Three students in the MA program in Strategic Communication wil be defending their capstone projects in the coming weeks. Portions of these defenses are open to the public. Details below:
MASTER’S DEGREE CAPSTONE PROJECT DEFENSE for Matthew Ritter
Tuesday, April 9 4:00-6:00 NQSC 109—The screening room
THIS IS NOT A TEST: DO FEAR-BASED WEATHER WARNINGS REALLY WORK?
Past research into fear appeal models has found a relationship between efficacy information and effective message persuasion. Efficacy-to-fear ratios have been studied for distal fear threats. The current analysis investigates efficacy effectiveness for an imminent threat. For the study, college students who thought they were giving their feedback on a live television program were exposed to a series of tornado warnings that varied in levels of fear and efficacy. A local meteorologist recorded the warnings to help ensure the participants thought they were viewing live television. Using the extended parallel process model as a framework, results indicated that efficacy played no role in the participants accepting suggested safety measures that could have protected them from an actual tornado. Students in the low fear group were found to be most fearful, leading to conclusions that other message factors contributed to the observed effects. Personality differences among the participants did not alter message effectiveness.
MASTER’S DEGREE CAPSTONE PROJECT DEFENSE for Brent Starling
Tuesday, April 9 2:00-4:00 NQSC 109—The screening room
MESSAGE TAILORING: A TOOL TO INCREASE PERCEIVED CORPORATE CREDIBILITY AND ENCOURAGE COLLEGE STUDENTS TO SAVE MONEY
The purpose of this study is to compare the effectiveness of tailored, targeted, and mass-produced direct solicitation materials in increasing perceptions of corporate credibility and encouraging students to invest money. Using pre-test and post-test survey control group design, a valid sample of 88 college students responded to marketing materials from a local bank. To heighten the relevance of marketing materials, each student participated in a mock financial literacy workshop before randomly receiving a generic, targeted, or tailored flier encouraging them to open a savings account at High Point Bank. The flier offered a $35 incentive. Based on the type of solicitation that the students receive, response rates were tracked with the help of High Point Bank. These response rates were compared with students’ locus of control, financial literacy, and perceptions of corporate credibility. While the results of the study showed that message design had no effect on participants’ attitudes or behaviors, the financial literacy workshop resulted in a negative effect on participants’ overall attitudes toward savings money.
MASTER’S DEGREE CAPSTONE PROJECT DEFENSE for Kaitland Willingham
Thursday, April 11 3:30-5:30 NQSC 109—The screening room
THE EFFECT OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA IN A FINANCIAL LITERACY WORKSHOP TO IMPROVE COLLEGE STUDENTS’ KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDES ABOUT INVESTING
The current research proposed seeks to determine whether the addition of a social aspect (i.e., Facebook or email) to a financial literacy campaign improves college students’ attitudes and knowledge about investing. Using the elaboration likelihood model as a framework, the researcher will construct and conduct a workshop that engages college students with messages relating to finance and investing and encourage elaboration with the issue through Facebook to enhance the processing of messages. Findings from the current study are expected to have significant and valuable implications public relations and financial professionals by identifying communication strategies that are successful at improving knowledge and attitudes and can be employed strategically.