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ItemAssessing Brand-Consumer Personality Congruence on Twitter: A Computational Textual Analysis Approach(University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Bruce, Kelsey Lauren; Hayes, Jameson; University of Alabama TuscaloosaBrands gain importance to consumers when the consumer supplies meaning or value to the brand (McCracken, 1993). BP allows consumers to use brands for self-expression (deChernatony, 1999; Johar & Sirgy; 1991; McCracken, 1986) and establish relationships with brands (Fournier, 1998; Keller, 2003; Meenaghan, 1995). Research shows that consumers are attracted to brands that align with their own personality traits (Escalas & Bettman, 2005; Johar et al., 2005; Landon, 1974). Brand personality has become an integral part of a brand’s social media presence. However, the few researchers who are exploring the role of personality in a brand's social media communications are opting to use Aaker's (1997) BP questionnaire (Xu et al., 2016) or psychologist personality measures (Pentina, Zhang, & Basmanova, 2013; Yun et al., 2019). This study will utilize the computational textual analysis software Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC; Pennebaker, Francis, & King, 2001) and a custom adapted adjective-based dictionary (Opoku, 2006) to examine BP in brand communication on Twitter. The primary goal of this study was to examine whether consumer engagement, either directly with specific highly social brands or just within a product type, moderates the effect of brand/consumer personality congruence. Towards these ends, we found that consumers who engage with brands identified as highly social are more likely to exhibit personality congruence than consumers who are engaging with a product type. The analysis revealed that the BP dimension has a direct impact on whether consumers engaging with the brand demonstrate congruence. ItemThe attitudes of solo travelers using Q methodology(University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Williamson, Hannah Kay; Holiday, Steven; University of Alabama TuscaloosaAs more Americans choose to solo travel for leisure, the need to understand theirattitudes and motivations for wanting to travel alone increases. Based on the Functional Attitude Theory, the motivations of solo travelers can be influenced by the five attitude functions: Utilitarian, ego-defensive, social-expressive, value-expressive, and knowledge. By understanding which attitude function influences solo travel actions, industry professionals in public relations, advertising, and marketing can develop messaging that resonates strongly with that attitude and therefore increases the return on investment within this target market. Given the subjectivity of motivations, the use of Q-Methodology allows for a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the participant’s viewpoint relative to the experience of traveling alone. With Q-Methodology’s focus on the viewpoint of the participant, this study results in quantifying where that viewpoint intersects among the entire sample and establishes a foundational commonality among solo travel motivations. ItemCommunications management in athletics and the excellence theory: a case study of the University of South Alabama football program(University of Alabama Libraries, 2011) Esfeller, John Harry; Kinney, Lance T.; University of Alabama TuscaloosaIncreasingly, universities across the country are adding college football to their athletics programs. The communications activities surrounding a football launch had never been examined relative to communications theory. The purpose of this case study was to investigate the football communications function of a university athletic program in its first years, and determine whether the theory of excellence in public relations (ET) or integrated marketing communication (IMC) theory was more reflected in the organizational structure, management, and goals of the program. The University of South Alabama (USA) was chosen as the subject of the case study, who added the sport in December 2007. To prepare, a review of ET and IMC theory and research that tested and analyzed those theories was conducted. During the course of this study, six members of the University of South Alabama's staff responsible for football communications were interviewed in person and asked questions about their experience, skills, responsibilities, their department, strategy development, decision making, and other factors that relate to ET and IMC. Three hours of interviews were transcribed, coded, analyzed, and compared back to ET and IMC to see which theory was more reflected at USA. During the analysis, it was discovered that USA implements a management structure and organizational culture that would be in line with the principles of ET, but that the technical duties, goals and objectives of their messages are highly reflective of IMC. During the course of this study, six members of the University of South Alabama's staff responsible for football communications were interviewed in person and asked questions about their experience, skills, responsibilities, their department, strategy development, decision making, and other factors that relate to ET and IMC. Three hours of interviews were transcribed, coded, analyzed, and compared back to ET and IMC to see which theory were more reflected at USA. During the analysis, it was discovered that USA implements a