journalism 614 marketing communications and mass opinion l.
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Journalism 614: Marketing Communications and Mass Opinion. Which brands had the most impact on your life in 2005?. Global Brand Leaders. North American Brand Leaders.

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democratic capitalist societies
Public opinion not only consequential for functioning of government, but for functioning of the economy and corporate interests.

Public sentiment dictates the success or failure of capitalist enterprises due to consumer choice

Corporate interests try to shape public opinion and choice through mediated communication

Greater choice of media options

Narrower targeting of audience segments

Democratic, Capitalist Societies
  • Takes fragmentation to a new level
    • Anyone can be a producer - Blogs, Personal Sites
    • Mail, Search, Shop, Chat, Invest, Connect…
  • Great potential for customizing, personalizing, tracking, and generating buzz
    • Yet this demands high level of technological and strategic competency which few have
ads surround consumers
Doctor’s Offices

Airport Lounges


Record Stores

Gas Stations

Grocery Stores

Health Clubs

Bathroom Walls

Toilet Paper

Floor Boards

Bus Wraps

Car Wraps

Egg Shells

Bald Heads

Ads Surround Consumers

Individuals Exposed to 3000 marketing messages per day


People Avoid Messages

Get annoyed

Sit and watch the ads

Change the channel

Turn the sound down/mute


54% 63%

33% 20%

14% 28%

9% 17%

three foundations of reputation
Three Foundations of Reputation
  • Economic performance
    • Brand sales and profits - market leadership
  • Social responsiveness
    • Social consciousness and political consumerism
  • The ability to deliver to stakeholders
    • Think beyond the narrow range of end consumers
contexts of opinion research
Contexts of Opinion Research
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing Communication
  • Social Marketing
    • Health communication
    • Information campaigns
    • Public service campaigns
advertising research
Advertising Research
  • Consumer research
    • Establishing target market
    • Demographics, Geographics, Psychographics
  • Media research
  • Diagnostic research
  • Campaign evaluation
public relations research
Public Relations Research
  • Image assessment
  • Public opinion assessment
  • Media image assessment
  • Campaign assessment
marketing and public opinion
Marketing and Public Opinion
  • Modern marketing comm. developed in U.S.
  • Result of political and markets freedoms
    • Need to manage public opinion to thrive
  • Old concept - dating back to notion of propaganda devised by Catholic Church
    • Tool to propagate the religion
  • Has become a vital way for business leaders to deal with economic factors, competitive environment, and policy pressures.
history of public relations in us
History of Public Relations in US
  • Hyping the Colonies
    • Many settlers came to US in response to exaggerated publicity claims to “secure money and men”
    • Use poems, sermons, broadsides, and prospectuses
  • Fostering a Revolution
    • Tools of political public relations used to support American revolt - 1763 - 1776
    • Use of symbols, slogans, staged events, news framing
    • Same tools critical to ratification of Constitution
press agents the 19th century
Press Agents & the 19th Century
  • Press agents, promotion, and ads support railroad efforts to sell land and lure settlers to the West
  • Taken to a new level by P.T. Barnum Circus
  • By end of the 19th Century, advertising is pervasive in all aspects of commerce
    • An outgrowth of industrialization
    • J. Walter Thompson founded in 1864
    • Focus on name recognition and liking
    • First PR firm in 1900 - Publicity Bureau
ads and pr in early 20th cent
Ads and PR in Early 20th Cent.
  • Beginning with WWI, Wilson uses “information ministry to build public support
    • Shift from defensive - reputation protection - to offensive to build patriotic fervor
  • Rise of experts in advertising, marketing, public relations, and fundraising for post-war boom
  • Bernays pens “Crystallizing Public Opinion”
    • Defines PR as “two-way street”
    • Must interpret the public for the institution and present the institution to the public
the modern age
The Modern Age
  • WWII and the action agencies
    • Need publicity to win cooperation and acceptance
    • 100,000 people served in information posts (PR)
  • Birth of the scientific public opinion poll
    • Roper, Gallup, Nafziger develop systems from 1932 -1945
    • Key tool for public relations specialists
  • Creation of minority and specialty agencies
    • More specialized services and client expertise
    • Development of regional hubs - N.Y., Chicago, D.C., L.A.
  • Rise of television, globalization, and Internet
    • Information overload with marketing messages
    • Mergers of PR and advertising agencies for message integration
role of research in the modern age
Role of Research in the Modern Age
  • As spending on Ad/PR have increased, greater need for diagnostics and accountability
    • Develop strategy and objectives
    • Evaluate progress against predetermined goals
    • Frame issues, identify key stakeholders
marketing comm process
Marketing Comm Process








designing research studies
Designing Research Studies
  • Internal Data, Secondary Data, or Custom Study
    • Sources such as Nexis/Lexis for media content
    • Sources such as Simmons/MRI for consumer insights
  • Qualitative Methods and Quantitative Methods
    • Qual: Focus Groups, Ethnography, In-depth interviews
      • Discovery-based methods for insights
    • Quant: Surveys, Experiments, Content Analyses
      • Verification-based methods for decision-making
actionable research
Actionable Research
  • How does this research help me understand…
    • The client’s situation?
    • The stakeholders’ perspectives?
    • The public opinion climate?
  • The orientation toward research is that only matters if it can be acted upon, such as…
    • Customer Satisfaction
    • Employee Morale
    • Investor Relations
    • Professional Reputation
    • Community Trust
corporate reputation management
Corporate Reputation Management
  • Takes a long time to build; one slip can create a negative public impression
  • Corporate image is fragile; requires a reputation management program
  • It is the sum total of a companies identity efforts and stakeholder images
    • It is earned, not created