, Colombia and Mexico. The results support previous findings about how the consumption of online news relates to a decline in trust in legacy news media. Additionally, favorable perceptions of economic performance and increased trust in other social institutions were also positive predictors of media trust in certain contexts.

Seeking Cultural Relevance : Use of Culture Peg and Culture Link in International Newsreporting • Miki Tanikawa, University of Texas • This study describes the prevalence of culturally oriented writing techniques found in international news coverage of major American newspapers, through a concept explication and content analysis. These techniques, which I call culture peg and culture link, are content choices that journalists make to enhance the material’s appeal to their home audience. A content analysis found that such cultural strategies were employed in 72 percent of international news articles in the New York Times.

Reporting War in 140 Characters: How Journalists Used Twitter during the 2014 Gaza-Israel Conflict • Ori Tenenboim, School of Journalism, the University of Texas at Austin • This study examines how journalists used Twitter during the 2014 Gaza war, while comparing Israeli journalists with reporters who work for international news outlets. The results show that the two groups differed in their choice of topics, the sources they cited, and the use of Twitter affordances – retweeting and replying. The study contributes to a better understanding of gatekeeping on social media in a time of war, which poses unique dilemmas and concerns for journalists.

How Do They Think Differently? A Social Media Advertising Attitude Survey on Chinese Students in China and Chinese Students in America • Anan Wan, University of South Carolina • This study explored whether Chinese students in both China and in America had different attitudes toward social media advertising, and how those attitudes were different, through a survey (N=300) of Chinese students in these two countries. The survey determined how they used social media, their attitudes and whether they trust social media advertising. It also tested the relationships between the students’ the Social Media Diets (amount, frequency, and duration) and attitude toward social media advertising.

Marketing of Separatist Groups: Classification on Separatist Movement Categories • Dwiyatna Widinugraha • Many articles and studies discussed ISIS as a separatist group from its home country. However when we looked at other separatist cases, such as the Scottish Independence (SI) case, problems occurred when we tried to classified ISIS and SI in the same groups of separatists. This study uses comparative analysis on separatist groups marketing activities to draw classifications on the 21st century separatist groups categories: the ethnic group, the political group and the terrorist group.

Riot Bias: A Textual Analysis of Pussy Riot’s Coverage in Russian and American Media • Kari Williams, SIUE/TH Media • This study uses framing theory and textual analysis to investigate how American and Russian media portrayed Russian punk band Pussy Riot’s 2012 protest act in a Moscow cathedral, the trial and sentencing and subsequent newsworthy events. Coverage from Russia’s Pravda and the United States’ The New York Times – beginning with this particular protest act (February 2012) and ending with the protest at the Sochi Olympics (February 2014) –shows how each country’s media portrayed the band.

Inter-media agenda-setting across borders: Examining newspaper coverage of MH370 incident by media in the U.S., China, and Hong Kong • Fang Wu, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Di Cui, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • Focusing on the media coverage of the mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370 by major newspapers in the U.S., China, and Hong Kong, this study explored the inter-media agenda-setting effect in transnational settings. A content analysis of related news articles revealed a two-step agenda-setting effect among the selected news media. The findings suggested the national power (under which news media operate) played an important role in shaping the agenda of the coverage of global media events.

2015 Abstracts

Communication Theory and Methodology 2015 Abstracts

Open Call Competition
Fear of Social Isolation, Perceived Opinion Congruence, and Opinion Expression: Toward an Implicit Cognition Approach • Florian Arendt, Universität München (LMU) •
This paper presents a test of the spiral of silence theory using an implicit cognition approach. Opinion expression is conceptualized as the correlation between inner (i.e., implicit) and overtly expressed (i.e., explicit) attitudes. It was hypothesized that fear of social isolation predicts opinion expression, but only in individuals who perceive public opinion to be hostile. A study using a cross-sectional survey with a quota-based sample (N = 832) supports this hypothesis. An implicit cognition approach can be seen as a supplement to traditional approaches because it does not rely on self-reported behavioral intentions or hypothetical scenarios to measure opinion expression.

Attitude-Based Selective Exposure: Implicit and Explicit Attitudes as Predictors of Media Choice • Florian Arendt, Universität München (LMU) • The attitude-based selective exposure hypothesis predicts that media users craft a message diet that tends to reflect their attitudinal predispositions. Previous research has relied almost exclusively on overtly expressed evaluations (explicit attitudes) as predictors of media choice. We present a web-based study (N = 519) testing whether automatically activated evaluations (implicit attitudes) can add predictive value. The use of implicit attitudes as a supplement to explicit attitudes was based on the assumption that media users are typically not aware of processes governing media choice decisions and that very little cognitive elaboration takes place most of the time. The explanatory power of implicit attitudes is assumed to be stronger in such low-cost situations compared to high-cost situations. The present study revealed that both implicit and explicit attitudes displayed incremental validity, with each attitudinal construct predicting media choice variance beyond that predicted by the other.

Connective Social Media: A Catalyst for LGBT Political Consumerism Among Members of a Networked Public • Amy Becker, Loyola University Maryland; Lauren Copeland, John Carroll University • Although research shows that social media use is associated with political consumerism, it is not clear which online activities encourage boycotting and buycotting. In this paper, we theorize that when people use social media to meet other people or discuss politics, social media use has the potential to create networked publics or imagined communities that can mobilize people to action. This means that how people use social media matters more than whether they use social media at all. To test our expectation, we analyze data from a 2013 nationally representative survey of LGBT adults (N = 1,197). We find that those who use social media for connective activities such as meeting new LGBT friends or discussing LGBT issues are significantly more likely to engage in boycotts or buycotts to promote equal rights. We also find significant interactions between connective media use and political interest. Specifically, connective forms of social media use mobilizes people with low levels of political interest to participate, and reinforces the likelihood that people with high levels of political interest will participate. These findings increase our understanding of how specific types of digital media use have the potential to mobilize issue publics. They also demonstrate that the relationship between social media use and political interest is more complex than previously assumed.

Making Them Count: Socializing on Facebook to Optimize the Accumulation of Social Capital • Brandon Bouchillon, UNC Asheville; Melissa R. Gotlieb, Texas Tech University • This study uses national survey data from U.S. adults to explore social media’s role in revitalizing social capital for a rapidly diversifying society. Results support our contention that individuals who use Facebook to expand and diversify their personal networks experience greater gains from weak-tie interactions for diversifying civic engagements and generalizing trust to the average person. Findings suggest the potential for social media to reduce perceived threat from diversity and combat the “hunker down” effect.

The scale development practices in communication research journals: 2003-2013 • Serena Carpenter, MSU • Previous content analyses of journal articles show that authors use inappropriate statistics when creating scales. This study’s purpose was to replicate previous research examining the scale development and reporting practices of scholars. The results of the quantitative content analysis of four journalism and mass communication journals indicate that scholars primarily used principal components analysis, orthogonal rotation, and the eigenvalues greater than one rule to assess their theoretical models. In addition, this research adds to the literature by summarizing how scholars created and gauged items for their new measures. The findings reveal that they rarely used qualitative research to generate items.

When everyone’s watching. A motivations-based account of selective expression and exposure • David Coppini, University of Wisconsin Madison; Megan Duncan, University of Wisconsin-Madison; David Wise, UW-Madison; Douglas McLeod; Kristen Bialik, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Yin Wu • This study integrates theories of selective exposure with an updated version of uses and gratifications to account for partisans’ motivations for consuming and sharing ideologically consistent information. Manipulating the visibility of an individual’s media choices, we investigate differences between selection of news choices when these are public and when they are private. Based on a sample of college students (N=192), our results yield two important insights. First, our findings suggest that conservatives are more likely to engage in political motivated selectivity in the public condition. Second, motivations related to identity and opinion management are more likely to be activated when news choices are public.

Extending the RISP model in online contexts: Online comments and novel methodological approaches • Graham Dixon, WSU; Kit Kaiser • This paper introduces theoretical propositions aimed at extending the prominent, but methodologically under-researched, risk information seeking and processing (RISP) model within the context of a timely issue, online comment effects. In particular, we offer propositions that expand the RISP model by (1) incorporating a specific information seeking behavior (e.g., online comment reading), (2) operationalizing antecedent variables as manipulated, momentary reactions to stimuli, rather than long term traits, and (3) examining how manipulated RISP model variables indirectly influence the effect of online user comments. Doing so not only fills theoretical gaps in mass media and information seeking, but also can prompt informed discussions regarding the ethics of using (and banning) online comment sections.

Over-Friended: Facebook Intensity, Social Anxiety, and Role Conflict • Lee Farquhar, Samford University; Theresa Davidson, Samford University • This study examines the potential for a social structure – the polyopticon – to occur on Facebook. Individuals in vast networks must perform amongst several social subgroups. The polyopticon recognizes that multiple sets of rules govern Facebook (based on social norms). Individual musts follow all of the rules simultaneously. Our survey of college students supports the concept of the polyopticon in that increased Facebook friends and involvement relate to higher levels of role conflict and anxiety.

Blowing Embers: An Exploration of the Agenda-Setting Role of Books • Michael Fuhlhage, Wayne State University; Don Shaw, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Lynette Holman, Appalachian State University; Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University; Jason Moldoff • Books have long been credited with social and cultural influence, but the evidence for this is largely anecdotal and fragmentary. This study proposes a model for testing the influence of books by wedding the methods of cultural studies, communication studies, and book history with the theoretical frameworks of media agenda setting to assess the relationship between four best sellers and policy and cultural changes that previously had been uncritically attributed to them: The Jungle, Fast Food Nation, Backlash, and All the King’s Men.

Testing Links Among Uncertainty, Affect and Attitude Toward a Health Behavior in a Risky Setting • Timothy Fung, Hong Kong Baptist University; Robert Griffin, Marquette University; Sharon Dunwoody, University of Wisconsin-Madison • The relationship between uncertainty and emotional reactions to risk has been explored in only a cursory fashion to date. This study seeks to remedy that by examining linkages between uncertainty judgment and such affective reactions as worry and anger within the context of an environmental health risk. It uses data from a longitudinal study of people’s reactions to the risks of eating contaminated fish from the Great Lakes, which employed the Risk Information Seeking and Processing model proposed by Griffin, Dunwoody and Neuwirth (1999) and, in the process, seeks to test the expanded model, which includes behavioral intentions. Findings supported the expanded model and indicated both that uncertainty judgment has a strong influence on worry and anger and that anger has a positive impact on attitude toward fish avoidance.

Advancing distinctive effects of political discussion and expression on political participation: The moderating role of online and social media privacy concerns • Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna; Brian Weeks, University of Vienna, Department of Communication; Trevor Diehl, University of Vienna • Online and social media engagement, such as news use and political discussion, have been found to bolster political participation. However, the idea that online political expression is a precursor to other pro-democratic behaviors is underdeveloped. This study first addresses this gap in the literature by introducing a model in which political discussion mediates the relationship between online political expression and offline participation. This paper next explores the possible moderating effect of citizens’ online privacy concerns on this process. The study empirically addresses whether, and if so how, fears of government surveillance and other privacy concerns might have an adverse effect on offline political activity. Based on two-wave-panel US data, results indicate political discussion mediates the positive relationship between online and social media political expression and participation. Furthermore, individuals’ privacy concerns moderate the relationship between political discussion and participation, while it has no effect on the connection between expression and participation.

The “News Finds Me” Effect in Communication • Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna; Brian Weeks, University of Vienna, Department of Communication; Alberto Ardèvol-Abreu, University of Vienna • With social media at the forefront of today’s media context, citizens may believe they do not need to actively seek the news because they will eventually be exposed to such important information through their peers and social networks: the “news finds me effect.” This effect may carry significant implications for communication and social behaviors. First, it may alter individuals’ news consumption patterns. Second, it may also relate to people’s levels of political knowledge. Based on two-wave panel survey data collected in the United States (W¹=1,816; W2=1,024), we find that individuals who believe the news will find them are less likely to use traditional sources of news like television news and newspapers and are less knowledgeable about political and civic affairs. Although the news finds me belief is positively associated with exposure to news on social media, news from these sites does not directly or indirectly facilitate political learning. Our findings illustrate that news continues to enhance political knowledge best when it is actively sought.

Media Dependency and Parental Mediation • August Grant, University of South Carolina; Larry Webster, University of South Carolina; Yicheng Zhu, University of South Carolina • A national survey of 398 parents explored relationships among parental mediation of television viewing and individual media dependency. Two new dimensions of individual media dependency are proposed: reliance of the individual upon the media system to control an individual’s environment (personal control) and the environment of others (social control). These measures proved to be significantly related to both level of parental mediation and usage of V-Chip technology, as well as to traditional television dependency measures.

The Role of Political Homophily of News Reception and Political Discussion via Social Media for Political Participation • Ki Deuk Hyun • This study investigates mobilizing function of political homophily in SNS-mediated communication. Survey data analyses found that reception of news consistent with one’s political orientations through social media was positively associated with political participation whereas reception of counter-attitudinal news was not related. Similarly, SNS-based discussion with politically likeminded others predicted political participation while discussion with non-likeminded people did not contribute to participation. Moreover, homogenous news reception and homogenous discussion had an interactive influence on political participation.

“I’m a news junkie. … I like being informed…” Uses & Gratifications and Mobile News Users • Jacqueline Incollingo, Rider University • A mixed methods research project combining quantitative survey results (n=632) with semi-structured interview data (n=30) explored how digital subscribers engage with mobile news, under the uses and gratifications framework. Themes of continuity indicate that motivations in traditional newspaper use remain salient in mobile news: information-seeking, the pleasure of reading, and powerful daily habits surrounding news use. Additional gratification concepts specific to tablet and smartphone news use, including mobility and the value of scaffolding, are suggested.

The community of practice model: A new approach to social media use in crisis communication • Melissa Janoske, University of Memphis • Building community in a crisis situation offers individuals a chance to not just survive, but potentially thrive through a disaster. This project applies the community of practice model to understand online communities’ crisis communication. Two qualitative case studies of crises (a natural disaster and a violent act, as discussed on Facebook and Twitter) are offered as exemplars of the model, and as support for the expansion of the model to improve crisis communication and recovery.

Boundary Expansion of a Threatened Self: Entertainment as Relief • Benjamin Johnson, VU University Amsterdam; Michael Slater, The Ohio State University; Nathan Silver, The Ohio State University; David Ewoldsen, The Ohio State University • The temporarily expanding boundaries of the self (TEBOTS) model identifies challenges faced by the self as an impetus for engagement with narratives. To test how everyday threats to the self-concept drive enjoyment, appreciation, and immersion into narrative worlds, self-affirmation was used to experimentally alleviate those threats. Self-affirmed people experienced less narrative entertainment and immersion. Additionally, a scale was developed to measure boundary expansion processes. Furthermore, search for meaning in life was found to moderate effects.

The perception of media community among NPR listeners • Joseph Kasko, University of South Carolina • This research examines the role of community in generating support for public radio. NPR listeners were surveyed to learn if they perceive they are part of a community of listeners and if that perception influences support. This work introduces the concept of the “media community” and the scales used to measure it. It also concludes that a sense of media community can positively influence support through listening and donating financially.

Replicating and Extending Cognitive Bridging: Connecting the Action of Recycling to the Goal of Environmental Conservation • Sherri Jean Katz, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities • Cognitive bridging refers to the connection between abstract goals and the means to achieve them – high and low construal level concerns, respectively. A 2 (bridging message/ non-bridging message) x 2 (action cue/ no action cue) experiment (n = 209), extends previous research on cognitive bridging by adding a predictor (action cue) and two dependent variables (complexity and positive affect) into the experimental design. Findings replicate previous research on cognitive bridging and offer theoretical extensions.

Theoretical and Methodological Trends of Agenda Setting Theory: A Thematic Meta-Analysis of the Last Four Decades • Yeojin Kim; Youngju Kim, The University of Alabama; Shuhua Zhou, University of Alabama • Through a thematic meta-analysis, the current study examined theoretical, topical, and methodological trends of agenda setting research over time from 1972 through 2012. Research trends, topics, media, methods, and utilization of other theories in agenda setting studies were discussed along with the evolution of the theoretical map of agenda setting studies. Findings indicated that the number of agenda setting research has been increasing over time, along with the expansion of research topics, media, methods, and use of other theories. This study provided a general overview of agenda setting studies as well as new insights for future research trends and directions.

An Attention-Cycle Analysis of the Media and Twitter Agendas of Attributes of the Nuclear Issue • Jisu Kim; Young Min • “This study examined the effect of network agenda-setting (NAS) along Downs’ issue attention cycle. To overcome limitations of traditional agenda-setting research that typically explored the hierarchical prominence among issues or attributes, this study primarily examined the transfer of relations among attributes from the media to the public network agenda using diverse social network concepts such as degree centrality and cliques. In this study “degree centrality” represented the salience of each attribute while the number and size of “cliques” showed the extent to which the network agenda contains different subgroups of attributes. As a case study we examined the nuclear issue in South Korea from March 28, 2014, to April 28, 2014. We divided the above period into three stages based on Downs’ issue attention cycle: Developing interest, Declining interest, and an Equilibrium level. Although there were not many differences among attributes that show a high degree centrality across the stages, the sum of degrees changed according to the media and the public’s interest in the issue. The degree of fragmentation was higher on the public network agendas compared to the media network agendas, which was the highest when the public’s interest was increasing. In terms of the media network agenda, the degree of fragmentation was the highest at an equilibrium level stage. Several Quadratic Assignment Procedure (QAP) analyses revealed that the network agenda-setting effect existed consistently across the stages.”

Talking about School Bullying • Sei-Hill Kim; Matthew Telleen, Elizabethtown College; Hwalbin Kim, University of South Carolina • Analyzing newspaper articles and television news transcripts, this study offers a comprehensive examination of how American news media presented the issue of school bullying. More specifically, we analyze how the media presented the questions of who is responsible for causing and solving the problem and why school of bullying is a significant social problem. We identified the presence of considerable victim blaming in news coverage of the causes. Among potential causes examined, victims and their families were mentioned most often as a cause of school bullying. When talking about how to solve the problem, the media were focusing heavily on schools and teachers, while bullies and their families – the direct source of the bullying problem – were mentioned least often as the primary target to which problem-solving effort should be applied. Finally, findings indicate that suicide was the most frequently-mentioned negative consequence of school bullying in news coverage. Implications of the findings are discussed in detail.