management structure and organizational culture that would be line with the principles of ET, but that the technical duties, goals and objectives of their messages are highly reflective of IMC. ItemDove "campaign for real beauty"(University of Alabama Libraries, 2016) Goins, Kaitlin Elyse; Lamme, Margot Opdycke; University of Alabama TuscaloosaThe Dove Campaign for Real Beauty launched in the United States in 2004, challenging the norms of American beauty by featuring everyday women who were not skinny and flawless and who represented a range of ages, ethnicities, and races. Rooted in research and with the commitment to listen to women, Dove rolled out new sections of the campaign, each with a new target audience in mind, but all with the same message: all women are beautiful. However in the first ten years, the Campaign for Real Beauty did not change beauty standards overnight. What initially seemed to be a model CSR campaign proved to be a CSR campaign with many blemishes that has seemed to forget or departed from its original message about women’s “real” beauty. Nevertheless, the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty points to the importance of finding and embracing new technologies and exemplifies a model for an affective economy in the context of CSR. ItemEffects of organization sustainability communication: the influence of interactivity, message appeal, and type of medium(University of Alabama Libraries, 2016) Oh, Jeyoung; Ki, Eyun-Jung; University of Alabama TuscaloosaTo understand how interactivity, message appeal, and type of medium affect public perceptions and reactions to an organization in organization sustainability communication, this study conducted a 2 (interactivity: high vs. low) x 2 (message appeal: gain-focused vs. loss-focused) x 2 (medium type: Facebook vs. organizational blog) experimental survey (N = 394). Results show that the level of interactivity and type of message appeal appear to significantly influence the social presence of the message and the public’s positive word-of-mouth intention. The public’s intention to generate positive word-of-mouth was highest when the communication had high interactivity with a gain-focused message conveyed on the organization’s Facebook page. ItemExcellent leadership in public relations: an application of multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis models in assessing cross-national measurement invariance(University of Alabama Libraries, 2009) Meng, Juan; Berger, Bruce K.; University of Alabama TuscaloosaPrior research suggests that the construct of leadership and theory surrounding knowledge in terms of its content, use, and role within the organization are complex. Leadership spans many levels of analysis and can be approached from different perspectives and disciplines. However, to date no research has empirically explored the leadership construct and how it contributes to communication effectiveness from the perspective of public relations practice. Thus, the attempts made here are to define the construct of excellent leadership in public relations, to identify its key dimensions, and, more importantly, to develop measurement scales of the constructs from the perspective of quantitative methodology. More specifically, this dissertation addresses the following five questions: (1) How is excellent leadership defined in public relations? (2) As a complex, multifaceted phenomenon, what key dimensions does the construct of leadership in public relations encompass? (3) How are organizational structure and culture related to the achievement of excellent leadership in public relations? Given the importance of cultural influence on leadership effectiveness, (4) Are some dimensions of excellent leadership in public relations universally relevant while some are culturally specific? and (5) What core values and qualities of public relations leadership do different cultures emphasize? In order to answer these questions, both quantitative and qualitative research phases are involved. The first phase involves online surveys to different groups of public relations practitioners in multiple locations. The conceptual measurement model and structural model are tested by using the collected quantitative data. In the second phase, in-depth interviews with senior public relations executives in the U.K. and Singapore are conducted and the results further strengthen the findings revealed at the quantitative phase. Overall, the research findings present strong evidence regarding the multi-faceted nature of the leadership construct itself and indicate that the key dimensions of leadership are largely complementary and related in a meaningful way. Moreover, the impact of organizational structure and culture on the achievement of excellent leadership in public relations is confirmed and discussed. In sum, findings from this study will help enhance the theoretical development of leadership research in public relations, as well as provide concrete directions and managerial guidelines for public relations industry. ItemExpanding the beauty spectrum: a case study of Lupita Nyong’o as the brand ambassador for Lancôme cosmetics(University of Alabama Libraries, 2016) Olugbode, Monsurat Olubukola; Lamme, Margot Opdycke; University of Alabama TuscaloosaIn 2014, Lupita Nyong’o became the first black spokeswoman for Lancôme Paris cosmetics, the first in the company’s 80-year history. Previously, the advertising industry took issue with using