The Communications professors’ research evaluates audience response to marketplace advocacy messages when communicated via a corporation versus an industry trade group.
Barbara Miller (left) and Julie Lellis[/caption]Elon University School of Communications associate professors Barbara Miller and Julie Lellis co-authored an article, “Response to Marketplace Advocacy Messages by Sponsor and Topic within the Energy Industry: Should Corporations or Industry Trade Groups do the Talking?,” in the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Applied Communication Research.
The abstract for the paper reads: Marketplace advocacy campaigns often arise in response to burgeoning societal concerns, especially those faced by energy industries. These campaigns may be launched by a single sponsor or by an industry trade group representing the collective interests of the industry sector. Using focus groups, this research explored how lay audiences with little knowledge of the topic being advocated responded to similar energy-focused marketplace advocacy messages when presented by a corporation versus an industry trade group, research which has potentially significant implications for how corporations allocate communication resources as well as for environmental groups attempting to combat certain industry initiatives. Specifically, this study explored audience response to marketplace advocacy messages when communicated via a corporation versus an industry trade group in two common contexts: (1) ads designed to build support for an industry category and (2) ads designed to build support for a specific, controversial industry initiative. Findings were analyzed through theoretical frameworks in persuasion knowledge and attribution theory. A model is introduced that integrates these perceptions and highlights the study’s key findings.
The Journal of Applied Communication Research, published on behalf of the National Communication Association, is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes original scholarship that addresses or challenges the relation between theory and practice in understanding communication in applied contexts.