Spring 2012 Issue

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Influence of Social Media on the Management of Music Star Image

By Michael Margiotta

Management of music star image has become more complicated in the digital realm due to a rise in consumer-generated social media. As a new element in the promotion mix, social media enables management to develop artist-fan relationships by engaging fans using a variety of media formats. Social media also provides management with the tools to shape internet-based discussions and publicity. Using Richard Dyer’s model of star image as a framework, this study discussed the management of promotion and publicity of music star images via social media. Faculty mentor: Prof. Janna Anderson

User-Generated Content vs. Advertising:
Do Consumers Trust the Word of Others over Advertisers?

By Katherine A. MacKinnon

When making purchasing decisions, consumers can be influenced by advertising and word of mouth and, more recently, by user-generated content. This study examined consumer reliance on user-generated content and consumers’ trust of advertising as it relates to user-generated content and word of mouth. A survey of 90 consumers found that 66% rely heavily on user-generated content and 65% trust word of mouth on the Internet more than content produced by advertisers. This research can be used by marketers and advertisers to assist in effectively reaching their targets. Faculty mentor: Dr. Byung Lee

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Social Media for Healthcare: A Content Analysis of M.D. Anderson's Facebook Presence and Its Contribution to Cancer Support Systems

By Carissa Hilliard

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Telemedicine has been prevalent in clinical care for years, but social media has popularized the term. This study analyzed the common themes of the official Facebook group of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center over a 15-day period to evaluate the following variables: poster type, type of content, gender, age range, location, and activity on the post. The data collected provided an overview of how M.D. Anderson interacted with its patients through Facebook and how this method enhanced a patient’s cancer experience, particularly those who live in rural locations. Faculty mentor: Dr. Naeemah Clark

Bullying and Cyberbullying:
History, Statistics, Law, Prevention and Analysis

By Richard Donegan

Forms of bullying have occurred in American society for a long time, bred in part by a competitive social hierarchy. Technological bullying, known as cyberbullying, has allowed the problem to expand, become more elusive, and even harder to define. Case studies, statistical research, law cases, and news articles were analyzed to understand the issue of cyberbullying and to find preventative measures that should be taken. This study illuminates the background, legal struggles, clinical implications, and potential preventative steps concerning bullying and cyberbullying. Faculty mentor: Dr. Michael Frontani

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The Social ROI: Successful Social Media Measurement
From an Advertising Agency Standpoint

By Emily Cray

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This research analyzed the viewpoints of advertising agency professionals regarding the monitoring and measurement of social media for clients. Using one-on-one interviews, the study found that successful campaigns are fully integrated, with social media possessing transparent and responsive characteristics and serving as an amplification and engagement tool. The Facebook “like” is the most commonly measured metric; however, the importance of a specific metric is dependent on the campaign’s objectives. Free built-in analytics tools are primarily used to measure social media, while paid-for third-party tools are not as common. Faculty mentor: Dr. David Copeland

Documentary and Ethnography:
Exploring Ethical Fieldwork Models

By Daniel Koehler

Conducting fieldwork frequently sparks ethical challenges as researcher and environment clash. This study uses documentary and ethnography methodologies as a lens to illuminate different ways of thinking about fieldwork ethics. Meta-analysis and historiography analyzing past texts are combined with interviews with professionals. The key to confronting ethical challenges lies within one’s understanding of obligations before fieldworkers confront the grit and dynamism facing them in the research environment. Faculty mentor: Dr. David Copeland

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Racial Rhetoric in Sports Coverage in USA Today

By Sam Calvert

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This case study looks at racial rhetoric within the sports section of USA Today over a 12-day period, examining how black and white athletes are portrayed and whether stereotypes found in other news media are present. The study found that while USA Today did not go outside the stereotypes found in previous research, athletes most often were not framed at all. Instead, they were described simply by their objective statistics and performance on the field. When the newspaper did go into background and character descriptors, it reprised previous racial rhetoric. Faculty mentor: Dr. David Copeland

Media Framing of Occupy Wall Street: A Comparative
Content Analysis of Mainstream and Alternative News Coverage

By Margaret Cissel

This study examined the relationship between media framing and the way both mainstream and alternative media sources portrayed the first three weeks of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. The study found that the portrayal of the movement differed greatly depending on the source. While mass media articles frequently framed the movement as lackluster and confusing, alternative news emphasized the strength and diversity of its protesters and demonstrations. The results raise questions about people's mode of communication to receive news. Faculty mentor: Dr. Byung Lee

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Posting Grief on the Wall:
Using Facebook to Grieve and Offer Support after a Tragedy

By Laura Levitt

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People sometimes use Facebook as an emotional outlet after a tragedy. The social media site is commonly used to send messages and share photos and as a public forum. Facebook also can be used as a gathering place for grievers following a death and can be used to send messages of support after an accident. Through the use of auto-ethnography, content analysis and interviews, this research examines the trends behind and the benefits of logging in to grieve and find support. Faculty mentor: Dr. Naeemah Clark