Disentangling Confirmation Biases in Selective Exposure to Political Online Information • Axel Westerwick; Benjamin Johnson, VU University Amsterdam; Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, The Ohio State University • An experiment presented online messages on four controversial political topics as associated with neutral or slanted sources to 120 participants while software tracked selective exposure. Attitude measures were collected before and after the selective exposure task and 2 days later. Further, information processing styles were assessed. Results yielded a confirmation bias and a preference for neutral sources. These patterns depended on processing styles. Selective exposure reinforced attitudes even days later.

Confirmation Bias, Ingroup Bias, and Negativity Bias in Selective Exposure to Political Information • Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, The Ohio State University; Cornelia Mothes; Nick Polavin • Selective reading of political online information was examined based on cognitive dissonance, social identity, and news values frameworks. Online reports, varied by political stance and either positive or negative regarding American policies, were displayed to 156 Americans while selective exposure was tracked. Results revealed confirmation and negativity biases, per cognitive dissonance and news values. Greater cognitive reflection, greater need-for-cognition, and worse mood fostered the confirmation bias; stronger social comparison tendency reduced the negativity bias.

The Impact of Suspense in Political News • Kristen Landreville, University of Wyoming; Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, The Ohio State University • The current study applies entertainment concepts (i.e., suspense) and interpersonal communication concepts (i.e., uncertainty reduction) to examine the consumption of news stories that feature politicians as protagonists. This study takes advantage of the political context, with its innate affective orientations toward liked-groups, disliked-groups, and uncertainty, in order to determine how suspense impacts the behavioral outcome of discursive activities (e.g., communicating about politics, information-seeking about politics). In doing so, the current study blends multiple concepts from different subfields of communication. Additionally, political party identification is examined as a predictor of feelings of suspense and discursive activities in stories that feature politicians of the same and opposite political party. Results show that more suspense is aroused when there is a political party match between the reader and the politician the news story. Moreover, suspense produced a desire to communicate about the news stories.

Media Framing of Same-Sex Marriage and Attitude Change: A Time-Series Analysis • Dominic Lasorsa; Jiyoun Suk; Deepa Fadnis • In an attempt to advance understanding of media framing effects, this paper examined how two ideologically different New York daily newspapers framed the issue of same-sex marriage over 17 years. Changes in media framing then were compared to changes in public attitudes toward same-sex marriage over the same time as reported by Pew, Gallup and Time/CNN national polls. A random sample of articles about same-sex marriage published in the years 1998-2014 in the ideologically conservative New York Post and the ideologically liberal New York Times were analyzed (N = 474 articles). Time-series analyses revealed that changes in media framing of same-sex marriage in terms of equality and morality preceded subsequent changes in support for and opposition to same-sex marriage. These correlation and time-order findings support the argument that media frames have the potential to influence public attitudes. The implications of these findings for the advancement of media framing theory are discussed.

How User-Generated Comments Prime News Processing: Activation and Refutation of Regional Stereotypes • Eun-Ju Lee, Seoul National University; Hyun Suk Kim, University of Pennsylvania; Jaeho Cho, University of California, Davis • This study examined how user-generated comments on a crime news article, which attribute the crime to local residents’ predispositions, affect individuals’ news processing. Stereotype-activating comments heightened perceived crime prevalence in the featured region, compared to stereotype-irrelevant and stereotype-counterbalancing comments, especially for participants with a stronger regional self-identity. Participants better recalled the regions in both the focal and unrelated articles and attributed greater responsibility to news coverage for regionalism, after reading stereotype-related (vs. stereotype-irrelevant) comments.

Is the Protest Paradigm Relevant? Nuisance in the Age of Occupy and the Tea Party • Kyle Lorenzano • Protest is ubiquitous in American, yet the Protest Paradigm alleges that the news portrays protestors as radical and deviant. The Public Nuisance Paradigm argues that protest movements are portrayed in the media as inherently bothersome and ineffective. Using newspaper coverage of Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party protests, this study compares these paradigms to determine which is more relevant today. The results of a content analysis ultimately show that neither paradigm is entirely irrelevant.

Being More Attractive or Outgoing on Facebook?: Modeling How Self-presentation and Personality on Facebook Affect Social Capital • Chen Lou, Michigan State University; Kang Li • Technological affordances in the computer-medicated-communication enable people to promote more favorable online self-presentations on social network sites (SNSs). This survey-based study (N=300) examined how Facebook users’ self-images and personalities on Facebook may predict their bridging and bonding social capital. The results showed that more attractive self-images on Facebook did not contribute to any increase in either bridging or bonding capital, but being more extroverted on Facebook facilitated an increase in bridging capital. Facebook use intensity and Facebook friend number are also important predictors of bridging capital. However, none of those variables predict bonding capital. Findings not only vetoed propositions of some current Computer-Mediated-Communication (CMC) theories, such as the hyperpersonal model and self-enhancement theory in the social media context, but also provided meaningful evidence and implications to future theory building and testing.

Political talks on social networking sites: Investigating the effects of SNS discussion disagreement and internal efficacy on political participation • Yanqin Lu, Indiana University; Kyle Heatherly; Jae Kook Lee • Drawing on a national probability survey, this study explores the relationship between SNS discussion and political participation by focusing on the intervening effects of discussion disagreement on SNSs and internal efficacy. The results revealed that political discussion on SNSs contributes to off- and online political participation, and this relationship is partially mediated by SNS discussion disagreement. Furthermore, internal efficacy is found to moderate the association between discussion disagreement and political participation. The implications are discussed.

Cognition under Simultaneous Exposure to Competing Heuristic Cues • Tao Ma, University of Connecticut • Integrating theory of limited capacity of message processing and the heuristic view of persuasion, this paper examined the influence of competing heuristic cues on the cognitive and affective information process and behavior intention. The competing heuristic cues conditions were tested by the interaction of two major types of heuristics cues–consensus cue and credibility cue. Participants in an online survey were randomly assigned to one of four competing heuristic cue conditions in the context of online movie review. The conditions were displayed by the combinations of either high or low consensus cues of a movie review from the movie critics and peers audiences. Participants’ perception (i.e. trust of the movie), affective response (i.e. anxiety), and behavior intention (i.e. watch the movie in the future) were measured after the exposure. Path modeling and multiple regressions were used to analyze the hypotheses and research questions. The results of the investigation showed that high consensuses from both movie critics and peers reviewers led to increased trust of the movie from the participants. The crossed condition, where the critics’ consensus was high while peer’s consensus was low, led to high trust to the move. Both trust to the movie and anxiety led to the intention of watching the movie in the future. The findings implied a persuasion effect through processing of the competing heuristic cues– credibility and consensus.

The ghosts in the machine: Toward a theory of social media mourning • Jensen Moore, Manship School of Mass Communication, LSU; Sara Magee, Loyola University-Maryland; Ellada Gamreklidze • This article uses grounded theory methodology to analyze in-depth interviews conducted with mourners who used social networking sites (SNS) during bereavement. The social media mourning model outlines how SNS are used to grieve using one or more of the following: 1) one-way communication, 2) two-way communication, and/or 3) immortality communication. The model indicates causal conditions of social media mourning: 1) sharing information with family/friends and (sometimes) begin a dialogue, 2) discussing death with others mourning, 3) discussing death with a broader mourning community, and 4) commemorating and continuing connection to the deceased. The article includes actions and consequences associated with social media mourning and suggests several ways in which social media mourning changes or influences the bereavement process.

Who Actually Expresses Opinions Online, and When? : Comparing Evidence from Scenario-based and Website-based Experiments • Yu Won Oh, University of Michigan • This study examined the structural conditions as well as individual characteristics that facilitate opinion expression online. Two experimental methods – thought and true experiments – were implemented to measure individuals’ actual behavior of speaking out on a discussion forum. Findings from both experiments consistently revealed that race, issue involvement, issue knowledge, and the revelation of identity were crucial factors in predicting speaking out online. Yet, age and trait fear of isolation worked differently in thought and true experiments.

Perceived News Media Importance: Developing and Validating a Tool for Clarifying Dynamics of Media Trust • Jason Peifer, The Ohio State University • This study features the development and validation of a multidimensional scale for Perceived News Media Importance (PNMI). The explication and operationalization of the PNMI concept is designed, in part, to provide a tool for bringing greater clarity to patterns of public trust in the news media, as based on individual valuations of various normative news media functions. Employing survey data provided by a convenience sample (N=403) and a nationally representative sample (N=510), a Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) indicates that the theorized PNMI measurement model fits the data well. Moreover, the proposed 12-item scale also exhibits appropriate convergent (political interest) and discriminant (negative content media image; ideology) validity. Finally, while demonstrated to be distinct from media trust, PNMI is also shown to meaningfully predict perceptions of the news media’s trustworthiness, above and beyond all other variables in a hierarchical multiple regression model. Implications and research directions are discussed.

The Reciprocal Relationship Between Hostile Media Perception and Presumed Media Influence • Mallory Perryman, University of Wisconsin • Is media perceived as biased when it could influence others? Or is it considered influential when it’s perceived as biased? This experimental study (n=80) suggests the answer to both questions is — yes. Respondents told a story was undesirably biased saw more influence on others, and those who were told a story was unfavorably influential saw more hostile bias. The reciprocal relationship between two media phenomena, the hostile media perception and presumed media influence, is revealed.

Media’s influence on judgments of truth. Why people trust in bad rather than good news • Christina Peter, University of Munich; Thomas Koch, University of Munich • Valence framing affects message credibility: Negatively framed statements receive higher truth ratings than positively framed statements that are formally equivalent. The current work examines this negativity credibility bias (NCB) in the contexts of news coverage and persuasion. By conducting three experiments, we discovered that the NCB also affects source trustworthiness and examined possible reasons for this. The results indicate that one reason the NCB occurs is that recipients have learned connections between negativity and news, and between positivity and persuasive communication. Consequently, we find that a positive framing of statements can lead readers to feel that the source is trying to persuade them, which triggers reactance and consequently reduces the perceived credibility of both the message and the source.

Agenda Sharing is Caring: Relationship between Shared Agendas of Traditional and Digital Native Media • Magdalena Saldana, The University of Texas at Austin; Tom Johnson; Maxwell McCombs, The University of Texas at Austin • By comparing the agendas of traditional and digital native publications, this study provides an empirical analysis of how online news content is being shared on Facebook and Twitter. We empirically examine a new concept, agenda sharing, which poses the audience and the media work together to shape the news agenda in online contexts. Results found a significant match between the agendas of traditional and digital native media, while traditional media agenda is setting the public agenda on both Facebook and Twitter.

Getting the Facts from Journalistic Adjudication: Polarization and Partisanship Don’t Matter • Rosanne Scholl, Louisiana State University; Raymond J. Pingree; Kathleen Searles • This experiment demonstrated that journalistic adjudication works: consumers adopt correct factual beliefs, even when their party’s leaders are declared wrong. No backfire effect existed in tests on two issue contexts. Democrats are more react more strongly than Republicans to adjudication in favor of their own side. Neither the presence of agenda reasons nor the presence of bipartisanship cues enhances the effects of adjudication on partisan’s adoption of adjudicated facts.

Comparing Flow and Narrative Engagement Scales in the Context of a Casual Health Game • Brett Sherrick, Penn State • The psychological states of flow and transportation or narrative engagement are conceptually similar. Both are described as immersive, emotional states that lead to enjoyment, persuasion, and loss of self-awareness. Despite similarities between flow and narrative engagement, limited research examines their empirical relationship. This project evaluated the viability of measuring flow and narrative engagement simultaneously, with results suggesting that the concepts may not be statistically distinct, as they were nearly perfectly correlated in two game-based experiments.

Better Environment for Better Quality? In Search of Reason-centered Discussion on Social Media in China • Mingxiao Sui; Raymond J. Pingree; Rosanne Scholl, Louisiana State University; Boni Cui • Reason-centered discussion of politics is an important route toward improving the quality of public opinion. New media have created new spaces for political discussion and not only in established democracies. Political discussion, whether in old or new spaces, may not always be reason-centered. This study examines predictors of reason-centered online political discussion in China. It explored the effects of the use of a debate format with two sides displayed as opposing columns, and the effects of various characteristics of the post used to initiate the discussion. A content analysis was conducted to examine 6360 reply posts within 291 threaded discussions on Sina Weibo, one of China’s most popular venues for online discussion. Results showed that the debate format would greatly improve the overall reasoning level, with opinion presence and multiple viewpoints included in the initiating post playing a role as well. Moreover, the debate format can elicit differences in the effects of initiating post on the overall reasoning level of a threaded discussion.

Eyes Don’t Lie: Validating Self-Reported Measures of Attention on Social Media • Emily Vraga, George Mason University; Leticia Bode, Georgetown University; Sonya Troller-Renfree • Scholars often rely on self-reported behaviors to gauge interest in Facebook content, but we have reason to be skeptical of these self-reports. Using an eye-tracking study design, we demonstrate that young adults’ self-reported topic engagement for social, news, and political posts is driven more by general interest and favorability towards the topic than actual attention, with a possible exception for political posts. Implications for theory building and methodological choices regarding social media are discussed.

Bandwagon Effects of Social Media Commentary during TV Viewing: Do Valence, Viewer Traits and Contextual Factors Make a Difference? • T. Franklin Waddell, Penn State University; S. Shyam Sundar, Penn State University • Are we influenced by the social media commentary that accompanies TV programs? Does it matter if these comments appear at the beginning or toward the end of the show? We conducted a 2 (positive vs. negative tweets) x 2 (beginning vs. end of program) factorial experiment with an additional control condition (N = 186) to answer these questions. Results show the powerful effect of negative bandwagon cues, which appears to override contextual and trait moderators.

Toward a theory of modality interactivity and online consumer behavior • Ruoxu Wang, Penn State University • A model named Modality interactivity and online consumer behavior has been constructed to depict the relationship between online consumer behavior and modality interactivity. The model was constructed based on technology acceptance model and interactivity effects model. The model contains four phases: modality interactivity, interface assessment, user engagement, and attitude and behavioral outcomes. Interface assessment contains four criteria: perceived vividness, perceived coolness, perceived ease of use, and perceived usefulness. Process of constructing the model was presented throughout the paper. Limitations and potential empirical study based on the model were also discussed.

The significant other: A longitudinal analysis of significant samples in journalism research, 2000 – 2014 • ben wasike • This study examined the methodological and research patterns journalism scholars have used when studying significant samples, or “those persons who have attained an unusually pervasive and lasting reputation, regardless of whether that reputation be great or small, positive or negative” (Simonton, 1999, p. 426 – 427). Using Dean K. Simonton’s work as the theoretical guide, the study content analyzed a census of all articles published in 10 major journalism-oriented journals from 2000 – 2014. A total of 248 articles examined these subjects. The results show that the typical journalism study examining significant samples is psychometric and will also be quantitative, nomothetic, longitudinal, singularly focused and exploratory. Additionally, it will use macro-units and will observe the subject indirectly. The study also found similarities between the study of significant samples and extant work in terms of the preponderance of quantitative methods and the use of content analysis as a data collection method. The ramifications for future research are discussed within

Effects of Media Exemplars on the Perception of Social Issues with Pre-existing Beliefs • Yan Yan; Liu Jun • Exemplification studies usually reported the significant influence of media exemplars on people’s perceptions of fictional or controversial issues, but neglected the fact that people often have a certain degree of established beliefs toward social events in real life. The present research used a 3X3 experimental design to examine the effects of media exemplars on people’s perceptions of Chengguan-vendor conflicts, a social issue with established strong prior beliefs in China. The typical between-group exemplification effects were not evident in the present study. Instead, a relative, within-group exemplification effect was found, that is, the degree of change between the immediate and the initial perception was strongly influenced by the media exemplars, and the direction of change was consistent with the exemplar distribution. In addition, an on-going decaying of exemplification effects was found. Perceptions toward different variables showed an overall pattern consisting of a prolonged exemplification effect, an on-going decaying effected, and a completed delay effect.

What Comes After First Click?: A New Way to Look at Selective Exposure • JungHwan Yang, University of Wisconsin-Madison; David Wise, UW-Madison; Albert Gunther, University of Wisconsin-Madison • In this study we experimentally test the effects of news exposure to pro-attitudinal, counter-attitudinal and mixed news content on subsequent information seeking behaviors in the context of the relationship between science and religion. Using a sample drawn from two large organizations that focus on issues of religion and science, and a nationally representative sample from an online panel, we tested and compared different measure of selective exposure. Our research aims to advance knowledge in the area of selective exposure by further examining factors that may encourage or reduce selective exposure, by extending research about it into a new topical domain, and by examining measurement issues within this line of research. Our findings suggest that there is a tendency of attitude-consistent exposure when people select the first article to read, but people also search for counter-attitudinal information in subsequent information seeking. Our novel use of graphical measure of selective exposure questions the robustness of selective exposure phenomenon.

Deciphering ‘Most Viewed’ Lists: An analysis of the comparability of the lists of popular items • Rodrigo Zamith, University of Massachusetts Amherst • This study focuses on deciphering what data are represented by ‘most viewed’ lists and how comparable those lists are across news organizations. The homepages of the 50 largest U.S. newspapers were analyzed to assess the prevalence of those lists and the lists of 21 organizations were then analyzed over two months. The findings point to potential sampling biases and indicate that it is unwise to assume the lists are comparable just because they appear similar.

The Affective Dimension of the Network Agenda-Setting Model (NAS) • XIAOQUN ZHANG, University of North Texas • Based on the second level of agenda-setting theory and the network agenda-setting model (NAS), this study proposed a new model called the affective dimension of the NAS model. This model argues that the valence of an attribute of an object in the media coverage influences the public’s emotional perceptions of its corresponding attribute and those of other attributes of that object, and the valences of multiple attributes of an object in the media coverage influence the public’s emotional perceptions of one attribute of that object. The empirical examination of this model was conducted in the business news setting.

