Identifier

etd-03312015-130646

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The nonprofit sector’s adaptation and implementation of digital media is one that has received surprisingly little exploration. While some research has been conducted in this area, these studies tend to generalize results across all organization types within the nonprofit sector. Often, these studies overlook specific advantages nonprofits of varying types, sizes, and locations may potentially have in regard to fostering relationships with their communities. This study explores how these differences may impact organizational use of digital media, and how organizations can potentially use these media to more efficiently achieve their goals. Specifically, this study focuses on the use of narratives in organizational blogs and the varying appeals nonprofits can make to build stronger relationships with their publics. This study utilized a 2 (appeal type: rational vs. emotional) X 2 (issue proximity: local vs. broad) X 2(issue type: adult literacy vs. at-risk youth) mixed factorial experimental design was implemented to test the hypotheses and research questions, with issue proximity and appeal type being between-subjects factors and issue type being a within-subjects factor. Dependent measures included perceived local impact of an issue, levels of organizational trust, levels of organizational commitment, and supportive behavioral intentions. This experimental study was conducted online with a sample of undergraduate and graduate students (N = 268). Participants were randomly placed into one of four possible conditions, viewing a narrative organizational blog for each issue type respectively. Results were analyzed using a repeated-measures mixed-factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA). While the study did not find main effects for issue proximity or appeal type, it did find significant main effects for issue type. The results revealed a significant main effect for issue type across all outcome measures, as well as several significant interactions between issue type and both issue proximity and appeal type respectively. These results would suggest that the specific mission of the organization plays a major role in the effectiveness of localization and the use of particular appeals on respective target publics. These results and their implications are discussed.

Date

2015

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Park, Hyojung

Share

COinS