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1 FLORID IONS OF THE FLORIDA FOREST SERVICE BRAND By QUISTO DOSSEY SETTLE A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 Quisto Dossey Settle
3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I want to thank my family and friends for always being there to support me through all of my endeavors. Pursuing a Ph.D. is only one of the many things they have supported me in, and I have no doubt they will continue their support for my goals after graduation. Next I would like to thank my committee members for their help throughout this entire process: Ricky Telg, Tracy Ira ni, Hannah Carter, and Al Wysocki. As my advisor, Dr. Telg has been there to help guide me through the entire journey of completing a Ph.D. Dr. Irani has been there to provide insight through a multitude of projects, not the least of which being the projec t that is my dissertation. Drs. Carter and Wysocki have been there to provide alternative viewpoints that allowed me to see my project in different lights. This project was conducted through the Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources. This project occurred in a state of transition, and everyone who worked for the center was more than eager to help. Thank you to Christy Chiarelli, Becky Raulerson, Kevin Kent, Rachel Divine, and Laura Bernheim. And of course, the entirety of t he project would not have been possible without Team Pinecone: Joy Goodwin, Laura Conaway, Kate Wilson, and Laura Kubitz. This project would also have not been possible without the willingness of the Florida Forest Service including funding the research I hope that I was able to provide worthwhile information in return for their support. The last and most important piece of the project was the participants themselves. Without their willingness to take time out of their days and share their points of view, there would be no project.
4 Next, I would like to thank the graduate students I have worked with during my time here. There are too many to name every single one, but I would like to point out Dr. Lauri Baker specifically. She not only put up with me for t wo years in the office but has also been willing to give advice whenever I asked after taking on a position at K State And finally, I would like to thank the schools that preceded my time at UF: Del Rio High School, Angelo State University, and Texas Tech University. I was well prepared for the tasks that pursuing a Ph.D. required, and I know those institutions are a large part of this degree, even if their names are not on it.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 3 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 8 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 9 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 10 LIST OF TERMS ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 11 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 14 Background and Setting ................................ ................................ .......................... 14 Florid a Forest Service ................................ ................................ ...................... 14 Perceptions of Forestry ................................ ................................ .................... 16 Branding ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 19 Differentiation and Salience ................................ ................................ .............. 23 Public Organizations ................................ ................................ ........................ 24 Problem Statement ................................ ................................ ................................ 28 Purpose and Research Questions ................................ ................................ .......... 29 Limitations of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................... 29 Significance ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 29 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 31 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................................ ................................ .................... 32 Brands ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 32 Brand Image, Brand Saliency, and Brand Differentiation ................................ ........ 39 Agenda Setting ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 47 Public Organizations ................................ ................................ ............................... 50 Communication Strategy ................................ ................................ ......................... 59 Marketing ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 60 Public Relations ................................ ................................ ................................ 6 3 Strategic Communication ................................ ................................ ................. 66 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 66 3 METHODS AND PROCEDURES ................................ ................................ ........... 68 Qualitative Research ................................ ................................ ............................... 69 Focus Groups ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 70
6 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 71 Participants and Sampling ................................ ................................ ................ 71 Da ta Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ 75 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 78 Measures of Validation ................................ ................................ ..................... 80 Researcher Subjectivity ................................ ................................ .......................... 84 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 85 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 89 Florida Forest Service? ................................ ................................ ........................ 89 Importance of Forests ................................ ................................ ...................... 90 Brand Identifiers ................................ ................................ ............................... 92 External Communications ................................ ................................ ................. 94 Florida Forest Service? ................................ ................................ ........................ 98 Forests and Natural Resources Organizations ................................ ................. 98 Communications ................................ ................................ ............................. 100 RQ 3: How Do the Florida Forest Service Brand? ................................ ................................ ..... 102 Financial Responsibility ................................ ................................ .................. 103 Providing Something Valuable ................................ ................................ ....... 105 Integrity ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 108 Summary of Finding s ................................ ................................ ............................ 111 5 CONCLUSIONS, DISCUSSION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ............................ 115 Conclusions and Implications ................................ ................................ ............... 115 Florida Forest Service? ................................ ................................ ............... 115 the Florida Forest Service? ................................ ................................ ......... 119 Perceptions of the Florida Forest Service Brand? ................................ ....... 121 Summary of Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................ 124 Recommendations ................................ ................................ ................................ 126 ................................ ..................... 126 ..................... 126 Leveraging existing resources to promote the brand ............................... 127 Operating with integrity ................................ ................................ ............ 132 For Future Research ................................ ................................ ...................... 133 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 135 APPENDIX
7 A IRB EXEMPTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 137 B ORLANDO EXAMPLE OF RECRUITMENT PROTOCOL ................................ .... 138 C TALLAHASEE RURAL GROUP EXAMPLE OF CALLBACK SCRIPT .................. 142 D DESCRIPTION OF INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPANTS ................................ ............... 143 E ................................ ................................ ....................... 146 F QUESTIONNAIRE FOR PARTICIPANTS DURING FOCUS GROUP .................. 154 G MATERIALS SHOWN ON SCREEN DURING FOCUS GROUPS ....................... 161 Description of Forest Management: ................................ ................................ ...... 161 Description of the Division of Forestry: ................................ ................................ 161 ............... 161 List of Organizations ................................ ................................ ............................. 161 Florida Forest Service Logo ................................ ................................ .................. 162 Division of Forestry Logo ................................ ................................ ...................... 163 Checklist of Birds Pamphlets ................................ ................................ ................ 164 ................................ ................................ ..................... 170 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 174 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 184
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Florida Survey Research Center phone call information. ................................ ... 86 3 2 Demographic characteristics of participants for Florida Forest Service focus groups. ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 87 A 1 Self provided description of participants in first Orlando focus group. .............. 143 A 2 Self provided description of participants in second Orlando focus group. ........ 143 A 3 Self provided description of participants in rural Tallahassee focus group. ...... 144 A 4 Self provided description of participants in urban Tallahassee focus group. .... 144 A 5 Self provided description of participants in Gainesville focus group. ................ 144 A 6 Self provided description of participants in Ft. Myers focus group. ................... 145
9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 ............... 113 4 2 Fl orida Forest Service activities ................................ ................................ ........ 113 4 3 for perceived importance of Florida Forest Service activities to themselves. ... 114 4 4 for perceived importance of Florida Forest Servic e activities to Florida. ........... 114
10 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S CATI Computer assisted telephone interviewing CO Customer orientation DOF Division of Forestry FDACS Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services FFS Florida Forest Service FSRC Florida Survey Research Center IFAS Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences IMC Integrated marketing communication NASF National Association of State Foresters PIE Center Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources UF University of Florida USFS United States Forest Service
11 LIST OF TERMS B RAND omplex, interrelated system of management decisions and consumer reactions that identifies a product (goods, services, or Franzen & Moriarty, 2009, p. 6) B RAND D IFFERENTIATION The extent to which the brand separates itself from competitors as perceived by consumers/citizens, either fu nctionally (e.g., different service or product) or perceptually (e.g., different color schemes or different attached emotions; Ehrenburg et al., 1997) B RAND I MAGE experiences with the organization and its products, services, and personnel (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009) B RAND S ALIENCE The extent to which the brand comes to mind for consumers /citizens, including the network and strength of connections consumers/citizens link to the brand ( Romaniuk & Sharp, 2004) B RANDING p. 6) P UBLIC O RGANIZATION An organization funded by the public whose duties are mandated through go vernmental/political processes (Moore, 1995) P UBLIC V ALUE Product or service provided by a public organization that cannot reasonably be met by private organizations and satisfies both those receiving the services and the citizens who are paying for the services (Moore, 1995)
12 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy FLORID IONS OF THE FLORID A FOREST SERVICE BRAND By Quisto Dossey Settle August 2012 Chair: Ricky Telg Major: Agricultural Education and Communication This study addressed the themes affecting the brand salienc e and brand differentiation of the Florida Forest Service (FFS) including how being a public organization affected perceptions of the FFS brand. Six focus groups were conducted at different locati ons in Florida. FFS suffered from a lack of brand salience and differentiation. Brand salience is the extent to which a brand comes to mind for the public. Brand differentiation is the extent to which a brand separates itself from competitors in the publi Three themes emerged that affected brand salience: the importance of forests, brand identifiers, and external communications. Two themes emerged for affecting brand differentiation: forest and natural resources organizations and communicat ions. Three themes emerged for a public organization affecting brand perceptions: financial responsibility, providing something valuable, and integrity. The following recommendations were made for public organizations: ensure create salient messages and brand identifiers, test messages and brand identifiers prior to implementation, consistently use messages and brand identifiers, ensure the presence of communications personnel within
13 integrity The following recommendations were made for future research: replicate the research to other settings to address the transferability of the findings, conduct quantitative research to address brand salience and differentiation for public organizations in a generalizable manner, research perceptio communications, and research perceptions of whom public organizations should be communicating with.
14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background and Setting Florida Forest Service to gather and disseminate information on forests, their care and management, to prevent and extinguish forest fires, and to enforce all laws pert the Florida Board of Forestry to protect and develop forests in Flo rida (Florida Forestry wildfires, managing state forests, and providing assistance to landowners (Florida Forest Service, n.d.) FFS changed its name to the Division of Fore stry (DOF) in 1969 when it was incorporated into the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS; Scanlan, 2011). The name was changed from DOF back to FFS during the 2011 legislative session (Scanlan, 2011). The bill was cosponsored by FDACS Commissioner Adam Putnam ( F DACS 2011). The name was changed to return to the original name (K. C. Landrum, personal communication, January 27, 2012). The logo of the organization also changed. As a part of the name and logo change, FFS is trying to communicate to the public what FFS does more effectively. FDACS is seeking to bolster public perceptions of FFS. More specifically, FFS is seeking to differentiate itself from similar organizations. To aid Institute of Food and Agricultural Resources (PIE Center) was commissioned by FFS to conduct research related to this
15 rebranding effort. The research in this dissertation const itutes one component of the PIE FFS research activities, which also included an audit of FFS communications materials and a survey of employees. The goal of the research activities were to allow FFS to maximize the success of its bra nding efforts based on developing an enhanced understanding of the attitudes and opinions of its key target audiences, position its new brand identity and branding efforts as differentiated from the US [sic] Forest Service, develop a brand and identity tha t effectively portray its public value to consumers, save substantial marketing dollars through launching a rebranding campaign that resonates with intended target audience. ( UF/IFAS PIE Center, 2011, p. 2) organization websites were reviewed to assess names, logos, and taglines associated with the organizations. Many of the states did not have an organization equivalent to FFS but instead had forestry directly as components of larger departments, similar to FDACS. As for the names of Thirteen of the organizations that were immediately respons ible for forests were logos were similar to many by including pine trees and having the outline of the logos as badge shapes. Many of the other organizations did not have lo gos for their equivalent to FFS, instead having logos only for the parent organization that would be the equivalent of FDACS. The majority of organizations including FFS, did not have taglines, including e most common words for organizations with taglines.
16 Perceptions of Forestry Forestry faces the problem of the public either not knowing about or misunderstanding the forestry industry. For instance, the majority of participants in a survey conducted in the South believed that forest lands in the area had depleted over the preceding 50 years, when forest lands had in fact increased 11% (Bliss, 2000). While the traditional model in forestry has been that facts will be enough to mitigate public opposition, Bliss contended that personal experience, observation, beliefs, and practices in agriculture and natural resources to continue for the long term, they have to be soci ally, environmentally, and economically acceptable. Any practice that does not meet all three criteria would not be considered sustainable. This idea is similar to the triple bottom line, which includes profit, people (i.e., social responsibility), and pla net (i.e., environmental responsibility ), and the triple bottom line is associated with corporate social responsibility ( Triple bottom line, 2009). One way of improving social acceptability is showing what a forestry practice looks like. In Finland, Tahva nainen, Tryrvinen, Ihalainen, Vuorela, and Kolehmainen (2001) images that showed what those practices looked like. The authors found that perceptions of forestry practice of images of those forestry practices, indicating the participants held views without understanding the outcome of forestry practices. Where people live could affect their perceptions of forestry pra ctices. In a comparison between perceptions of residents from New Brunswick and Saskatchewan in Canada, Chang, Lantz, and MacLean (2009) found differences between the two
17 areas, including perceptions of pesticide use, type of forest cover, and who should f und pest control. Kline and Armstrong (2001) documented differences in voting behavior on a ballot initiative that would have limited clearcutting and pesticide use in Oregon. They found differences between location support of the initiative based on the c urban/rural status, income, education, political affiliation, native/nonnative Oregonian percentage, and the proportion of resident employed by the forestry industry. While forests would typically be the purview of rural areas, they can have value for the urban citizenry. In a study that dealt with urban perceptions of forests in Europe, Schmithsen and Wild Eck (2000) found that urban citizens perceived forests as impo rtant for personal uses, contributions to the air and water quality, and as a representation of human free areas. Perceptions of value regarding forestry practices are important. Cavanagh, McDaniels, Axelrod, and Slovic (2000) found people were less likel y to perceive risks of a forestry related activity if they perceived the activity as beneficial. Cavanagh et al. also found that the public does not always perceive the same risks as experts who would typically be guiding forestry policies. This disagreeme nt between expert and lay knowledge regarding forestry. Work by Loomis, Bair, and Gonzlez Cabn (2001) toward prescribed fires after surveying Florida residents before and after sending the residents an informational booklet. been associated with increased risks (Wade & Lo ng, 1979). The state of Florida has
18 passed legislation that allows the FFS to conduct prescribed burns on private land in 1978, legislation that protects prescribed burners from civil liability provided there was not negligence in 1990, and a modification to the 1990 legislation to further protect prescribed burners from civil liability (Brenner & Wade, 2003) Jacobson, Monroe, and Marynoski (2001) stated the public needs to be informed about the role of fire in ecosystems. Jacobson et al. found that Floridi ans surveyed knew prescribed fire is better than wild fire for a variety of reasons, but they valued air quality more than burning and wanted stricter controls on burning The public wanting stricter controls on prescribed burning is seemingly at odds with legislators making it easier for controlled burns to occur in Florida. Jacobson et al. suggested that associated with prescribed fire. Smokey Bear has received p ositive and negative attention for his role in wildfire prevention. Smokey Bear is managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS), the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), and the Ad Council (Smokey Bear, n.d.). In particular, the success of Smokey Bear has received much attention from the standpoints of successful advertising campaigns (Capello, 1999; Donovan & Brown, 2007) and how an advertising campaign can reinforce a practice that has unintended negative consequences (Donovan & Brown, 20 07; Jacobson et al., 2001). Smokey It has been reported that forests hold a mythical image for Americans for t he last century, leading to the promotion of old growth through fire suppression, which led to
19 uncontrolled fires (Dods, 2002). The success of the Smokey Bear campaign has be en blamed for this mythologized perception (Brown, 1999 ; Dods, 2002 ). The unintend ed negative consequences relate to the nonuse of fire as a forest management tool (Jacobson et al., 1991). Researchers in natural resource management have been trying to convey the importance of prescribed fires and wildfires as a component of a healthy ec osystem (Kauffman, 2004). Kauffman specifically noted that fire exclusion not allowing fires of any variety to burn contributed to the decline of healthy forests. Branding The concept of branding began in the 19th century (Loken, Ahluwalia, & Houston, 2010). Originally, it was a means of distinguishing between makers of a consumer product in a fashion similar to that of branding livestock. Ivory soap was one of the first consumer products to set itself apart from its competitors due, in large part, to b randing efforts (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). The makers of the soap set the product apart by coloring the soap white, which was an attempt to imitate high quality Castile soap that was being imported from the Mediterranean; wrapping the bar, which was to ke ep dust off; and naming it Ivory. Branding efforts expanded in the 20th century, both in terms of the number of companies and products being branded and in terms of the concept of branding (Veloutsou, 2008). Salzer Mrling and Strannegrd (2004) stated bra nding (p. 225). Salzer Mrling and Strannegrd (2004) stated this brand proliferation was made possible by the proliferation of information sources being made availabl e by an increasing number of media. Confusion abounds regarding branding. Different words are used to mean the same things and the same words to mean different things such as authors
20 interchanging brand awareness and brand salience (Franzen & Moriarty, 2 009) A variety of academic areas including communications, business, and psychology study branding (Franzen & Moriarty 2009 ). De Chernatony (2001) listed various interpretations of how brands can be conceptualized These interpretations included visu members, mental shortcuts, risk reducer for purchase decisions, positioning the brand relationship with consumers, and change of peripheral values while maintaining core values over time. Franzen and Moriarty (2009) stated a systems based approach was required to understand branding. Even though brands consist of individual components, it is how these components come together as a cohesive unit that constitutes what the brand is (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). De Chernatony (2001) likened brands to an iceberg: logos and name are the most visible part of the brand like the part of the iceberg that sticks out above the water, but it is anchored by organizational factors, such as culture, values, and product/service, that serve as the much larger base of the iceberg, which goes unseen. Franzen and Moriarty lamented the tendency to evaluate brands as isolated components instead of holistically assessing the brand. These noti ons of branding relate to strategic communications, which is the leveraging of all of the (Hallahan, Holtzhausen, van Ruler, Ver i The entire FFS project
21 ta kes on the balanced approached of understanding branding supported by de Chernatony (2001). Brands exist as a part of society by carrying social meaning (Loken et al., 2010). (Kornberger, 2010, p. 6). While a brand is not a tangible entity that can be discerned through any of the five senses, it still exists as a socially c onstructed entity (Loken et al., 2010). This socially constructed concept has value to the organizations and the consumer. From the organizational perspective, a positive brand can protect an organization in the event of a crisis which occurred in 1982 wh en Tylenol products were tampered with (de Chernatony, 2001) The company recovered quickly because of the long term relationship the public had with the brand prior to the crisis as well as the L undgren & McMakin, 2004 ) By having a good pre existing relationship with its publics, an organization can more successfully whether crisis situation (Grunig, Grunig, & Dozier, 2002). B ut the organization can also be hurt by a bad brand such as a bad brand image negatively affecting sales (Loken et al., 2010). A brand represents value to the customer for the product/service and the expression (Kornberger, 2010). The familiarity of the brand serves risk and uncertainty (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). While the actions of an organization are largely dictated by members of the organization organization and its products an d services that determine the identity of the brand (i.e., the components external to the brand; Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). From the perspective
22 of consumer s the brand can serve as an extension of their own personality, including the products they buy and the charities they support (de Chernatony, 2001). Kornberger (2010) noted how Betty Crocker adjusted a cake mix women were not buying because changing the mix where the u ser would add an egg, women were more receptive to the product because they no longer believed it to be a poor reflection on th eir cooking duty It is brand is an end result. Branding is the proces p. 5 ). The organization has influence but not control over what a brand will become. The organization can engage in various activities, but it is still the perception of the public that will determine what the isolation. Perceptions are affected by a variety of factors, including meaning, image, relationships, strength salience, context, brand extension, reputation, values, dilution, culture, alliances, and so on. While branding began as an external concept related to the product or ser vice, the internal branding of the organization directed toward members of the organization has begun receiving more attention in recent years because the actions of the organization and its employees are the largest portion of the brand (de Chernatony, 20 01; Veloutsou, 2008). Branding can be used as an interface between the organization and its customers, but it can also be use d to shape the internal structures of the organization (Kornberger, 2010). The importance of internal branding lies in the fact tha
23 interactions with employees can affect customers perceptions of the brand (de Chernatony 2001 ). Branding is about making a certain promise to customers about delivering a fulfilling experience and a level of performance. Therefore, branding requires that everyone in the supply chain from product development to manufacturing to marketing to sales to distribution works to carry out that promise. (Tybout & Calkins, 2005, p. ix) Differentiation and Salience An area of branding that receives much attention is brand differentiation, which is the extent to which a brand separates itself from other brands ( Ehrenburg Barnard, & Scriven 1997 ). Brand differentiation is a type of perceptual brand positioning, which is the mental location of the bra nd relative to competitors (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). Brand differentiation is not concerned with whether or not a bran d is better than its competitor but is instead concerned with having an original product or service to separate it from competitors (Tyb components of the brand can be easily copied by competitors; the emotional functions of the brand are not easily copied by competitors (de Chernatony, 2001). A paradox emerges for organizations that are se eking to differentiate themsel ves from other t has to remain similar to its competitors in order to be seen as a viable Salience is basically the extent to which a brand is accessible in the mind of a consumer (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). This can occur internally through presence in the surroundings. The more memory retrieval cues that are attached to the brand, the more likely it becomes that the brand will be purchased (Romaniuk & Sharp, 2006). The
24 functio ns of the brand that reduce uncertainty for consumers (de Chernatony, 2001; Franzen & Moriarty, 2009; Keller & Lehmann, 2006; Tybout & Cornelius, 2006). Ehrenberg et al. (1997) stated that salience is more important than differentiation for brand success. Miller and Berry (1998) stated that advertising works to increase market Basically, advertising works to increase the presence of the brand for consumers but is less effective for c hanging evaluations of the brand. salient because they somehow distinguish themselves from their surroundings. They are noticed because they are simply different, a quality tha t can manifest itself, for (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009, p. 173). With functional differences between brands often l, and mental components of brands (Aaker, 1996). Public Organizations An area of branding that is lacking research is branding for public organizations (W raas, 2008). Pub lic organizations are funded by the public and mandated through government and political processes (Moore, 1995). Due to increases in consumerism and competition, public organizations are increasingly using marketing techniques such as promoting services provided by the organization (Walsh, 1994). With the increases in marketing techniques, public relations and marketing staff are becoming more common in public organizations which makes branding of public organizations possible (Walsh,
25 1994). All of this leads to public organizations communicating more about themselves than ever before (W raas, 2010). Branding has been applied to public organizations in agriculture. The IFAS brand has been assessed in terms of perceptions of the media, agricultural producers, community leaders, and legislative aides (Abrams, Meyers, Irani, & Baker; Baker, Abrams, Irani, & Meyers, 2011). This work was conducted as a means et al., 2011). W raas (2008) stated public organizations are increasingly using corporate branding because of its s uccesses in the private sector but the application of private sector strategies such as marketing and branding to public organizations is not understood (Butler & Collins, 1995; Laing, 2003; Moore, 1995; Walsh, 1994 ; Whelan, Davies, Walsh, & Bourke, 201 0 ). public sector, its role with stakeholders is under et al. 2010 p. 1165 ). One area of this stakeholder exploration is the relationship between public organizations and the citizenry. T he external component of brands is basically the relationship that exists between the organization and the public (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). W raas (2010) stated that public organizations are increasingly concerned with how they are perceived by members o f the public which is in line with the aims of the FFS research conducted by the PIE Center (UF/IFAS PIE Center, 2011) Focusing on fostering the relationships between public organizations and the public can lead to an tion with public organization, contributing work beyond the focus only on public value of the organizations ( Whelan et al., 2010 ).