2015 Abstracts

Advertising 2015 Abstracts

Research Papers
On Facebook, sex does not sell! Effects of sex appeal and model gender on effectiveness of Facebook ads for healthy and unhealthy food products • Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University; Mengyan Ma, Michigan State University; Wan Wang, Michigan State University •
The current study uses a 2 (sex appeal) x 2 (model gender) x 2 (product healthfulness) x 3 (message repetition) mixed factorial design to investigate the effects of sex appeal and model gender on attitudes toward the ads, attitudes toward the brand, viral behavioral intentions, and purchase intentions for healthy and unhealthy food products. Participants (N = 316) were randomly assigned to see Facebook ads for healthy and unhealthy products featuring male or female models with low or high sex appeal. Findings showed that ads and brands in ads with low sex appeal were rated more favorably than those with high sex appeal. Results also showed that the effects of two-way interaction between sex appeal and model gender on attitudes toward the ad and the brand were significant. Additionally, the study used Hayes (2013) PROCESS to test for a series of serial mediation models with regard to the effect of sex appeal on purchase intention through the serial ordering of attitudes toward the ad, attitude toward the brand, and viral behavioral intentions. Findings are discussed in relation to health-related policy, advertising effectiveness models, and persuasion models.

Opening the Advertising Crayon Box: Applying Kobayashi’s Color Theory to Advertising Effectiveness • Nasser Almutairi, Michigan State University; Carie Cunningham, Michigan State University; Kirstyn Shiner, Michigan State University; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University • While advertising creativity remains largely a subjective practice of art directors and graphic designers, the current study systematically tested the effectiveness of different color combinations as they pertain to ad and brand evaluations, as well as online and offline behavioral intentions. Using a 13 (color combinations) x 3 (message repetition) mixed factorial design, participants (N = 322) were exposed to three ads that varied in the color combinations used in the ad design in accordance with Kobayashi’s (1990) color theory. Findings showed that the effect of color combinations was significant only for attitudes toward the ads and brands, yet did not affect viral behavioral intentions and purchase intentions. The study’s findings are discussed within the context of extending traditional advertising models to bring about a systematic understanding of the psychological effects of color in relation to attitude and behavior change.

Children’s Understanding of Social Media Advergames • Soontae An, Ewha Womans University • This study examined children’s understanding of social media advergames and the effects of cognitive and attitudinal advertising literacy on children’s susceptibility to advertising. Results of a survey of 556 children aged 7 to 11 showed that half of the children could correctly identify the social media advergame as a type of advertising, while the other half could not. Comparisons revealed that older students were more capable of identifying advertising. Regression results showed that grade, gender, and Internet usage were factors positively associated with children’s intention of visiting the site featured in the advergame. Students that were of a lower grade, female, or had high Internet usage were more likely to want to visit the store advertised. After controlling for demographics and media usage, children’s cognitive and attitudinal advertising literacy and the interaction term were all statistically significant. The significant interaction effect demonstrated that those who were able to identify advertising and possessed positive views towards ads showed the highest inclination of visiting the featured site, while those who identified advertising with negative views toward ads displayed the lowest intention. The moderating role of attitudinal literacy indicates the importance of combining both cognitive and attitudinal advertising literacy.

Effects of Various Cause-Related Marketing (CRM) Campaign Types on Consumers’ Visual Attention, Perceptions, and Purchase Intentions • Mikyeung Bae, Michigan State University; Patricia Huddleston, Michigan State University • The goal of this study was to identify whether types of cause-related marketing (CRM) campaign appeal (functional/ emotional/ a combination of the two) influenced consumer visual attention and perceptions of the campaign, thus leading to purchase intention. Guided by the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), this study investigated which components of CRM campaign appeals contributed most to effectiveness in capturing consumers’ visual attention under high versus low involvement with a social cause. The results showed that participants who were more involved with social causes paid more attention to the body text that provided an overview of the company’s socially responsible behavior as demonstrated through total visit duration (TVD). The results of the partial least squares structural modeling analysis revealed that perceived corporate credibility played an important role in influencing attitude toward a CRM campaign regardless of the type of appeal. The findings demonstrated here allow marketers to evaluate which type of appeal is more appropriate for a given CRM campaign and product.

The Effect of Message Valence on Recall and Recognition of Prescription Drug Ad Information • Jennifer Ball, University of Minnesota; Taemin Kim, University of Minnesota • Consumer-directed prescription drug ads (DTCA) are required to present drug benefits and risks in a balanced manner. There is concern, though, that benefits are often conveyed through emotional appeals that interfere with comprehension of risk information in the message. However, there remains a lack of empirical work investigating this claim. Applying limited capacity theory, results of an experiment indicated recall and recognition of ad information was best for an ad with a neutral tone and weakest for a negative tone while the positive tone results differed between recognition and recall.

Advertising LGBT-themed films to mainstream and niche audiences: variations in portrayal of intimacy and stereotypes • Joseph Cabosky, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Research of LGBT-content in advertisements remains limited. While most products are not inherently queer in nature, this content analysis analyzed advertisements for LGBT-themed films to explore whether there was variation in the portrayal of LGBT-content in ads depending on the distribution width of the product and its date of release. Findings indicated that ad content varied greatly based on the width of release but not when measuring time, countering findings from other media forms.

Adolescents’ responses to food and beverage advertising in China • Kara Chan, Hong Kong Baptist University; Tommy Tse, University of Hong Kong; Daisy Tam, Hong Kong Baptist University; Anqi Huang, Hong Kong Baptist University • Both global and local food marketers have been marketing actively with children and youths in China. Adolescents are important targets for healthy eating as they are being more independent in making food decisions. Social marketers and health educators need to learn from food marketers effective strategies that can communicate creatively with this target segment. Four focus-group interviews were conducted with twenty-four grade 7 students aged 12 to 13 in Changsha, a second-tier city in China. Participants were asked to report their favorite food and beverage commercials, and explain why they liked the advertisements. Altogether 21 commercials were reported as favorite commercials. Results indicated that entertainment value, presenting food as tasty, adopting celebrities as endorsers, memorable jingles/slogans, as well as aesthetically pleasing were main attributes of the advertisements that won the participants’ hearts. Comparison of the results with attributes of likable commercials among Hong Kong adolescents was made.

Taste and Nutrition: The Uses and Effectiveness of Different Advertising Claims in Women’s Magazine Food Advertisements • Yang Feng, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise; Jiwoo Park, Northwood University • A multi-method study was conducted to examine the use of different advertising claims in current food advertising and then determine the effectiveness of different advertising claims on females’ evaluative judgments of food advertisement. Content analysis results of 678 women’s magazine food ads indicated a substantial use of taste and nutrient content claims paired with specific nutrition appeals. Functional food ads appeared to adopt nutrition appeals or a combined use of nutrition appeals and taste claims, whereas hedonic food ads tended to use taste claims without nutrition appeals. Nevertheless, these current practices of food advertising were called into question by the results of two experiments and one focus group, which showed the combined use of nutrition appeals and taste claims was the most effective strategy for both hedonic and functional foods. However, for hedonic foods, each single nutrition appeal should neither be extremely incongruent to the nature of hedonic food product nor extremely contradictory to the taste claims in the same ad.

A Content Analysis of Green Advertising: What Has Changed in Twenty Years • Sigal Segev, Florida International University; Juliana Fernandes, University of Miami; Cheng Hong, University of Miami • This paper reassesses the changes in green advertising since the first content analysis on the topic was conducted. A total of 433 unique ads from 18 magazines published in 2009 and 2010 was employed. Results show that greenwashing is still prevalent 20 years later compared to Carlson et al.’s (1993) study. However, the change lies on the type of claims: product-oriented claims were more misleading while image-enhancing claims were deemed more acceptable, opposite to previous findings.

Still funny? The effect of humor in ethically violating advertising • Kati Foerster, U of Vienna; Cornelia Brantner, U of Vienna • This study aims to better understand the masking effect of humor in advertising. The paper focuses on the question: Are ethically violating advertisements perceived as less unethically by advertising councilors if they contain humor? Our results indicate that humor and decision are only spuriously associated and that the masking effect disappears when depicted sexism is included. Moreover, gender affects the decisions, but does not moderate the effects of humor and sexism.

Factors Influencing Intention to Use Location-Based Mobile Advertising among Young Mobile User Segments • Jun Heo, Louisiana State University; Chen-Wei Chang, University of Southern Mississippi • The purpose of this study is twofold: 1) to examine determinants of intention to use location-based advertising (LBA) and 2) to explore possible mobile user segments among college students. The results suggest that the determinants may differently influence two mobile user segments: innovative believers and conventional skeptics and that marketers need to approach them differently in order to increase the opt-in intention of LBA. Implications and suggestions for future studies are discussed.

The activation of social identities through advertising: How brand loyalty is influenced by out-group perceptions related to political identity • Jennifer Hoewe, University of Alabama; Peter K. Hatemi, Penn State University • This study merges literatures utilizing social identity theory in reference to brand loyalty and political identity to determine how advertisements can activate these identities and influence product selection. Using an experimental design, it tests the inclusion of a perceived out-group in an advertisement for a well-established brand to determine if political identity interacts with the advertisement’s content to predict consumption of that product. The results indicate that an advertisement’s activation of one’s political identity can either change or reinforce brand loyalty. Specifically, more conservative individuals responded to the presence of Muslim and Arab individuals in a Coca-Cola advertisement by selecting Pepsi products; whereas, more liberal individuals responded to this advertisement by maintaining their initial brand loyalty for Coca-Cola products.

Skepticism toward Over-the-Counter Drug Advertising (OTCA): A Comparison of Older and Younger Consumers • Jisu Huh, University of Minnesota; Denise DeLorme, University of Central Florida; Leonard Reid, University of Georgia / Virginia Commonwealth University • This study examined age-related differences in consumers’ skepticism toward over-the-counter drug advertising (OTCA) as a type of consumer persuasion knowledge. The results from a U.S. nationally-representative survey indicate that older consumers are less skeptical of OTCA than are younger consumers. This study also shows some interesting differences between the two age groups in terms of predictors of ad skepticism and the relationship between ad skepticism and ad outcomes.

The Effects of Mixed Emotional Appeals: Construal Level Theory Perspective • Wonseok (Eric) Jang, University of Florida; Jon D. Morris, University of Florida; Yong Jae Ko, University of Florida; Robyn J Goodman, University of Florida • By using construal level theory as a theoretical framework, the current study proposes that the psychological distance that people create toward advertised products would determine the effectiveness of mixed emotional appeal. The results of experiment 1 indicated that, when people formed a close psychological distance toward an advertised product, the mixed emotion appeal decreased the effectiveness of the advertisements. Meanwhile, when people formed a far psychological distance toward an advertised product, the effect of mixed emotional appeal was significantly enhanced compared to a close psychological distance condition. Furthermore, the results of experiment 2 indicated that the effects of different sequences of mixed emotion appeals (improving vs. declining view) are also moderated by the psychological distance people formed with the advertised object. When people formed a close psychological distance, an improving sequence was more effective in creating overall perceptions than a declining sequence. In contrast, when people formed a far psychological distance, both improving and declining sequences were equally effective in creating overall positive perceptions of mixed emotional appeals and advertised events.

The Effectiveness of Warning Labels and Ecolabels in Different Contexts • YONGICK JEONG, Louisiana State University • This research conducted two studies to investigate the effectiveness of different label messages in different context formats (Ad/PSA, study 1) and in different context-induced moods (Positive/Negative, Study 2). The findings indicate that attitude toward labels and behavioral change intention are higher in PSAs than ads, and health warning labels are generally more effective than ecolabels. The interactions between label types and context formats as well as label types and context-induced moods are also discussed.

Factors Influencing OOH Advertising Effects: A Prediction Model for Billboard Advertising • Yong Seok CHEON; Jong Woo JUN, Dankook University; Hyun PARK, Dankook University • This study was conducted to develop indicators for out-of-home (OOH) fundraising advertising and establish a prediction model accordingly. Fundraising OOH advertising has a special purpose and is run by the government to support international events. These advertisements are installed around expressways in Korea in spots not legally available to other advertisements. The fact these are the only advertisements that can be legally installed and managed in these locations makes this advertising distinct. Moreover, this advertising has standardized specifications, format, installation spots, and methods, and thus the advertising effects are easier to measure compared to other OOH advertising. Variables that influenced these advertising effects included form, design, and text size among the visual characteristics, and driving speed, visual clutter, visibility range, separation distance, installation height, and installation position among physical characteristics. These results were used to present the attention rate prediction model. Moreover, this study verified variables that influenced the attention rate according to individuals in the vehicle. For drivers, the influential variables were the same as those affecting total attention rate, whereas for passengers, the influence of driving speed was not statistically significant; however, the amount of text turned out to influence the attention rate of passengers.

Differential Responses of Loyal versus Habitual Consumers Towards Mobile Site Personalization on Privacy Management • Hyunjin Kang, George Washington University; Wonsun Shin, Nanyang Technological University; Leona Tam, University of Wollongong • We examine how two different underlying mechanisms of behavioral loyalty to a brand—attitudinal loyalty and habit—impact smartphone users’ privacy management when they browse personalized vs. non-personalized mobile websites. The study finds different responses of attitudinal loyalty and habit towards personalization in significant three-way interactions between personalization, attitudinal loyalty, and habit on privacy disclosure and protection behaviors. When interacting with a personalized website, highly habitual consumers without high level of attitudinal loyalty disclosed the most personal information on a personalized mobile site, and displayed the least intention of protecting their privacy on their smartphones, whereas consumers with high levels of both habit and attitudinal loyalty reported the highest tendency of privacy protection behavior. However, habit and personalization do not have a significant effect on disclosure behaviors when users have high attitudinal loyalty to a brand. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

A Mutualist Theory of Processing PSAs and Ethically Problematic Commercials • Esther Thorson, Missouri School of Journalism; Margaret Duffy, Missouri School of Journalism; Eunjin (Anna) Kim, Southern Methodist University; Heesook Choi; Tatsiana Karaliova, Missouri School of Journalism; Eunseon (Penny) Kwon • The paper combines qualitative descriptions of people’s response to PSAs and ethically problematic commercials (dangerous and sexual appeals), with their quantitative scoring of attitudes toward the commercials, and their experience affect and arousal while watching. The qualitative responses are coded into five categories of dominant meaning: Descriptive/Neutral, Deconstructing/Rejecting, Positive/Connect, Positive/Aspiration/Identify, and Persuasion Identification. The dominant meanings predict the quantitative responses well. The perceived meanings demonstrate that some respondents are sensitive to the ethical problems in dangerous and sexual appeals.

Effects of Online Video Advertising Message and Placement Strategies on Ad Avoidance and Attitudinal Outcomes • Soojung Kim, University of Minnesota; Jisu Huh, University of Minnesota • This study examined effects of ad-video similarity and ad location on online video ad avoidance and attitudinal outcomes, and tested the mediating roles of perceived relevance and psychological reactance. Experimental results showed a similar (vs. dissimilar) ad was perceived more relevant and generated more positive attitudes and lower ad avoidance, while the effect of ad-location was more limited. Perceived relevance mediated the effects of ad-video similarity on attitudinal outcomes. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

The Effect of Time Restriction and Explicit Deadline on Purchase Intention: Moderating Role of Construal Level • Hyuksoo Kim, Ball State University; Jee Young Chung; Michael Lee • Applying construal level theory as a theoretical framework, this study investigated how consumers process the time restricted promotional offer. Also, the study employed the type of deadline of the promotional offer (explicit vs. implicit). The conditions include time restriction (Yes vs. No), construal level (high vs. low), and types of deadline (implicit vs. explicit). Online experimental data from 217 college students revealed that time restriction and explicit deadline influenced purchase intention positively. The findings also found the moderating effects of individual differences in construal level in explaining the effect of time restriction and types of deadline on purchase intention. Theoretical and managerial implications were discussed for researchers and practitioners.

The Effect of Advertisement Customization on Internet Users’ Perceptions of Forced Exposure and Persuasion • Nam Young Kim, Sam Houston State University (SHSU); S. Shyam Sundar, Penn State University • In the context of forced ad interruption during Internet use, this research tested how ad customization influences users’ perceptions of the ad as well as attitudes toward the ad and the website in different advertising loading sequences. A 2 (ad customization vs. non-ad customization) X 3 (pre-rolls vs. middle-rolls vs. post-rolls) factorial experiment revealed that offering ad self-selection through customization tends to induce users’ positive attitudes toward forced exposure to the ad as well as toward the website that hosts the ad. Moreover, users’ perceived control plays an important underlying mechanism in this relationship, particularly in regard to the impact of ad customization on persuasion. The findings have theoretical and practical implications on the use of online advertising interruptions.

Examining Gender Stereotypes in Advertisements Broadcast During the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games • Lance Kinney, University of Alabama; Brittany Galloway; Sara Lavender; Se Na Lim, University of Alabama • Olympics telecasts are scrutinized for stereotypical portrayals of male and female competitors, but ads broadcast during the Olympics are seldom analyzed. This research details content analysis of 270 ads from NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The ads were less stereotypical than ads in other types of programming. Primary characters are likely to be male or female, most of the advertised products are for suitable for use by males or females, and female athletes are frequently observed in the ads. Some stereotypes, including male voiceovers and males dominance of electronic/communication categories were observed.

Creating Brand Personality through Brand Placement and Media Characters –The Role of Parasocial Interaction and Brand Familiarity • Johannes Knoll; Holger Schramm; Christiana Schallhorn • Brand placements seem to be an especially effective way of communicating brand personality as they are frequently associated with media characters encouraging consumers to make direct connections between a brand and a character’s personality. Following theoretical developments in research on parasocial interactions (PSI), consumers are assumed to derive brand personalities from their PSI with associated media characters and not directly from the characters’ personalities themselves. In addition, brand familiarity is assumed to moderate this mediating influence of PSI since information pertaining to media characters can be connected more easily to preexisting brand schemas following schema theory. Testing this assumptions a 1 x 2 between-subject experiment was conducted. Results confirmed the mediating role of PSI and the moderating role of brand familiarity. Theoretical as well as practical implications for creating brand personality through brand placements are discussed.

Advertising in Social Media: A Review of Empirical Evidence • Johannes Knoll • This article presents an up-to-date review of academic and empirical research on advertising in social media. Two international databases from business and communication studies were searched, identifying 43 relevant studies. The findings of the identified studies were organized by seven emerging themes: advertising occurrence, attitudes about and exposure to advertising, targeting, user-generated content in advertising, electronic word-of-mouth in advertising, consumer-generated advertising, and further advertising effects. Although many studies have investigated attitudes toward advertising in social media and consumer-generated advertising, few have explored targeting and advertising effects in general. In addition, advertisers and researchers are missing a general overview of what is advertised in social media and how advertising is done in this context. Seven avenues for future research are discussed.

