Image courtesy of http://www.ecrea2016prague.eu/

Image courtesy of http://www.ecrea2016prague.eu/

Last November, the members of the Corporate Communication program at UvA participated in the 6th European Communication Conference (ECC), organized by the European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA) in Prague. Read on to find out more!

 

ECREA is an organisation for communication scholars across Europe and beyond. The title of the conference was “Mediated (Dis)Continuities: Contesting Pasts, Presents and Future”. The conference motive derives from the political history of the post-socialist region of which Prague’s conference venue is a symbolic memento of. The conference theme reaches beyond the post-totalitarian context. It raises the question of how media are involved in communicating over disruptions in political, cultural, temporal or spatial terms in Europe.

 

Toni van der Meer was one of the participants and he presented as a single author his article “Public Frame Building: The Role of Source Usage in Times of Crisis” in the new crisis communication division at ECREA. He talked about how new media has enhanced the public’s capacity to influence the framing of an issue, especially within crisis situations. The findings from his study illustrated how the public uses sources to address certain frame functions and showed that source usage is subject to external factors (i.e., crisis origin and magnitude) as well as internal factors (i.e., crisis involvement and habitual source use).

 

Anke Wonneberger participated together with Ewa Maslowska at ECREA this year. Their presentation was titled “Most Importantly It’s Organic! Characteristics and Effects on Sales of Green Product Reviews” and they showed that the discrepancy between the growing consumers’ concern for environmental issues and actual sales of green products have not been increasing. The authors argue that this might be due to consumers’ a priori biases towards green products. According to the authors, one of the ways to change this intentional behavior, are consumer reviews. It was found that individuals read consumer reviews for green products more often than for other products. The number of the green products reviews also had stronger effect for green products. Contentwise, green product reviews had more arguments related to nature but did not differ in the amount of references to environmental qualities and emotional aspects when compared to non-green reviews. It was concluded that consumers judge green products more often in general terms referring to “natural” or “organic” and less often to specific environmental benefits. In particular, it has been shown that references to nature are effective in positively influencing purchase decisions.

 

Our associate professor Piet Verhoeven also took part in the conference as a discussant in a panel, dealing with ways of how to bridge the gap between the communication of the Organisational and Strategic Communication section of ECREA.