models outside of the European standard of beauty for various reasons including perceptions of consumer relatability and response, but Nyong’o’s contract is a direct challenge to this notion. The intent of this study to explore news coverage of the first year (April 2014 – April 2015) of Nyong’o’s contract with Lancôme to determine why Nyong’o was chosen as the first black ambassador, how the decision was received, and what the implications are for the beauty standards, especially the black beauty standard. ItemExperimental comparison of two post-crisis communication strategies: discourse of renewal theory and bolstering(University of Alabama Libraries, 2017) Shi, Zhe; Kinney, Lance T.; University of Alabama TuscaloosaPublic relations theorists investigating organizational crisis communication have suggested discourse of renewal theory (DRT) as an alternative to more standard apologia tactics. DRT advises organizations in crisis to give the chief executive officer a prominent communication role (rather than other organization personnel or outside consultants). DRT also advises forward-looking communication tactics highlighting potential for organizational growth, improved operations and necessary change. The experiment reported here is the first-known experimental investigation of DRT-based crisis responses. A non-random sample of 114 undergraduate students were randomly assigned to one of four crisis response treatments: CEO-attributed DRT responses, CEO–attributed organizational bolstering responses, non-CEO attributed DRT responses and non-CEO organizational bolstering responses. Contrary to DRT-derived hypotheses, CEO-attributed responses did not generate significantly higher mean attitude toward the organization, message credibility or organizational credibility when compared to non-CEO attributed responses. Similarly, DRT responses did not outperform more standard bolstering apologia tactics. ItemFashion blogging and consumers: examining the uses and gratifications of readers of fashion blogs(University of Alabama Libraries, 2015) Fink, Ariel Devora; Lewis, Regina Louise; University of Alabama TuscaloosaThis research focused on the motivations consumers have for accessing fashion blogs. This study is important due to the limited scope of research that exists regarding consumer motivations, particularly for accessing specific types of blogs. Most existing research focuses more on the relationship between blogs and advertisers. Using a survey with measures adapted from previous research on social media motivations, the researcher was able to discover that the main reasons for accessing fashion blogs matched the main reasons for accessing blogs in general. The most important motivations were social surveillance and entertainment. Additionally, this research indicated that the Millennial generation is more invested in blogs than most other demographics. These findings can help bloggers and advertisers better tailor their content to fit this demographic and their needs, something marketers are currently striving to achieve in a time when Millennials influence spending. Further research should focus on qualitative methods that can allow the researcher to delve deeper into consumer needs. ItemFraming common core: a comparative analysis of media and policy agenda setting in Oklahoma and New Mexico(University of Alabama Libraries, 2018) Kirkland, Stephanie Brumfield; Gonzenbach, William J.; University of Alabama TuscaloosaEducation has been cited as an important political issue in the United States for decades, yet little research has been done on how the media influence education policy. The Common Core State Standards—which were recently adopted by nearly all 50 states—present an especially interesting case study of how the media can influence different policy outcomes in different places. This study investigated whether agenda setting and differences in framing by the media could have played a role in differing policy outcomes regarding Common Core in two states, Oklahoma and New Mexico. A content analysis was conducted of all newspaper articles referencing Common Core in the largest daily circulation newspapers in Oklahoma and New Mexico from 2010 through 2016, and the frequency of media coverage was compared to the amount of legislation regarding Common Core that was discussed by each state legislature during that same time period. A descriptive analysis was conducted to determine whether the media influenced the policy agenda or vice versa in each location. Additionally, a more in-depth content analysis of newspaper articles was conducted to determine whether there were differences in how Common Core was described, or framed, by the media in each state. Results indicate that there were indeed differences in who set the agenda and how Common Core was described by the media in each state. Whereas the policy agenda set the media agenda in Oklahoma (where Common Core was eventually repealed), the media agenda appeared to set the policy agenda in New Mexico (where Common Core has been largely supported). Moreover, Common Core was uniquely described in Oklahoma media outlets as a federal overreach into state issues, whereas New Mexico media uniquely described Common Core as an assessment tool and accountability measure and allotted substantial space to discussing the details of the standards as well as the logistics of implementing them. Although more research needs to be done, this study seems to indicate