Do Ethnicity of Consumers and Featured Models Matter in CSR Messages? A Comparison of Asian and White Americans • Yoon-Joo Lee, Washington State University; Sora Kim • This study explains, based on motivated reasoning and self-referencing information processing mechanisms, why a mismatch between target consumers and featured model race might work better among some ethnic groups, especially Asian Americans, in the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR) ads. Through an experiment design, the study revealed that for both Asian and white Americans, perception toward money as status can have a significant effect on consumers’ perceptions toward an advertiser’s motive as genuine, purchase intention, and attitude toward the CSR ads through a moderated mediator, self-referencing. Further, Asian Americans who have a high level of perception toward money as status were more likely to evaluate corporate social responsibility ad messages featuring a white model positively than the ads with an Asian model. However, white Americans did not vary their perception of CSR ads based on model’s race. The managerial implications are discussed further.

The Effectiveness of Consumer Characteristics in Cause-related Marketing: The Role of Involvement in a Extended Theory of Planned Behavior Model • Jaejin Lee, Florida State University • The purpose of this study is to explore the effectiveness of consumer characteristics (attitudes, social norms, perceived consumer characteristics, and cause involvement) in cause-related marketing by employing a Revised Theory of Planned Behavior Model. The results shows a statistically significant effect of attitude toward the cause-related product consumption, social norms (injunctive, descriptive, and moral norms), perceived consumer effectiveness on purchase intentions. Especially, moral norms shows a strongest effect among these variables while injunctive and descriptive norms were negatively affect. Also, there is an effectiveness of level of cause involvement in the extended TPB model. Implications and limitations are discussed.

The Effects of Message Framing and Reference Points of PSAs on Bystander Intervention in Binge-Drinking • Kang Li; Nora Rifon • This study investigates the effectiveness of anti-binge-drinking PSAs from the angle of encouraging bystander intervention behaviors among college students through an online experiment. The results indicate that loss framing is more effective than gain framing in leading to a stronger intervention intention in binge drinking; and self-other referencing is more effective than other referencing. Moreover, involvement with ads mediates the interaction effects between message framing and reference points on ad attitudes, which in turn influences intervention intentions. In addition, women have higher involvement with ads and stronger intention to intervene in binge drinking situations than men.

Following Brands on Social Media Apps: The Effect of Intent to Continue Receiving Branded Posts on Attitudes toward Brands that Post • Kelty Logan, University of Colorado Boulder • This study proposes a direct, causal relationship among beliefs, attitudes and satisfaction regarding receiving branded posts on mobile social media. Furthermore, in accordance with the expectation-confirmation theoretical framework, satisfaction with the experience of receiving branded posts is causally related to the decision to continue following brands on mobile social media. This study extends the ECT model to explain how continuance generates positive brand attitudes, providing a theoretically based rationale to support the notion that branded posts on mobile social media can, in fact, build brand equity.

How Product Type and Sexual Orientation Schema Affect Consumer Response to Gay and Lesbian Imagery • Kathrynn Pounders, The University of Texas at Austin; Amanda Mabry, The University of Texas at Austin • Gay and lesbian consumers are increasingly recognized as a lucrative target market. Advertisements more frequently incorporate images of people who are gay and lesbian; however, more research is needed to understand mainstream (heterosexual) consumer response to these ads. Two studies were conducted to explore how sexual orientation, product type, and model-product fit influence consumer reactions to ads with gay and lesbian imagery. Findings suggest product type moderates the effect of sexual orientation on attitude toward the ad and word-of-mouth and that positive evaluations of an ad may occur when gay and lesbian imagery “fits” within a consumers’ existing schemas. This work offers implications for advertisers and brand managers.

Tablets and TV advertising: Understanding the viewing experience • Stephen McCreery, Appalachian State University; Dean Krugman, University of Georgia, The Grady College • A paucity of work exists regarding how advertising fares on the growing technology of tablets. This study examines the processes and attitudes toward advertising while streaming TV and movie content on tablets, using the predictors of advertising avoidance, irritation, and skepticism. A survey of adult iPad users in the U.S. reveals that while ad avoidance did not differ between the iPad and television, ad irritation was significantly higher on the iPad. Further, whereas both ad skepticism and irritation were correlated with avoidance, it was irritation that was the predictor, not skepticism. Implications for the future of TV advertising on the iPad are discussed.

Personalized Advertising on Smartphones • Saraphine Pang, SK Planet; Sejung Marina Choi • Smartphones have changed our lifestyles in many ways, allowing us to live ‘smarter’ lives. Smart devices lead to smart content, through which, smart advertising – personalized ads that are tailored to the consumer – have also found their place in the ‘smart’ world. The main idea of smart ads is the ability to personalize advertising content to the consumer. In other words, smart ads are personalized ads on smartphones. Personalized ads make use of consumer data to target ads according to individual preferences. However, while personalization could lead to favorable responses due to its relevancy to the consumer, privacy issues may lead to avoidance as personal information is used to target specific ads to the consumer. Past studies on personalized ads have mostly been conducted in non-mobile environments and focused only on one type of personalization. The increasing reliance on smartphones calls for research on this highly personalized medium. Therefore, the aim of this study was to look at the three facets of personalization – time, location and identity – and their combined effects on perceived personalization. Implications and future studies are discussed.

Effects of Platform Credibility in Political Advertising • Chang Sup Park, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania • This research examined how partisan media as a campaign ad platform affect voters, focusing on the presence of partisanship and perceived platform credibility. In a 3 (conservative party supporters, liberal party supporters, nonpartisans) x 2 (contrasting platforms) x 2 (platform credibility) factorial design, participants saw a campaign ad surrounded by either a conserva-tive medium or a liberal medium. The results illustrate the contrasting ad platforms exerted different influence depending on the presence of partisanship. An additional analysis finds that nonpartisan voters’ perceived credibility for an ad platform makes a measurable differ-ence in the evaluation of the ad and the recall of the ad messages. The findings suggest that nonpartisans process political ad messages along the central route when they perceive the ad platform to be credible.

The Impact of Distraction on Spotting Deceptive Reviews • Sann Ryu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Patrick Vargas, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • We investigated how individual differences, such as personality traits and media multitasking habits, interact with distraction to affect people’s ability to detect deceptive product (hotel) reviews. The results showed no main effect of musical distraction on people’s deception detection ability. However, we found interactive effects of musical distraction with personality traits on, and positive correlations of media multitasking level with the ability to spot fake reviews.

Gender and the effectiveness of using sexual appeals in advertising • Lelia Samson • This study empirically investigates the effectiveness of using sexual appeals in advertising on men and women. It examines memory for the commercials activated by sexual versus nonsexual appeals. A mixed-factorial experiment was conducted. Recognition and free recall measures were recorded in 151 participants. The results indicate that sexual appeals enhance memory for the ads themselves. But they distract from processing brand-related information. Male participants encoded and recalled less brand-related information from ads with sexual appeals.

#AirbrushingREJECTED: Testing millennials’ perceptions of retouched and unretouched images in advertising campaigns • Heather Shoenberger, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon • While digital retouching of images has become the relative norm in the context of advertising, we are beginning to see a shift in that trend. The millennial generation is calling for “truth” in images, and brands are taking note. This study uses a between subjects quasi experimental design with two levels of the manipulated independent variable to provide empirical evidence regarding the perceptions of image manipulation on perceptions of truth in advertising, the alignment with peer and self-ethical values, and social media and peer-to-peer engagement.

Narratives in Political Advertising: An Analysis of the Ads in the 2014 Midterm Elections • Michail Vafeiadis; Ruobing Li; Fuyuan Shen • This study examined the use of narratives in the political advertisements during the 2014 midterm American elections. A content analysis of 243 ads indicates that generally issue-related narratives are preferred to character ones. However, differences exist in relation to their use by party affiliation since Democrats prefer character testimonials, whereas Republicans issue testimonials. The results reveal that attack ads are mostly used by candidates who lost the election. Our findings also shed light on the nonverbal cues contained in narrative ads as winners more frequently employed autobiographical spots and had family members as primary speakers as opposed to losers who mostly relied on anonymous announcers. Overall, these findings suggest that narratives in political ads are playing an increasingly important role during elections. Implications for the effective use of narratives in political campaigns are discussed.

Information Source Evaluation Strategies that Individuals use in eWOM on Social Media • Veranika Varabyova; Michelle Nelson, UIUC • The abundance of information sources in the online environment forces individuals to choose sources they trust. Previously, researchers mostly examined sources of information separately in experimental settings. Using in-depth interviews, we examine how individuals gauge trustworthiness of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) information sources in social media. Findings show that individuals use five distinct strategies (popularity, source expertise on the subject, opinion multiplicity, likable group influence and unbiased opinion) to evaluate sources. Consequences for advertising are discussed.

Empowerment: The Overlooked Dimension of Emotional Response • Jing (Taylor) Wen, University of Florida; Jon D. Morris, University of Florida • Emotional responses toward advertising have substantial effects on consumers’ attitudinal evaluation and behavioral intentions. These responses were organized in three distinctive dimensions, Appeal, Engagement, and Empowerment. Previous research either failed to find the independent effect of Empowerment or only focused on the other two dimensions. This study manipulated the level of Empowerment (high vs. low) and controlled for Appeal and Engagement to examine the effects of Empowerment on behavioral intentions. Results showed that subjects perceived a significantly higher level Empowerment when exposed to anger appeals verses to fear appeals. Further, high Empowerment triggers stronger behavioral intentions to approach the issues than low Empowerment. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.

Emotional responses to cause-related advertisements • Jay Hyunjae Yu; Gapyeon Jeong • Purpose – This study aims to investigate consumers’ multi-level information processing of cause-related advertisements that are representative of corporate cause-related marketing. In particular, this study considers consumers’ information processing as a unidirectional linear process. It examines the course of the effects of consumers’ empathy and sympathy generated during the process on each step of the process, ranging from advertisement attitudes, corporate social responsibility activity, and corporate image, to brand attitude. Design/methodology/approach – The main survey was conducted with consumers who resided in Seoul between November 1 and 14, 2013. A total of 250 questionnaires were distributed and 246 were collected. Following the exclusion of six incomplete or unanswered questionnaires, a total of 240 questionnaires were used in the final analysis. Data processing was performed using the SPSS ver. 15.0 and AMOS 7.0 programs. Findings – The results showed that there were positive relationships between all of the variables involved in the processing. Consumers’ emotional response to cause-related advertisement is the best starting point for consumers’ information processing regarding brand attitude. Research limitations/implications – The results of this study confirm that a positive relationship exists among every variable in consumers’ information processing. Originality/value – This study informs researchers and companies that caused-related advertisements can improve the consumer’s emotional response and can be an effective alternative to high cost, but low efficiency, brand advertisements.

Forget the brand mentioned by actor: The attention and memory effect of product placement in TV episodes. • Wan-Yun Yu, Department of Psychology, National Chengchi University; Jie-Li Tsai, Department of Psychology, National Chengchi University; Chen-Chao Tao, Department of Communication and Technology, National Chiao Tung University • There is no consensus regarding the effectiveness of product placement in TV episodes. Our study aims to reconcile this discrepancy by examining the audio utterance with the view of situated comprehension. An experiment was conducted to investigate the influence of utterance and plot on attention and memory. Results showed that mentioning the object of product placement within the scene attracted more attention while had worse memory after exposure. Theoretical and practical implications will be discussed.

Trumping Mood: Transportation and its Effects on Brand Outcomes • Lu Zheng, University of Florida; Shuhua Zhou, University of Alabama • This study examines narrative transportation effects in an adverting context by also considering mood and modality. A 2 (mood) X 2 (modality) experiment was conducted to isolate the effects of transportation on brand outcomes. Results indicate that transportation trumped mood to affect all outcome variables, regardless of modality, further confirming that transported individuals may not follow the scripted path of central/peripheral in ELM or the systematic/heuristic routes in HSM in persuasion. Implications are discussed.

Teaching Papers
The Effects of Integrating Advertising Ethics into Course Instruction • Michelle Amazeen, Rider University •
Ambivalence toward incorporating ethics instruction into advertising curricula has been linked to concerns that ethical discussions will discourage student entry into the profession (Drumwright & Murphy, 2009). Contrary to this assertion, this study offers experimental evidence that students who received systematic ethics instruction were more likely to want to work in advertising than those who only received limited ethics instruction. Thus, failure to educate students in the ethical practice of advertising is not only a disservice to students, but a disservice to the profession overall.

An examination of the impact of faculty mentorship in a student-run advertising agency • Dustin Supa, Boston University; Tobe Berkovitz, Boston University • This study examines the impact of faculty adviser mentoring in a student-run advertising agency, and the long-term implications for that mentoring on student leaders as they enter the professional field. It finds that a high level of mentoring at the undergraduate level did lead to an increased likelihood of mentoring early in the alumni careers. The implications for faculty advisers of student agencies are discussed, as well as ideas for future research.

A systematic analysis of peer-reviewed research about advertising teaching effectiveness and pedagogy • John Wirtz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Thais Menezes Zimbres, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Eun Kyoung Lee, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • This paper presents a systematic analysis of articles (N = 147) published in the Journal of Advertising Education between 2004 and 2014. Findings include that the most common study design was case study (39%). More than half of research articles (59%) did not provide a research question or hypothesis, and only 10% tested a hypothesis. The results indicate a range of topics were researched but also an over-reliance on small samples and case studies.

Professional Freedom & Responsibility (PF&R) Papers
Seeing Unwanted Appetizers: The Impact of Long-term and Short-term Physiological States on Webpage Ads Processing • Shili Xiong, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jiachen Yao; Zongyuan Wang, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; Brittany Duff, University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign •
Many nutrition researchers believe that the flooding of food-related cues (e.g. food ads) in today’s food-rich environment is one of the origins of obesity issue. There have been calls for reducing the food ad exposure in the hope that it will help lower obesity rates. While it seems unlikely to completely stop food ad exposure, it is also in question whether the decrease of food ad exposure would truly work to successfully reduce obesity. The current study examines how physiological factors influenced affective and cognitive processing of food and nonfood webpage ads. In particular, we were interested in assessing how body weight (BMI) and hunger level interacts with motivational relevance (food vs. nonfood) and medium task-orientation (webpage task vs. browse). An experiment was conducted online via Amazon M-Turk. We found that individual body mass index (BMI) was negatively associated with food ad evaluation and positively associated with food ad recognition. Hunger level was positively associated with food ad recognition, and indirectly influenced non-food ad evaluation. Implications for researchers are also discussed.

Female Representation In The Communication Arts Advertising Annual • Karen Mallia, University of South Carolina; Kasey Windels, Louisiana State University • Females are underrepresented in advertising agencies by a ratio of 2.3 to 1. This study examined issues of the Communication Arts Advertising Annual in 1984, 1994, 2004 and 2014 to determine whether women have made increases in representation among the upper echelons of the field, award winners. Findings showed that while women have made some gains as creative directors since 1984, women represent only 9 percent of those credited for creative work, and their presence has declined since 1994. Overall, the results suggest women have not made much progress toward equity in the past 40 years. This has implications for the types of advertisements that get made, the culture of the agency creative department, and the career prospects of advertising students.

Advertising’s Responsibility to the Future: A proposal to address our role in climate change • Deborah Morrison, University of Oregon • This essay proposes that the advertising industry helped cause the tragedy of climate change, while also recognizing the industry’s creative leadership and ability to solve problems. Connections are suggested between increased advertising expenditures over the last fifty years and increased scientific findings that human behaviors such as consumption directly affect the rate of climate change the planet is experiencing. Six strategies to leverage the creative and innovative talents of the advertising industry and its ecosystem of educational programs, professional organizations, and trade publications are offered with the purpose of suggesting a professional movement to address and mitigate climate change realities.

Special Topics Papers
Would I go? US citizens react to a Cuban tourism campaign • Alice Kendrick, Southern Methodist University; Sheri Broyles, University of North Texas; Jami Fullerton, Oklahoma State University •
Before the announcement of the easing of a decades-long US embargo, this study captured US citizen interest in traveling to Cuba before and after exposure to a Cuban tourism television commercial. Online measures of attitudes toward travel to Cuba and toward the Cuban government and people were taken. Results showed Americans’ travel interest improved significantly and also showed improved attitudes toward both the Cuban government and its people, demonstrating the “bleedover effect” of tourism advertising.

The Effect of Ad Self-Selection on Different Levels of Forced Exposure to Advertising • Nam Young Kim, Sam Houston State University (SHSU) • What aspects of online advertising induce Internet users ad avoidance tendency? Is it because of a degree of forced exposure or because of users’ limited power to filter personally irrelevant content? With advances in new technology, various formats of online advertising (e.g., in-stream video advertising) often force Internet users to watch the advertisement before their choice of media content plays, and this often makes them feel intruded upon and irritated. To reduce such negative reactions toward involuntary advertising exposures, this study examines whether offering users the ability to select advertising content can influence their attitudes toward the ad as well as the website in the different degrees of forced exposure circumstance. A 2 (advertising–customization: customization option vs. non-customization option) X 2 (level of forced exposure–a pre-roll vs. a rich media banner) factorial experiment reveals that advertising choice features tend to induce users’ positive attitudes toward the advertising regardless of the degree of forced advertising exposure. Particularly, the findings show that the function of customization tends to generate a greater sense of relevance and increased advertising memory, which in turn lead to more positive attitudes toward the ads.

Fierce Competition While Playing Nice in the Sandbox: Trends in Advertising & Public Relations Agencies • Marlene Neill, Baylor University; Erin Schauster, University of Colorado Boulder • Advertising and public relations agencies have never been more in direct competition as public relations agencies begin offering paid media strategies and advertising agencies begin assuming roles in online community management and social listening. Through in-depth interviews with 28 advertising and public relations agency executives, this study provides new insights on the trends impacting both professions. Executives defined paid, earned, owned and social media strategies and discussed how these areas are blurring, how responsibilities are being mandated by clients, and how the associated financial challenges affect an agency’s ability to retain employees. Finally, the executives discussed how clients and agencies are pursuing collaborative work that draws from the strengths of both professions.

