Barbara Miller Gaither examines corporate environmental advertising
The associate professor of communications was recently featured in a blog post titled “Corporate environmental ads are more persuasive when concern is high” on the website for the Arthur Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication.
Associate Professor Barbara Miller Gaither was recently featured on a blog post for the Arthur Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, highlighting her research studying how members of the general public respond to persuasive messages about corporate environmentalism.
Titled “Corporate environmental ads are more persuasive when concern is high,” the post delves into Miller Gaither’s Page-funded research into how individuals who lack environmental expertise make sense of messages about climate change and other complicated environmental issues. Her research, titled “Environmental Marketplace Advocacy: Influences and Implications of U.S. Public Response,” also investigated how people’s own level of environmental concern affects persuasiveness of advocacy ads.
The study found members of the public responded to the ads based on their perception that the corporate advertiser would be held accountable for its actions. Also key were perceptions of the message’s trustworthiness. Greater perceived accountability and trust led to greater persuasion.
Miller Gaither collaborated with Janas Sinclair of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on the research study.
The Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication is a research center at the Penn State College of Communications dedicated to the study and advancement of ethics and responsibility in corporate communication and other forms of public communication.