that traditional news media continue to play a strong role in politics via agenda setting. ItemThe framing of Caitlyn Jenner: a textual analysis(University of Alabama Libraries, 2017) Pettway, Morgan; Brown, Kenon A.; University of Alabama TuscaloosaIn April 2015, Caitlyn Jenner, formally known as Bruce, announced that she was transitioning into a woman. Through the observation of framing models and framing devices, a textual analysis was conducted within print and audiovisual data to gain an understanding of how framing was used to manage or shape Jenner’s unfolding image as a transgender woman. The researcher also investigated the overall tone of Jenner’s representation to decipher whether she was portrayed in a negative or positive manner. Based upon the findings, the prominent framing models that were observed in the texts were the framing of situations and the framing of attributes. The prominent framing devices of contrast and spin were also present. Furthermore, the findings indicated that Jenner was portrayed in an overall positive manner. The findings of this study build upon the current knowledge of framing and demonstrate the utility of framing in the management of a transgender celebrity’s image. The utility of framing is also presented as an opportunity for application among other celebrity happenings in the media. ItemFrom Purchasing Exposure to Fostering Engagement: Brand-Consumer Experiences in the Emerging Computational Advertising Landscape(Routledge, 2020) Araujo, Theo; Copulsky, Jonathan R.; Hayes, Jameson L.; Kim, Su Jung; Srivastava, Jaideep; University of Amsterdam; Northwestern University; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa; University of Southern California; University of Minnesota System; University of Minnesota Twin CitiesOver the past 40 years, we have witnessed seismic shifts in advertising planning and buying processes. Due in no small part to the emergence of digital media, consumer choices have mushroomed, while advertisers understand much more about target audiences. Advertising activities have been drastically transformed by the possibilities that technology creates for targeting and measurement, automation of activities via programmatic advertising, and an overall computational approach in which algorithmic, data-driven decisions dominate. In this era, what does it mean to "do media planning" and to do it well? The present article argues for planning decisions to move away from simply purchasing exposure to instead focusing on fostering engagement through meaningful and sustained interactions with consumers. It provides an overview of the digital ecosystem that makes computational advertising possible, updates the notion of consumer engagement for this context, and reviews how measurement becomes more central to media planning decisions. Ethical and normative considerations and computational advertising as an adaptive learning system are discussed as crosscutting issues, followed by a proposed research agenda. ItemGuanxi and legitimacy: understanding corporate social responsibility and public relations in China and the U.S.(University of Alabama Libraries, 2014) Morrow, Sarah Ashton; Lamme, Margot Opdycke; University of Alabama TuscaloosaThis study provides a cross-cultural comparison of public relations practitioners as the facilitators of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives in China and in the U.S. A qualitative investigation was conducted employing grounded theory and in-depth interviews with 11 participants, incorporating representatives from top U.S. and China public relations firms, including five top ten international public relations firms. The research found that guanxi (business relationships) is a major cultural influence on the institutionalization of CSR in China, whereas legitimacy, and a need to develop more sophisticated business strategy and protect brand image, has driven CSR development at an increased rate in the West. The results build on a theoretical understanding of CSR as having an economic, legal, ethical, and/or discretionary rationale (Carroll, 1979), and call for a new theoretical understanding that focuses more on the benefit of CSR to society and its integration with business strategy. The study validates the role of public relations practitioners as the facilitators of CSR. Finally, the findings indicate that CSR is not paradigmatic by region so much as by business experience. That is, an overarching cross-cultural CSR paradigm emerged in this study that correlated effective CSR programs with levels of experience in running a business in the free-enterprise system. This study revealed a pattern of global activation that starts by uniting an organization around a similar issue or interest, activating stakeholders at the local level and adjusting for community-specific and culturally specific need, and laddering local effects back up to a greater global awareness and impact (Figure 1.1). ItemHow message appeals and prior product use influence information processing, risk perceptions, trust, attitudes, and genetic test purchase intentions(PLOS, 2023) VanDyke, Matthew S. S.; Lee, Nicole M. M.; Abitbol, Alan; Rush, Stephen W. W.