“Wow! I want to share this with my twitter followers”: Influencing Factors on Intention to Retweet of Branded Tweet • Nazmul Rony, University of Oklahoma; Doyle Yoon, University of Oklahoma; Seunghyun Kim, University of Oklahoma; Rahnuma Ahmed, University of Oklahoma • Currently, marketers are using Twitter as a strong advertising platform. Retweeting is a powerful method of spreading the brand message to a large group of potential customers with a minimum effort. However, brand followers’ underlying motivation for retweeting a brand message is still unclear to the advertisers. An experimental study revealed that brand familiarity has strong influence on users’ retweet motivation. It has been also found that intrinsic motivation has mediating effect on retweet intention.

Corporate advertising and crises: Understanding the effects of advertisements before and after crises on stakeholders’ perceptions of the organization • Benjamin Ho, Nanyang Technological University; Wonsun Shin, Nanyang Technological University; Augustine Pang • While corporate advertising has been widely studied as a promotional tool, few studies examine its effects in a corporate crisis. By integrating insights from both advertising and crisis management literature, this study develops a crisis corporate advertising (CCA) framework examining the comprehensive use of corporate advertising in crises. The CCA framework discusses inoculation, reactance, and halo effects of pre-crisis advertising and how post-crisis advertising can be evaluated based on the image repair theory.

A Large Scale Analysis of Primetime Diets in USA, China and Singapore • Su Lin Yeo, Singapore Management University; Wonsun Shin, Nanyang Technological University; May Lwin; Jerome Williams, Rutgers Business School – Newark and New Brunswick • Given the prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases in developed and developing countries, this study examined the types of food advertised on primetime television in the US, China and Singapore and their congruence with dietary guidelines offered by health authorities. Three popular television channels in each country were selected and four hours of primetime television per channel were recorded daily over 28 days, resulting in the collection of 1008 television hours. Findings from content analyses found that food promoted across the three countries do not correspond to the types recommended for a healthy diet. The majority of the food belonged to the unhealthy categories. The study also found that national development seems to negatively parallel the exposure to healthy food advertisements on television. Implications on government regulations and recommendations for communication initiatives to better balance the interests of commercial advertisers and at the same time, safeguard the health of the public are discussed.

Student Papers
Examining Receptiveness to Personalized Advertising Through Perceived Utility and Privacy Concerns • Nancy Brinson, University of Texas at Austin •
As advertisers increasingly rely on “big data” to target their promotional messages to consumers, perceptions regarding the collection and use of such data becomes of great interest to scholars and practitioners. Consumers choosing to ignore or avoid messages intended to inform or persuade them could have potentially negative implications not only for marketers, but also for public policy, education, health care, and public safety advocates. Rooted in a cross-disciplinary theoretical approach of uses & gratifications and communication privacy management, the present study utilized a qualitative survey to examine the circumstances by which personalized advertising is perceived to be “helpful” or “uncomfortable” in a variety of contexts. Findings indicate that concerns about trust, perceived control and unauthorized access to personal information have a negative influence on consumers’ attitudes about personalized advertising. As such, the present study broadens understanding of the gratifications sought by today’s online media consumers as well as accounts for interpersonal considerations that drive users’ attitudes about information sharing and processing.

What’s in the Ad? A Content Analysis of Holistic-Analytic Cognitive Processes Found in Television Commercials • Christina Jimenez Najera • Culture has been studied to discover how its presence influences the realm of communications in countries around the world. This study focuses on exploring manifestations of cultural values and tendencies in the domain of advertising. Using Nisbett’s and Hall and Hall’s research as benchmark, the study hypothesized that advertisements would reflect Western and Eastern cultural manifestations respectively. The results showed evidence that point to manifestations of holistic-analytic cognitive orientation in television commercial advertisements.

Do Sex Appeals Matter on News Website? Effect of Sexual Web Advertisements on News Perception • Jinyoung Kim, Pennsylvania State University • We observe an increasing number of sexual web advertising on various web sites, including online news pages. However, little is known about how sexually suggestive web advertisements influence readers’ perception of serious social issues, such as sexual assault. This study examined whether sexual advertisements on news web site exerted any negative effects on perception of and attitudes toward rape. Results showed that sexual web advertising significantly perverted readers’ attitudes toward the sexual assault that excuses the actions of rapists and justify the plight upon victim.

Social Motives to Interact with a Brand on Social Networking sites: Focus on Social Identify and Network Externality • Okhyun Kim, University of Minnesota; Taemin Kim, University of Minnesota • This study investigated the effects of social motivations on brand engagement on social networking sites. Social motivations are based on social identity theory and network externality perspective. The method included two hierarchical levels: social identity as individual traits and perceived network externality as channel characteristics. The result showed the powerful impact of network externality. Social identity has explanatory power to predict behaviors following brand fan-pages on social media.

Friend’s Tagging You on Facebook: Examining How Individual Traits Affect Consumers’ Reaction to Electronic-Word-of-Mouth and Social Media Metrics • Wonkyung Kim; Chen Lou, Michigan State University • This paper investigates how consumers’ individual characteristics affect their evaluation of product reviews on social media. In particular, this experimental study explored the effects of the consumer’s ‘need for cognition’ and ‘need for belonging’ on their responses (i.e., attitude toward the review, attitude toward the product, and purchase intention) to product review posts on a Facebook review page. Results of two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that: 1) Subjects with low need for cognition showed more favorable attitude and purchase intention to a Facebook review post with high number of likes/comments than subject with high need for cognition and 2) Subjects with low need for belonging showed less favorable attitude and purchase intention to a Facebook review post which had commenters’ referral to their friends via tagging. On the managerial front, findings of this study explicated the mechanism of how consumer characteristics could play a role in electronic-Word-Of-Mouth (eWOM) contents’ effect on social media, which provided useful strategic insights to both marketers and researchers.

The Moderating Role of Sport Involvement between Sponsor-event Congruence and Consumer Responses • Jakeun Koo, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Soyoung Joo, University of Massachusetts, Amherst • The current study examines the moderating effect of sport involvement between sponsor-event congruence and consumer responses. The experiment results indicate sport involvement moderates the effectiveness of sponsor-event congruence on sponsor credibility, subsequently influencing sponsor attitudes and purchase intention. The moderating effects were supported in both functional- and image-based congruence settings. The research findings imply sponsor-event congruence may improve sponsorship campaigns’ abilities to deliver product-relevant messages to consumers highly involved in sports via a central cue.

Do you see what I see? Exploring the effects of sponsorship of a sporting event on the image of the sponsoring brand. • Eunseon (Penny) Kwon; Eunjin (Anna) Kim, Southern Methodist University • Does brand sponsorship of sporting events lead to congruence in consumers’ images of sponsoring brands and sponsored sporting events? If so, what factors affect the degree of image congruence? Statistics show that sponsorship of sporting events is one of the fastest growing business around the globe. However, the importance of this marketing strategy is not reflected in the amount attention it has received in the advertising literature. This study focuses on the effects of sponsorship of a sporting event on the image of the sponsoring brand. Specially, drawing on the literature on the match-up effects of celebrity endorsement, the results from a non-student population confirm that brand sponsorship leads to image congruence.

Advertising message strategies on automobile brands’ Facebook fan page • Joong Suk Lee, University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa; Tie Nie • Recognizing the rising value that social media provides for consumer engagement on brand, this study specifically explored the advertising strategies employed among four car brands’ (i.e., Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota and Honda) Facebook fan pages to persuade consumers on social media networks. By applying Taylor’s (1999) six-segment message strategy wheel and combining the eWOM engagement of these advertisements, this study demonstrated that those ads with both informational and emotional appealing elements attracted the most attention, providing further evidence to better understand the marketing effectiveness adopted by these respective companies. Implications and future research suggestions are also offered, considering the wide range of content (e.g., photos, videos, anecdotes) produced on brand groups, which sheds light on the marketers’ efforts to heighten involvement between brands and customers.

Communicating ALS to the Public: The Message Effectiveness of Social-Media-Based Health Campaign • Jing (Taylor) Wen, University of Florida; Linwan Wu, University of Florida • Celebrity endorsement has been proved to be a very powerful tool in health campaigns. This study examined how celebrity-issue matchup presented in utilitarian and hedonic appeals influences evaluation of video, issue attitude and behavioral intentions in the context of ALS communication. The findings showed that celebrity-issue matchup condition outperformed non-matchup condition in generating positive issue attitude and behavioral intentions. The results also indicated that utilitarian appeal with matchup condition triggered significantly greater information sharing intention than that with non-matchup condition. However, no difference was found in hedonic appeal between matchup and non-matchup conditions. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.

2015 Abstracts

2015 Abstracts

AEJMC 2015 Conference Paper Abstracts
San Francisco, CA • August 6 to 9

The following AEJMC groups conducted research competitions for the 2015 conference. The accepted paper abstracts are listed within each section.


Interest Groups:


<< AEJMC Abstracts Index

Scholastic Journalism 2014 Abstracts

Boobies Are Not Hooters: New Tests for Student Speech Rights • Genelle Belmas, Univ. of Kansas • The Supreme Court in 2014 declined to hear an appeal of the Third Circuit en banc decision in the “I ♥ Boobies!” case, B.H. v. Easton Area School District. However, the decision provided an innovative approach to future student speech cases with some interesting judicial interpretations. This paper examines this case and suggests that courts adopt one of several revised tests when faced with student speech issues that skirt the line between appropriate and inappropriate.

Diversity and journalism pedagogy: Exploring news media representation of disability • Shawn Burns, University of Wollongong • This paper explores diversity studies in broadcast journalism education and seeks to help answer a question faced by teachers: Does the material discussed in class make a difference in their lives? This research is a case study of university broadcast journalism students who took part in classes that explored the representation of people with disability (PWD) in the media. The research sought to explore whether diversity studies resonated in the post-university lives of journalism students.

Comparing National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Finalists to the Average School with Student Media • Sarah Cavanah, University of Minnesota • This paper explores the differences between National Scholastic Press Association members, Pacemaker finalists, and different types of awardees to assess how much the organization and its awards represent school diversity among schools with student media opportunities. Logistic regression models show that the awards may be signaling to the general population of schools that scholastic media excellence is found in schools with fewer African American and Hispanic students, as well as schools located in metropolitan regions.

Why be a journalist? Students’ motivations and role conceptions in the new age of journalism • Renita Coleman, University of Texas-Austin; Joon Yea Lee, Department of Communications University of North Alabama; Carolyn Yaschur, Department of Communication Studies Augustana College; Aimee Meader, Mass Communications Winthrop University; Kathleen McElroy, School of Journalism University of Texas- Austin • This study of the motivations and role conceptions of today’s journalists has shown many similarities among students today and yesterday, but significant differences between students and professionals. A new motivation appeared, marked by having experience with journalism at an early age. The students’ ranking of the importance of journalists’ roles compared to professionals showed no significant correlation. Both ranked the Investigative/Interpretive as most important, but professionals ranked the Adversarial role as second while students ranked it last.

Competency-Based Education: Is it the Future of Journalism? • Rocky Dailey • This study examined the concept of competency-based education (CBE) and considered the practicality of its application in journalism education. Programs accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) were asked to participated in the study. The majority of respondents were familiar with CBE, yet did not believe such an approach would work within the ACEJMC standards. Issues with internal compliance, professional acceptance, and traditional higher education structure were also explored.

Influences of Prior Review in the High School Newspaper • Joseph Dennis, The University of Georgia; Carolyn Crist, The University of Georgia • Although not recommended by scholastic press advocates, administrative prior review is a common practice among many high school newspapers. A survey of 158 journalism advisers across the country finds that certain school and newspaper characteristics have no effect on the presence of prior review. However, statistically significant results found prior review more likely to occur among younger advisers, newer advisers, and advisers who believe an adult should have the final say in a newspaper’s publication.

From Print to Digital: Project-Based Learning Framework for Fostering Multimedia Competencies in Journalism Education • Debbie Goh, Nanyang Technological University; Ugur Kale, West Virginia University • This paper examines how project-based learning (PBL) facilitated print journalism students’ transition into producing multimedia news in an iBook. Findings show technological considerations and PBL elements – need to know, driving question, choice, 21st Century skills, inquiry and innovation, feedback and presentation – enhanced multimedia competencies and consciousness. Students met learning objectives when they perceived relevance and had clear driving questions. Choices cultivated ownership and accountability, collaboration and critical thinking. Weaker students expressed need for structured pedagogy.

Quantifying Control: Scholastic Media, Prior Review and Censorship • Mark Goodman; Shelley Blundell, Kent State University; Margaret Cogar, Kent State University • For decades advocates have engaged in an ongoing debate about the threat posed by censorship of high school student media. Yet over those years there have been few attempts to quantify the censorship experienced by these student journalists by asking the students themselves. This paper presents the results of surveys of student media advisers and student journalists at a national high school journalism convention relating to their experiences with prior review and external and self-censorship.

Effectiveness of Pretest/Posttest as an Assessment of Learning Outcome(s) in a Mass Communication Research Course • Jeffrey Hedrick, Jacksonville State University • This research explores longitudinal assessment as a valid indicator of student learning in an undergraduate capstone research course. Pretest/posttest results were gathered from juniors and seniors (N=134) over six semesters, accumulating evidence for compliance with ACEJMC Standard 9 to be included in an accreditation self-study report. The course-embedded assessment focused on three learning objectives: research, statistics, and diversity. The mean results indicated greater improvement in research than statistics, with statistics portion showing more consistent gains.

Exploring the use of corrections on college newspapers’ websites • Kirstie Hettinga, California Lutheran University; Rosemary Clark, The Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania • A previous study indicated that college newspapers tend to enjoy perceived levels of credibility on par with their professional, local counterparts, but suggested that quality could be assessed through other means, such as “story accuracy.” This research sought to explore the use of corrections on college newspapers’ websites. Corrections are a mechanism used to amend the record. Previous research has documented the potential for corrections to increase readers’ perceptions of newspaper quality. In a content analysis of College Media Association members’ websites (N = 419), the researchers found that nearly half of the newspapers had no corrections that could be located through search functions. Additionally, the researchers found that the more professional a college publication is—based on frequency of publication, the presence of language regarding accuracy or ethics on its website, and the presence of corrections link—the more likely it was to have corrections on its website.

The iPad as a Pedagogical Tool: Effective or not? • Amanda McClain, Holy Family University • Through two focus groups, this study examines the efficacy of tablets as in-classroom pedagogical tools for a college-level communication course. It finds journalism and communication programs would benefit from providing students with iPads, or a similar Internet-enabled tablet. iPads diminish a potential digital divide; they open up a world of information, help organize students’ lives, and permit convenient participation and learning anywhere. Students participate in the public sphere, putting communication theory into action.

A Collaborative Approach to Experiential Learning in Journalism Newswriting and Editing Classes: A Case Study • Perry Parks, Michigan State University • This case study examines a creative approach by two journalism professors to enhance experiential learning in separate skills-based newswriting and editing courses by collaborating to produce a live online news report from campus each week under a four-hour deadline. The study seeks to build on previous findings that innovative classroom structures and projects that engage students in practical, published journalistic work can have a powerful positive effect for students.

Who are you in the classroom? Avatars for learning and education • Ryan Rogers • Based on recent research concerning avatars, this paper examines how avatars can be used to enhance students’ performance on education related tasks, specifically in journalism classrooms. Study 1 shows that avatar assignment impacts task performance (on reading skill) via perceived difficulty. Study 2 focuses on journalism specific course objectives and shows that avatar assignment can influence perceptions of progress on education tasks. These two experiments show practical tactics for improving performance on educational tasks and also show ways that content producers, like news producers, can enhance audience engagement with content.

Unnamed and at risk? Examining anonymous student speech in the college/university environment • Erica Salkin, Whitworth University; Lindsie Trego, Whitworth University; Kathleen Vincent, Whitworth University • Like many forms of protected speech, anonymous speech does not enjoy the same First Amendment protection when occurring in an academic environment. This paper examines the legal status of anonymous university student speech from a legal as well as practical perspective, exploring both the guidance of common law as well as the level of risk generated by a common forum for anonymous student speech today: Facebook “confessions” sites.

Personal Memory and the Formation of Journalistic Authority: Scholastic Media Coverage of Sandy Hook • David Schwartz, University of Iowa • Drawing on the concepts of journalistic authority, collective memory, and media memory, this study examined the way high school journalists covered the Sandy Hook killings as a means of establishing journalistic authority. Through a textual analysis, this study found that scholastic media used the event to redraw journalistic boundaries to include emotional, autobiographical articles that advocated on behalf of their readers. This study aims to improve understanding of scholastic media during nationally mediated tragedies.

An Online Learning Approach to Community Building among Asian Journalists • Violet Valdez, Ateneo de Manila University • This paper describes a master’s program in journalism designed for professional Asian journalists which has drawn students from 13 Asian countries and is run by faculty members from five countries. The program uses blended learning methods combining synchronous, asynchronous and classroom-based approaches. An exploratory study was conducted to describe the strategies used by the students and teachers to build a community of learners (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000) and hence achieve the program’s learning goals. The study took into consideration cultural differences, in particular, those referring to educational experiences. Results show that the respondents tended to use the strategies of social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence that were appropriate to their respective class roles and that these strategies tended to reflect dominant cultural traits in Asia.

2014 Abstracts

Public Relations 2014 Abstracts

Open Competition

Patterns of paper productivity and thematic content in the Public Relations Division of AEJMC 2003-2012 • Giselle Auger • Research papers are an indicator of the work being done in academia and often reflect important social changes. Results of this investigation identified thematic differences between the content of top student papers and top faculty papers in the public relations division of AEJMC including differences in the number of nonprofit, relationship management, and corporate social responsibility studies. Moreover, 2009 appears to have been a watershed year as social media appeared for the first time and general research on the Internet peaked. The presence of an ‘invisible college’ of research and influence is also identified.