26 CO to a publicly owned organization goes beyond the idea of assuring tax payers that the public is getting value for money, and specifically that organizations such as By improving its brand, FFS can improve its relationsh ip with stakeholder groups, including the public public support to remain viable (Hoggett, 2006; Moore, 1995). The application of private sector strategies is complicated by public organizations typically being more complicated than private organizations. First, public organizations must have approval from not only those they immediately serve but also the general public (Hoggett, 2006; Moore, 1995). Because public organiz ations depend on political support (Moore, 1995), an aspect of branding that could be helpful to public iarty, 2009, p. 83) to gain that political support. Second, public organizations have multiple roles and identities (Hoggett, 2006; W raas, 2008). W raas (2010) stated that public organizations that were not accurately representing the multiplicity of thei r roles risked organizations (Laing, 2003; Walsh, 1994; W raas, 2008). Walsh argued that public organizations are authoritative entities, not service providers, though Butler and Collins (1995) stated that services, which are not tangible, are the typical product of public organizations. Going beyond public organizations being different from private organizations, Laing (2003) stated that public organizations differ from each other in the nature of the services they provide, which complicates the application of private sector
27 strategies even more. The complications that affect the branding of FFS are that FFS provides a service, which is more difficult to brand than a pro duct (Kornberger, 2010); FFS must be valued by those receiving its services and those who do not benefit directly from its services (Hoggett, 2006; Moore, 1995); FFS has multiple roles, which can be difficult to convey (Hoggett, 2006; W raas, 2008); and FF S has roles and purposes that fundamentally differ from private organizations, which can affect the application of private sector strategies (Butler & Collins, 1995; Laing, 2003; Moore, 1995; Walsh, 1994). Similar to W ng as an analogue of public organization branding, Kavaratzis (2004) used corporate branding as an analogue of place branding which is the effort to treat places such as cities and countries as brands Kavaratzis stated that even when there is a segment of the audience that is the focus of marketing activities, it does not mean that other audiences are less important. Kavaratzis stated that place branding is important because it is a means to gain a competitive ad vantage for increasing investment and tourism but also to create a sense of identity that unites citizens. On a similar note, branding of public organizations could serve to as a competitive edge when decisions are made that will affect the viability of th e organization but also to serve as a means of unifying the members of the organization. The organization builds a sense of sameness within the organization while also differentiating itself from other organizations. As Kavaratzis noted, applying corporate branding to places requires treating the place as a single whole. Political groups are engaging in market research, and political organizations face the need to balance short term voter interests and long term prosperity (Reeves, de
28 Chernatony, & Carriga n, 2006). Reeves and de Chernatony (2003) stated that private sector branding strategies could not be applied to political branding unaltered. While they are not public organizations, political parties are related to public organizations due to public orga Public organizations can use marketing practices to determine what the public and political representatives want from the organization, and marketing can be used to represent the organization throug h communication media (Moore, 1995). Problem Statement T here is a lack of research that assesse s the broader impacts of brands (Keller & Lehmann, 2006) One of these broader areas where branding can be applied is public organizations. Public organizations depend on perceptions of public value to maintain legitimacy (Hoggett, 2006; Moore, 1995). While there is research that focuses on marketing activities of public organizations, there is a general absence of branding literature for public organizations lik e FFS even though improving brand perceptions (W raas, 2008 ; Whelan et al., 2010 ). More specifically, through branding, public organizations can go beyond focusing solely on providing public value to a point of using a positive brand to foster relationships with stakeholders (Whelan et al., 2010). W raas (2008) has stated that public organizations face difficulties using corporate branding strategies because public organizations have to repre sent a wider variety of roles. There is also discussion relating to the appropriateness of applying private sector marketing strategies to public organizations (Butler & Collins, 1995; Laing, 2003; Walsh, 1994), which indicates that private sector branding strategies might not be applicable to public organizations without some changes depending on the nature of the public organization. Addressing
29 brand salience and brand differentiation for a public organization can be one of the initial steps of developing a theoretical base for branding public organizations. The Purpose and Research Questions The purpose of this study was to u nderstand what influences the saliency and differentiation of a public organization as perceived by members of the public The research questions guiding this study were 1) lience for the Florida Forest S ervice ? 2) What constitutes Forest Service? 3) Forest Service brand ? Limitations of the Study 1) Even though the results of this study could be relevant to similar organizations, the results of this study can only be applied to the Florida Forest Service. 2) Even though participants were purposively selected to represent a variety of viewpoints and geographic locations, the perceptions of the par ticipants may not apply to other Florida residents because random sampling was not employed. 3) Participants were contacted only by landline phone numbers. This excludes those who only have cell phone access, which includes about one fourth of th e U.S. popula tion (Blumberg & Luke, 2010) 4) Goetz, 1982), though one of the benefits of focus groups is the interplay between participants (Flick, 2006; Morgan, 1998b). Significance The cons truct of branding applies to how agriculture and natural resources, specifically the Florida For est Service in this instance, are perceived by the general
30 public. While a brand is a complex notion that includes components that are internal and external to the company, the external component is essentially the relationship that exists between the organization and the public (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). With public organizations increasingly concerned with public perception public organizations can improve t heir relationships with the public through brands, going beyond just providing public value (W raas, 2010; Whelan et al., 2010). Through effective branding, public organizations can ensure there is a two way dialogue between the organizations and their sta keholders (Whelan, 2010). The systems approach to branding is also advantageous. By thinking beyond single constructs and instead focusing on the interrelated components of brands, it becomes more likely that researchers can tions with agriculture and natural resources organizations because they are ascertaining the various internal and external brand components that perceptions of agriculture and natural resources organizations (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009) agriculture and natural resources as a whole through any one action, it is plausible to While there is readily available literature on branding in the for profit sector, public organizations have not been studied as widely, and the extent to which for profit practices in general can be applied to the public sector is uncertain (Butler & Collins, 1995; Laing, 2003; Moore, 1995; Reeves & de Chernatony, 2003; Scrivens, 1991; Walsh, 1994; W raas, 2008). There exists a gap in the knowledge regarding branding of public sector organiz ations like the Florida Forest Service. This research seeks to address this gap in the res earch by assessing the brand of the Florida Forest Service
31 Florida Forest Service. Summary The chapter began with an introduction to the rebranding process of FFS and general perceptions of forestry. Research showed that perceptions differed based on demographic characteristics (Chang et al., 2009; Schmithsen & Wild Eck, 2000). Next, a history of branding was given which showed an expan sion from a means of identifying a maker (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009) to something that can be itself considered a product (Salzer Mrling & Strannegrd, 2004) with a multitude of interpretations (de Chernatory, 2001). Next, brand salience, which is the mental accessibility of the brand fo r a consumer (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009) and brand differentiation, which is the extent a brand separates itself from other brands in the mind of a consumer (Ehrenberg et al., 1997), were discussed. Then public organizations were introduced, along with docu mentation that applying private sector strategies to public organizations could be complicated (Butler & Collins, 1995; Laing, 2003; Moore, 1995; Walsh, 1994). This study contributes to literature on branding of public organizations which is lacking (W ra as, 2008) by studying what influence s the saliency and differentiation of FFS as well as the factors of being a public organization that affect branding
32 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE This chapter consists of five major sections. The first section is brands, which discusses the broader theoretical perspectives of brands. The next section is brand image, brand saliency, and brand differentiation, which delves further into those areas of brand literature. The third section is agenda setting, i ncluding how agenda setting relates to branding and public policy. The fourth section discusses public organizations, including literature about the application of marketing and branding strategies to public organizations. The final section is communicatio n strategy, including marketing, public relations, and strategic communications. How those three aspects relate to branding and public organizations is also included in the final section. Brands sions and consumer reactions that identifies a product (goods, services, or ideas), builds Pitt, Chakrabarti, Berthon, and Simon (2011) analyzed branding research from the last ughts, emotions, ing literature in world 1 focused on the physical characteristics of the brand and behavioral responses to the brand. Literature in world 2 focused on the psychology related to brand
33 consumption and the psychological characteristics that are projected onto brands. Literature in world 3 focused on the sociocultural components related to branding. The authors stated that branding literature shifted from world 1 to world 2 to world 3 because viewpoints about the nature of brands shifted, leading to changes in branding research and practice. They recommended that future research should seek to integrate the three worlds of branding research. The authors concluded by stating it might be necessary to stop thinking about what a brand is and instead think about what is not a brand. The use of systems thinking is another way of conceptualizing branding. Treated in a systems approach, a brand is a set of interrelated components that are internal and external to the organization (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). Franzen and M oriarty divide brands into two basic components: corporate, which relates to decisions and tactics of the organizations, and consumer, which relates to how consumers perceive brand messages and the brand itself. The system of the brand includes understandi ng the environment the brand operates in. Franzen and Moriarty (2009) outlined four context parameters that serve as Similarly, Keller and Lehmann (2006) stated that organizations thinking of brands as processes where the organization ifferent components of the system the brand operates in. Franzen and Moriarty (2009) stated that brands have to be able to adapt to their environment to remain successful. The levels of environment they addressed were macroenvironment, microenvironment, an d internal environment. The
34 macroenvironment included demographic, communicative, cultural and social, ecologic, political and legal, economic, technological, and natural. The microenvironment included labor market, governmental bodies, nongovernmental org anizations, market and competition, customers and consumers, trade channels, suppliers, and financial market. The internal environment included history and identity, business scope, organization, image and reputation, financial platform, brand orientation, market orientation, vision and mission, and branding competencies. Walvis (2008) used neuroscientific findings to develop laws for branding. The logic behind the author s tack was that a brand is perceived by individuals and, as such, is dependent upon n eural processing. Walvis pointed to work by McClure et al. (2004) that showed soda preferences ran counter to blind taste test preferences, with different types of neural processing occurring for each condition. Walvis used this as an indication for the ef fects of the brand. The first law states that brands are more likely to be chosen if they are relevant and are distinct from competing brands. The second law states that brands are more likely to be chosen when they are able to repeat a specific message. T he third law states that brands whose messages garner more active participation will create a richer host of neural connections to the brand and will more likely be chosen. Salzer Mrling and Strannegrd (2004) countered the notion of brand storytelling as a narrative; instead, they argued brand relied heavily on visual symbolism to create cognition, whereas visual symbols rely on aesthetics. In this paradigm, brands work thr ough immersion and the creation of general feelings, not active thoughts. This is
35 made possible by the proliferation of media and information sources; there is too much information available for traditional storytelling to be successful. In this landscape where there is an abundance of information and limited differences between products and services, brands serve as the product being paid for. The escalating prevalence of brands could be argued as a negative outcome that forces self expression through cons umerism, increasing the importance of the corporation at the expense of the individual. The authors argued that individuals can actively consume brands, which would be counter to the viewpoint of increasing importance of the corporation at the expense of t 232). The authors argued that the active consumption of brand products can be a means of self ex pression by reinventing the brand. What a brand ultimately means is shaped by the active use and repurposing of the brand by members of the public, which perceptions in the mind of consumers, not something that is owned by organizations. Illia, Schmid, Fischbach, Hangartner, and Rivola (2004) discussed a multidisciplinary approach to corporate identity. While not explicitly discussing branding, the authors saw corporate identity a s something that affects the image of the organization, and the corporate identity affects the strategic decisions the organization makes. Illia et al. put forth a four step model to audit corporate identity: first, assessing on materials ; second, ranking issues by their impact on ; third, assessing perceptions of the organizational identity by assessing results of the second step ; and fourth, ranking issues by their impact on the
36 ity again The component of the Illia et al. study that relates to branding is that organizations need to be aware of multiple factors, including environment, organizational self perception, and the messages the organization is putting out. Along this line of organizational communication, Leuthesser and Kohli (1997) examined mission statements in annual reports for businesses in the Business Week 1000 as a component of corporate identity. Out of 393 annual reports assessed, 63 contained mission statements. Two classifications were developed. One was for which stakeholders were addressed in the study, which included customers, shareholders, employees, and suppliers. The other was for categories of statements, which included benefits (i.e., statements that foc used on what is provided to stakeholders), values (i.e., statements referring to organizations values/norms), self image (i.e., statements referring to how the organization wants to be perceived), and focus (i.e., statements that refer to the nature of the relationships the organization is seeking with stakeholders). Customers were the largest stakeholder group addressed (90.5%), followed by employees (66.7%), shareholders (60.3%), and suppliers (15.9%). The researchers believed that the majority of mission statements were not high quality. They also purported that the lack of mission statements in annual reports was not likely a reflection of a general lack of mission statements; instead, they posited that mission statements could be getting used for intern al communications only, which the researchers believed was a missed opportunity for external communication. For customer oriented mission statements, the researchers recommended organizations should define themselves in terms of benefits, not just products /services. The
37 researchers also felt the mission statements tended to be lacking in terms of specificity and statements about value and image. It is also important to understand brand relationships. Fournier (1998) sought to develop a conceptual foundation for the relationship between consumers and brands using case studies in response to a gap in the literature. The author was guided by four criteria for relationships: (1) relationships involve reciprocal exchange between active and interdependent relation ship partners; (2) relationships are purposive, involving at their core the provision of meanings to the persons who engage them; (3) relationships are multiplex phenomena: they range across several dimensions and take many forms, providing a range of poss ible benefits for their participants; and (4) relationships are process phenomena: they evolve and change over a series of interactions and in response to fluctuations in the contextual environment. (p. 344) Three women ranging from 23 to 59 years old served as the participants and were interviewed to understand their relationships with brands. Through these case experiences as a basis for anticipating the constellation of brands with which (2009) systems approach to branding. It becomes easier t o understand individual decisions when you understand the full context the individual operates in: the brand is chosen as an extension of the lives they live. Like Salzer Mrling and Strannegrd (2004), Fournier sees the interaction between consumers and b rands as a process where the consumer actively consumes the brand in a form of self expression. Swaminathan, Page, and Grhan Canli (2007) researched the nature of brand relationships. Specifically, the researchers were testing hypotheses relating to the
38 i mpact of self concept on brand attitude and the impact of brand country of origin on perceptions of Samsung and Dell. The researchers found that when self construal (i.e., how independent or interdependent the participant is to others) was manipulated, it moderated the effects of self concept and country of origin on brand attitude when negative information was presented. Self concept was more important when participants were p rimed for independent self construal, and country of origin was more important when participants were primed for interdependent self construal. The research showed that brand relationships could affect the impact of negative brand information in different ways depending on how the variables were manipulated. Moorthi (2002) created a conceptualization of branding for services by melding brand as person, and brand as symbol) to the seven Ps (product, price, place, promotion, physical evidence, process, and people) of services marketing (Booms & Bitner, 1981, as cited in Moorthi). Product, price, place, promotion, and physical identity are mapped to brand as product, people are ma pped to brand as organization, and classification of goods used by economists: search goods which are goods where a search of characteristics is typically conducted to make a decision (e.g., vehicles); experience goods, which are goods that are evaluated not only what is being paid for but also for the overall experience (e.g., clothing); and c redence goods, which are goods the individual cannot easily evaluate and are purchased based on reputation
39 (e.g., doctor; Ekelund, Mixon, & Ressler, 1995). The purpose of the framework is to show that different components of the service brand identity are affected by the type of good the service would fall under. Different branding efforts are needed depending on where the brand falls in this service branding framework. Brand Image, Brand Saliency, and Brand Differentiation & Moriarty, 2009, p. 19). Miller and Berry (1998) documented brand image and brand salience as they related to advertising effectiveness. Where brand image was an overall evaluation of the brand, brand salie nce was defined as which brands consumers think about. The researchers compared advertising for car rental companies over an 11 year period to compare the impact of brand salience and brand image. They found that brand salience had a larger effect on marke t share than brand image. Miller and Berry (1998) made a special point to note that their operational definition of brand salience differed from how Ehrenberg et al. (1997) defined the term. Brand salience for Ehrenberg et al. includes general awareness of the brand but goes a step further to include the brand being a part of the choice set that consumers actually consider. The Miller and Berry definition of brand salience includes general awareness of the brand but does not include whether consumers actual ly consider the brand when making decisions. To put the two views of brand salience in perspective, one can think of buying a computer. From the Miller and Berry perspective, any computer brand that one was aware of would register some salience. From the E hrenberg et al. perspective, only brands that would actually be considered would register salience. A devout Apple user, for example, might know about Dell, HP, and Toshiba but might not consider them for purchase.
