This summary is provided by the IPR Street Team based on the original journal article in Public Relations Review.

In the age of fast-paced news deliverance and the adoption of multimedium public relations strategies, the development and maintenance of a positive brand image is becoming increasingly nuanced. A joint study conducted by members of the University of Florida, United States Marine Corps., Booz Allen Hamilton, and San Diego State University sought to evaluate how public perception changed when subjects were presented with different framing techniques. Framing describes how information is presented to the audience by media outlets.

Researchers evaluated how public perception of the military changed based on “positive” and “negative” framing of a Marine Corps.

An experiment was conducted with a sample of 648 Americans between the ages of 17-29 years old. Each participant was presented a different variation of a Marine Corps article in the Times. The participants were split into three groups to read different versions of the article: a positive frame, a negative frame, and a neutral control group. The study then gave the participants a questionnaire, using a seven-point Likert scale, to evaluate how the public’s views changed of the military’s credibility, reputation, and characteristics after seeing the article.

Key Findings
1.) Participants who saw the positive frame had more positive perceptions of the Marine Corps’ reputation, credibility, and characteristics.
2.) Respondents who saw the negative frame had more negative perceptions of the Marine Corps’ reputation, credibility, and characteristics.

Implications for Practice
While the military cannot use framing tactics as it is legally barred from doing so, companies and organizations should take framing effects into account. By developing strong connections with journalists and generating a strong promotional strategy with internal content creators, public relations practitioners can subtly influence public perception.

Becktel, K. L., Stanton, C. M., Smith, J. E., Eames, C. D., & Sweetser, K. D. (2021). Policy aside: A framing study on policy change and its influence on the perception of an organization’s culture. Public Relations Review, 47(1). Doi: ISSN 0363-8111

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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