Perceived sincerity in CSR activities: The contribution of CSR fit, modality interactivity, and message interactivity • Eun Go, Penn State University; Denise Bortree, Penn State University • This study explored how CSR communication in social media can build message credibility and improve organizational attitudes. In particular the study investigated the role of CSR fit, modality interactivity, and message interactivity through a 2 x 2 x 3 experimental design (N=299). The results suggest that promoting good-fit CSR activities improves credibility and attitude. Additional analysis suggests an interaction between CSR fit and message interactivity that makes fit critical in low-interactivity settings. Implications are discussed.

You Know Me Well: A Coorientation Study of Public Relations Professionals’ Relationship with Bloggers • Justin Walden, College at Brockport, SUNY; Denise Bortree, Penn State University; Marcia DiStaso, Penn State University • Drawing from the coorientation framework, this study reports survey findings from two groups: bloggers and public relations professionals. Blogger attitudes toward the quality of their relationship with public relations professionals are compared to the attitudes about the organization-blogger relationship that are held by public relations professionals. Although considerable attention in the literature has been placed on the journalist/public relations professional relationship, scholars have yet to fully investigate the blogger/public relations professional relationship. Implications are discussed.

“Is Apology the Best Policy?” An Experimental Examination of the Effectiveness of Image Repair Strategies during Criminal and Non-Criminal Athlete Transgressions • Kenon Brown, The University of Alabama • Through the use of a 2 X 3 factorial experiment, the researcher examined the effects of response strategies on an athlete’s perceived image after they provide a response when faced with a criminal or a non-criminal transgression. Results showed that the attacking the accuser strategy was just as effective as the mortification strategy in the repair of the athlete’s image overall, as well as when the athlete is faced with a criminal transgression; The bolstering strategy was also the least effective strategy, regardless of the type of transgression. Implications for the empirical examination of response strategies and for strategic communication practitioners are provided.

The interactive role of political ideology and media preference in building trust: A PR perspective • Michael Cacciatore, University of Georgia; Juan Meng, University of Georgia; Alan VanderMolen, Edelman; Bryan Reber • Using survey data, this paper looks at predictors of business trust in the top five countries based on GDP ranking – the United States, China, Japan, Germany, and France. Demographics emerged as significant predictors of trust across countries, while political ideology was a key driver of trust in the U.S. Political ideology also interacted with preferred media choice in predicting trust. Theoretical and practical implications for the field of public relations and public practitioners are offered.

Communicating CSR on social media: Strategies, main actors, and public engagement on corporate Facebook • Moonhee Cho, University of Tennessee; Tiffany Schweickart, University of Florida; Lauren Darm, University of Florida • Based on content analysis of 46 corporate Facebook pages for a one-year period, this study found that corporations communicate non-CSR messages more frequently than CSR messages on social media. When communicating CSR activities, corporations employed the informing strategy more than the interacting strategy and included more internal publics’ activities than that of external publics. This study also found that publics engage more with non-CSR messages than CSR messages, which reflects public cynicism of CSR messages.

Renegade Girl Scouts or a Merit Badge for Spin: (Re)articulating Activism and Public Relations • Pat Curtin, University of Oregon • This paper answers Dozier and Lauzen’s (2000) call for critical theoretical examinations of activism and public relations to provide new perspectives and avoid the paradox inherent in organizational-level analyses. It also fills a literature gap by examining a case of internal activism, thus blurring organizational boundaries and rejecting Us/Other dichotomies. Articulation theory’s role within the cultural-economic model (Curtin & Gaither, 2005, 2007) is expanded to provide a more nuanced understanding of the public relations/activism relationship.

The Role Of Public Relations In Ethnic Advocacy And Activism: A Proposed Research Agenda • Maria De Moya, DePaul University; Vanessa Bravo, Elon University • This essay proposes a research agenda for exploring public relations’ role in ethnic advocacy and activism, as a way to build the field’s knowledge of ethnic public relations. To highlight the potential contribution of public relations to ethnic organizations, the use of media relations and public information tactics by Latino organizations in the U.S., is explored, and the use of public relations by two Latino organizations conducting advocacy efforts in favor of immigration reform are described. Additionally, the authors propose an agenda for exploring how public relations is used by ethnic organizations to advance their goals.

Identifying strategic disconnect: Social media use by banks and its impact on trust • Marcia DiStaso, Penn State University; Chelsea Amaral • This study explored the adoption and use of social media by banks and identified if it corresponds with what the public wants in social media from banks. The results show that social media adoption by the top banks is strong, but that the content is contrary to what the public wants. Connecting with a bank on social media was found to result in slightly higher perceptions of trust.

Communicating Ethical Corporate Social Responsibility: A Case Study • Heidi Hatfield Edwards, Florida Institute of Technology • Corporate philanthropy receives mixed reviews among supporters and critics of corporate giving. With a societal push for corporations to give back to their communities, supporters cite the importance of corporate social responsibility. Critics argue some companies use their giving to mask suspect financial dealings or to buy the public’s good will and counter damage caused by their products or practices. This paper identifies three competing views regarding the ethics of corporate philanthropy, and discusses a framework from which to examine a company’s communication about its social responsibility efforts. Using that framework, this paper examines the ethics of corporate giving using a case study to identify if and how a multinational company (Harris Corporation) communicates ethical principles of corporate philanthropy through its website and annual report, and how philanthropy fits in the corporate priorities.

Refining the Social-Mediated Crisis Communication Model: Expanding Understanding of Cognitive and Affective Disaster Responses • Julia Daisy Fraustino, University of Maryland; Brooke Liu, University of Maryland; Yan Jin, University of Georgia • This study details an experiment using a random, nationally representative sample of 2,015 U.S. adults. Refining the social-mediated crisis communication model, a 3 (disaster information form: Twitter vs. Facebook vs. static web post) x 4 (disaster information source: local government vs. national government vs. local news media vs. national news media) between-subjects design investigated effects of information form and source and impacts of demographics on publics’ cognitive and affective responses to a hypothetical terrorist attack.

Using the Riverside Situational Q-Sort (RSQ) to Construct an Expert Model of a Crisis • Karen Freberg, University of Louisville; Kristin Saling, United States Army; Laura Freberg, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo • Behavior in response to a crisis will result from a combination of individual and situational variables. However, the Riverside Situational Q-sort (RSQ; Funder et al., 2012; Sherman, Nave, & Funder, 2010) provides a method for quantifying and comparing subjective impressions to create an expert crisis and layperson model with their personal definition of a “crisis.” Differences in their perceptions illustrate how crises managers and their intended audiences perceive same situations in very different ways.

Can Ghost Blogging Disclosure Help an Organization? A Test of Radical Transparency • Toby Hopp; Tiffany Gallicano, University of Oregon • Advocates of radical transparency believe that organizations may benefit from a “radical” approach to sharing increased levels of information about their organizational practices. To test one application of radical transparency, this study experimentally explored the effect of disclosing CEO ghost blogging practices on reader attitudes. The results of this study provide preliminary support for the notion that radical transparency does not hurt reader attitudes toward a CEO or brand in the context of ghost blogging.

Public Relations and Digital Social Advocacy in the Justice for Trayvon Campaign • Linda Hon, University of Florida • This study examined the digital media ecosystem that developed during the Justice for Trayvon campaign prior to George Zimmerman’s arrest. Research literature in public relations, social advocacy, and digital communication as well as content relevant to the campaign in Lexis/Nexis and on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube were used to develop a theoretical model of digital social advocacy within the context of public relations.

Activist Message Discrepancy and Value-Involvement • Seoyeon Hong, Webster University; Rosie Jahng, Hope College • This study examined whether publics evaluate activists differently when they perceive discrepancy in their promoted causes (public relations statement) and their actions (news coverage of activists) in the lens of social judgment theory. In addition, the role of value- involvement in how publics evaluate activists is examined. Results found that the higher the level of message discrepancy between the public relations statement and news coverage of activists, the more negative participants’ attitude toward activists and the less donation intention participants were. Even though participants with high involvement with issues showed more positive attitude and greater donation intention to activists than low involvement participants for all level of message discrepancy, there was no moderation effect detected. The findings and theoretical implications are discussed in terms of how activists can maintain and promote further relationships with general public and public with high value-involvement.

Leading in the Digital Age: A Study of How Social Media are Transforming the Work of Public Relations Leaders • Hua Jiang, Syracuse University; Yi Luo, Montclair State University; Owen Kulemeka • This study took one of the first steps to examine how public relations leaders’ understanding of social media’s strategic role relates to their active social media use and how strategic social media management may lead to the development of public relations leadership abilities. By analyzing data from a national survey of public relations leaders (n = 461), we found that (1) leaders’ years of professional experience, organizational type and size, size of communication staff, and leaders’ primary role as managers vs. front-line social media professionals significantly impacted the way social media were used in public relations work; (2) public relations leaders’ strategic vision of social media predicted their use of Facebook, RSS Feeds, Blogging, YouTube, and their active social media use in media relations and environmental scanning; and (3) social media use ultimately resulted in the advancement of public relations leadership abilities. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings and suggestions for future research were discussed.

Mediation of Employee Engagement on Symmetrical Internal Communication, Relationship Management, Employee Communication Behaviors, and Retention • Minjeong Kang, Indiana University; Minjung Sung, Chung-Ang University • The purpose of this study is to examine the mediation effects of employee engagement between employee management efforts (i.e., symmetrical internal communication and employee relationship management) and employee communication behaviors and employee retention. For this purpose, this study collected the data from a survey of 438 randomly selected employees working for a corporation in South Korea. The findings of this research clearly demonstrate: (1) employee/internal communication management is linked with employee engagement; (2) employee engagement enhances supportive employee communication behaviors as well as employee retention. Implications and suggestions for future studies are discussed.

Trust, Distrust, Symmetrical Communication, Public Engagement, and WOM • Minjeong Kang, Indiana University; Young Eun Park, Indiana University • The purpose of this study is to examine how public engagement mediates the relationships across organizations’ symmetrical communication efforts, public trust and distrust toward organizations, and publics’ positive and negative WOM (word-of-mouth) behaviors. This study analyzed the data from a survey (N = 704) of a randomly selected sample of U. S. consumers. The results showed strong links between symmetrical communication and trust/distrust and between symmetrical communication and public engagement. Also, this study found that public engagement strongly mediated of the effects of symmetrical communication efforts and trust on publics’ positive WOM. Implications and suggestions for future studies were discussed.

Relationship management in networked public diplomacy • Leysan Khakimova • The purpose of this study was to explore relationship management in networked public diplomacy. The network view of public diplomacy emphasized relationships as important links between organizations, governments, publics. Data included 32 in-depth qualitative interviews with 31 communication officers in governments and organizations. Results reflected limited use of relationship cultivation strategies, both online and offline. In addition, findings suggested a new offline relationship cultivation strategy, i.e. communicated long-term commitment.

Message strategies and public engagement in corporate Facebook pages • Cheonsoo Kim, Indiana University; Sung Un Yang, Indiana University • By employing the six-segment message strategy and hierarchical categorizations of public engagement on social media, this study investigated the link between message strategies and the levels of Facebook engagement. Content analysis of posts (N = 600) was conducted on Facebook pages of 20 companies sampled. Findings showed different message strategies led to different levels of public engagement (i.e., like, comment, share) on Facebook. The theortical and practical implications of the study are discussed.

Testing the buffering and boomerang effects of CSR practices on corporate reputation during a crisis: An experimental study in the context of an obesity campaign by a soft drink company • Hark-Shin Kim; Sun-Young Lee, Individual Purchaser • The present study seeks to explore the effects of CSR practices on corporate reputation and consumers’ degree of supportive intention toward the corporation, and also to examine whether CSR practices produce buffering effects (help to reduce reputational damage) or boomerang effects (increase reputational damage). The results suggest that CSR activities might be more effective in improving people’s favorable attitudes toward the corporation, even the perceived image of CSR activities and the supportive intention as expressed in word-of-mouth referrals or purchasing its products. Second, the results supported the marginal evidence of a boomerang effect. Moreover, this study examined the effects of a crisis on consumers’ emotions under different conditions in order to explore consumers’ cognitive processes and shed light on why consumers respond to a crisis differently in different situations.

How do we perceive crisis responsibility differently? An analysis of different publics’ perceptions of crisis responsibility through news framing in crisis communication • Young Kim, Louisiana State University; Andrea Miller, Louisiana State University; myounggi chon • This study explores the dynamics of crisis communication by examining how publics differently perceive crisis responsibility through different crisis news framing. The study aims to identify and analyze the relationship between public segmentation, news framing, and perceived crisis responsibility. In spite of the importance of an interwoven relationship, there is a lack of such systematic analysis of perceived crisis responsibility based on public segmentation and news framing in crisis communication. An online experiment with 1,113 participants found that their perceptions of crisis responsibility were in consistent with the news framing they read; those who read a news story framed as a preventable crisis perceived high levels of responsibility to the organization, and others who read a news story framed by accidental crisis perceived a low level of crisis responsibility to the organization. Moreover, different publics perceived crisis responsibility differently as latent publics were more susceptible to crisis news framing. Thus, the results shed light on how news framing affects publics’ perceptions of crisis responsibility which could lead to varying crisis response strategies of an organization. Theoretical and practical implications for future research and practices are discussed.

A Content Analysis Of Facebook Responses To Abercrombie And Fitch’s Post-Crisis Message • Emily Faulkner, Saint Louis University; Vallory Leaders; Hyunmin Lee, Saint Louis University • Guided by the Situation Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) and emotions literature, this paper content analyzed Facebook users’ responses to Abercrombie and Fitch’s (A&F) post-crisis response message. The findings showed that the majority of Facebook commenters attributed crisis responsibility to A&F, expressed negative emotions, and expressed nonsupport towards the organization. Additionally, there were significant differences between the type of expressed crisis attribute and behavioral intention, expressed emotions type and expressed behavioral intention, and expressed emotions type and crisis attribution.

How to win foreign publics’ support? Invisible battle over history and politics and the role of public diplomacy • Hyun-Ji Lim, University of Miami • The use of soft power and the support of the foreign public are increasingly important in this age of public diplomacy and global public relations. When a country faces a historical and political conflict with another country, this invisible battle needs a strategy from within this context. Through the employment of a 2 x 2, between-subjects experimental research method, this study aims to examine a causal relationship by analyzing the influence of participants’ perception of the reputation of the involved country and the level of involvement they feel toward the issue on their attitude and behavioral intentions on behalf of the country involved. Implications for global public relations practice and theory are discussed.

Communicating Compassion: A Narrative Analysis of Compassion International’s Blogger Engagement Program • Lisa Lundy • A narrative analysis of Compassion International’s blogger engagement program reveals lessons for nonprofits seeking to partner with bloggers. Compassion went beyond just reaching new sponsors through blogger engagement, but also sought to retain and educate existing sponsors, equipping them as ambassadors for the organization. Compassion’s blogger engagement program demonstrates the social capital to be garnered for nonprofit organizations when they partner with likeminded bloggers who can help tell their story.

Infusing social media with humanity: The impact of corporate character on public engagement and relational outcomes on social networking sites • Rita Linjuan Men, Southern Methodist University; Wanhsiu Sunny Tsai, University of Miami • This study links the factors central to social media communications, including perceived corporate character, parasocial interaction, and community identification, to public engagement and organization–public relationships. Based on American users’ engagement behaviors on corporate Facebook pages, the study underscores the effectiveness of a personification approach in social media communication to construct an agreeable corporate character for enhancing public engagement and inducing intimate, interpersonal interactions and community identification, which in turn improves organization-public relationships.

Engaging Employees in the Social Era in China: Effects of Communication Channels, Transparency, and Authenticity • Rita Linjuan Men, Southern Methodist University; Flora Hung-Baesecke, Hong Kong Baptist University • This study examines the internal communication landscape in the social era in China and investigates how organizations’ use of various communication channels fosters organizational transparency and authenticity, which in turn drives employee engagement. Surveying 407 working adults via the web, this study showed that face-to-face and social media channels are most effective in building organizational transparency, authenticity, and engaging employees. Organizational transparency and authenticity perceived by employees demonstrated strong positive effects on employee engagement.

Filner and Ford, a tale of two mayors: A case study of sex, drugs and scandal • patrick merle, Florida State University; Nicole Lee, Texas Tech University • In 2013, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner each faced a public crisis, scandals deemed preventable based on human errors, use of illegal drugs for the former and sex misconduct for the latter. Reviewed through the traditional Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) lens, this comparative case study examined the appropriateness of response strategies used by each political figure. Future research directions and practical implications are presented.

15 Years of Ethics in Peer Reviewed Public Relations Journals: A Content Analysis • Michael Mitrook, University of South Florida • Content analysis concerning the nature of ethical discussion in peer reviewed public relations journals was performed on a total of 1405 articles from four scholarly journals covering the period 1998-2012. Of the 1405 articles, 134 mentioned ethics in some substantive way and were further analyzed in four categories: appeal to a normative ethical theory; mention of a code of ethics; mention of metaethical issues; and relating ethics to a particular public relations theory.

Social media use during natural disasters: Using Q Methodology to identify millennials’ surveillance preferences • Kristen Meadows, CARAT USA; Jensen Moore, Louisiana State University • Due to the inevitable occurrence of natural disasters and their ability to affect millions of people, it is increasingly important to understand how individuals prefer to gather information regarding potential harms or threats. Approached from the hardwired for news hypothesis, developed by Shoemaker (1996), this research examined how millennials preferred to gather information during natural disasters thereby fulfilling surveillance needs. The use of Q-Methodology allowed for surveillance types to emerge among millennials based on attitudes toward use of traditional and social media during natural disasters.

Reevaluating Propaganda in PR History: An Analysis of Propaganda in the Press 1810 to 1918 • Cayce Myers, Virginia Tech • Analysis of U.S. press coverage of propaganda indicates that the term propaganda had a largely negative connotation in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Propaganda’s association with religious, political, and grassroots organizations are identified and discussed. This analysis concludes that Edward Bernays’s assertion that propaganda was a neutral term for PR practice prior to 1918 is inaccurate. Implications for PR historiography are discussed.

Who is Responsible for What? Examining Strategic Roles in Social Media Management • Marlene Neill, Baylor University; Mia Moody-Ramirez, Baylor University • This study examines the strategic roles associated with social media management through the lens of role theory. By analyzing the responses from participants in two focus groups and a survey of public relations and human resources practitioners, we identified nine strategic roles and the associated responsibilities including policy maker, internal collaborator, technology tester, communications organizer, issues manager, relationship analyzer, master of metrics, policing, and employee recruiter. Public relations leads most of these activities, but human resources is a close collaborator. Study findings also provide specific insights into online reputation management processes, exact content of social media policies, and the most common metrics used for social media channels.