40 Miller and Berry would consider the Dell, HP, Toshiba, and Apple brands salient, but Ehrenberg et al. would only consider the Apple brand salient. Franzen and Moriarty (2009) stated that there are two types of saliency: internal saliency, which refers to accessibility of the brand in memory, and external saliency, for well differentiated brands to be more successful with advertising efforts, they cannot ith the advertising, but they can make these important characteristics more salient to customers. While they did not explicitly state it as such, Franzen and Moriarty were essentially recommending that organizations use advertising efforts to engage in age nda setting, which refers to the relationship between media emphasizing the importance of a specific topic and the 2007). While some brand decisions are made through a cons cious decision making process, the majority of decisions are made through an almost automatic process basically mental shortcuts (Fiske, 1995). Consumers who attach the most i mportance to characteristics of brand that are salient, are more likely to consider the brand. Another aspect of branding is differentiation. Tybout and Calkins (2005) stated that differentiation offers (p. 178) characteristic s to build a more attractive brand, while seeking superiority means using characteristics to be
41 (p. 178) than other brands. Franzen and Moriarty (2009) listed brand a brand 2009, p. 165). In differentiation, brands seek to be perceived differently from other brands in the product category based on attributes relevant to consumer s. Brands run into the problem of having to differentiate themselves from other brands in the product category while remaining similar enough to be considered a viable alternative (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009) Franzen and Moriarty outlined eight routes of br and differentiations: intrinsic product differentiation, which consists of a specific product characteristic that sets the brand apart; design or style differentiation, which refers to how the product is made and decorated; channel differentiation, which c onsists of how the brand and consumer interact and communicate; price differentiation, which consists of brands that sacrifice quality for cost; differentiation through saliency, which consists of the extent that consumers think about the brand; symbolic d ifferentiation, which consists of what the brand means to the consumers; customer service differentiation, which refers to the quality of the interactions between customers and employees representing the brand; and customer intimacy differentiation, which refers to brands that seek to build strong relationships with customers through thorough knowledge. Franzen and Moriarty stated that successful differentiation strategy should be relevant, important, understandable, distinguishing, confirmed by experience, and maintainable. While differentiation is usually thought of in terms of the product, Aaker (1996) stated that the organization itself can be used as a means of differentiation. The organization can do this through its values and culture (i.e., where doe s the company
42 and its employees place importance), its people by exemplifying the values and culture to provide credibility, its programs (i.e., chances for the organization host or facilitate events that allow the customers to also be involved), and its a ssets and skills (i.e., what the organization is using to accomplish its goals). For Franzen and Moriarty (2009), a link between differentiation and salience is that brand will be differentiated by what consumers perceive as the most salient characteristic s of the product category. Ehrenberg et al. (1997) also discussed brand differentiation and brand salience. Brand differentiation can range from functional differences (e.g., a cell phone that has a touch screen versus a cell phone that uses buttons) to ir relevant differences (e.g., identical products with different packaging). (p. 8). Brands differentiate themselves from competitors with mostly irrelevant characteristics Carpenter et al. (1994) discussed the importance of seemingly meaningless brand differentiation. Using experiments that involved evaluating different combinations of materials, they showed that irrelevant attributes such as the color of a age, could affect evaluation. The seemingly irrelevant attribute could increase the saliency of the brand by attracting attention, which makes the functionally irrelevant attribute relevant to branding. As for brand salience, brands that have more monetary resources spend more on advertising than competitors, which increases awareness and consideration of the brand over competitors, which leads to more sales than competitors (Ehrenberg et al. 1997 ). The implication of these characteristics of brand salienc e and brand differentiation is that for mostly similar brands, advertising becomes more important to affect differentiation and salience.
43 An aspect that could affect the Ehrenberg et al. (1997) conceptualization of salience is brand credibility, which ref ers to the believability of what the brand is seeking to represent (Erdem & Swait, 2004). Erdem and Swait showed that increased credibility increased the likelihood a brand would be considered and chosen by the consumer. These findings were based on the re sults of a survey at a university where participants evaluated different product classes (e.g., shoes, cell phone provider, and juice). The results showed that of the two components of credibility addressed in the study, trustworthiness was more important for choice than expertise. They also found that the effect of credibility was more apparent when the participants exhibited higher levels of uncertainty. Like Miller and Berry (1998) and Ehrenberg et al. (1997), Anschuetz (1997) subscribed to the viewpoint that the brand more people are aware of will be more popular, regardless of whether they are perceived as better products. Anschuetz used an illustration based on brand popularity to show that brands of differing popularity exhibit a similar overall usag e pattern, with the more popular brands being used in higher numbers at all levels of use but experiencing the same rate of decline in level of use as less popular brands. The best way to achieve a larger loyal user base is to create a larger user base in general, as opposed to seeking only loyal users. Taking the Anschuetz, Ehrenberg et al., and Miller and Berry works in tandem, brands that are salient to consumers are going to be more popular. Romaniuk and Sharp (2004) explored the relevance of brand sali ence to brand buying. The authors argued that thinking of brand salience in a top of mind framework was implicitly incorrect based on research in memory retrieval. Romaniuk and Sharp
44 sence of p. 10 ). Salience takes a step past awareness to a point where the brand is considered an option for purchase also (Romaniuk & Sharp), similar to the Ehrenberg et al. (1997) interpretation of br and salience. Where Aaker (1996) saw salience as a subset of awareness, Romaniuk and Sharp saw salience as something that exceeds awareness because of factors that operate at a subconscious level, which is in line with Salzer (200 4) preference for using brands through immersion instead of storytelling. One of the relationships related to saliency pointed out by Romaniuk and Sharp (2004) is the link between the brand and the product/service category. The link is not equal in both di c ues to purchase a brand are typically considered the product category, cues can come from other sources, such as music. These factors that act on the subconscious are something Romaniuk and Sharp considered underdeveloped. For Romaniuk and Sharp, brand sal ience is not thought of as an outcome of one or two cues but a multitude of cues instead. By creating multiple mental links from multiple cues, brand salience improves the chances the brand will be among the choice set. By those mental links providing info rmation, they lessen the uncertainty of the brand to increase its chances of being selected within the choice set. The authors developed three factors for measuring brand salience: 1) brands;
45 2) Measure recall/noticing relative to competitors rather than for a single brand independently; 3) Focus on whether the brand is thought of rather than seeking to determine how favourably the brand is judged (p. 335) For Romaniuk and Sharp (2004), it is more important to understand the big picture of salience, as opposed to understanding specific cues, because specific cues are less reliable. They recommended building up from specific attributes to an overall evaluation, but the big picture is still th e end goal. A component of confusion for brand saliency is trying to understand where it fits in the relationship of other branding constructs. It can be considered a component of awareness (Aaker, 1996) or awareness can be considered a component of salien ce (Romaniuk & Sharp, 2004). Kornberger (2010) listed four asset categories for brand equity, which is basically the value the brand adds to the actual product or service: brand awareness, loyalty, perceived quality, and brand associations. The Romaniuk an d Sharp (2004) and Ehrenberg et al. (1997) definitions of salience would encompass both brand awareness te the equity. How the Florida Forest Service (FFS) brand is evaluated does not occur in a vacuum; it is likely affected by evaluations of the Florida Department of Agri culture and Consumer Services (FDACS) its parent brand The mission of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is to safeguard the public and support Florida's agricultural economy by: Ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of food and other c onsumer products through inspection and testing programs;
46 Protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive business practices and providing consumer information; Assisting Florida's farmers and agricultural industries with the production and promotion of agr icultural products; and Conserving and protecting the state's agricultural and natural resources by reducing wildfires, promoting environmentally safe agricultural practices, and managing public lands. (About FDACS, n.d., para. 1) Work by Boisvert and Burt on (2011) researched the effects of brand extension from parent brands. They surveyed members of the general public to assess three independent variables: innovativeness of the brand extension (i.e., high innovativeness versus low innovativeness), level of brand strategy (i.e., sub branding versus direct branding), and parent brand salience (i.e., high salience versus low salience). The results showed that transfer of associations from the parent brand were highest when direct branding was used and salience of the parent brand was high. It could be advantageous to facilitate the transfer of association when the parent brand is viewed positively. Creating associations between parent brands and subbrands is not necessarily advantageous. Lei, Dawar, and Lemmink (2008) conducted experiments to assess the effects of spillover, which occurs when negative incidents from one brand affect subbrand to parent brand strength to parent to subbrand brand strength, and they also compared spillover between subbrands using direction strength between the two subbrands. Spillover was affected by strength and direction of relationships between the and the directionality of brand linkages are influenced by the number of associations linked to each brand and the salience of
47 While it is typical to think of cues providing salience for a brand, the brand can also act as a c ue. Fransen, Fennis, Pruyn, and Das (2007) used experiments to show that exposure to insurance brands could induce thoughts of mortality. The effects of these induced thoughts led to individuals planning to spend more money on a variety of purchases. These e ffects happened at conscious and subconscious exposure levels, in line with the subconscious nature of salience discussed by Romaniuk and Sharp (2004). Agenda Setting salience 2005). Agenda setting works primarily through the effect of accessibility by making information about the topic available to the public (Scheufele & Tewksbury, 2007). Kiousis (2004) found there were two aspects of media sal ience: visibility (i.e., volume of media coverage) and valence (i.e., is the issue/story positive or negative). Agenda setting can also occur for attributes of topics (McCombs, 2005). The transfer of salience for attributes is sometimes referred to as seco nd level agenda setting and overlaps with the construct of framing (McCombs, 2005). Through the transfer of salience of the topics and attributes of the topic, the Stone, Singletary, & Richmond, 1999 ). Agenda setting can affect the political process through the choice of which issues are covered and which aspects of the issues are covered (Weaver, 2007). An area of agenda setting that relates to branding is the effect of agenda setting on business reputations. Stating that the core principles of agenda setting apply to organizations, Carroll and McCombs (2003) listed five propositions: 1) ).
48 2) positively related to the proportion of the public who define the firm by those 3) positively will members of the public perceive that attribute. Conversely, the more negative that media coverage is for a particular attribute, the more negatively will 4) affective attributes associated with a firm in business news coverage, especially those attributes specifically linked with a firm, 41). 5) ill result in a significant degree of correspondence between the attribute agenda of the firm and the news m edia These ideas of media presence increasing the salience of organizations are similar to the ideas of increasing brand presence in the p salience, which can then lead to increased brand success ( Anschuetz, 1997; Ehren ber g et al., 1997; Franzen & Moriarty, 2009; Miller & Berry, 1998) Multiple agendas have been studied in agenda setting researching, including the agendas of the media, the public, and policy (Tan & Weaver, 2007) Tan and Weaver reported that for the relationships between the three agenda s the relationship between the media and policy agendas is the strongest, followed by the relations hip between the media and public agendas, and the weakest was between the public and policy agendas. Tan and Weaver also reported that the public agenda was the least likely to drive the other agendas. blic The media becomes particularly important in issues that the public does not have personal experiences with (Soroka, 2003). The public can gain information from the media through incidental exposure (i.e., the i ndividual learning about a political issue not because they were seeking out political
49 information but because they were watching the news), non selective media exposure (i.e., the individual intentionally seeking out political information), and issue spec ific selective attention (i.e., the individual seeking out information about specific political issues; Donsbach & Traugott, 2008). Policymakers subsequently use the media as a source of public opinion (Soroka, 2003). Policymakers can be influenced by the media through their perceptions of the coverage of the policymakers, including how the policymakers are perceived by those they interact with who are influenced by the media coverage (Kepplinger, 2007). Policymakers will also alter their actions based on how the policymakers believe the actions would be perceived by the media (Kepplinger, 2007). The government can be responsive to the preferences and issue salience for the public (Soroka, 2003). Though policymakers use public opinion as a part of their pra ctices, they often use findings of public opinion research to change who they present what the policymakers are doing, not what the policymakers are actually doing (Donsbach & Traugott, 2008). Another avenue that agenda setting relates to policy making is through the manner One component of this is the need for members of policy communities to have sim ilar agendas in terms of why problems are occurring (Mazarr, 2007). Media is more likely to affect the policymaking process when there is uncertainty regarding policy (Robinson, 2000). Baker (2011) conducted a content analysis to assess relationships betw een the agendas of the elite media, blogosphere, specialized public, interest group, and policy agenda. The specialized public agenda was operationalized as comments on online
50 newspaper stories and comments on blogs. The policy agenda was affected by all f our of the other agendas. There were two way relationships between the elite media, blogosphere, and specialized public agendas. There was also a two way relationship between the blogosphere and interest group agendas. There were no relationships between t he interest group agenda and the agendas of the elite media and the specialized public. effective in reaching the interest group agenda, more focus should be given to the blogosphere ag recommended that efforts be made to engage in two way communications with the accessible agendas of th e blogosphere and specialized public. Baker also recommended that practitioners looking to influence the public policy agenda need to be engaged with elite media and blogosphere to influence the policy agenda. Another recommendation was for agricultural co mmunications practitioners to influence the agendas affecting the policy agenda in respect to policy affecting agriculture. The implication of th ese studies is that the public policy agenda is affected by other agendas, which is important considering the i mpacts that public policy have on agriculture and natural resources ( Gunderson, Kuhn, Offutt, & Morehart, 2004 ). Public Organizations Hoggett (2006) argued that public organizations are more complex than private organizations. The nature of the roles of th e organizations differs, with private organizations focusing on a profit and public organizations serving the function of governing society. Specifically, though public organizations might provide a service or product, they also serve a regulatory role. Th e public official has to consider the needs
51 of the individual and the needs of groups, which can often conflict. Another wrinkle in the role of public organizations is the nature of their survival. Where a private eed or fail regardless of its value to society, a described as a product or service that is provided by a public organization that cannot reasonably be met by private organiz ations and satisfies both those receiving the services and the citizens who are paying for the service (Moore, 1995) While public organizations are complex, perceptions might not represent that complexity. Baker et al. erceptions and awareness of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). IFAS is a component of the University of Florida (UF; IFAS, 2008). IFAS consists of a teaching component in the form of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, a res earch component conducted by 250 faculty members, and an extension component present in all Florida counties. While the participants perceived that information from IFAS w as credible, useful, and newsworthy, they were not aware of the breadth of IFAS program areas. They were most aware of the agriculture and natural resources components of IFAS. The participants were not aware of the fact that information that was important to the media While Baker et al. referred to the IFAS brand lacking in unaided awareness, in can also be inferred that the IFAS brand lacked salience for the media professionals Abrams et al. (2010) a IFAS brand. When participants were not given a description of IFAS, Abrams et al. found that the stakeholders attached the land grant attributes to the UF brand, not the
52 IFAS brand. When told about the IFAS brand, brand saliency increased. They also found that certain attributes (e.g., agriculture) were valued differently than other attributes of IFAS (e.g., family and consumer sciences). This case documents an organization that was not inherently s alient to stakeholders but became more salient when the stakeholders were primed with information. It also illustrates the importance of brand extension. Scrivens (1991) discussed difficulties public sector organizations face when trying to implement marke ting practices. The author stated that some public sector organizations can more easily apply for profit marketing practices based on the nature of the service (e.g., hospitals can be public organizations but face competition from other health care provide rs; therefore, they can more easily applying for profit marketing practices), while other public organizations are too dissimilar from the for profit sector to apply marketing practices without modification. Roles differ between different types of public o rganizations. The relationship of the buyer and the seller in this case can be altered by the nature of the public organization. Scriv ens provided the example of public organization personnel acting as the buyer of a public sector service ; the buyer then b ecomes the seller of th e service to justify the decision to local constituents Public sector organizations do not operate in a true free market system. The complexities of a public brand were reflected in the work of Trueman and Cornelius (2006) who discu ssed place branding. One of the problems facing place branding is finding the right visual imagery to reflect the location. The visual needs to be reflective of the reality of the location and be representative of a diverse group of stakeholders. While ext ernal communications are important, it is also important for
53 citizens to feel involved because they are the internal component of the brand. The brand is more credible if the external communications are reflective of the place. Walsh (1994) discussed the i ncreased prevalence of marketing in the public service sector. Public services shifted toward marketing because of criticism that the organizations were not responsive enough, leading to consumerism, strategic management, and promotion of services. Marketi ng in the public sector is complicated by a characteristic that differentiates it from the private sector: Public organizations rely on a dialogue with the voting public to maintain legitimacy. This idea of dialogue relates to the relationship between the public and policy agendas that is mentioned in the preceding agenda setting section (Tan & Weaver, 2007). Marketing to, as opposed to communicating with, the public is a secondary consideration. Walsh argued that government exists to be an authoritative en tity, not a service provider, which Walsh argues takes away from the value of government. Walsh concluded by stating that marketing could have a place in public organizations, but certain aspects of marketing would need to change in order to be applied to the public sector, specifically noting the ideas of exchange of service for money, profit, and competition. Butler and Collins (1995) also delved into the distinctions of marketing in the public sector. They specifically addressed the structural characteri stics, which are product, organization, and market, and process characteristics. The following are the product characteristics for public sector organizations: services are the typical product of public organizations, which are not tangible; the services t hemselves can be characterized as constraints (i.e., limitations to what citizens can do), duties (i.e., behaviors citizens are forced to do), and facilities (i.e., the benefits provided by the public sector); and the
54 product can be considered a public goo d, which leads to issues of some benefiting from the service without contributing to the cost. As it relates to the product, marketers for the public sector should focus on the communal good and reinforce what public agency is responsible for the specific public service. The organization of public services can be characterized as political accountability (i.e., politicians will always scrutinize actions of encouraged to take responsib ility for service provision themselves profit mission The marketing component of the public organization needs to get buy in from the rest of the organization, particularly opinion leaders. The characteristics of interest for the market of the public sector organizations are consumers as citizens (i.e., all citizens are customers), competition (i.e., public organizations operate competitive are nas that range from monopoly to competing with private organizations), and nature of demand (i.e., while there could be demand for the public service, there can also be no demand for a necessary public service). As it relates to market characteristics, pub lic organizations need to present the quality of the service, not just the benefits of the service. The characteristics associated with the processes of public organizations are the development of new products (i.e., new ideas are developed by politicians, public employees, and individuals not directly related to the government), the payment receipt process (i.e., payment for a service varies and can come directly from those who benefit or be paid by those who have the least to benefit), the delivery of pub lic sector products (i.e., public organizations need to justify why they provide the service instead of a private organization or the public organization has to facilitate private organizations
55 providing the service), internal markets operations (i.e., dif ferent components of the public sector become competitors with other components of the public sector), and evaluation of outcomes and outputs (i.e., public services that are often intangible are difficult to evaluate effectively). Marketing activities that relate to the process component of public organizations are that champions of change be found (e.g., politicians), promote the public good of the service, explain the benefits of internal competition, and market what indicators of success are being used f or evaluation. Butler and Collins contended that the new marketing being called for by Walsh (1994) was not necessary. The broad principles of marketing still apply, but they need to be adapted to meet the needs of public organizations. Laing (2003) discus sed the role of marketing in the public sector in the United Kingdom. The author believed the increasing prevalence of private sector strategies in public sector organizations necessitated a reevaluation of marketing in the public sector. Laing created a s pectrum of public services ranging from services that provide largely social benefits that are judged by the professional providing the service (e.g., criminal justice) to services that provide largely private benefits that are judged by the individuals re ceiving the service (e.g., public housing). The spectrum was created to reflect the diversity of public sector organizations instead of thinking of those organizations as being a homogenous group. Where a public service falls on the spectrum affects how it ete rethinking of marketing for the public service with this spectrum. For services geared
56 toward individuals, private sector marketing strategies can be applied more easily. For services geared toward society, private sector marketing strategies have limi ted value and should be applied cautiously. For services in the middle of the spectrum (e.g., health care and education), marketing should be tailored to meet the needs of these organizations that provide a relative balance between individual and societal benefits. Laing argued marketing that focused on relationships would be of more use to the public sector than transactional marketing that focused on competition and market structure. associations with the corporate name may be limited in the public sector and any attempt to improve perception [through] advertising is liable to criticism as being a was te et al. 2010 p. 1165 ). Wettenhall (2003) discussed the evolution of classifying public sector organizations. In the United States, the beginnings were a simple, three branch system, but this s ystem continued to grow and beca me more complicated with more executive branch agencies. States, likewise, had their own sets of complicated structure consisting of multiple agencies. In the middle of the 20th century, three categories were commonly accepted: (1 ) the departments which form the central cores of government; (2) the local authorities providing services that have been decentralized from the central core; and (3) a range of bodies operating with a degree of autonomy and performing many other functions that have also been decentr alized from that core, but on a functional rather than a territorial basis. (p. 225) The third category has become increasingly more complex.