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa; Arizona State University; Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix; University of Dayton; Belmont UniversityWithin the direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic test industry, attracting customers can be difficult especially due to the highly sensitive nature of these products. How these tests are communicated to consumers may be one avenue in which companies can impact customer purchase intentions. A 2 (message sidedness: one-way vs. two-way refutational) x 2 (hedging: present vs. absent) between-subjects experiment was conducted to understand how message features and prior product use influence information processing, risk and trust perceptions, and attitude toward the genetic test, which in turn, may influence direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic test purchase intentions. Results demonstrated that having used a genetic test in the past predicted participants' trust in the company, information processing, and risk judgments; however, among those who used a genetic test, viewing a message that included hedging tended to increase their trust in the message. Trust in the message and company, information processing, and risk judgments significantly predicted participants' attitudes toward genetic testing, which in turn predicted their purchase intentions. The results suggest that in the context of DTC genetic test messaging, practitioners should strive to increase consumer trust in the message and the company and facilitate information processing, and they should work to diminish perceived risk. These results suggest opportunities for identifying other message features that may influence message and company trust, information processing, risk judgments, and attitudes related to DTC genetic testing. ItemHow public relations agencies communicate diversity and inclusion practices on their websites(University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Trujillo, Gloris; Ki, Eyun-Jung; University of Alabama TuscaloosaThe public relations industry is making an effort to attain a more diverse workforce that can better represent the society that we live in and achieve the best results for clients. Using the “Leveraging variety” model (Ravazzani, 2015) as a theoretical framework, this research explores how public relations agencies are addressing and communicating their diversity and inclusion efforts through their websites. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the status of diversity and inclusion in public relations and describe how agencies are communicating those diversity and inclusion organizational practices as a way that could attract more diverse talent and improve organizational reputation. This study conducted a content analysis of 236 public relations agencies’ websites and photographs on those websites. Findings show that diversity is portrayed as a broader spectrum, as diversity of perspectives and backgrounds, not as a specific dimension. Gender and disability were found to be the most frequently mentioned dimensions of diversity. Additionally, the present study found that photographs on the websites do not reflect a diverse workforce in terms of race. In terms of gender, photographs that portrayed female and male employees together were the most frequent on the websites. According to the different approaches of diversity, this study found that most of the agencies fall into the “Assimilating minorities” approach, which has been considered the most basic approach to diversity (Uysal, 2013). ItemHyper-local public health policy change: a case study of the SmokeFree Birmingham campaign(University of Alabama Libraries, 2014) Hansen, Lewis Michael; Horsley, J. Suzanne; University of Alabama TuscaloosaThis paper is a qualitative study of the role of public relations in the success of a federally funded anti-smoking public health campaign in Jefferson County, Alabama, from 2010-12. The goal of the campaign was to advance smoke-free policies (i.e., laws forbidding smoking in public places such as restaurants, bars, workplaces, public buildings and areas, etc.) in the various municipalities across Jefferson County. Each municipal campaign was implemented independently. The paper looks specifically at the SmokeFree Birmingham campaign, which resulted in the successful passage and implementation of a smoke-free ordinance after two public hearings on the proposed law. The campaign's public relations relied heavily on opinion leadership, the core of Katz and Lazarsfeld's (1955) two-step flow of communication theory, to influence public opinion in support of the stated policy goals. According to Mutz (2011), "one of the very earliest theories about interactions between mass and interpersonal communication-- the two-step flow-- is now more relevant than ever before" (p. 1019). This paper revisits the two-step flow theory in the age of social media as a communications model for hyper-local public policy campaigns. ItemThe influence of consumer-brand relationship strength and platform context on the privacy calculus in personalized advertising(University of Alabama Libraries, 2019) Moeller, Claire Anne; Hayes, Jameson L.; University of Alabama TuscaloosaTo an advertiser, personalized advertising means shrinking the purchase decision funnel - delivering relevant content to the right user at the right time. However, personalized advertising is a double-edged sword for consumers. This tension between consumers wanting relevant advertisements yet feeling discomfort when faced with a personalized advertisement that used their data without their consent has been labeled as the personalization privacy paradox (Aguirre, Mahr, Grewal, de Ruyter, & Wetzels, 2015; Awad & Krishnan, 2006). In this scenario, through the privacy calculus lens, consumers behave as if they are performing a risk-benefit analysis in assessing the result of information disclosure (Xu, Luo, Carroll, & Rosson, 2011). This research explored the relationship between advertising personalization and privacy by examining the impact of two previously unconsidered factors influencing the risk-benefit analysis: the consumer-brand relationship between the ad recipient and the brand being advertised and the platform context, Facebook vs. Twitter, wherein the ads are delivered. We found no effects for platform context on the consumer’s perceived benefits and risks of information disclosure. We also found that when strong brand relationships are present, if perceived benefit is high, then perceived risk minimally alters the consumer’s perceived value. Furthermore, with weaker brand relationships, perceived risk has a stronger effect on perceived value even when the perceived benefit is high. ItemMasculinity in magazine advertisements: is it in the eye of the beholder?(University of Alabama Libraries, 2009) Bassett, Mary Ellen; Kinney, Lance T.; University of Alabama TuscaloosaMasculine roles in the media are constantly changing and those evolving roles had not been observed in a decade. This research was conducted to investigate levels of masculinity in the print medium among a variety of target audiences. Its goal was to decipher how portrayals of masculinity changed based on the magazine's target audience, and several coding factors were used to determine that information. To prepare, a review of advertising and gender, psychological and communication theories, the changing nature of masculinity, feminine impact, target audience participation and an array of relevant past research was conducted. Over the course of this content analysis, 315 advertisements from nine magazines over three years were examined to distinguish changes in masculine roles based on the magazine's target audience. While few significant correlations were found, the results pertaining to raw data have proved to be a significant addition to the body of knowledge on the portrayal of male roles, especially in comparison to past research's results that were displayed in raw data without significance testing. Results show some findings consistent with past research, and some new developments as well. Overall, it was found that masculine portrayals are inconsistent among target audiences. Therefore, theoretically men and women are creating differing constructs of the masculine man, which could result in male-to-female relational conflict. ItemThe (mis)representation of interracial couples in television advertisements(University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Hackenmueller, Erin; Holiday, Steven; University of Alabama TuscaloosaInterracial couples are becoming more common, but they still face stigmatization and discrimination. The present study aimed to gain a preliminarily understanding of if and how interracial couples are represented in television advertisements. This study performed a content analysis of 543 couples in television advertisements from 2019 for differences in representation and portrayal between interracial and intraracial relationships. All advertisements were taken from three different networks within one conglomerate. Findings suggest that interracial relationships are overrepresented. However, interracial couples are found at further distances from each other, a relationship between nonwhite males and white females are underrepresented within interracial relationships, and zero interracial relationships are portrayed on Disney channel. The potential effects of this representation and portrayal are driven by cultivation theory and social cognitive theory. ItemMotivations to tweet: a uses and gratifications perspective of Twitter use during a natural disaster(University of Alabama Libraries, 2012) Maxwell, Elizabeth Marie; Horsley, J. Suzanne; University of Alabama TuscaloosaOn April 27, 2011, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was struck by an EF-4 tornado. This research investigates how students at The University of Alabama used Twitter during the warning, impact and recovery stages of the disaster. The warning stage refers to the time before the disaster. The impact stage refers to the time during the disaster, and the recovery stage refers to the time after the disaster. Specifically, this research studies four motivations to use Twitter-- social, entertainment, status seeking, and information. Each category was studied to understand when people who were motivated by the need to socialize, to entertain, to gain status or to gather information were actively tweeting in connection with the tornado. By using a mixed design ANOVA, the researcher found that students were tweeting significantly more during the recovery stage, which included Twitter use, during the weeks after the tornado. The researcher was interested in knowing which motivation produced the most Twitter use. The social, entertainment, and information motivations produced roughly the same amount of Twitter use. The status motivation did not produce as much Twitter use during the natural disaster. The results suggest that those motivated by social, entertainment or information needs tweet more during the impact and recovery stage. The most Twitter use occurs in the weeks after the disaster during the recovery stage.