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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2019

Michail Vafeiadis, Denise S. Bortree, Christen Buckley, Pratiti Diddi and Anli Xiao

The dissemination of fake news has accelerated with social media and this has important implications for both organizations and their stakeholders alike. Hence, the purpose of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The dissemination of fake news has accelerated with social media and this has important implications for both organizations and their stakeholders alike. Hence, the purpose of this study is to shed light on the effectiveness of the crisis response strategies of denial and attack in addressing rumors about consumer privacy when non-profit organizations are targeted on social media.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the hypotheses, a 2 (response type: denial vs attack) × 2 (privacy concerns: low vs high), between-group online experiment was conducted via Qualtrics.

Findings

The results indicated that one’s involvement level in the issue determines the effectiveness of the crisis response strategy. Data showed that attacking the source of fake news (as a crisis response) reduces the message’s credibility more than denying fake news. Furthermore, highly involved individuals are more likely to centrally process information and develop positive supportive intentions toward the affected non-profit brand. High issue involvement also predicted organizational and response credibility. Conversely, an attack rebuttal message increased the credibility of the circulated malicious rumors for low involved individuals.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest that issue involvement plays a key role in message perceptions of false information regarding consumer privacy in social media.

Practical implications

Practically, this study offers insights for organizations that are developing response strategies in the current environment of fake news. Findings from this study suggest that organizations need to consider the degree to which audiences are currently involved in an issue before deciding how aggressively to respond to perpetrators of fake news.

Originality/value

The present study examines the intersection of fake news and crisis management in the non-profit sector, with an emphasis on various response strategies and issue involvement. This is one of the first attempts to experimentally investigate how social media strategies can defend and protect non-profit reputation in the fake news era.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 August 2021

Virginia Harrison, Michail Vafeiadis, Pratiti Diddi and Jeff Conlin

While research has shown that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can enhance a company's reputation, less is known about the effects of CSR communication on nonprofits. Hence…

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Abstract

Purpose

While research has shown that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can enhance a company's reputation, less is known about the effects of CSR communication on nonprofits. Hence, the current study seeks to understand how corporate reputation, message credibility and message source may impact consumers' attitudinal and behavioral intentions toward nonprofits.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 (corporate reputation: low vs high) × 2 (CSR communication source: newspaper blog vs nonprofit blog) between-subjects online experiment was conducted. Real-world corporations (Toyota and Volkswagen) and a nonprofit (World Wildlife Fund) were chosen based on a pretest.

Findings

Nonprofit reputation increased after reading a CSR message, especially when it involved a partnership with a low-reputation corporation. Nevertheless, CSR partnerships with high-reputation corporations evoked higher volunteer intentions. Message credibility mediated the relationship between corporate reputation and nonprofit reputation. When the communication source was the nonprofit and the partnership involved a high-reputation corporation, positive evaluations of nonprofit likeability and competence resulted.

Practical implications

Nonprofit communication managers should understand the merit of communicating CSR partnerships with their constituents, regardless of medium. Additionally, the choice of a corporate partner is important for certain nonprofit outcomes. Lastly, message credibility is another important factor that should be considered.

Originality/value

The study bridges literature in communications that typically examines CSR by focusing on its effects on corporate outcomes with literature in nonprofit management that looks at nonprofit outcome measures. This study demonstrated that nonprofit–corporate alliances can also influence nonprofit reputation and donation/volunteer intentions based on the reputation of the corporate partner.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 June 2020

Ruobing Li, Michail Vafeiadis, Anli Xiao and Guolan Yang

Sponsored social media content is one of the advertising strategies that companies implement so that ads appear as native to the delivery platform without making consumers feel…

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Abstract

Purpose

Sponsored social media content is one of the advertising strategies that companies implement so that ads appear as native to the delivery platform without making consumers feel that they are directly targeted. Hence, the current study examines whether prominently featuring corporate information on social media ads affects how consumers perceive them. It also investigates whether an ad's evaluation metrics on Twitter (e.g. number of likes/comments) influence its persuasiveness and consumers' behavioral intentions towards the sponsoring company. Underlying cognitive and affective mechanisms through which sponsored content operates are also investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 (corporate credibility: low vs high) by 2 (bandwagon cues: low vs high) between-subjects experiment was conducted.

Findings

The findings showed that corporate credibility and bandwagon cues can influence social media ad effectiveness. Sponsored content from high-credibility companies – evoked more favorable attitudes and behavioral intentions – is perceived as less intrusive, and elicits less anger than equivalent posts from low-credibility companies. Furthermore, it was found that bandwagon cues work via different pathways. For high-credibility corporations, a high number of bandwagon cues improved ad persuasiveness by mitigating consumers' anger towards intrusive sponsored content. Conversely, for low-credibility corporations high bandwagon cues enhanced ad persuasiveness, and this triggered more positive attitudes towards it.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to test corporate credibility and bandwagon effects in social media ads, while also exploring consumers' cognitive and affective responses to sponsored content. Implications for how companies with varying popularity levels should promote products on social media are discussed.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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