57 W raas (2008) discussed the practice of public organizations seeking to is known about the way in which public organizations use corporate branding by capturing audience attention to their name, akin to corporate branding, not product br anding, and the employees of the organization are all brand managers. The more complicated an organization becomes, the more difficult it is to create an effective corporate brand. Branding of public organizations is complicated by the fact that they serve the public, which is a diverse group. Public organizations face the problem of serving broad public interest, which can come at the expense of individual interests, and having multiple identities, with each possibly having its own set of values within the same organization. The author stated that public organizations may need to brand based on inconsistent values. Public organizations should promote the unique characteristics even when those characteristics conflict with each other because that would be an accurate representation of the organization. Public organizations should have a flexible brand that can meet many needs. By focusing on the inconsistent values, the public organization can also be more identifiable to a wider group of people because it is more likely that one of the values of the organization will meet the needs of an individual. Another work by W raas addressed this notion of multiple values. W raas (2010) analyzed the core value statements of 25 regulatory agencies in 11 different countr ies. The regulatory agencies tended to put forth multiple values in their value statements, with people oriented and professional oriented values being the most frequent. The core values did not tend to be reflective of the public sector values the organiz ations
58 could have represented, often downplaying their regulatory roles. The author posited that the regulatory agencies could face an issue of credibility by having core value statements that are not fully reflective of the organization. The organizations also risk not being able to fulfill these inaccurate value statements. The author recommended assessing the effects of value statements on perceptions of the organization. An area of branding that is likely related to public sector branding is political b randing. These two areas of branding are inextricably linked because of public sector discussed political brands in Britain. The authors discussed the notion of thinking of voter behavior in the same fashion as consumer decisions, specifically noting that traditional political science was becoming less able to predict voter behaviors. Reeves et al. cited past research that used consumption related variables to predict electio ns in the United States, Australia, Poland, and Slovenia. The authors noted that political parties are engaging in what would be considered market research, which would indicate a need to understand marketing in a political context. Reeves and de Chernaton y (2003) found there were differences between branding commercially and political branding, specifically in differentiation and relationship building. Reeves et al. stated that politics in Britain had become less focused on ideology and more focused on mak ing voters happy. Reeves et al. stated that political brands should be balanced between being driven by ideology and voters. An area of private branding research that could have relevance to branding public organizations is the building of brands by associ ating with public services. An
59 needs of the community at large (Guzmn, Montaa, & Sierra, 2006). The perspective Guzmn et al. put forth was that private organization s could use public services as By surveying undergraduates from private uni versities in Mexico City, Mexico, and Barcelona, Spain, Guzmn et al. found that associating with a public service was likely a good option for private organizations. Also related could be cause related marketing. Basil and Herr (2006) assessed the relatio nship between evaluations of an organization and cause related marketing. U ndergraduate students were used for two experiments. The first experiment involved evaluating a fictitious firm and charity, and the second experiment involved evaluating a real fir m and charity. The results of the experiments showed that evaluation of the alliance between cause related marketing and the organization was highest when participants had positive pre existing perceptions of the organizations and the charity. The results of the alliance are strengthened if there is a perceived good fit between the firm and the charity. An example of good fit the authors used was Nike and the American Heart Association. Results of the alliance between an organization and a charity will be m itigated if the organization or the charity is not perceived positively. Looking at the Guzmn et al. (2006) and Basil and Herr findings, public organizations could use their pre existing links to public services that are publicly valued to increase public perception of the public organizations. Communication Strategy formulated goals. It can come from a well considered plan, but also can be implicitly
60 present, manifesting itself in effective strategy has at least one of the following elements: clear and decisive goals, simplicity, motivating impact, committed leadership, feasibility, consistency, concentration, enterprising, flexib ility, surprise, and security. The communication structures of organizations, such as marketing, public relations, and strategic communications, are a significant portion of brand management strategies. Marketing Thorson and Moore (1996) outlined three sequential critical components of an integrated marketing communication (IMC) plan: brand essence, target audience, and perceptions of t IMC evolved from having all communications integrated to make an impact to having all communic ations integrated to build and maintain relationships, including ideas like brand loyalty. The outcome of effective IMC is a strong brand image. Consumers create constellations of consumption, whereby products that would be used by group members are linked advertising persona begins with its creation. Like a brand, the persona is an artificial entity that has real effects. The persona then takes on distinctiveness because it is a n artificial creation that is given personality characteristics. With its core identity, the persona is still able to adapt to change without losing its core traits. Moore, 19 96, p. 105). Good brand equity is based on brand awareness and a positive
61 establishing the brand in memory and linking strong, favorable, and unique associations (p. 106). While it is necessary to generate positive associations with the brand, it is also necessary to generate associations that are unique to the brand to generate more d channels are being integrated with each other, the communication channels are also being integrated with distribution channels (Thorson & Moore, 1996). An example provided was the price for placement of phone booths in airports being based on the number of people who passed by, not the number of people who actually used the phone. Another example would be the product itself on a store shelf. This integration is only more preval ent with the advent of the widespread Internet use, where products are a result of a case study involving a reading program in Indiana, three principles were deemed ne cessary for IMC success: coordination, which involves coordinating people and ideas; consistency, which involves both the general theme of the communications and the external presentation of the communications; and complementarity, which involves having th e each communication component complementing other communication components (Thorson & Moore, 1996). An area where public organizations and marketing overlap is the use of public information campaigns. Weiss and Tschirhart (1994) discussed the advantages a nd disadvantages of public information campaigns. The researchers analyzed 100 public information campaigns to assess their effectiveness, the decision to use campaigns as a component of policy, and how the campaigns affect the democratic process. For a
62 ca audience, selecting the appropriate channels of communication, and using an effective understand using the c ampaign to set the public agenda, by relating the campaign to social norms, whose behavior i s being targeted for change but also targeting members of their social environment. The decision to choose public information campaigns can stem from wanting to shift the focus away from institutional problems to individual problems; policymakers believing mediating institutions would be ineffective or unwilling to act as intermediary, policymakers wanting use a mix of mediating institutions and public information campaigns, or the policymaker not seeking to affect behavior; whom the policymakers are target ing; and costs being cheaper than alternative options to affect market for competing ideas, th government, the government widening the knowledge gap already unequal social could consist of public information campaig ns improving the market for competing ideas, a more informed public to participate in the democratic process, lessening the
63 knowledge gap by targeting the least notion that an individual public information campaign can both promote and threaten t of setting up government in increasing the ethical awareness of those creating the public information campaigns or creating a system for the public to provide feedback regarding the campaign. Public Relations One of the key foundations for public relations research is the Excellence Theory. Grunig (2006) listed six components that were considered necessary for excellent public relations. First, the public relations leader needs to be among the top level leadership of the organization. Second public relations is a distinct but complementary function to other organizational communication s (e.g., marketing, internal communications, etc.) Third, employee satisfaction needs to be present. Fourth, women and men need to be valued equally within the organization. Fifth, racial and ethnic equality needs to occur. Sixth, the organization needs t o operate ethically. As mentioned in the first chapter, good public relations is also beneficial to the organization because strong pre existing relationships between the organization and its stakeholders can help it w e a ther cris i s situations (Grunig et al ., 2002). While it is difficult to measure the financial benefits because good relationships that organizations build will typically benefit the organization indirectly through long term goodwill, negative relationships can affect organizations more direct
64 Grunig et al., 2002, p. 103). Within organizations, public relations is a valued function because of its role providing perspective on the organization and its actions, as well Public relations can be assessed at four levels (Grunig et al. 2002). The first is the relations, community relations, or cu the functional level, which consists of entire communications or public relations departments. The third is the organizational level, which addresses the effects of public relations and communications on overall org anizational effectiveness. The fourth is the At the organizational level, public relations and communications is a component of the system that is the organization (Gr unig et al., 2002). Conceptualizing communications and public relations in terms of a system is similar to how Franzen and Moriarty (2009) conceptualized branding as a system of components internal and external to the organization. Actions in one part of t he system affect the rest of the system (Grunig et al., 2002). leadership (Grunig, 2006) relates to this systems approach to public relations: Public relations is more likely to c ontribute to effectiveness [of the organization] when the senior public relations manager is a member of the and to help determine which external publics are most strategic. (Grun ig et al., 2002, p. 97) Having communications involved with the leadership of the organization is important
65 completely on its own; it is always a reflection of, and designed to support, higher level The Grunig et al. (2002) definition of value for public relations for businesses goes beyond notions of profit to notions of societal benefit, which is in line with ideas of public val ue for public organizations (Moore, 1995). While measuring the direct benefit of public relations may not always be possible, successful organizations tend to have successful public relations components which matches up with the idea of public relations f organizations (Grunig et al., 2002). In its interactions with stakeholders, Grunig (1989) supported two way symmetrical communication, which represents both the organization and its stakeholders having equal ground in communications between each other to avoid dominance or manipulation on the part of the organization. Grunig was opposed to one way models of the communication whereby the organization controls the information being released or two way asymmetrical communications, which involves communication between the organization and stakeholders but with the organization taking a domin ant role in the dialogue. Grunig argued that in asymmetrical communication scenarios, the leadership losing the perspective of lower level employees. Through two way symme trical communications, organizations increase of the sharing of information within the organization and between the organization and its stakeholders, and power within the organization is distributed more equitably between its members.
66 Strategic Communicat ion public relations, advertising, technical communications, etc.) being used in a holistic approach for an organization to accomplish its goals (Hallahan et al. 2007). The six specialties of strategic communication are management communication, marketing communication, public relations, technical communication, political communication, and information/social marketing campaigns. Hallahan et al. (2007) stated that strateg ic communication is similar to IMC in that communications are being organized but differs communications of the organization in strategic communications is in line with de notion to treat brands as being both internal and external to organization. Summary This review of literature first served to introduce different approach es to understanding branding that included the Berthon et al. (2011) three worlds perspective, role purpose brand taxonomy, Salzer variety of perspectives illustrates the complexity of the concept of brands. The next components addressed were brand image, brand saliency, and brand differentiation, which are the branding focus of this study. To compare the terms, brand image is an overall evaluation of the brand (Franzen & Moriarty), brand salience is the extent to
67 which the consu mer is aware and will consider the brand as an option (Ehrenberg et al., 1997; Romaniuk & Sharp, 2004), and brand differentiation is the extent to which the brand is able to separate itself from competitors in the mind of consumers through either functiona l or irrelevant differences (Carpenter et al., 1994; Ehrenberg et al., 1997). Public organizations were addressed next Applying private sector strategies to public organizations could be difficult because public sector organizations are typically more co mplex (Hoggett, 2006) and often have to represent multiple values (Trueman & Cornelius, 2006; W raas, 2008, 2010). As for applying private sector marketing strategies to the public sectors, viewpoints varied: Walsh (1994) believed it necessary to rethink m arketing before applying it to the private sector, Butler and Collins (1995) believed the broad principles still applied but simply needed to be adapted, and Laing (1993) believed private sector marketing could be applied in differing degrees depending on where the public organization fell on a continuum of the type of service being provided. Weiss and Tschirhart (1994) also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of public information campaigns, noting that they could aid and/or hurt the democratic proc ess. The chapter concluded with marketing strategy, using IMC as a starting point, which uses brand essence as a critical component (Thorson & Moore, 1996).
68 CHAPTER 3 METHODS AND PROCEDURES The Florida Forest Service (FFS) in the Florida Department of Agriculture and the mission to protect and manage the forest resources of Florida, ensuring that they are a Forest Service, n.d.). FFS began in 1927 under its current moniker until its name was changed to Division of Forestry (DOF) in 1969 when it was incorporated into FDACS (Scanlan, 2011). The name was changed back to Florida Forest Service in 2011 (Scanlan, 2011). Through this rebranding effort, a new name and logo were created FFS is trying to be recognizable to Florida consumers, create differentiation between FFS and the United States Forestry Service, and more effectively communicate the value of FFS to the Florida public. To aid in this process, FFS provided funding for the (UF) and Institute of Food IFAS) Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (PIE Center) to conduct research related to FFS branding. Specifically, the PIE Center conducted a n audit of DOF/FFS branding materials to first understand the information that is available to the Florida public. This was followed by six focus groups: four with urban residents and two with rural residents The focus groups addressed the external brand of FFS, which is the focus of this dissertation. The PIE Center also surveyed employees of FFS to address the internal brand of FFS. This chapter describes the methods and procedures used to conduct the focus groups. Specifically, qualitative research, foc us groups, researcher subjectivity, the participants, data collection, data analysis, and measures of validation will be discussed.
69 The purpose of this study was to u nderstand what influences the saliency and differentiation of a public organization as per ceived by members of the public The research questions guiding this study were 1) Service ? 2) Forest Service? 3) Forest Service brand ? Qualitative Research This is a qualitative study. Creswell (2007) stated that researchers who conduct qualitative research operate under psychological assumptions: 1) Ontological There are multiple realities and each individual has his/her own perspective/reality. 2) Epistemological The researcher should be as close to the data and participants as possible. 3) Axiological The researcher is inherently biased and admits it. 4) Rhetorical The write up of qualitative research takes on a more literary and first person form than quantitative research. 5) Methodological Research starts with specific data and then moves to broader ideas, often with an emergent design. In contrast, quantitative researchers tend to espouse positivistic, which has a single reality, or post positivistic views, which provides a bit more room for interpretation than positivism; researchers view objectivity as an ideal and bias should be limited; and research often seeks to prove or disapprove theory (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010). Flick (2006) attributes the purpose of qualitative research to the pluralistic nature of life, in that broad explanations related to life are bei ng replaced by explanations grounded in individual situations. Flick also stated that qualitative research provides a response to
70 quantitative research that lacks applicability to real life situations. Flick stated there are four preliminary features of qu alitative research: appropriateness of methods and of interest in context; perspectives of the participants and their diversity, which refers to the notion that qualitative research takes into account the variety of perspectives related to the topic of study; reflexivity of the researcher and the research, which refers to the not research; variety of approaches and methods in qualitative research, which refers to the Focus Groups generate a rich (2006) stated that focus groups are rooted in symbolic interactionism, which is based on the notion that people assign meaning to things and concepts to c reate subjective theories. collection levels of control on focus groups, ranging from simply havi ng participants respond to information and other stimuli to having free ranging discussions when the researcher is not sure what questions to ask (Morgan, 1998b). In some cases, the participants will do
71 their own exploration and interpretations without the 191), but focus groups lack the level of naturalism of oth er qualitative methodologies (Morgan, 1998b). The advantage of focus groups over other qualitative methodologies is the purpose of the focus group is dictated by the moderator, which means focus groups can better address specific research questions (Morgan 1998b). The group dynamic allows participants to contrast their experiences with each other (Morgan, te the viewpoints. Morgan (1998b) provided a history of focus groups as a methodology. Focus groups originated in the early 20 th century in the social sciences. After this initial appearance in the social sciences, focus groups were used primarily in marke ting research from 1950 to 1980. Focus groups were as a research method re emerged in the 1980s In addition to use generally as a qualitative method, focus groups have also been used for public health programs, evaluation, and developing surveys. Methods Participants and Sampling As a public organization, FFS is accountable to all Florida residents (Moore, 1995; Vandlik, 1995). In an individualistic society like the United States, public organizations must be able to show that the benefits of the organizat ion outweigh the costs of funding 1995, p. 29). As such, it is important to understand how Florida residents perceive FFS. The target population consist ed of Florida residents There were two subsets of participan ts : One consisted of urban
72 residents and the other consisted of rural residents The split focus groups occurred because focus groups are more effective with relatively similar participants (Patton, 2002) and because past research has shown differences be tween rural and urban perceptions of agriculture and natural resources (Frick et al., 1995; Kline & Armstrong, 2001). FFS was interested in understanding different segments of its audience, which necessitate d purposive sampling. Purposive sampling is used in focus groups because specifically address the different aspects of the research ( Creswell, 2007; Fraenkel & Wallen, 2006). The rural residents were included as separate focus groups because it was assumed rural residents were likely to have had different interactions and perceptions of FFS. Research by Frick, Birkenholz, and Machtmes ( 1995) showed that urban and rural residents differed in knowledge and perceptions of agriculture and natural resources. The Florida Survey Research Center (FSRC) was hired to re cruit participants using random digit dialing which uses a list of phone numbers to randomly select who will be called All numbers used were landlines. This is a limitation of the study because 24.5% of American homes only have cell phone access, and you nger Americans more likely to have access to cell phones only (Blumberg & Luke, 2010). The initial recruitment questions and callback script are in Appendices B and C. FSRC purchased the sample from a commercial sampling firm. The phone numbers purchased w ere loaded into a c omputer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) system. For the urban focus
73 groups, the numbers were from the city where the focus group was located: Orlando, Tallahassee, and Ft. Myers. For the rural focus groups, t he numbers were purchased for surrounding rural counties. For the Tallahassee rural focus group, the counties were Calhoun Franklin Gadsen Holmes Jackson Jefferson Liberty, Madison Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington For the Gainesville rural focus group, the counties were Baker Bradford Clay Columbia Dixie Flagler Gilchrist Hamilton, Lafayette Lake Levy, Marion, Putnam, St. Johns Sumter Suwannee, and Union Table 3 1 contains more detail about the number of phone calls made, which was provided by FSRC. Twelve were chosen to serve as a purposive sample from the list of potential participants to match demographic characteristics of the area. For the rural residents focus groups, participants were selected t o ensure individuals who participated in outdoor recreation were included in the final participant list. The 12 participants selected were then called back by FSRC. Those who agreed to participate were sent a confirmation letter by e mail or FedEx. A remin der phone call was made the night before each focus group. In the event that a participant was not able to be contacted or would be otherwise unable to attend, they were replaced by another potential participant with similar demographic characteristics. S ize of focus groups is important : S ix to 12 participants is a range of participants that allows for a good balance between getting a variety of opinions while providing each participant with ample time to voice their opinions without competing for time (Mo rgan, 1998a). Because oversampling by one or two people is acceptable, 12 people were recruited for each focus group to try to get about 10 participants per group (Morgan, 1998a). Participants were provided with $50 stipends as an incentive for
74 participati ng in the focus groups. Incentives are considered necessary to garner participation in focus groups because of the time commitment and potential sacrifices participants make and $50 75 is considered to be the appropriate range for public sector studies (K rueger & Kasey, 2009 ; Stewart, Shamdasani, & Rook, 2006 ) The number of individuals who participated in the focus groups was as follows: nine for the first Orlando group, 10 for the second Orlando group, nine for the rural Tallahassee group, 10 for the urba n Tallahassee group, seven for the Gainesville group, and nine for the Ft. Myers group. The average age of participants was as follows: Orlando #1 was 55.6 ranging from 32 to 87; Orlando #2 was 50.4 ranging from 28 to 71; Tallahassee rural was 56.1 rang ing from 43 to 73; Tallahassee urban was 54.4 ranging from 26 to 79; Gainesville was 51.1 ranging from 37 to 69; and Ft. Myers was 53.9 ranging from 35 to 73 The median age of Florida residents in 2010 was 40.7 (United States Census 2010). It is possible the older age range of the participants is because FSRC used landlines only, instead of also incorporating cell phone numbers (Blumberg & Luke, 2010). The demographic characteristics of the participants are in Table 3 2 for gender, outdoor p frequency of outdoor participation was described in the recruitment protocol as either seldom, occasionally, or frequently. There was a mix of all three frequencies for all focus groups. The older age of participants compared to the general population is also important to note because outdoor recreation use generally declines with older age groups, though the percent of participants who participated in recreation activities is similar to the general po pulation, which participates in outdoor activities at a rate of, 64% in 2008 (Outdoor Foundation, 2009). As a point of comparison with the responses