Navigating the Leadership Challenge: Inside the Indian Public Relations Industry • Padmini Patwardhan, Winthrop University • This study examined public relations leadership in India as perceived by practitioners. Both Western concepts and Indian approaches are explored. 140 respondents took an industry survey; 13 experienced professionals participated in depth interviews. Importance of Meng and Berger’s excellent leadership model was endorsed in India. Culture-specific leadership roles such as nurturer, seer, and mentor along with practices such as “the personal touch” were also observed. Strengthening soft skills was considered important to developing future PR leaders.

Integrated Influence? Exploring Public Relations Power in Integrated Marketing Communication • Katie Place, Saint Louis University; Brian Smith; Hyunmin Lee, Saint Louis University • Public relations and marketing experience turf wars to determine ownership of new communication frontiers, including digital and social media (Delaria, Kane, Porter, & Strong, 2010; Kiley, 2011). Integrated marketing communication (IMC) prescribes that effective communication hinges on building consistent messaging around stakeholder needs through collaboration between functions (Kliatchko, 2008). Few, if any, other studies have identified the supposed power imbalance in IMC, or the influence of IMC on public relations power. This pilot study builds on the exploratory research by Delaria, et al. (2010) and Smith and Place (2013) to evaluate public relations power in IMC, and the mediating effect of social media expertise on that power. An online survey was distributed to 391 public relations professionals, ultimately surveying 21 public relations professionals in IMC environments. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to analyze if the responses grouped into different types of perceived roles. Additional descriptive statistics and regression analysis were implemented to test the hypotheses and research questions. Results of this pilot study suggest that public relations’ influence in IMC is situated at the nexus of structural power and influence-based power, drawing upon manager versus technician typologies of public relations’ roles. Findings imply that individuals associated with social media expertise hold more “technician” roles and responsibilities, and therefore, do not have the legitimate, coercive or reward power associated with “management” roles. These findings contradict previous studies (i.e. Diga and Kelleher, 2009) that found a positive association between social media use and prestige power, structural power, and expert power.

Trust, Transparency, and Power: Forces to be Reckoned with in Internal Strategic Communication • Mandy Oscarson; Kenneth Plowman, Brigham Young University • In 2011, internal strategic communication was not improving as quickly as one might hope in one office of the Department of Defense. The literature supported the need for improved internal strategic communication, but during the lead author’s summer internship, she noted that the communication team struggled to make this happen. Why were these communication professionals not successful? What was hindering their success? Earlier research showed that trust and transparency were connected to internal strategic communication—either positively or negatively. But one new theme arose from the current study: power. The authors took a closer look at why power may play a role in understanding why internal communication was not improving very quickly in this one office. To do this, the authors asked current and former members of the strategic communication team for their opinions through open-ended survey questions about their experiences. This study illustrates that a lack of trust, transparency, and empowerment—and the inappropriate use of power—are all factors in the success or failure of internal strategic communication.

The relationship between personal technology use and the donor/volunteer: A parasocial approach • Geah Pressgrove, West Virginia University; Carol Pardun, University of South Carolina • An online questionnaire completed by 660 nonprofit stakeholders supported the idea that having a social media based personal connection to the nonprofit, resembling a parasocial friendship, had a significant impact on the stakeholder’s intentions to support the organization in the offline community (e.g. volunteer, donate). Findings also indicate that when a stakeholder has a higher level of social connections and time spent online, there is a decrease in the intention to behaviorally support the organization.

Nonprofit Relationship Management: Extending OPR to Loyalty and Behaviors • Geah Pressgrove, West Virginia University; Brooke McKeever • Through a survey of organizational stakeholders (N=660), this study contributes to our understanding of nonprofit public relations in three key areas. First, a new five-factor scale to measure perceptions of the relationship cultivation strategies of stewardship was tested. Second, group differences between organization stakeholder types were explored. Third, a new working model that extends previous OPR models to include variables of loyalty and behavioral intentions was advanced. Findings revealed theoretical, measurement and practical applications.

Addressing the Under-Representation of Hispanics in Public Relations: An Exploratory Quantitative Study • David Radanovich, High Point University • While the Hispanic population in the United States has grown dramatically, the number of Hispanics in public relations has not kept pace. This exploratory quantitative study surveyed Latino public relations professionals to quantify perceived barriers to entry and evaluated ideas for increasing interest in pursuing public relations as a career among Hispanics. The research identified opportunities for educators, professional organizations, public relations agencies, nonprofits and businesses to work together to help address this under-representation.

Skepticism toward CSR: Developing and Testing a Measurement • Hyejoon Rim, University of Minnesota; Sora Kim, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • The study attempts to develop a measurement of CSR skepticism and identify a strongest predictor among the refined CSR skepticism constructs by testing the relationships between skepticism constructs and public responses. Through testing competing models, this study concludes that four factors should be considered to measure CSR skepticism: 1) skepticism toward a CSR communication’s informativeness, 2) skepticism regarding discrepancy: CSR communication motives and CSR motives, 3) skepticism toward a company’s altruism (sincerity), and 4) skepticism regarding image promotion. Skepticism toward a company’s altruism is identified as the strongest predictor in determining negative public response to CSR, whereas cynicism, in contrast to past research, does not have much predictive power to explain public attitude toward CSR.

Time-lag Analysis of Agenda Building between White House Public Relations and Congressional Policymaking Activity • Tiffany Schweickart, University of Florida; Jordan Neil, University of Florida; Ji Young Kim; Spiro Kiousis, University of Florida • This study examined the agenda building process between White House political public relations messages and Congressional policymaking activity during the first six months of the Obama administration’s second term. Using a time-lag design, this study explored three levels of agenda building for issues, issue frames, and the co-occurrence of issues with eight information subsidy types. Theoretical and practical implications for the three levels of agenda-building and advancing the study of political public relations are discussed.

Relationships as Strategic Issues Management: An Activist Network Strategy Model • Erich Sommerfeldt, University of Maryland; Aimei Yang, University of Southern California • This paper argues that activist relationship building is likely to be influenced by the nature of the issue for which a group advocates and the stage of that issues’ development. Informed by issues management perspectives as well as theories of framing and institutionalization, this paper proposes a model of activist networking strategies that explains and prescribes the nature of network relationships an activist group maintains at different stages of an issues development.

Does social media use affect journalists’ perceptions of source credibility? • Dustin Supa, Boston University; Lynn Zoch, Radford University; Jessica Scanlon, Boston University • Changes in the media landscape have put social media in the forefront of interpersonal and organizational communication. This study investigates whether the same is true of the journalists’ relationship with media relations practitioners. A nation-wide survey of journalists (n=535) found that although journalists use social media to generate story ideas, they rarely use them to communicate with practitioners, and perceived greater source credibility in practitioners with whom they had a face-to-face rather than online relationship.

Joining the Movement?: Investigating Standardization of Measurement and Evaluation Within Public Relations • Kjerstin Thorson, University of Southern California; Emily Gee, University of Southern California; Jun Jiang, USC; Zijun Lu, University of Southern California; Grace Luan, University of Southern California; David Michaelson, Teneo Strategy; Sha-Lene Pung, University of Southern California; Yihan Qin, usc; Kaylee Weatherly, University of Southern California; Jing Xu • This paper draws on a new survey of public relations professionals to explore (1) the extent to which respondents report adopting standardized measures recommended by professional organizations; (2) predictors of measurement standardization; and (3) links among measurement practices and self-reported influence of public relations within the broader organization.

Survivor-to-Survivor Communication Model: How Organizations can use Post-Disaster Interviewing to Facilitate Grassroots Crisis Communication • Jennifer Vardeman-Winter, University of Houston; Robyn Lyn; Rakhee Sharma • Public relations and crisis communication research focuses largely on post-crisis communication from the organizational standpoint. Problems arise like jurisdictional conflicts, miscommunications because of cultural differences, and inefficiencies in crisis recovery because national groups don’t have intimate knowledge of the disaster site like local groups do. Thus, it is important to theorize and practice public relations with the knowledge of the publics’ standpoint. In this essay, we look to a recent post-crisis anthropological project conducted with survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to highlight the important of local, grassroots efforts of recovery. We suggest that public relations practitioners can facilitate some of the concepts used in this process, such as survivor-to-survivor interviewing and sharing narratives. We provide a roadmap that moves our field from a traditional organizational-based post-crisis model to a survivor-to-survivor communication model to be utilized by organizational communicators.

Creating Social Change with Public Relations: Strategically Using Twitter to Turn Supporters into Vocal Advocates • Jeanine Guidry, Virginia Commonwealth University; Richard Waters, University of San Francisco; Gregory D. Saxton, SUNY-Buffalo • Communication scholarship has shown that peer-to-peer communication has the most influence on individuals. Organizations must learn how to engage audiences and facilitate discussions between individuals about organizational messages on social media platforms. Through a content analysis of 3,415 nonprofit Twitter updates, this study identifies message types that are more likely to be retweeted, archived, and discussed. Through these stakeholder behaviors, public relations practitioners have stronger influence as it transitions from organizational to interpersonal messaging.

Dialogic communication and organizational websites: An analysis of existing literature and recommendations for theory development • John Wirtz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Thais Menezes Zimbres • This paper presents the results of a systematic analysis of studies applying Kent and Taylor’s (1998; 2002) dialogic theory of public relations to organizational websites and social media presence. We identified 34 studies that applied the five-fold dialogic communication framework to organizational websites and an additional 12 studies that applied the framework to some aspect of social media (e.g., blogs, Facebook, Twitter). We then analyzed the papers, paying particular attention to common themes in Methods, Results, and theory testing and development. In general, we found a consistent emphasis on the role of websites and social media as facilitators of dialogic communication and as useful tools for managing organizational-public relationships. However, we found a relatively low degree of consistency across the studies in how dialogic communication was measured, as less than half of the studies (41%) used the same measures. We also found a relatively narrow range of fields represented, with most papers focusing on nonprofit (74%) or government (14.7%) websites. Finally, a surprisingly high proportion of the studies (28%) did not include any research questions or hypotheses, while only 26% of the studies tested a relation between some aspect of the dialogic communication framework and another variable (e.g., responsiveness to inquiry, corporate performance). The paper concludes with recommended areas of future research and theory testing.

An Analysis of How Social Media Use is Being Measured in Public Relations Practice • Don Wright, Boston University; Michelle Hinson, University of Florida • This paper reports on a six-year, longitudinal analysis exploring if and how social and other new media use is being measured in public relations practice. With more than three thousand respondents (n=3,009) – an average of more than 500 per year – the study found fewer than half of the public relations practitioners surveyed work with organizations or have clients that have conducted research measuring what is being communicated about them via social media, blogs and other emerging media. The percentage of organizations conducting these measures grew from 38.6% in 2009 to 45.9% in 2014. Results indicate those who work in public relations strongly support the idea of conducting new media research and measurement. However, most of the research actually taking place involves basic measures of communication outputs and content analysis rather than communication outcomes studies exploring the impact this communication might be having on opinion leaders and other influential people or its role influencing attitude, opinion and behavior formation, reinforcement and change.

The Internet in Public Relations Research: An Analysis and Critique of Its Temporal Development • Yi-Hui Huang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Fang Wu; Qing HUANG, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study develops a holistic and up-to-date description of Internet public relations research by analyzing 123 academic journal articles published between 2008 and 2013. Three developmental stages of Internet public relations research are identified: the Budding Stage (1992-2003), the Diversification Stage (2004-2008), and the Advancement Stage (2009 to present). Comparisons among the three different stages are made. Major findings include: 1) research has been expanding and diversifying; 2) recent theoretical development makes a shift from description to theorization; 3) dialogic theory, excellence theory, interactivity, and dialogicity have been the most frequently studied theories and characteristics; 4) asymmetrical research agenda exists in terms of its lack of diversity in locality, perspective, and cultural sensitivity. Improvements can and should be made by moving toward a research agenda that is more methodologically diverse, culturally sensitive, and symmetrical. Reflections, critiques, and suggestions for how to advance Internet public relations research are offered.

Effects of source credibility and virality on evaluations of company response via Facebook: An experiment in online crisis communication • Shupei Yuan, Michigan State University; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University • Social networking sites have become important tools to communicate with publics during crises. This study investigated the how source credibility predicted attitudes toward the apology response and the company in crisis as a function of source type and number of likes. Findings showed that the strength of association between trustworthiness and attitudes varied as a function of source type and virality. Findings are discussed within the persuasion models, crisis response typologies, and new communication technologies.

Chinese Milk Companies And The 2008 Chinese Milk Scandal: An Analysis Of Crisis Communication Strategies In A Non-Western Setting • Lijie Zhou, Arkansas State University; Li Zeng, Arkansas State University; Gilbert Fowler • Study analyzed how four major Chinese companies (Sanlu, Mengniu, Yili, and Bright Group) used press releases to respond to the 2008 Chinese Milk Scandal. Analyzed in stages, findings show during pre-crisis, all displayed similarities — keeping silent / covering-up. In crisis, strategies varied dramatically as companies became involved — looking for government protection and apologizing. In post-crisis, survivors adopted bolstering strategy. Study suggests Chinese companies employed western crisis communication strategies, although with distinct Chinese characteristics.


Examining the Influence of Public Relations Message Strategy Use on Student Attitude Through Facebook • Alan Abitbol • Experimental methods were used to examine the influence of public relations strategies, derived from Hazleton and Long’s (1988) public relation process model, disseminated over Facebook on student attitude. Results revealed that negative messages posted on Facebook had the most significant effect on participant attitude, and that using Facebook as a medium did not affect attitude significantly. These findings indicate that the message content is especially important since the platform itself does not impact attitude.

Framing for the cure: An examination of self and media imposed frames of Susan G. Komen • Caitrin Cardosi, Kent State University • The following study examines the frames created about Susan G. Komen for the Cure® both by the foundation itself and by major national news outlets. A qualitative analysis, grounded in framing theory, identified frames around the foundation formed by the media both in 2008 and during the months of January, February, and March of 2012. Then, it compared those frames with frames that emerged from press releases published by the foundation during the same times. The study found that brand strength is a key component to influencing media framing, as is grounding messaging in issues larger than the individual organization. Future research could examine the relationship between national headquarters of nonprofits and media outlets in comparison with the relationship between local chapters and media outlets.

Global Networks, Social Media and the Iceland Ash Cloud: A Crisis Communication Case • Maxine Gesualdi, Temple University • The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull erupted in April 2010 causing a large cloud of ash, which moved across Europe created a crisis situation for many stakeholders including airlines, nation-state governments, and individual consumers. The ash could was a non-deadly natural disaster that had no human cause, responsible party, or recovery effort. This study explores the Iceland ash cloud as a networked global communication crisis and reveals implications for management of crises via social media.

Comprehending CSR Message Effects: An Application of the Elaboration Likelihood Model • Osenkor Gogo, University of Georgia; Nicholas Browning, University of Georgia; Marvin Kimmel, University of Georgia • Although CSR initiatives generally elicit positive consumer reactions, a recent study showed that most people find CSR messages confusing. This experiment examined the information processing dynamics at play in the relationship between CSR messages and consumer perceptions of corporate reputation. Based on ELM, the results indicated that CSR’s influence on reputation is unaffected by message complexity. This effect is, however, intensified by involvement, information processing ability, and brand familiarity. The implications are discussed.

Internet-Mediated Relationship Management in Local Nonprofit Fundraising • Yi Ji • While organizing Pedal 4 Kids charity bike ride, Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida primarily adopted online communication to manage relationships with its stakeholders. However, neither recruitment nor fundraising goals were achieved. In-depth interviews with event participants revealed integrated application of message interactivity and functional interactivity would enhance public engagement in local charity event. Findings provide theoretical and practical implications in local nonprofit public relations management through fundraising event in a new media context.

“Culturing” Generic/Specific Theory: Relocating Culture in Generic/Specific Public Relations • Amanda Kennedy, University of Maryland • This study asked how culture in generic/specific theory (GST) (traditionally applied to international public relations) can be reconceived, and whether GST can also apply to domestic public relations to inform culturally reflective and effective national campaigns. I conducted seven in-depth interviews and thematic analysis to explore how national CDC campaigns were adapted to local publics by community organizations, finding that deeper theories of culture can enhance GST and makes GST useful for domestic public relations.

The More Informative, The Better: The Effect of Message Interactivity on Product Attitudes and Purchase Intentions • Holly Ott, The Pennsylvania State University; Sushma Kumble, The Pennsylvania State University; Michail Vafeiadis, The Pennsylvania State University; Thomas Waddell • Social media increasingly allows consumers to interact with businesses, although the effects of this novel technology in the context of public relations is under-examined. The present study conducted a 2×3 experiment to examine the effect of message interactivity and source authority on consumers’ ad attitudes, brand attitudes, and purchase intentions. Message interactivity had a positive effect on ad effectiveness via the indirect pathway of perceived informativeness. Theoretical and practical implications of study results are discussed.

Set It and Forget It: The One-Way Use of Social Media by Government Science Agencies • Nicole Lee, Texas Tech University; Matthew VanDyke, Texas Tech University • Research suggests that one-way message dissemination is not an adequate means of improving knowledge or changing attitudes about science. Informed by public relations literature on the use of social media for dialogic communication, the current study examined how United States federal government science agencies communicate about science and the strategies they enact on social media. Findings suggest they underutilize social media’s potential for dialogue and treat new media platforms as broadcast media.

Publics’ Preference-Consistent and -Inconsistent Judgments of Crisis Response: A Preliminary Examination of Expectancy Contrast Theories in Crisis Management • Xiaochen Zhang, University of Florida • This study attempted to use expectancy contrast theories to explain and predict publics’ response to organizational crisis response strategies in an experiment. It tested the effects of prior attitude valence (positive, negative) and crisis response strategies (denial, bolster, combined) on publics’ attitudes and blame. An interaction effect was found on attitude but not on blame. Bolstering was found to be more effective for positive condition but less effective for negative condition than denial and combined.

