From awareness to advocacy: understanding communication about cancer and nonprofit support Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
Creator
  • Weberling, Brooke
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media
Abstract
  • This dissertation explores public communication about and support for nonprofit health organizations by studying a specific community fundraising event, Relay For Life, benefiting the American Cancer Society. Using an online survey of undergraduates at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (N=514), this research has two major focuses. First, it seeks to explore the concepts of media advocacy and framing as they are changing with the media environment. Second, it employs two theories, the situational theory of publics and the theory of reasoned action, to explore communication and participation behaviors related to the health issue and organization. Results show which sources are used most frequently for information seeking and processing about cancer and UNC Relay For Life, and responses reveal salient public perceptions of these issues. Multiple analyses then show how problem and constraint recognition, involvement with the health issue, attitudes, and subjective norms influence information seeking and processing and behavioral intentions, which seem to represent a continuum of nonprofit support. Suggestions are made for exploring a new working model combining these variables and a proposed Theory of Situational Support that might help explain communication and participation behaviors related to nonprofit health organizations and events or initiatives that require public support. Theoretical, methodological, and practical implications are discussed.
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  • In Copyright
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  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication."
Advisor
  • Boynton, Lois A.
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Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
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  • Open access
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