7 5 of participants for outdoor recreation, the following are the percent of the national population who partic ipate in different outdoor recreation activities: 38% had gone hiking, 33.6% had visited a wilderness or primitive area, and 12.6% had gone canoeing (United States Department of Agriculture [USDA], U.S. Forest Service, 2004) Descriptions of the individual participants are provided in Appendix D Table 3 3 provides demographic characteristics for the state of Florida. The median income in the state of Florida was $44,390 in 2010 ( U SDA Economic Research Service, 2012) Data Collection Six focus groups were conducted in September 2011. Choosing the appropriate number of focus groups depends on the aims of the research, with there being no prescribed minimum or maximum though three to five groups is considered a typical number of focus groups (Morgan, 1998a) The number of focus groups for this study was chosen to allow for representation of multiple areas of Florida, as well as representation from urban and rural populations. The locations were chosen to represent different regions of Florida and a mix of ru ral and urban opinions. The focus groups were conducted in four Florida cities: two in Orlando, two in Tallahassee, one in Gainesville, and one in Ft. Myers. prime ton, 1994, p. 24). The Orlando focus groups were conducted at Orange County Extension Education Center in a conference room. The air conditioning in the building turned off after 5:00 p.m. Because the room got too warm for the participants to be comfortab le, windows were opened. The location was close to the Orlando International Airport, which means participants. The Tallahassee focus groups were conducted at the Kerr & Down s
76 Research offices. The room used included a two way mirror, though only one of the focus groups included someone on the other side of the mirror. Participants were informed that it was a two way mirror and that there was someone on the other side of the m irror. The Gainesville focus group was conducted in a conference room in William M. Fifield Hall at UF. The Ft. Myers focus group was conducted at the Lee County Extension offices, also in a conference room. One of the participants brought her son, who is handicapped, to the focus group. The son did occasionally distract participants. ) was used for each focus group to help guide the focus groups and was developed by me using recommendations from Krueger (1998b): questions w ere asked in a conversational tone ; ; feedback about the questions was obtained from individuals familiar with foc us group methodology and/or FFS, as well as the moderator (Morgan, 1998a); sufficient time was allowed to develop the questions by allowing two months between starting work on the moder questions were open ended, general questions were asked before specific questions; and positive questions were asked before nega tive questions. Based on a preliminary review of literature, the questions were developed to address brand saliency and brand differentiation. structured the focus group is, the more the emphasis is on the research team; the less structure the focus group is, the more the emphasis is on the participants (Morgan, 1998a). Flick (2006) stated that a more tightly controlled study is useful when specific constructs are being studied and fo r comparing data between different interviews. This study utilized a balance of structure to allow the participants to provide their information
77 with as few constraints from the researchers as possible, while still addressing all of the topics needed for t he study and allowing different focus group results to be compared. The focus groups lasted about two hours each. Focus groups should not last no more two hours (Krueger, 1998b). management, government organizations involved in natural resource management, the FFS/DOF name and logo change, and communications by FFS. The order of the topics was chosen to allow conversation of the participants to logically flow from the broader topi c of forests, then to the topic of forest management and government organizations, and then to evaluation of FFS and its communication materials. The participants completed a questionnaire (Appendix F ) that addressed their awareness and perceptions of the importance of different FFS activities after the break that was in the middle of each focus group. The name change was discussed after the participants discussed DOF to avoid confusion because participants were more likely to be aware of DOF than FFS; none of the participants knew about the name change prior to being informed by the moderator during the focus group. At the end of the focus group, the moderator explained the purpose of the focus group. The moderator for these focus groups was experienced in focus group methodology and moderated all of the focus groups to ensure consistency among focus groups. As much consistency as is possible should be used when comparing between groups (Krueger & Kasey, 2009). nsure that all participants are being heard without a minority of participants taking over the conversations (Flick, 2006). The moderator must also ensure that the discussion
78 remains informal without getting off topic (Flick 2006 ). An assistant moderator and a note taker were also present to assist the moderator. Data Analysis 1998a, p. 3). For focus groups, data analysis was a constant process that begins with the collection. Three c omponents occurred at the focus groups (Krueger, 1998a): first, responses were as fully understood as possible; second, the focus group moderator provided a summarizatio n of findings during each focus group near the end of a session to get any final thoughts or clarification from participants; and finally, the research team debriefed after the last focus group for each location as a means of sharing their interpretations and understandings of each focus group. The next step was the creation of categories and/or themes to organize the data (Creswell, 2007). While there was groups, emergent coding was used for analysis to limit the amount of researcher bias in analysis. Emergent coding uses the data as the source for the codes, as opposed to having predetermined codes (Creswell, 2007). Focus groups allow ed participants to select how they provide inform ation (Krueger, 1998a), and, as such, the codes and themes that emerge should be largely influenced by participants. To help ensure closeness to the data, I was present at the focus groups to help understand the context responses were given in while the an alysis was occurring. The focus groups were video and audio recorded. The focus groups were transcribed verbatim by a third party. Transcript based analysis, though more time intensive, is considered the most rigorous means of analyzing focus groups (Krue ger,
79 1998a) and transcripts are necessary to maintain the richness of the data (Bloor, Frankland, Thomas, & Robson, 2001). The transcripts were used to ensure the accuracy of information the researchers are using to make interpretations and as a means of justifying findings (Creswell, 2007; Flick, 2006). Notes were also taken by two note takers. The notes were intended to be complete accounts of the focus groups in case the recording machinery does not work (Krueger, 1998c). The moderator also took notes w hile moderating each focus group. Notes were also taken of discussions that were relevant to the study but were occurring after recorders had been turned off at the end of the sessions. By using transcripts and notes, a new reality can be constructed that is accessible to and can be analyzed by researchers (Flick, 2006). In addition to the recorded discussions, two participants in the Ft. Myers focus group provided a rewording of the mission statement. Another participant from Ft. Myers provided additional suggestions in an e mail a few days after the focus group was conducted. The constant comparative method (Glaser, 1965) was used to code data. First, when an incident was coded into a category, it was compared with other incidents in that category to allow the category in memos. Second, categories and their respective properties were integrated through the constant comparisons. Third, the boundaries of the categories were set. As the boundarie s were set, categories were lessened in number but improved in their area of focus. The final stage was writing the theory, with the memos about categories serving as the content of the categories. For this study, writing theory consisted of describing the themes of what constitutes brand salience and differentiation as well as how being a public organization affects brand perceptions
80 Categories were cultivated through the combined use of the transcriptions and field notes. As experiences within the categ ory develop ed a better understanding of what is and what is not within the category emerge d The computer program Weft QDA was used for data analysis. The potential advantages of using a computer program for data analysis are that the program provides an organization system for files, helps the researcher find materials quickly, could increase scrutiny of the data by the researcher, provides concept mapping, makes retrieving memos easier, and increases the transparency of the research process (Creswell, 20 07; Flick, 2006). The disadvantages are that it takes the researcher time to learn the program, potential for increased distance between the data and the researcher arises, the researcher could feel inhibited to make changes to categories during the analys is process, and the program could alter how the data are analyzed (Creswell, 2007; Flick, 2006). These disadvantages were mitigated because I have used Weft QDA before, I am comfortable using the program for analysis, and I was present at the focus groups, which should limit the distance between the data and me Measures of Validation Terminology commonly used to describe rigor in qualitative research are credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability (Ary, Jacobs, & Sorenson, 2010). To help ensure the research was conducted appropriately, multiple measures were taken. Credibility relates to the truthfulness of the findings (Ary et al., 2010). Triangulation uses more than one aspect of research to strengthen the interpretation of the findings, and there are multiple types of triangulation (Thurmond, 2001). Data source tr iangulation was used, which
81 includes using data from different locations and individuals (Thurmond, 2001) This study collected data from more than one group (i.e., rural and urban residents) and more than one location (i.e., Orlando, Tallahassee, Gainesvi lle, and Ft. Myers). This study used theoretical triangulation in that information gained from both branding and non branding literature was used to understand the findings of the study (Thurmond, 2001). Peer debriefing occurred after the last focus group at each location so that recent focus group(s) (Kreuger, 1998a) Member checking c onsists of having participants share their perceptions of the validity of the findings (Creswell, 2007) For this study, the moderator provided participants were given the opportunity to provide feedback of these summarizations. Focus group discussions also all ow the other members of the group to validate different viewpoints being expressed (Flick, 2006). By using verbatim transcriptions, as well as field notes and a video record of t he focus groups, the research was aided by low inference descriptors that do n ot depend on the interpretation of the researchers and also provide a means of substantiating findings (LeCompte & Goetz, 1982). Verbatim transcripts also maintain ed a necessary richness in the data (Bloor et al., 2001). To help avoid the risk of spurious conclusions, alternative explanations for findings were searched for during the analysis and interpretation of the data (LeCompte & Goetz, 1982). Negative/discrepant information w as reviewed to refine the interpretation of the findings (Creswell, 2007).
82 W hile pilot testing is a common strategy for ensuring the validity of an instrument, it is not always feasible in focus groups (Krueger, 1998b). To help ensure the credibility exper ienced in focus group methodology and individuals from FFS who underst oo d Observation effects is a threat that cannot be completely accounted for because there is no way to know for certain if participants would answer questions the same if they were not among a group of strangers, being recorded, and being watched from behind a two way mi rror (LeCompte & Goetz, 1982). In order to mitigate these problems, recommendations from Krueger (1998c) were followed for moderating the focus groups. More specifically, an experienced moderator was used who understood how to facilitate discussion among a group of strangers, the research team engaged in small talk with participants before the sessions began to help the participants feel comfortable, the room was arranged so to be as comfortable for participants as was possible in the given locations, one o f the note takers was positioned by the door so that late arrivals could be signed in with as little disturbance to other participants as possible, and the first question asked in each focus group was an icebreaker to allow participants to get to know each other. This icebreaker question is necessary for focus groups involving participants who do not already know each other (Flick, 2006). An audit trail was setting of the fo cus groups, complete transcripts with coding, and summary reports that will be provided to FFS. The audit trail helps ensure the credibility of the research by
83 providing evidence for any external group that should choose to audit the research (Creswell & M iller, 2000). Transferability refers to the extent the findings of the study can be applied to other settings (Ary et al., 2010). Rich, thick descriptions of the participants and their statements were used to allow readers as much information as is feasibl e in order for readers to make decisions about the transferability of the findings (Creswell, 2007). To aid this, verbatim transcriptions, field notes, and video recordings were available during the analysis Data source triangulation also aided the transf erability o f the findings (Thurmond, 2001) A risk that cannot be wholly accounted for are selection effects, which would limit the transferability of the findings (LeCompte & Goetz, 1982). To mitigate these effects, as much description as was feasible was provided about the participants, which was aided by the transcript s field notes, and video record of the focus groups. Dependability refers to the extent that results would be similar if the study was repeated (Ary et al., 2010). The quantitative definit ion of reliability, whereby the same methods lead to the same results, cannot be applied to qualitative research (Flick, 2006). Reliability in qualitative research is dependent upon explication of the process from start to finish (Flick, 2006). The audit t rail is a means of helpi ng to ensure this dependability (Ary et al., 2010) By maintaining the audit trail, an external party can review the information to make assessments of the results of the study in terms of how decisions were made and if results are The data source triangulation mentioned
84 earlier also helps ensure the dependability of the data through corroboration of multiple data sources (Ary et al., 2010). Con firmability refers to the general neutrality of the study (Ary et al., 2010). The au dit trail aids the confirmability of the study by allowing the research process to be reviewed externally (McMillan & Schumacher, 2010) The external party has the ability al., 2010, p. 504). Peer debriefing and member checking also aid confirmability because they allow for evaluation of results by individuals other than the research an alyzing the results thus allowing the corroboration of the findings (Ary et al., 2010) Researcher Subjectivity Clarification of researcher bias allows the reader to understand potential researcher biases that could affect the research process (Creswell, 2007). I do not have any direct affiliation with the forestry industry. Indirectly, I have ties to forestry through acquaintances who are more directly affected by the industry. Effects of my subjective views of forestry should, therefore, be limited in s cope, though they could still be present. Though I am not a member of any political party, my political views tend to be liberal. I tend to support policies that support the environment and natural resources and government regulat ion to protect those resou rces. Another area of potential bias is my background in communications through work, research, teaching, and student experiences. Through these experiences, I have my own perceptions of how organizations should communicate that could differ from participa
85 s communications by another researcher. I had access to the materials and the results prior to beginning the focus groups, which could also be a groups: they were not focusing on a single message; they were diluting the brand website was not user friendly for those unfamiliar with the organization and the website. Every attempt will be made to s eparate my viewpoints from the viewpoints of the participants, including keeping an open mind during the analysis of the data. Interpretations will be made based on the information participants provided, specifically using quotations as evidence, and discr epant findings will be reported to help provide Another potential source of bias was that the project was funded by FFS. Though there was a need to meet the the purpose of this study. Summary external brand of the organization. Focus groups were used to understand Florida perceptions of the Florida Forest Service, which all ow group discussions of conducted: four with urban residents and two with rural residents Participants were recruited by the Florida Survey Research Center. The focus groups wer e video and audio recorded, and a note taker took thorough notes. The audio was transcribed
86 Table 3 1. Florida Survey Research Center phone call information. Focus Group Sample Size Call Dates Calls Made Potential Participants Orlando (2 groups) 3 600 Aug. 29 31 3 117 60 Tallahassee urban 2 000 Sept. 7 1 661 52 Tallahassee rural 2 000 Aug. 31 Sept. 2 6 3 418 48 Gainesville 2 700 Sept. 6 10, 12 13, and 15 5 450 43 Ft Myers 2 000 Sept. 9 10 and 12 13 3 367 48
87 Table 3 2. Demographic characteristics of participants for Florida Forest Service focus groups. Orlando #1 Orlando #2 Tallahassee Rural Tallahassee Urban Gainesville Ft. Myers Total 9 9 8 10 7 9 Gender Male 3 4 5 5 4 3 Female 6 5 3 5 3 6 Outdoor Recreation No 4 3 1 3 1 3 Yes 5 6 7 7 6 6 Income a Less than $20,000 0 0 3 0 3 2 $20,000 35,000 3 3 3 2 2 1 $35,000 50,000 3 3 2 4 0 0 $50,000 75,000 1 2 0 2 2 2 More than $75,000 2 0 0 2 0 3 Ethnicity Black or African American 2 1 0 3 1 1 White 7 7 8 7 5 6 Asian/Pacific Islander 0 0 0 0 0 0 Native American 0 0 0 0 0 0 Other 0 1 0 0 0 2 Hispanic Yes 0 2 0 0 1 2 No 9 7 8 10 6 7 a One
88 Table 3 3. Demographic characteristics for the state of Florida, as reported in the 2010 U.S. census (United States Census 2010). Demographic % Gender Male 48.9 Female 51.1 Ethnicity Black or African American 17.0 White 77.1 Asian/Pacific Islander 3.2 Native American 0.9 Other 4.5 Hispanic Yes 22.5 No 77.5 Note The median income for household income in Florida is $44, 243
89 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS 1) Service ? 2) What constitutes the Forest Service? 3) How does being a public organization affect perceptions of the Florida Forest Service brand ? The findings are further subdivided within the research questions into t hemes and sub themes RQ 1: What Forest Service ? A major issue facing FFS was a lack of brand saliency for the participants. Prior to being told of the name change, participants were as ked if they had heard of DOF. The majority of participants said they had heard of DOF. But when participants were asked earlier what state agency was res ponsible for forests in Florida, o nly the rural Tallahassee group had a participant mention the Divisio n of Forestry by name, though the other five groups had participants who said Department of Forestry. A questionnaire awareness and perceived importance of different FF S activiti es ( Appendix F ; Figure 4 1, 4 2). In general, the organizational activities participants were most aware of were also the activities participants perceived as most important, though no activities were considered unimportant. Overall, the participants perceived all of the activities as more important to the state of Florida than to them as individuals, with the greatest disparity for recreation oriented activities. Though the results were similar, rural participants
90 perceived t he activities as being more important than urban participants (Figure 4 3, 4 4). Participants also attributed the care of forests in Florida to o ther organizations, though not always by the official name s. These organizations included the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Department of Environmental Protection. These similar organizations also tended to lack salience with participants. While the brand of FFS lacked salien ce there were aspects of FFS and its purpose that were salient, as well as themes affecting the general saliency of FFS. The themes addressing the first research question were the importance of forests, brand identifiers, and external communications. Imp ortance of Forests The first theme perception of the importance of forests. This perceived importance was multifaceted, including sub themes of n ature, uses and need to be protected. One of the asp ects of the nature sub theme was the positive benefit forests had on air quality. One Ft. Myers participant Participants also viewed forests as important for flora and fauna. In regards to animals, a rural Tallaha I and to me, basically, I mean we humans take advantage of it, what the basic function is, habitat and the atmosphere, t hat kind of thing, yeah. viewed forests as untouched by man. A Gainesville participant said Usually in an ecosystem that has been there for a while, especially things that are like a st ate forest or a national forest, you have got a reas that have
91 not really been [trampled] on so much by man. different kinds of plants and flora and fauna in there. The second sub theme included the various uses for f orests. One type of use was rec reation A rural Tallahassee participant said It is a nice place to take a good walk and have a feeling of well being. Another type of use that was salient with participants was business. A Gainesville participant said Well, I need to just to talk about the money part. There is a lot of lumber. It has to be done, unless we come up with some better materials. The business use, specifically development, was also perceived by participants as a threat to forests. A participant in the s econd Orlando focus group said I lived in Boca for a while, and there was this forest that was relatively near our development I t was beautiful because it ha d wild orchids all through it. And one day, the bulldozers showed up and it just became this vast. as f ar as you can see of wasteland. ver did build the development. They just tore it all out and put it for sale. It was sad. The third sub theme was participants perceiving that forests need to b e protected. The participants perceived that p eople through individual actions and development which was discussed in the preceding sub theme as threats to forests. In regard to individual actions a Gainesville participant who worked with children in Boy Scouts and Adventuring said Lack of consideration for the outdoors and just carelessness . Everybody loves to make a fire, but then there is a difference between a bonfire and just a moderate fire that you can enjoy and cook with and sit aroun d and enjoy. There is no need to be waste ful. We try to teach [the children ] that. Participants also perceived w ildfires as threats to forests. Some of the participants talked about the importance of prescribed burns for protecting forests from larger fir es. A Ft. Myers participant said I think of the controlled burns as management, so if there
92 A participant in the second Orlando focus group said Controlled wildfires to keep the undergrowth from causin g wildfire s at a natural time. I think it is a very unknown thing to the public, and they need more education that sometimes controlled forest fires are necessary because otherwise much larger wildfires happen. You have to clean the undergrowth out. In nature, thes e massive wildfires that we re the size of states happened. There is evidence of it, and they would happen periodically. Without that, you are in danger of entire states catching on fire if they are not managed properly. Another aspect of this sub theme was protecting forests from natural threats. Another Gainesville participant said I think some of those diseases beetles and stuff, can take over if it is not caught in time. Brand Identifiers Participants used the brand identifiers to identify the organiz as the brand identifiers eliciting different responses from the participants. In particular, the participants were reacting to specific elements of the brand identifiers. The theme of brand identifiers had two sub themes : the name o f the organization and the logo of the organization. theme of brand identifiers. that will be discussed in the second research question the name also act ed as a point of salience for participants. A specific positive aspect of the name was that it sounded One Ft.