How do Leading Companies in Greater China Communicate Their CSR Practices through Corporate Websites? A Comparative Study of Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan: 2008-2013 • Mengmeng Zhao, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study explores how corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices are presented and communicated on corporate websites of 204 top companies in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan during 2008-2013. The analytical focuses of content analysis include presence, prominence and extent of communication, as well as CSR issues and modes reported on the websites. The results indicate that CSR communication has gained great attention in the Greater China area, as nearly two-thirds of top companies communicated CSR on their corporate websites. However, significant discrepancies exist among three regions in terms of CSR perception, perceived importance of CSR issues, and the adoption of CSR modes. Specifically, more than one-third of Hong Kong companies use term “Sustainability”, a more advanced form of CSR, as the section title to refer to responsible behavior. Whereas the majority of companies in Mainland China and Taiwan still use “CSR” or “Social Responsibility”. Furthermore, as for CSR issues and modes, Mainland Chinese companies put much efforts on poverty and disaster relief as well as philanthropic act, while Hong Kong companies attach great importance to community’s sustainable development and implement CSR activities through more institutionalized ways such as volunteering, sponsorship and partnerships, and Taiwan companies embrace humanist spirit, as their CSR projects involve more in arts and culture, health and safety of workers, and employee engagement. This study represents the first comparative study of CSR communication amongst businesses in Greater China, providing a preliminary observation of the status of CSR implementation and communication in these three convergent-and-divergent societies. Limitations and implications for future research were also discussed.


“Can every class be a Twitter chat?”: Teaching social media via cross-institutional experiential learning • Julia Daisy Fraustino, University of Maryland; Rowena Briones, Virginia Commonwealth University; Melissa Janoske, University of Maryland • Using the framework of experiential learning theory, instructors of social media strategy classes at three universities implemented Twitter chats as a way to build students’ social media and public relations knowledge. Creating topical case studies and discussing them during the chats, students applied course theories and concepts, built professional networks, and broadened understanding of how to communicate using a new tool in a unique digital culture. Best practices for teaching using similar assignments are offered.

Considering Certification?: An Analysis of Universities’ Communication Certificates and Feedback from Public Relations Professionals • Julie O’Neil, Texas Christian University; Jacqueline Lambiase • Working professionals may need post-baccalaureate education, but finding time and resources to do so may be difficult. An analysis of 75 university master’s programs in public relations found 22 related programs offering communication certificates. A web audit of these programs, plus a survey and depth interviews, indicated professionals are interested in earning certificates, particularly in social and digital media strategy and measurement. Professionals want to attend certificate programs that combine online and face-to-face instruction.

In Their Own Words: A Thematic Analysis of Students’ Self-Perceptions of Writing Skills in Mass Communication Programs • Scott Kuehn, Clarion University; Andrew Lingwall, Clarion University • This study explored student self-perceptions of writing skills in mass communication programs at thirteen public state universities in the Mid-Atlantic region. Responses to three open-ended questions revealed heavy student concern with their basic skills, a desire for extensive faculty contact and feedback, and for many respondents, an immaturity or naiveté regarding professional standards. This study addresses implications for faculty members who wish to better understand their students in order to devise more effective writing instruction.

2014 Abstracts

Media Management and Economics 2014 Abstracts

What Motivates Online Shoppers to “Like” Brands’ Facebook Fan Pages? • Mohammad Abuljadail, Bowling Green State University, Ohio; Fang Wang, Bowling Green State University, Ohio; Liu Yang • “Brands’ Facebook fan pages have been frequently used as a marketing tool to reach to more individuals; however, Facebook users’ motivations to participate in those fan pages are still unclear. This paper investigates the motives that stimulate online shoppers to “like” brands’ Facebook fan pages. This study is interested in knowing if online shoppers’ proclivity to “like” brands’ Facebook fan pages is based on their hedonic or utilitarian motivations. The authors propose a model based on hedonic and utilitarian motivations and uses and gratifications theoretical framework. An online survey was conducted among college students who shopped online in Northwest Ohio (N=198). The findings show that utilitarian motivations have positive significant relationships with “liking” brands’ Facebook fan pages.

Going Public: The role of Public relations in Initial Public Offering (IPO) communication • Jee-Young Chung, Southern Utah University; Eyun-Jung Ki, The University of Alabama • The present study aims to investigate the role of public relations in initial public offering (IPO) communication and the features of IPO disclosure utilizing Impression Management theory. Specifically, the present study examines the public relations practices in IPO process in terms of financial disclosure (i.e., form S-1: registration statements) and the media attention during the Quiet Period. The prospectuses of 248 IPO companies during 2013 were content analyzed based on IM strategies. Media relations efforts of those companies and media attention on companies were analyzed, and whether it relates to investors’ evaluation and attention on IPO companies. The results suggest the practical guidelines for IPO disclosure for public relations practice.

Promoting and Branding of News on Twitter: An Examination of CNN International • Michael North, University of Miami; Terry Bloom, University of Miami; Eisa al Nashmi, Kuwait University; Johanna Cleary • This content analysis examines the individual Twitter accounts of three high-profile reporter/anchors, and the corresponding network feed at CNN International, and how they used those tweets for branding and promotion. Specifically, it looks at 1,158 tweets from CNN International reporters/anchors Christiane Amanpour, Becky Anderson, and Richard Quest, and the general Twitter feed for CNNi. The tweets were issued over the course of one month in late 2013. The study confirmed that this important legacy media company often uses its various Twitter feeds to promote and brand their products. Results showed that CNNi’s strategic use of Twitter feeds varied between classifications of feeds (i.e. individual and network-specific). The individual reporter/anchor feeds were more likely to demonstrate branding and promotional messages than was the network feed, while the latter was more likely to concentrate on breaking news and news updates. Overall, CNNi’s Twitter presence offered an opportunity for branding and promoting its various products, programs, and personnel.

Media brands as symbolic resources – An audience-centered approach • Kati Förster, University of Vienna; Sabine Baumann, Jade University; Katharina Kleinen-von Königslöw • As never before media are expressions of people’s self-concepts for themselves as well as for others. In displaying media use habits or preferences in one’s social environment, media products provide relevant constituents in producing the social self. The aim of this paper is to explore the use of (popular) media brands in everyday media practices, and to uncover their symbolic meanings for identity practices of affiliation with in-groups and distinction towards out-groups. We suggest an audience-centered approach that considers different levels of aggregation and, by that, functions of media brands. At an individual level we investigated everyday media practices using online media diaries (n = 59) over a period of four weeks. Based on these findings we selected twelve genres to explore their symbolic impact within a social group using a projective technique (n = 225). The results show that only six of the selected twelve genres serve as distinctive features when signalling a certain social belonging towards others: News as informative content, comedy shows as performative content and comedy as fictional entertainment are those genres that act as social ‘glue’ in our investigated group. Contrastingly, society formats, scripted documentaries and fantasy/science fiction/horror increase distinction, as they negatively affect likability and the perceived similarity with oneself and/or with friends.

Media management education: Challenges, key themes and pedagogies • Kati Förster, University of Vienna; Ulrike Rohn, U of Tartu • “The media sphere has changed significantly as a result of globalization, technology and new modes of media use habits. Scholars in journalism and mass communication thus call on a transformation and reinvention of higher education in the field. The purpose of this article is to investigate how media management is taught across different institutions, and how educators cope with this interdisciplinary, international and dynamic field. In an online-survey we asked educators from fourteen different countries across Europe about the key themes addressed in teaching, the pedagogies applied and the fundamental challenges.

Organizational Strategic Decision Processes at U.S. Newspapers: A Study of Mobile Business Model Innovation • Geoffrey Graybeal, Texas Tech University • Using strategic management theories of organizational decision-making and upper echelons as theoretical frameworks, this study addresses the strategic decision processes used by U.S. daily newspapers to address mobile disruption of newspaper business models. Through a nationwide survey of publishers of daily newspapers, the study found that the majority of newspaper publishers do not perceive wireless mobile devices as a disruptive threat to their business, and thus engage in a comprehensive decision-making process.

The resilience of journalists who remain: A longitudinal study of technological and economic changes at newspapers and journalists’ perceived identities • Amber Hinsley, Saint Louis University • This longitudinal study used online surveys of newspaper journalists to explore how they believe technological and economic changes affected their job roles in 2010 and 2014. Using social identity theory, the research also investigates whether those changes have impacted newspaper journalists’ connections to their organization (known as organizational identification) and to the profession (professional identification). Implications for managers include the enduring nature of OI and PI in the face of a continually changing industry.

Factors Affecting Mobile Application Usage: Exploring the Roles of Gender, Age, and Application Types • Kyung-Ho Hwang, Sungkyunkwan University; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida; Sang-Hyun Nam, Sungkyunkwan University; Byeng-Hee Chang, Sungkyunkwan University • Adopting the uses and gratifications perspective, this study investigates the effect of mobile apps types, and the moderating effects of gender and age on mobile apps usage through actual user experience, as captured by metered software on a sample of mobile phone users in the United States. The variable of apps usage is examined from both the width (i.e., reach) and depth (i.e., intensity) aspect to capture the multiplicity of mobile apps usage behavior.

Structural Changes in Communities and Newspaper Circulation in the Digital Age • SEOK HO LEE, University of Texas at Austin • Despite growing concerns over decline in newspaper circulation, only a few studies have examined determinants of the slump in the digital age, and most of them have limitedly focused on technological factors, such as the effect of the Internet. Present study examines to what extent structural changes in the neighborhood affects newspaper circulation in order to provide holistic understanding of the decline in newspaper circulation. We investigated four important neighborhood attributes, which influence newspaper circulation: penetration of high-speed Internet, median household income, long distance residential mobility, and voter turnout. Evidence presents that the decline in newspaper circulation results from a combination of diverse factors, rather than a single determinant. In particular, the effect of long distance residential mobility and median household income challenges the conventional belief that newspaper circulation has a positive relationship with length of residency and earned income. While there are speculations on imminent demise of printed newspapers, the results suggest that newspapers may survive as did in the rise of the previous technology evolution with radio and television, once the nation recovers from political cynicism and stagnant residential mobility.

Is traditional media losing audience? • Qianni Luo, Ohio University • This study sought to determine several variables that may influence people’s choice to shift from old to new media. These included time spent on social activities, the structure of traditional media, the user’s gender, and use of social media. Based on the theory of uses and gratifications, logic of media economics, and time budget theory, all of those variables potentially influence people’s choice of the Internet over traditional media. A secondary data retrieved from Pew Research Center’s 2012 media consumption survey was used in this project. Twelve questions from the questionnaire regarding people’s media usage were mainly analyzed in this article. The results indicate that time spent on social activities, gender and the structure of newspapers influence time spent on the Internet.

Mobile News Business Models: Promise or Pitfall? • Logan Molyneux, University of Texas • The narrative surrounding mobile news is one of opportunity, just as optimism characterized early online news ventures. But have newspapers venture into mobile, are they repeating the same mistakes they made online? This study conducts a meta-analysis of industry data to determine what business models newspapers use in mobile markets in order to predict performance in the long run. Results suggest newspapers’ mobile efforts rely on the same old business models that failed them online which, given the additional challenges of mobile, are even less likely to succeed. Faulty assumptions behind this approach and suggested ways forward are discussed.

Repeat Consumption of Media Goods: Examining the Factors Affecting Repeat Theatrical Viewing of Movies • Byeng-Hee Chang, Sungkyunkwan University; Sang-Hyun Nam, Sungkyunkwan University; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida; hun kim • This study explored the factors affecting repeat theatrical viewing of movies. By using a comprehensive framework of four variable groups, content characteristics, audience characteristics, social influence, and availability/competition, the analysis reveals several important findings. A theoretically significant discovery is that the drivers of repeat viewing of media contents might be very different from the first viewing of those contents. This study also discovers differences between first and second repeat viewing of theatrical movies.

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Strategy and the Financial Health of Internet Media Firms • Huyen Nguyen, Ohio University • Do mergers and acquisitions bring more profits for traditional media firms? The question has long been asked by many scholars in the field of media management and economics (Rizzuto, 2006). However, their answers have never been consistent. Observing the popular use of M&A strategy by Internet media firms, this paper reconsiders this controversial issue. Our selected sample includes 9 public firms: Amazon, AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo and Zynga. As a result, we found a significant positive linear relationship between the current profit margin and total acquisition costs of these firms. Besides, we also found that these firms tend to acquire firms having the same SIC (Standard Industrial Classication) code, to empower their core assets and competences, as well as get rid of potential competitors.

Brand Personalities of Video Game Consoles • Anthony Palomba • As consumers play video game consoles, they become more engaged and formulate a relationship with them. From this, perceived brand personality traits may manifest among consumers. This study created brand personality scales for all seventh generation video game consoles including Nintendo’s Wii, Microsoft’s XBOX 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3. Principal component factor analyses were conducted to measure each video game console’s brand personality and across all three video game consoles.

The AM Radio Conundrum • Ian Punnett, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication/ASU • Due to radio frequency encroachment from all electronics, AM radio signal quality is deteriorating. As a result, the FCC is offering unprecedented technical assistance. This exploratory study documents the disposition of media managers about the future of the AM band, the recent FCC’s efforts and role of new technologies. Findings show that elite interviewees offered candid and surprising comments on the state of AM radio and the advent of digital delivery.

Likes, Shares, and Comments: Examining the Relationship between Social Media Metrics and Brand Equity • Ronen Shay, University of Florida • Structural equation modeling is used to explore the relationship between the engagement metrics produced by social networks and brand equity, when mediated by online reach. Relationships explored include: direct effects of online reach on brand equity; direct effects of platform engagement on online reach; which brands generate high engagement; which brands have high online reach; which social networking platform has the greatest indirect effect on brand equity; and which brands are present on which platforms.

Factors Affecting Platform Selection between Offline Television and Online Video • Ronen Shay, University of Florida • This exploratory study provides a comprehensive analysis of the factors that affect platform selection between offline television and online video. The theoretical framework draws from diffusion of innovations theory, the convergence paradigm, brand segmentation research, and layered communication systems to identify a diverse selection of demographics, psychographics, and content selection preferences that act as predictor variables in a multiple discriminant analysis that attempts to classify survey respondents based on their platform preference.

Communication trade associations: Increased value under increased competition? • Amy Sindik, Central Michigan University • This study examines the role broadcast and wireless trade associations play in the competitive communications industry, and if the management perspective on the value of trade associations has changed as the two industries engage in increased competition. The study is conducted through in-person interviews with lobbyists employed by broadcast and wireless organizations. The interviews suggest that competition has increased the value of trade associations to organizations, and has also resulted in member organizations becoming more fully committed to industry trade associations, and having less extreme reactions when trade association and organizational policy stances do not align. The interviews also suggest that benefits of trade association membership in a competitive environment include the ability of a trade association to serve as a political shield for a controversial policy stance and to magnify the voice of individual organizations.

Stability or Rigidity: Management, Boards of Directors and the Newspaper Industry’s Financial Collapse • John Soloski, U of Georgia • This paper examines the composition of the top management of publicly traded newspaper companies and the make up of their boards of directors before and after the industry experienced the worst financial collapse in its history.

Free Newspapers in the United States: Alive and Kicking • James Ian Tennant, Mount Royal University • This study considers the economic health of free newspapers given their heavy reliance on advertising. Do free newspapers face two options?: continue producing free content by relying on advertising (in addition to other revenue sources), or abandon the advertising-based business model. The researcher employed a Web-based survey and in-depth interviews with publishers of four different types of free newspapers. Results show free newspapers are not only viable but in many markets they are thriving.

Entrepreneurial Journalism: Shifting Journalistic Capital? • Tim Vos, University of Missouri; Jane Singer, City University London / University of Iowa • This exploratory study culls references to entrepreneurial journalism from a broad range of industry and popular publications and sites from 2000 to the present, examines the journalism field’s textual and discursive construction of entrepreneurial journalism and explores how this discourse raises issues regarding the principles, norms and ethics of the journalism field. The study found entrepreneurial journalism to be loosely defined and generally portrayed positively and largely free of ethical or normative implications. The study considers what this means for the stability of journalism’s cultural capital.

The Relationship between Twitter Use and Television Ratings A Content Analysis of Television Networks’ Twitter Sites • Yuan Wang, University of Alabama • Television networks are increasingly using social networking sites to interact with the audiences of their programs. Through a content analysis of the Twitter sites of some popular television programs from three big television networks, this study examined the relationship between Twitter use of television networks and television ratings of specific programs, and how these networks used Twitter. One finding was that overall there might be a significant relationship between Twitter use of television networks and television ratings. In particular, the relationship was positive for CBS’s and FOX’s programs, and also for comedy and drama programs. Besides, the relationships between Twitter use and television ratings varied based on different television networks (CBS, ABC and FOX) and program genres (comedy, reality and drama).

Retransmission Consent and Television Blackouts: An Examination of Consumer Reaction • Gillian Wheat • A content analysis examined consumer reaction to a 32-day television blackout that was the result of unsuccessful retransmission consent negotiations between Time Warner Cable and CBS. Comments made on the Facebook pages of Time Warner Cable and CBS during the blackout were analyzed. The findings of the study revealed that the placement of blame for the blackout varied, as did mention of issues such as payment for access to programming and online access to programming.

Competition between Mobile News and Traditional News Media: A Longitudinal Analysis from 2010 to 2014 • Mengchieh Jacie Yang • The current study sought to understand the evolving mobile news landscape with two large-scale online surveys conducted in the United States. With one survey conducted in 2010 and the other in 2014, this study provides a longitudinal perspective for both the news industry and the academic community. With a media economics approach, the results showed that both smartphones and tablet computers remain to be viable news media, complementing traditional news media. Important practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Gratification Niches of Blogs and Online Legacy News Media: A Study of Competition and Coexistence • Mohammad Yousuf, University of Oklahoma; Peter Gade, Professor at the University of Oklahoma • A survey of young adults explored the extent to which blogs and online legacy news media compete and coexist. Findings indicate that blogs are cutting into niches that used to be controlled by journalism and professional news organizations, suggesting displacement on three dimensions—surveillance gratifications, gratification opportunities and content gratifications. Results also show that legacy media have higher niche breadth and competitive superiority over blogs. Moderate niche overlap between media exists, indicating competition.

2014 Abstracts