93 While salient for some participants, the name also led to uncertainty for others Another participant in the second Orland o focus group said The second sub theme for brand identifiers was the logo (Appendix G ) This included the trees in the logo, the shape of the logo, and how the logo would look on uniforms, signs, and so forth. The trees in the logo received mixed reactions from the participants. The positive comme nts about the trees were nonspecific. As one rural Negative reactions to the trees in the logo centered on the specific trees included in the logo. On e urban Tallahassee participant Do the trees look really scrawny trees was participants wanting to be sure the selected trees were native to Florida. One Ft. Myers participants said And I am still trying to puzzle over those trees. I wish that they were t rees that are native to Florida and those might be. The trees were also an illustration of the lack of FFS brand salience. One Gainesville participant who was under If they had maybe a lake in the background, with water and maybe a fish there and animals along the side, it would be a little bit more representative of everything that they do. The next aspect of the logo was its shape, which many participants believed was shaped like a la w enforcement badge. The shape evoked perceptions of authority for some of the participants. A second urban Tallahassee participant said I guess they are saying that we have got some legal pull too. o group said I think when you see it, you will think about the trees, but you will also think about law enforcement too. You will feel secure. The other shape that came to mind for some
94 participants was a highway sign. A participant in the second Orlando group said I would say it looked like a highway sign when I first saw it The last aspect of the logo was how it would look on signs, uniforms, and pamphlets A third urban Tallahassee participant said n a green or a brown uniform, it is going to get lost . If this badge is on a brown or green uniform, then it would get lost, that patch. When the participants were looking at the pamphlets, the DOF/FFS logo helped identify where the pamphlet origina ted from. A second participant in the rural Tallahassee group said We can all read here, and we know that it says that, but without reading it, and without the logo, we would n (Appendix G ), partici pants tended to think the logo was too small. A second participant in the first Orlando group said Yeah, you have got to squint your eyes just to read to see what it says. participant from the first Orlando group replied You see that is where the new one will actually come out a lot better, because it is more clear External Communications This theme consist ed of the elements relating t or lack thereof that affected the brand salience of the organization for the participants. The external communications theme included four sub themes : the FFS brand lacking salience, choice of communication media, audience, and mascots The four sub themes relate to the communi cation practices that participants believed FFS should or should not be engaging in. As was mentioned in the introduction for this research question, the FFS brand lacked salience for participants. This lack of salience led to the first sub theme of the ext ernal communications theme which is the FFS brand lacking salience. When directly
95 asked what state agency was responsible for forests, only the rural Tallahassee group This occurred despit e the fact that the majority of participants saying they had heard of DOF when asked later in the discussion None of the participants were aware of the name change from DOF to FFS that had occurred in the preceding months. Many participants wanted FFS to be more visible to the public. One Ft. Myers participant said A participant in the second Orlando group said This desire for the organization to communicate more was not unopposed, though. It will be discussed more in depth in the third research question, but as one participant in the first Orlando focus group said forests than educating us about what they do? I mean, we see the results of what they do, so we The second sub theme for external communications was the choice of communication media. Responses from participants differed, ill ustrating the variety of communication channels needed to reach a broad group Communication channels mentioned by a majority of the groups were Internet based communications, billboards/highway signs, broadcast communications, and paper based communicatio ns. For communications that were intended to reach the individual participants directly, results again varied. The two most prominent responses were Internet based communications and mail. For Internet based communications, an urban Tallahassee participant said So, killing trees to tell me about them. That would piss me off. (laughter) We are going to stop having mail in about a year or two L
96 really do think electronic communication and in a way tha t is non obtrusive. Where if there is a need to publicize things, just to make it something not just junk e mail that you are going to put in your spam filter, but something where there is value to what you are getting from the e mail so that y P articipants who did not have access to Internet based communications preferred traditional mail One participant in the first Orlando focus group said mail. Y ou are going to have to send me a Other participants did not believe that e mail or direct mail communications would be effective. Another urba n Tallahassee participant said I would feel that most people are going to throw the mail in the can. That e mail, they are goi all that great. I think you should just save the money and do something e lse besides try to communicate. theme Many participants believed FFS s hould communicate with everyone ; as one urban Tallahassee participant While this was mentioned in five of the focus groups, more specific groups were also mentioned. Children and schools were one of the more specific groups. One particip ant in the second Orlando focus group said Working with schools, if you want to preserve the forests, get children caring about it and take that passion Another more specific group was fore st users such as people involved in the timber industry or recreation. A Ft. Myers participant said What they might want to target is these places that sell four wheelers and things that people want to take out into the woods and go off the roads where supposed to do. So, if they gave some information to those places to distribute when they sold those vehicles.
97 While the majority of participants favored communicating with broad group s, not all participants favored communicating with everyone. Similar to the preceding sub theme relating to communication channel choice, a rural Tallahassee participant said To mail to everybody would be an extreme expense, just to get the message to a fe a small portion of their services apply to the general public that they actually nput for or to participate in. To express their opinion of there being a disconnec t between urban residents and rural areas, a Gainesville participant said We will never make them country people anyway, no matter how much we educate them. audience was, the groups that emerged consistently were c hildren/schools and forest users. The last sub theme that emerged was mascots. T hroughout the focus groups there were repeated mentions of bears, including Smokey Bear and Yogi Bear even though p articipants were never asked about the bears or mascots in g eneral Yogi Bear was mentioned in four of the focus groups. In two of those groups, Yogi Bear was mentioned when the participants saw the new FFS logo. A participant in the second Orlando group said I can see [the logo] with Yogi Bear and a picnic baske t. Yogi Bear was mentioned when the participants were asked about forests and forest management. Smokey Bear was mentioned in five of the focus groups which related to m any of the participants wanting FFS to have a mascot. A part icipant in the first Orlando focus group said and the message of preventing forest fires were salient, salience was not transferring to FFS, which can use Smokey Bear. Participants did not know wh at organization was responsible for Smokey Bear, with confusion present about if U nited States Forest
98 Service FFS, or U nited States Park Service w ere responsible for Smokey Bear. In Maybe that the Forest Service really does. We talke d about conservation, the parks, recreation RQ 2 : Florida Forest Service ? Another issue facing the FFS brand was its lack of differentiation from similar organizations. This lack Because the participants were not fully aware of what FFS and the similar organizations. The consequences of not being able to distinguish between the organizations will be addressed more fully in the third research question, but it is rooted in a lack of brand differentiation. While the lack of differentiation affected the other organizations as well as FFS, the themes that were affecting the differentiation of the FFS brand were forests and natural resources organizations and communications There is overlap with themes from the first research question because there is a relationship between brand salience and b rand differentiation. There is also overlap with the third research question in regard to the importance for public organizations to be differentiated from each other. Forests and Natural Resources Organizations The scope of the organizations, specifically forestry and natural resources, was one of the themes affecting the differentiation of FFS from similar organizations. There
99 were two subthemes : overlap of natural resources organizations and forestry as a point of differentiation. An issue facing FFS was the lack of differentiation that was occurring. When looking at a list of DOF/FFS and similar organizations, a participant in the first Orlando group said A lot of duplication . Participants perceived t hat there was overlap among the organizations because the different organizations operated in forests and natural resources areas. In some cases, activities of other organizations were being attributed to FFS by participants, though this was often correcte d by other participants. A Gainesville participant said I would imagine that they are the ones that do the training for park rangers, so that they, in turn, can manage the parks that they are in charge of, as well as educa te those that come to enjoy it. In response a second Gainesville participant said . I could be mistaken. And that may have changed. Because for a while I was looking into trying to get on as park staff because I thought th at would just be the perfect job, as far as I could see. Not all participants believed that there should be a lot of differentiation between the organizations. A third Gainesville participant said know, why should the They shouldn be distant from them becaus e they can all help each other. I mean, like major catastroph es or like big fires, you know. They should all work together at helped create differentiation for some participants. A participant in the second Orlando focus group said It seems to, just by the name Forestry, I would think their main focus would be the botanicals as opposed to, necessarily, the wildlife populat ion A Ft. Myers participant said
100 If I am looking at this definition, I am looking up there and seeing what I believe the other services provide. I think that they do provide a distinctive, different service so it sounds like it might be more of a marketi ng question. How can they differentiate themselves? It sounds like what they do is different from what you know, if I look at the Florida Park Service, or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Communications The communications theme includes sub themes of b rand identifiers and external communications. These communications related concepts affected the differentiation of the FFS brand from similar organizations. There were two aspects fo r the brand identifiers sub theme as points of differentiation: the name and the logo. For the aspect of the organization name s participants were using the components of the name s to f igure out what the organization s activities were and wh ere the organizations operated. In regards to the new FFS name, o ne Gainesville partici pant said I think it well defines what they are doing as the service. What you have got up there is the Florida Forest Service, U S Forest Service, then you go into the Park Services, and then you go into Wildlife and Fish ; two different organizations. O participant said While the participants were using the n ames to figure out what these organizations did, they were also aware that the names could be misleading. Friends of Florida Forests, which is a non profit organization whose mission is to support programs within Florida state forests, was one of the organ izations participants viewed. In reference to Friends of Florida Forests, a n urban Tallahassee participant said
101 I would say that when you get, you know, things that start to sound like this passed that was abou t relaxing air pollution laws. I suspect it is a non profit and I su spect they involve people, p art of me thinks B ut if you told me that it was all about cutting forests dow n, I would totally believe it b ecause it sounds like what you would call your organization if that is what you were about. When look ing at the pamphlets (Appendix G ), the inclusion of both the names of the Division of Forestry and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services caused some confusion. For participant in the first Orlando group said This says the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and then the Division of Forestry. Maybe it needs to be two different entities? Or is t hat two different directorates ? Good Lord For the Checklist of Birds pamphlets, there was some confusion for participants regarding who was responsible for the pamphlets. A different participant in the first Orlando focus group said ife [Conservation Commission] just because I know what their logo is and there is bird s and fish on that, I believe. There is nothing on this, just the front, that has anything to do with the forest, other than birds live in forests, which there are birds in the city For the aspect of the logo relating to differentiation, the misattribution of activities to FFS from the first research question is also relevant A third Gainesville participant said I T hat logo leads one to believe that it is just about forests Another aspect & helped them understand the relationship between FFS and FD ACS to differentiate between the two organizations. answers one of the questions we had a few minutes ago of if they still remained a division of the Agriculture Department This nature of the hierarchy,
102 though, was not apparent to all participants. A participant in the second Orlando focus group said I think it looks like Agriculture and Consumer Services follows underneath The sub theme of external c ommunications affecting brand differentiation relates to the lack of salience. When speaking about how DOF fit in the state organizational hierarchy, an urban Tallahassee participant said llion dollars the differences between al l three of those U S departments. I could tell you with utter certainty that they are under the Department of the Interior. It is a point that will be expounded in the third research question, but participants wante d to know the purposes of the different organizations and why they sho uld each be receiving money. Another urban Tallahassee participant said It looks like a lot of redundancy. I think it leads to confusion. I think that if they could streamline it and ha ve just one organization that is responsible for it. And then they could have little divisions among them, I think it would be a lot be tter than all that. My opinion. RQ 3: the Florida Forest Service Brand ? The FFS brand is in a unique position because it represents a public organization. There were expectations affecting the FFS brand that were grounded in FFS being a public organization. While there were sections of the focus group that explicitly communications ma terials often took politics and the nature of public organization into consideration and colored The themes addressing the third research question were financial responsibility, providing something valuable and integrity
103 Financial Responsibility A major theme of being a public organization that affect ed branding was financial responsibility. The sub themes wer e justifying the purpose of the organization, duplication of efforts, external communications, and revenue generation. Participants wanted to know the purpose of the organization, which was also mentioned in the external communications theme in the second research question. A participant in the second Orlando focus group said to and why money should keep going there because as they talk about budget cuts and whatnot, I get angrier and angrier about the cuts in educati on Part of this justification was providing measurable results. The same participant in the second Orlando focus group said nd of get lost in the shuffle. That becomes even more im portant when the feds are looking at where to cut the budgets and whoever has communicated the best and most effectively what they do, why they are important, and shown the measurable results of their work over a succinct period of time; those are the agen cies that stay and continue to get money while the others bite the dust and start to look for careers elsewhere. Participants did not want to perceive a duplication of efforts between different government organizations This led to the second sub theme of d uplication of efforts because participants were not able to clearly distinguish between the different organizations and their differing purposes. A participant from the second Orlando focus group said ave to have clearly defined, non non A piece of this perceived overlap was caused by participants not understanding the o rganizational
104 hierarchy these different organizations fit into. A suggestion related to this hierarchy was offered by one of the urban Tallahassee participants, who said It seems like you could have one particular regulatory agency T hey could probably include all of the state ones there, and the federal ones with another one and I think probably you could lump some of these as ju st subdivisions of one big one. perceptions of it bei ng a public organization. This sub theme of external communications relates to the themes of external communications from the first two research questions. In contrast to many of the participants wanting FFS to communicate its purpose, some participants did not want a public organization spending money on communicating its purpose, as opposed to spending money accomplishing its purpose. A participant in the first Orlando focus group said Changing the name, I personally think, is an incredible waste of money You could probably pay 10 teacher s salaries for the money spent on enacting this change and it is only because some bureaucrat had to put his stamp on the property. Another specific area of external communication mentioned was the inclusion of the FFS distributes. In reference to a pamphlet that had a sticker with the name of a new FFS We have got to spend tax payer s be on here. A solution favored by some of the participants was using websites to lower communication costs. The premise behind communicating through the website for many participants w as if someone wanted information about the organization, they could go find the information online. A nother participant in the first Orlando group said You can get it on the I nternet
105 The last sub theme of the financial responsibility theme was some part icipants expressing the desire for public organizations to generate their own revenue. A participant from the second Orlando focus group said everything and that is why we are having these cuts. So, agencies need to find clever w A way of creating revenue was mentioned by a F t. Myers participant, who said [selling] trees Providing Something Valuable The basic premise of this theme was participants wanting public organizations to provide something that was valuable, either to individuals, the public, or natural resources. The sub themes were protection, control, and aid. For the sub th eme of protection, participants valued government organizations providing this function. In reference to police and military, a Ft. Myers participant said There would be nothing without them. You know they are there to get your back. You hope nothing hap pens, but you know they are there to get your back. This aspect of protection was also discussed in the first research question under the protection of forests theme With FFS specifically, participants valued FFS protecting natural resources and protecti ng people and forests from fires. An urban Tallahassee participant said You have to hav e somebody to be the overseer b ecause people will try to take advantage of our natural resources. protection from invasive sp ecies. A participant in the second Orlando focus group said A good example of forest management, I think would be the Australian pine tree that they had planted all over south Florida and then they found out that it had such a negative effect on the envir onment . T hey killed every single one in sout h Florida that they could find.
106 In reference to protection from fires, a Gainesville participant said They are managing maybe doing controlled burns and so on. Then we have less worry of major forest fir es affecting the area where we may live In regards to protecting private property, a participant in the first Orlando focus group said If they are managing the forests in Texas right now. The next su b theme was the expectation for public organizations to exert control through regulations O ne urban Tallahassee participant said society in order, what is it? Order to, you know, like the driving regulations, people would be driving all over the place. But we have streets, lights and In regard to natural resources a participant in the second Orlando focus group said a dirty word today to a lot of people, but without regulation you have got chaos. You saw it in the last decade, where you let people go, I mean, totally different spectrum, but on Wall Street. Greed, unfortunately, greed will trump what are our instincts to preserve natural resources. So, I think you have to have regulation, I really do. In reference to the timber industry, another participant in the second Orlando focus group said To make sure they are replanting in the areas that they are using it, so that they are always keeping i t, making sure that the forests are still there. While this control and regulation was something that participants recognized as necessary, it was also something that could be perceived negatively. Another urba n Tallahassee participant said [Regulation i s a] necessary evil. I mean there are so many things that we They protect us, they protect the wildlife, protect the fores t, the other natural resources. But then sometimes, the evil part of it just being bogged down in you kn o n first and what is on secon d.
107 The third sub theme is for public organizations providing aid. To provide an example of a government organization that was valued, a participant in the first Orlando focus group said The reason why I said [Florida Department of] Children and Families is because I have four kids, I am a single parent and they help me a lot with my kids. So, you know, I get a lot of help from them. They give a lot of help. T hey help you a lot. For FFS, many of the participants were unaware of the assistance provided for private landowners. A rural Tallahassee participant had received assistance from FFS before and said I know that is important, but with the reduced value of forestry products over the l ast few years, that is not nearly as important as it used to be . But it is still a Providing education and information was an aspect of the aid sub theme A nother rural Tallahassee participant said the counties have you call it. They do it with farmers, they talk to farmers about how to grow crops and stuff. And foresters or whatever, forestry management, they can go out and or people can ask questions on their private p roperty about how to manage the trees, the envir onment on their own land. I think that is important too. An urban Tallahassee participant said They have got the latest information on what is going on with the forests, from a fire standpoint drought inde x, and stuff like that. Another part of this education component relates to educating youth, which was discussed in the first research question. A Gainesville participant said I would think more towards the ones that are going to be a little bit more imp ressionable, would be younger teenagers. Give them drastic comparisons. Something that has been taken care of and still looks great today in comparison to something that has been neglected or destroyed through wh atever; oil spills, for example, w hat can ha ppen if it is not managed properly. And as they are getting older, it is a responsibility that they need to be aware of
108 Integrity The theme of integrity relates to a broad level of public organizations being expected to be ethical and moral. The sub themes for the integrity theme were financial responsibility, clear communications, and fairness of the organization The sub theme of financial responsibility obviously relates to the broader financial responsibility theme This sub theme could also have been pla ced within the financial responsibility theme as the integrity sub theme The choice was made for it to be included in the integrity theme because the responses appeared to be interested in the financial responsibility of the organization as an outgrowth of integrity. One aspect of this sub theme related to the integrity of the individuals within the organization and how they were compensated for their work. A participant in the second Orlando focus group said I think integrity of the entire organization is a standard that people in and Wildlife [Conservation Commission] is pulling in 180 grand a year and works a 20 hour week, six months of the year. Another aspect of this sub theme was participants wanting the organization to put incoming monies toward the purpose of the organization. Another participant in the second Orlando focus group said trustworthy and loya l to the cause ? You know, everything that you accumulate This also related to which was mentione d in the first research question under the external communications theme
109 The sub theme of clear communications had different aspects that basically amounted to participants wanting there to be a clear dialogue between public organizations and the public. I n a discussion of representing everyone, a Gainesville Are [the people in the government] listening to the people? Or are they making their own decisions? broad group of people, an other Gainesville participant said T he group that is going to get benefits from [what the government organization is talking about] they are going to know. Word is going to get back to them that this is available, but how do you get i nformation to a broa d populous? Rural participants were the only ones to mention specific instances where they wish ed FFS would have communicated with them directly. A third Gainesville participant wanted to be forewarned of controlled burns, and said My son has asthma. I wish they would let us know when they are going to do a controlled burn. No notice, except when you drive up the ro ad, you Turn your lights on, smoke ahead. A rural Tallahassee participant wanted to know when burn permits wer e necessary and said does not ] put out that kind of information out. While participants wanted there to be clear communications, not all participants wanted all public organizations to communicate with all members of the public, which was a compon ent of FFS audience sub theme in the external communications theme in the first research question. A nother rural Tallahassee participant said mailing. Just have a website. Times are tough. ll that money on postage There were some participants who thought public organizations intentionally did not share information. A participant in the first Orlando focus group said ike it is real hush hush.
110 another participant said The third s ub theme in the integrity theme is fairness of the organization This is with regard to the organization balancing multiple interests in its actions. This balancing of interests can be very specific to individuals or broader fairness of balancing business a nd private interests. For FFS, interests to balance included business and natural interests. Participants perceived that one of the major threats to forests was People just look at the effects of deforestation. d to the protection function that was valued by participants. In response to being provided a definition of fore st management (Appendix G ) participants were asked how their perc eptions of forest management were different than their perceptions before hearing the definition A participant in the second Orlando group said Well, maybe even more protection, because if you find that there is some kind of natural resource there and then all of a sudden everyone is saying well then, take the forest down and get the natural resource. protected, then keep it protected. An aspect of fairness of the organization is th inking beyond immediate benefits. A Ft. Myers participant said I think planning for the next generation or generations to come Specific to FFS and the forestry industry, a nother participant in the second Orlando focus group said Forestry is a huge in dustry F rom what I understand they have [a] 16.6 billi on dollar industry in Florida. I would assume that the Division of Forestry is all over that to make sure that it stays a sustainable industry.
111 Summary of Findings The FFS brand and its activities la cked salience with the participants. Aspects related to FFS and its activities that were salient with the participants were forests being important to the participants and those who protect forests being valued by the participants. The new name of the orga nization helped identify the context of the organization but did not provide enough information for some participants. The logo helped identify the context of the organization through the inclusion of trees, but the trees themselves received mixed reaction s from participants. Participants were mixed about increasing communications to improve salience. For those opposed, it was related to FFS being a public organization. As for what communication channels the participants would recommend, a variety of commun ication channels were mentioned. Participants generally believed FFS should be communicating with everyone but mentioned youth and forest users as primary audiences. The FFS brand also lacked differentiation from similar organizations for participants. Th to the related areas was an area that aided differentiation. ne w FFS created less differentiation from the similar organizations for participants, the the inclusion participants. brand differentiation for FFS.
112 Different aspects of being a public organization affected the FFS brand. To justify public funding for the organization, participants wanted to know what the organization did, though not all participants wanted the organization to spend money on external c ommunications given that it was publicly funded. Knowing the purpose of the organization was also related to the organization being distinct from other organizations to avoid duplication of efforts. Participants also believed it would be beneficial if FFS could generate some of its own revenue. Participants wanted the organization to provide something of value. These included protection, which could include people and resources; control, which would consist of regulations to ensure order; and providing aid, which information or other types of assistance to help individuals or organizations. Participants also had an expectation of integrity for public organizations. This included the organization being financially responsible, communicating clearly with the p ublic, and the overall fairness of the organization in its actions and decisions.
113 Figure 4 Figure 4 Florida Forest Service activities. Scale ranged from 1 = unimportant to 5 = important. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Overall Rural Urban 1 2 3 4 5 Importance to You Importance to Florida
114 Figure 4 for perceived importance of Florida Forest Service activities to themselves. Sca le ranged from 1 = unimportant to 5 = important. Figure 4 for perceived importance of Florida Forest Service activities to Florida. Scale ranged from 1 = unim portant to 5 = important. 1 2 3 4 5 Rural Urban 1 2 3 4 5 Rural Urban
115 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS, DISCUSSION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS This chapter begins with conclusions and implications related to the findings of the study from the preceding chapter. This is followed by recommendations for the practices of public organizations and research regarding branding and public organizations. The chapter concludes with a summary. Conclusions and Implications RQ 1: Forest Service? FFS suffere d from a lack of brand salience, which can be more important than brand image for success (Anscheutz, 1997; Ehrenberg et al., 1997; Miller & Berry, 1998). Though the majority of participants stated they had heard of FFS then DOF when asked, the c are of Florida forests was not associated with FFS unprompted, and they also misattributed the activities of other organizations to FFS when asked what said they were aware of FFS, t he FFS brand suffe red from a lack of salience based on how brand salience was operationalized by Ehrenberg et al. (1997) and Romaniuk and Sharp (2004) which went beyond awareness to include only brands that the public would consider choosing Without this salience, there i s not the automatic selection of FFS in the minds of the public for the protection of Florida forests (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). This lack of political environment of reducing public spending (Hoggett, 2006; Moore, 1995; Pillow, 2011). Three themes emerged for the first research question: the importance of forests, brand identifiers, and external communications.
116 While the FFS brand was not salient, the first theme of th e importance of forests was salient similar to results by Schmithsen and Wild Eck (2000) One aspect of this their role in the ecosystem, their role in wildlife habitat, or them be ing viewed as something untouched by man. Participants also viewed forests as important for various uses, including recreation and business, though these uses could also be perceived as threats to forests. Themes relating to people were the most prominent threats to forests, including development and the actions of individuals. P articipants were also aware of natural threats, such as fire and invasive species. This perception of the importance of forests relates to the brand salience of FFS. While forests w ere valued organizations that ensured the long term health of forests were also valued but having a positive brand image may not be as important for brand success as brand salience (Miller & Berry, 1998) Protecting Florida forests could be a message tha t FFS focus es on to improve brand salience. Though public organizations have multiple roles they must represent to the public (Hoggett, 2006; W raas, 2008, 2010), this basic message encompasses the various duties of FFS. of branding, focusing on a specific message will improve brand success. A consistent message is also important for marketing activities, including communication campaigns (Thorson & Moore, 1996 ; Weiss & Tschirhart, 1994) It would be beneficial for other public organizations to determine what aspects of their activities are salient and valued by the public. Because of the restrictions to external communication indicated by this study and literature (Whelan et al., 2010), message salience becomes more impor tant of ensuring overall brand salience for public organizations.
117 The second theme was ing salience. T he name was used to identify the context (i.e., forests) and location (i.e., name, the inclusion chosen trees were not always perceived positively. The logo being shaped like a badge also evoked feelings of authority from many of the participants. Participants were also cognizant of how t he logo would look on different materials, including uniforms, signs, and pamphlets. included in brand identi fiers. The third theme of e xternal communications of FFS was an important aspect of the brand salience problem. There was not enough awareness of FFS for it to have salience with regard to the responsibility of Florida forests. This lack of salience was a lso present for the similar organizations addressed in the study. Researchers have external environment for brand success : though this presence is not likely to change perceptions of the brand, it can affect salience of the brand and salience of brand attributes, similar to agenda setting (Ehrenberg et al., 1997; Franzen & Moriarty, 2009; Miller & Berry, 1998 ; Scheufele & Tewksbury, 2007 ) Without a basic level of awareness, organizations cannot achieve brand salience. Part of this process of improving brand salience through external communications was the choice of communication media which need to be chosen appropriately for
118 effective communication campaigns (Weiss & Tschirhart, 1994) Partici preferences varied, which indicated that a variety of communication channels would be necessary to reach a broad group of the population. While Internet based communications were preferred to reach the public directly, not all members of the public will have access to the Internet. The necessity of reaching this broad group was should include everyone, though children and forest users were mentioned as groups that could be targeted m ore specifically. This idea of having to reach everyone relates to the assertion by Kruckeberg and Vujnovic (2010) that focusing on specific publics is more difficult because of technology and globalism. Having to reach everyone could complicate ity to target its audience during communication campaigns which literature suggests would be more successful when audience segments are targeted (Weiss & Tschirhart, 1994) improve brand salience. The broader the audience, the more difficult it will be to reach all audience seg ments. This concept of considering everyone may become necessary given the assertion by Kruckeberg and Vujnovic (2010) that multiple publics may be an outdated way o f thinking. This is because of the potential for multiple publics to form and dissolve quickly because of globalism and technology. Another avenue of improving brand salience through external communications was mascots. The success of Smokey Bear as an adv ertising campaign has been documented (Capello, 1999; Donovan & Brown, 2007) and was exhibited with Smokey Bear being salient with participants when discussing forests as was Yogi Bear FFS did not have a clear mascot. FFS can use Smokey Bear, but Smokey Bear is also
119 associated with the United States Forest Service, as well as other state forest services ( Smokey Bear, n.d. ) Along with the risk of blurred lines of differentiation of sharing a mascot, there is another downside of using Smokey Bear as a mascot. Like those who have questioned whether the success of the Smokey Bear advertising campaign was beneficial to forests ( B rown, 1999; Dods, 2002; Donovan & Brown, 2007; Jacobson et al., 2001), a Gainesville participant questioned There is a raccoon mascot for Florida Wildfire Prevention, which is operated by FFS, named Rocco but it was never mentioned by participants A problem facing the development of any mascot for FFS is the inherent competition that will occur with Smokey Bear. Smokey Bear has a significant amount of brand equity, which is basically the strength of the brand with stakeholders (Fran zen & Moriarty, 2007), because of the success of Smokey Bear campaign (Capello 1999; Donovan & Brown, 2007). It is likely that it will be difficult for any developed mascot to out compete Smokey Bear in terms of garnering brand salience because of this pr e existing brand equity. RQ 2: Florida Forest Service? Like brand salience, FFS also suffered from a lack of brand differentiation. Under which stat e s that brands are more likely to be c h o s en if they are relevant and distinct from competing brands this lack of The lack of brand salience hurt brand differentiation (Carpenter et al., 1994; F ranzen & Moriarty, 2009) Because awareness was low for FFS and its activities, it hurt brand from similar organizations. Other public organizations should be aware of this
120 relationship between salience and differentiatio n. The themes that emerged were forests and natural resources organizations and communications. The first theme was which could aid and hurt brand differentiation This relationship hurt differen tiation when participants were being asked about similar organizations. When the organizations were viewed as operating in a similar context of natural resources overlap was perceived between the organizations The focus on forestry, though, aided differe ntiation. When focusing on forests, not just natural resources more differentiation was perceived between the organizations and their activities. While viewing the organizations in a broader natural resources context hurt brand from the other organizations, concentrating on the care of forests helped differentiate FFS from the other organizations. By focusing on a message of protecting forests to increase salience, FFS can also use that salient brand characteristic to improve brand differentiation (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). Through salient and differentiated characteristics, FFS can generate more favorable evaluations by the public through communications (Thorson & Moore, 1996) Other public organizations should be aware of the potential for perceived overlap with similar organizations to improve brand differentiation. The second theme of communications or lack thereof also affected differentiation. As with brand salience, a lack of external communications hurt br and differentiation because of low awareness of FFS and its activities Like brand salience, other public organization s should be aware of the need for awareness before brand differentiation can occur. The new name also affected differentiation, though the valence of the effect
121 varied hindered differentiation because many of the similar organizations were also included ile brands need to stand apart from competitors to be successful, they also have to be similar enough to be considered part of the same brand category when the public makes decisions ( Kornberger, 2010 ). Because awareness of all of the organizations and the ir activities was low and completely nonexistent the names of the organizations were used to identify the purposes, illustrating the importance of organization names. For the logo, the trees helped give context to the organization, which c ould aid differentiation, but the of FDACS caused confusion for some participants, though it helped others understand the organizational structure if they knew that FD ACS was the parent organization. In cases of organizational hierarchy, the inclusion of the parent brand can cause confusion. RQ 3: the Florida Forest Service Brand? An important cha racteristic of the FFS brand is that it represents a public organization. Being a public organization affected perceptions of the brand and what could be done to improve brand perceptions. The themes were financial responsibility, providing something valua ble, and integrity. The first theme of the consequences from being a public organization was an expectation of financial responsibility. This included both justifying the purpose of the organization, and the organization serving a distinct purpose from si milar organizations. This is important given the political and financial climate that is leading to cuts in
122 government spending (Pillow, 2011). The participants wanted to know the purpose of the organization and if it was distinct in order to justify funding the organization. Because of the lacking brand salience and differentiation, FFS was hurt in terms of justifying the purpose of the organizat ion as being distinct from similar organizations. While many participants wanted FFS to increase communications to achieve this purpose, others did not want FFS spending money communicating its purpose; they wanted FFS to spend money accomplishing its purp ose. This is in line with Whelan et al. (2010) stating that money spent communicating purely for the sake of fostering positive brand relationships could lead to negative public perceptions of the organization. Because of the need for awareness to precede brand salience and differentiation, this leaves public organizations in a difficult situation. In addition to these perceptions related to the use of public money, many participants wanted FFS to bring in its own revenue, instead of relying on public coffe rs. While functional differences of brands and organizations are easy to copy (de Chernatony, 2001), the re was a desire for public organizations to not overlap on these functional differences. As long as public organizations serve distinct functions, they can avoid depending on emotional differentiation for the success of the ir brand s They can instead rely on their organizational characteristics to differentiate themselves from similar organizations (Aaker, 1996). For FFS, this differentiation would be pr otecting Florida forests. The second theme was providing something valuable. P ublic organizations believed to provide something of value to individuals, to the public as a whole, and/or to natural resources were perceived positively This is in line with the assertion that public
123 organizations depend on public value to remain viable (Hoggett, 2006). Protection was one area that was valued. While this included protection like the police and military provide, protection that occurred through natural resource management was also valued For FFS, this protection included protecting the forests as well as protecting people and forests from fires. C ontrol through regulation function of public organizations which Walsh (1994) stated was a key characteristic of p ublic organizations was valued While some participants thought that regulation could be overdone, they also perceived that it was necessary to provide order. Organizations that provide aid, such as helping people with children were valued As it relates to FFS, aid that was perceived positively was assistance for landowners, as well as providing education and information to various groups. Even though not all participants perceive d as a public organization (Hoggett, 2006; Moore, 1995). Valuing the multiple roles of public organizations being is reflective of the view of public organizations being complex (Hoggett, 2006). There was an expectation for public organizations and their employees to have integrity which was the third theme Part of this expectation related to the financial responsibility expectation stated earlier. The participants wanted to be sure that employees were doing the requisite amount of work to justify their salaries. Participants also wanted to know that money going into the organization was being spent accomplishing its purpose, which affected perceptions of external communications of FFS. Integrity also related to the overall fairness of the organization. It was expected for public organizations to balance multiple interests. This related to the idea of control
124 through regulation for FFS because it was believed that private interests would look at short term benefits of cutting down forests as opposed to th e long term detrimental effects of unrestricted cutting. As mentioned earlier, FFS can focus on a message of protecting forests. But if the employees and the organization do not work toward this mission, the FFS brand could be hurt by a loss in credibility ( Wraas 2008, 2010). Credibility improves the chances for brand and communication campaign success (Ehrenberg et al., 1997; Erdem & Swait, 2004; Weiss & Tschirhart, 1994). C lear communications between public organizations and the public was wanted thou gh not all believed this was necessary with all members of the public. The expectation for communications between the public and the organization was two way in that it was expected for public organizations to be open with communications with the public, a nd public organizations were expected to be listening to the public. Two way communications is an important aspect of excellence in public relations (Grunig, 1989). This two way communication is also organi zations depend on a dialogue with the public to maintain legitimacy. The two way dialogue is also necessary for public organizations to go beyond providing value to the point of using a positive brand to be responsive to the needs and perspective of stakeh olders (Whelan et al., 2010). These relationships are important because positive relationships between the organization and stakeholders can help the organization weather crisis situations (Grunig et al., 2002). Summary of Conclusions Awareness of the FFS brand was too low to be salient and differentiated from similar organizations. Addressing the problem is complicated, though, because it is a public organization. The most direct solution would be to increase the presence of the
125 external environment, primarily through mass media, but there is the possibility of perceiving money spent on external communications as a mismanagement of finances (Whelan et al., 2010) This is a double edged sword facing public organizations Public org brand s environment to improve their saliency (Anschuetz, 1996; Ehrenberg et al., 1997; Miller & Berry, 1998; Scheufele & Tewksbury 2007), but they risk hurting the ir brand s if activities to improve salienc y are perceived as a mismanagement of money (Whelan et al., 2010) With the potential for negative perceptions of certain external communications, message salience becomes more important for public organizations to ensure brand salience Based on the media preferences in the study multiple channels of communication wo uld need to be used to reach a broad segment of the population This is necessary because a broad base of people need to be reached if the FFS brand is to attain loyalty with Florida residents (Anschuetz, 1997). If public organizations seek to reach a broad group, then a multimodal communications approach is necessary. This is also complicated if the communications are perceived as financial mismanagement (Whelan et al., 2010) Another complication comes from the findings that some participants perceived FFS should not try to reach all of the public, while others believed FFS should reach everyone. Audience selection is important for marketing purposes (Thorson & Moore, 1996; W eiss & Tschirhart, 1994) but it is complicated because support. On one hand, public organizations need approval from all members of the public, including those who do no t benefit immediately from services (Hoggett, 2006;
126 Kruckeberg & Vujnovic, 2010; Moore, 1995). On the other hand, based on this study, public organizations risk harming perceptions if they actively seek to communicate with all members of the public (Whelan et al., 2010) Recommendations F or Public Organizations Branding Efforts Ensuring the brand presence The first recommendation is to ensure that the brand is present in This a wareness is necessary for salience to occur ( Ehrenberg et al., 1997; Miller & Berry, 1998 ). This is also necessary g iven the importance of brand sa lience for brand success and differentiation which is also suggested by agenda setting research ( Anscheutz 1997; Carroll & McCombs, 2003; Ehrenberg et al., 1997; Franzen & Moriarty, 2009; Miller & Berry, 1998 ) More blic organizations (Carroll & McCombs, 2003; McCombs, 2005). The government can also be responsive to the And as a public organization, brand salience is necessary for justifying the purpose of the organization and brand di fferentiation is necessary to avoid perceptions of duplication of efforts between different public organizations How this will be done, though, is complicated because of the risk that external communications could be perceived as financial mismanagement which affects (Whelan et al., 2010) For FFS specifically, o ne opportunity that exists is when public. Efforts can be made by FFS personnel to increase its presence in news media at
127 these times. This is not as direct of an option of other communication campaigns, but it may not be perceived as a mismanagement of money (Whelan et al., 2010) Other public organizations should look for opportunities to increase the orga presence when their purposes would be more salient with members of the public. Another option may be public service announcements, similar to the Smokey Bear of th e focus groups participants expressed any negative perceptions of the campaign being conducted Campaigns of this nature could serve to increase the presence of financial mis management because the campaigns would be supporting the mission of the organizations not just promoting the organization (Whelan et al., 2010) is to use a variety of communication media when tryin g to reach members of the public. P references varied enough in this study to indicate that multiple avenues are warranted. This approach is environment to ensure brand salience ( Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). Should the public service announcements option be used, utilizing multiple media sources to deliver the message would be advantageous. Leveraging existing resources to promote the brand Because of the financial climate of Florida and the risk for negative perceptions of certain external communications by public organizations (Pillow, 2011; Whelan et al., 2010), public organizations like FFS need to effectively leverage the resources they already have to promote the brand. The next group of recommendations is to use resources efficiently.
128 The first of these recommendations is to create a salient message and brand identifiers A salient message will create a network of perceptual connections to the brand for members of the public ( F ranzen & Moriarty, 2009 ). By creating these connections, the brand is more likely to be remembered and considered when the public is making decisions ( Romaniuk & Sharp, 2006 ). This is important when many public organizations are facing budget cuts that wil l affect their ability to be successful ( Pillow, 2011 public and political support ( Hoggett, 2006; Moore, 1995 ). Improving the salience of the organization can also help differentiate the organization ( Franzen & Moriarty, 2009 ). For organizations that was valued, s the scope The specific words will create connections that are creating message salience (Romaniuk & Sharp, 2006) It is also import ant for the chosen message to be reflective of the organization, its members, and its activities. A message that does not match what the organization actually does could adversely affect perceptions of FFS ( W raas, 2010 ) It is also important for brand identifiers, including the logo and name of the organization, to include salient elements. When participants described their opinions of the brand identifiers, they focused on specific elements to describe why. For DOF/FFS, t he names elicited different types of reactions. DOF elicited perceptions of an
129 should be mindful of word choice when making the decision to change or develop an because of the associations that might occur For the developing of logos and other visual identifiers, other public organizations should be aware of implication s of this study. The participants lacked awareness of FFS and its activities, and that affected their perceptions of what should be included in the logo. Other public organizations should recognize that public awareness of the organization could affect the State specific elements were also wanted in the logo State public organizations should try to include state lic to improve brand salience. The next recommendation is to te s t messages and brand identifiers before implementation. The re sults of this study showed that the public can have associations with different aspects of brand identifiers, which illustrates th e importance of understanding perceptions before implementation. Testing should occur to reduce the risk of unwanted perceptions being associated with the messages or brand i dentifiers that are implemented The short term cost is outweighed by the long ter m risk of implementing the wrong messages or brand identifiers. In this study the changes for the FFS brand were implemented before testing could occur. Rebranding efforts are a financial investment. Had the brand identifiers been poorly received, FFS wou ld have incurred the cost of further changes to brand identifiers or risk ed being stuck with poor brand identifiers. The third recommendation is for public organizations to consistently use messages and brand identifiers. For messages, this means focusing on a consistent, single
130 message for internal and external branding efforts. For external branding efforts, focusing on a specific, consistent message could improve success particularly because it is more likely to be remembered by the public ( Thorson & Moore, 1996; Walvis, 2008; Weiss & Tschirhart, 1994 ). Focusing on this message is important for internal branding because it can serve as a way of uniting organizational members, who are the brand managers of the organization through their interactions wi th members of the public ( de Chernatony, 2001; Kornberger, 2010; Tybout & Calkins 2005 ). And while public organizations have multiple roles they must represent, this message encompasses the scope of (Hoggett, 2006; W raas, 2008, 2010) Ot her organizations The brand identifiers need to be used consistently. Similarly to the message, consistent use of the brand identifiers i s more likely to be remembered (Walvis, 2008) An issue that FFS had prior to this project was the use of multiple logos that were used with specific campaigns and projects ( Kubitz, 2011 ). The use of these competing logos is likely t o dilute the brand because it distracts from main brand identifiers ( Loken et al., 2010 ). It is important for there to be communications personnel who monitor the use of brand identifiers and messages from the organization. This will help prevent the dilut ion Related to leveraging existing resources is the recommendation to ensure that communications has a presence at the table of leadership within public organization s This is considered necessary for an organization to have e xcellent public relations because public relations practices are more likely to be effective when
131 (Grunig, 2006 ; Grunig et al., 2002 ). A nother part of excellen t public relations is having two way symmetrical communication between the organization and its stakeholders which was also indicated by this study (Grunig, 1989). A successful brand is a way to improve relationships with stakeholders, including the publi c (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009; Whelan et al., 2010). This idea of fostering relationships with stakeholders is important if public organizations are to go beyond simply providing public value to a point where public important from the standpoint of strategic communications, which seeks to use all of an communications to aid the organization in accomplishing its goal ( Hallahan et al., 2007). Focusing on both internal and external that both the internal and ext ernal compo nents of the brand are important for success to occur. From the perspective of brand strategies for organizations, having communications personnel as a part of the leadership of the organization is important because brand strategy should be an extension of strategy (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). The final recommendation for leveraging existing resources is about audience segmentation. The results of the this study and work by Kruckeberg and Vujnovic (2010) indicate that targeting specific groups may no longer be a viable option for organizations, in terms of public re lations. That being said, being able to target a specific audience is considered more effective in marketing, and there were participan ts
132 who believed FFS should only communicate with groups who interacted with forests (Thorson & Moore, 19 96; Weiss & Tschirhart, 1994). Until further work can be conducted to better determine the appropriate audiences of public organizations, public organiz ations should target specific audiences for marketing efforts when there are specific goals in mind. The costs of target ed marketing will be lower than marketing to the general public. As for engaging with the entire public, public organizations should est ablish a solid web presence, which was suggested by many of the participants. This includes social media, which is typically free of charge to use. Operating with integrity The final recommendation for branding public organizations is for the organization and its members to operate with integrity. While the message of protecting Florida forests has salience, it loses its worth if FFS and all of its employees are not working toward that mission as mentioned earlier If FFS uses the message but does not work 2010). It is also important for the employees to exhibit this integrity in their actions because employees are the face of the organization and act as brand managers through their interactions with members of the public (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009; Wraas, 2008). For public organizations, financial responsibility, clear communications, and fairness of the organization were expected as components of integrity While fairn ess of the organization was relatively clear in terms of what public organizations should be doing, there was not clarity for financial responsibility and clear communications, specif ically in achieving both goals. Targeted communications is generally cons idered more effective for marketing and general promotion of public organizations is likely to be perceived negatively, but not communicating with the entire
133 public could have negative c onsequences, particularly for public organizations that depend on pub lic support (Hoggett, 2006; Kruckeberg & Vujnovic, 2010; Moore, 1995; Thorson & Moore, 1996; Weiss & Tschirhart, 1994; Whelan et al., 2010) The other aspects of financial responsibility (e.g., appropriate work for appropriate compensation) and clear commu nications (e.g., listening to the public) are relatively straightforward and are less likely to conflict with other aspects of evaluating integrity. F or Future Research This study addresse d branding for public organizations, which is an area where there is a general absence of literature (W raas 2 008). While this study addressed brand salience and differentiation of public organizations, as well as how being a public organization affects brand perceptions, there are further steps to take for addressing bra nding of public organizations. Literature and this study indicate there are complexities for public organizations in their communication and branding efforts (Butler & Collins, 1995; Laing, 2003; Walsh, 1994; W raas, 2008). The first recommendation for fut ure research is to address the transferability of the findings to other settings, including other public organizations, context of work (i.e., wildlife conservation, park service, etc.), and locations (i.e., other states) The study addressed only one orga nization, and while other organizations were brought up in the discussions, more in depth discussions of other organizations are necessary to understand the transferability of the findings. Not all public organizations are the same (Laing, 2003; Scrivens, 1991; Wettenhall, 2003), and as such, multiple organizations need to be addressed to better understanding branding of public organizations. Along the same lines, the second recommendation is to conduct quantitative research to address themes of brand salience and differentiation of public organizations
134 to further the area of research through generalizable findings. Future research should expand to l arger samples and populations. T he results from this study indicate a lack of presence in the p salience and differentiation. Future research can address the interaction between brand presen ce (or lack thereof) and the salience and differen brands The t hird recommendation is to address p erceptions of public organization s communications In this study, FFS lacked brand salience and differentiation. These could be improved by increas ing communications, but there were participants who did not positively pe rceive public organizations spending money communicating their purpose instead of accomplishing their purpose (Whelan et al., 2010) On the other hand, participants wanted to know the purpose of public organizations, and it has been indicated that specific publics may be outdated in a globalized and communication technology literate society (Kruckeberg & Vujnovic, 2010). These two desires conflict with each other. perceptions are for public organ izations external communications. Because public organizations depend on public support, these public perceptions are necessary for the continued vitality of public organizations ( Hoggett, 2006; Moore, 1995 ). The fourth recommendation is to research perc eptions of who m public organizations should be communicating with which relates to the third recommendation While most participants believed that FFS should be communicating with everyone, they still perceived it was more important to communicate with so me specific groups (i.e., children and forest users) instead of other groups Communication
135 efforts including the costs of those efforts, will change based on audience selection, so it is important to understand how broad or narrow audience selection shou ld be. For the purpose of feasibility, communicating with audience segments is more cost effective than communicating with all groups and is considered more effective for marketing efforts (Weiss & Tschirhart, 1994). On the other hand, Kruckeberg and Vujno vic (2010) argued that general public may be more effective than segmented publics because of the ability for groups to form and dissolve quickly because of globalism and technology. R esearch should address various organizations to provide a wider represen tation of health, regulatory, public safety) to determine what themes Summary By fostering positive brand relationships, public organizations can move beyond simply providing a public value to a point of being responsive to the needs and viewpoints of their stakeholders, which includes the public (Whelan et al., 2010). The results of t his study indicated that a lack of awareness can prevent brand salience and differentiation, negatively affecting public organizations Ehrenberg et al., 1997; Miller & Berry, 1998; Scheufele & Tewksbury, 2007) The results also in dicate that, provided the organizations are providing public value, the public will have positive perceptions of public organizations with adequate awareness of the including i mproving salience and differentiation, but these are affected by the nature of public organizations, namely that public organizations are accountable to all members of the public (Hoggett, 2006; Moore, 1995). A part of this accountability is ensuring that
136 two way communications are occurring between the organizations and public but public organizations have to be careful that spending on communications is not negatively perceived, including avoiding communications that exist solely to promote the organizat ion (Grunig et al., 2002; Wal sh, 1994; Whelan et al., 2010). Many public organizations, including those in Florida, are being affect ed by cuts in public spending (Pillow, 2011). The research in this study further validates the need for public organi zations to strengthen relationships with stakeholders, including members of the public, to ensure that the organizations continue to be supported (Whelan et al., 2010). This can occur through successful branding (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009). In lieu of incre asing communications to foster relationships between public organizations and their stakeholders, public organizations must work within the financial and bureaucratic restraints of being publicly funded. This includes consistently using salience messages a nd brand identifiers and not using myriad messages and logos in a manner to best leverage available resources, as well as ensuring that communications personnel are a tions (Franzen & Moriarty, 2009; Grunig, 2006; Grunig et al., 2002; Loken et al., 2010; Romaniuk & Sharp, 2006; Walvis, 2008).
137 APPENDIX A IRB EXEMPTION
138 APPENDIX B ORLANDO EXAMPLE OF RECRUITMENT PROTOCOL Recruitment protocol: Orlando at the University of Florida. We are working with researchers at the University of Florida to recruit participants for focus groups that will m eet in Orlando on Wednesday, September 7th regarding forestry related issues. The group will take about 2 hours to complete and participants will receive $50 for their time. Are you at least 18 years of age and interested in hearing more about this resear ch project? (INT: If not 18: May I speak to someone in your household who is at least 18 years old?) START University researchers will be leading a discussion with residents of Orlando regarding their perceptions and opinions about forestry in Florida. T he focus groups will be held at the Orange County Extension Office in Orlando on Wednesday, September 7th at 5:45 PM and 8:00 PM. They will take about 2 hours to complete. Refreshments will be served and all participants will receive a $50 stipend at the close of the session. 1. Are you interested in being considered for participation for one of these focus groups? [YNDR1289] IF Q1 is not YES terminate delete 1A. Which time would you prefer? 5:45=1 8:00=2 either=3 Don't know=8 need to ask you a few demographic questions so that we can be sure that the groups are representative.
139 Male=1 Female=2 For groups from rural counties, Q3 was added to the demographic section. 3. In what county d o you live? Liberty=1 Gadsen=2 Calhoun=3 Jackson=4 Washington=5 Holmes=6 Franklin=7 Wakulla=8 Jefferson=9 Madison=10 Taylor=11 Don't know=12 3. In what year were you born? (INT: Verify year after you have typed it) [yeardr89,1916 1993] 4. In the past year, have you participated in outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, canoeing or kayaking, visiting state parks or nature trails? [YNDR1289] IF Q4=YES
140 4A. In the past year, how often have you participated in outdoor recreational activities? Seldom=1 Occasionally=2 Frequently=3 Don't know=8 Refused=9 $35,000? $35,000 or less=1 More than $35,000=2 Don't know=8 Refused=9 If Q5=LESS 5A. And is that: $30,001 $35,000=3 $20,000 $30,000=2 less than $20,000=1 Don't know=8 Refused=9 If Q5=MORE 5B. And is that: $35,001 $50,000=1 $50,001 $75,000=2 more than $75,000=3 Don't know=8 Refused=9 6.Just to be sure we have a represe ntative sample, would you please tell me your race or ethnicity? Black/African American=1 White=2 Asian/Pacific Islander=3 Native American=4 Other=5 Refused=9 7.And would you say that you are Hispanic? [YNDR1289] If you are selected to participate in this focus group study, a representative will call you and a confirmation letter containing details such as time, date, location, and a map will be mailed (or e mailed) to you.
141 8. To facilitate that follow up, can you please tell me your name and mailin g or e mail address? (INT: check spelling of name and type e mail address into address if they prefer) [address] 9. Is @phone@ the best telephone number to reach you? [YNDR1289] IF Q9=NO 9A. What number would you prefer that we use to contact you? (INT: Enter number only no hyphens. Read back number to check for errors) [numdr89,10] Thank you, that completes the first part of the process. If you are selected to participate, you will receive a ca ll within 5 business days.
142 APPENDIX C TALLAHASEE RURAL GROUP EXAMPLE OF CALLBACK SCRIPT Forestry Focus Group Tallahassee RURAL Callback Script May I please speak with [see name on call sheet]? My na me is ____________. You were contacted about participating in a focus group for researchers at the University of Florida regarding your perceptions and opinions about forestry in Florida. I'm calling to confirm your interest in participating. The group will be meeting on Thursday, September 15th at 5:45 PM at the Offices of Kerr and Downs Research located at 2992 Habersham Drive in Tallahassee and will take about 2 hours to complete. Light refreshments will be served and each participant will receive $ 50 at the end of the session. A confirmation letter and directions will be mailed or e mailed to you. May I confirm your name and e mail or mailing address? (INT: Double check spelling etc. so that mailings are not returned) If you do not receive either a letter or e mail by Tuesday the 13th, please call us at 352 392 5957.
143 APPENDIX D DESCRIPTION OF INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPANTS Table A 1. Self provided description of participants in first Orlando focus group. Participant Description 1 Orlando native, 14 year Army veteran, semi retired, 2 sons and a wife 2 Orlando native, 4 kids (7, 8, 10, and 16), does not work (health), came because her daughter loves plants 3 30 year resident of Florida, avid plant person, unemployed in sales, divorced with 2 daughters 4 Orange County native, 2 daughters, breeds butterflies, has a family farm in Kentucky, self described high knowledge agriculture and forestry knowledge 5 40 year resident of Orlando, retired from insurance company, husband, no kids or pets 6 Orlando resident for almost 60 years, widow, retired from working with military and public health 7 Orlando resident for almost 55 years, widow, retired from working trade shows 8 8 month resident of Orlando, moved to help parent open accounting offic e 9 Works for correctional facility (late arrival) Table A 2. Self provided description of participants in second Orlando focus group. Participant Description 1 Works in a finance department 2 Retired from AT&T 3 Works in program to build clubhouses for people with disabilities 4 Works in commercial and residential construction 5 Works as marketing assistant for commercial real estate group 6 Stay at home mom, home schooling 3 kids 7 Grew up in Orlando area, practiced law for 20 years, now in res taurant business 8 TV and documentary producer 9 Casting director for entertainment organization, does film programming for library, and HIV education for university 10 Works for health insurance company (late arrival)
144 Table A 3. Self provided description of participants in rural Tallahassee focus group. Participant Description 1 From Wakulla County, works for Florida Department of Health 2 Disabled, sews, quilts, studies history 3 From Jackson County, retired from USDA 4 From Jefferson County, does not do much 5 From Franklin County, retired 6 From Gadsden County, works for Florida Department of Transportation 7 From Gadsden County, works part time on mushroom farm 8 Works for state as a supervisor at DUI hearings 9 Housewife (late arrival) Table A 4. Self provided description of participants in urban Tallahassee focus group. Participant Description 1 Works at Florida Association of Homes and Services for the Aging 2 Retired bookkeeper from Leon County School System 3 Works at Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee 4 Works as registered nurse at Tallahassee Memorial 5 6 Works for Department of Management Services, Division of Retirement 7 Works as dentist 8 Student at Tallahassee Community College 9 Works as a preacher 10 Works as a novelist and professor Table A 5. Self provided description of participants in Gainesville focus group. Participant Description 1 From Orange Park, retired from Navy, works with youth groups 2 From Bell, works for city of Bell, lives in the woods, four grown children, and grandchildren 3 From McAlpin, lives in the woods 4 From Anthony, unemployed, 2 daughters, lives in the woods 5 From Lake City but in Gainesville now, 2 children who graduated, was in construction for 28 years, now volunteers at group home for older men, does not live in the woods 6 From Lake City, lives on a farm, works with aquatic plants 7 Lived in Ocala National Forest whole life, unemployed, former military, likes to go out in the woods a lot
145 Table A 6. Self provided description of participants in Ft. Myers focus group. Participant Description 1 Retired clinical psychologist 2 Works for Florida Association of Restaurant and Lodging, originally from California, lived in area for a couple of months 3 Works as poet and painter, from Boston, been in Ft. Myers for about 20 years 4 Self employed handyman and mechanic, been in Ft. Myers for about 20 years 5 Works as dental hygienist, raised in Tampa, lived in Ft. Myers for about 13 years, 2 children 6 Works in business consulting, been in Florida about 2 years, from New Jersey 7 Works as architect, practiced in Ft. Myers for almost 20 years, lived in Florida almost 40 years, originally from Virginia 8 Has a disabled son and a son who was murdered 9 Retired educator, moved to Florida about a year ago, interested in environment, originally from Pennsylvania
146 APPENDIX E CENTER FOR PUBLIC ISSUES EDUCATION IN AG & NAT RESOURCES/UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA/IFAS/AEC FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEW Florida Forest Service Rebranding Date: September 2011 WELCOME/GROUP PROCESS & PURPOSE (5 minutes) Moderator reads: My name is _________, I am a graduate s tudent at the University of Florida and I will be moderating this session. This is ___________ and he/she is my assistant moderator. You have been invited here tonight because we are interested in having a general discussion with you on forestry related i ssues. one question to the next. Som etimes there is a tendency in these discussions for some people to talk a lot and some people not to say much. But it is important for us to hear from each of you today because you have different experiences. So if one of you is sharing a lot, I may ask yo u to let others respond. And We welcome all opinions and will keep them confidential, so please feel free to say what you think. There is no particular order for the responses, and there are no corr ect/incorrect answers to any of the questions. This session will be audio and video recorded so that we are able to consider your views later. For the sake of clarity, please speak one at a time. You can see that we have placed name cards on the table in front of you. That is because we will be on a first name basis, but in our later reports there will not be any names attached to comments. You may be assured of confidentiality. Our session will last about two hours with a short break about half way t hrough. If you have your cell phone with you, we would appreciate it if you could turn it off while we are in the discussion. I hope that everyone will feel comfortable with the process, and will feel free to share their opinions as we proceed. Also, I as k that you please sign the release/waiver form. This is a form that we, as a representative of the University of Florida, are required to collect. It basically states that we are collecting information from you during this discussion, but that you will n ot be harmed in any way. Are there any questions before we begin? ICEBREAKER/GROUP INTRODUCTIONS name and a little about you, including your occupation. DISCUSSION SESSION (45 minutes)
147 Forests What comes to mind when you think of forests? When you think of forests, what benefits come to mind? Probes o Water o air o recreation o jobs o timber What do you think threatens forests? Probes o Wildlife o insects & disease o Development o Fire What impacts do you think forests have on water and air quality? Forest Management What comes to mind when you hear SCREEN Give description of forest management : Forest management is the process of ensuring the health and safety of forests through maintenance and the management of natural resources and business resources. What role do you think government agencie s have in regard to forest management ? Probes o Conservation o Protection o Regulation Do you know what state agency is responsible for forests in Florida? Probe Have you heard of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services? Probe What services do you think this organization provides?
148 Probe What are your perceptions of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services? Division of Forestry Have you heard of the Florida Division of Forestry? Probe What do you think it does/what services do you think it provides? Probe What do you think it does to manage forests and natural resources? Probe What do you think it does related to wildfires? Probe Are there any specific Division of Forestry programs that you are aw are of? SCREEN Give brief description of DOF: The Division of Forestry is a state based organization that is responsible for forest management in Florida. This includes preventing, detecting and suppressing wildfires, managing state forests for public u se, and assisting rural and urban landowners, while also serving urban communities. Are there any other organizations/agencies that you are aware of that deal with managing forests and their natural resources? Division of Forestry and Similar Organizations Now, I am going to show you a list of organizations. SCREEN U.S. Forest Service Have you ever heard of the U.S. Forest Service? Probe What do you think this organization does? SCREEN Florida Park Service Have you ever heard of the Florida Park Service? Probe What do you think this organization does? SCREEN U.S. National Park Service Have you ever heard of the U.S. National Park Service? Probe What do you think this organization does? SCREEN Florida Fish and Wildlife Cons ervation Commission Have you ever heard of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission? Probe What do you think this organization does?
149 SCREEN U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Have you ever heard of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service? Probe What do you think this organization does? SCREEN Florida Forestry Association Have you ever heard of the Florida Forestry Association ? Probe What do you think this organization does? SCREEN Friends of Florida Forests Have you ever heard of the Friends of Florida Forests ? Probe What do you think this organization does? SCREEN Show all organizations at once, including DOF. When you think about all of these organizations, w hat do you think is distinct about Division of Forestry ? What should the Division of Forestry do to differentiate itself from these organizations? Value of Government Organizations What characteristics come to mind when you think of a government organization that is valuable to you? What characteristics come to mind when you think of a government organization that is valuable to the general public? Probe What attributes of the Division of Forestry are valuable to you? When you think of Florida? Probe What attributes of the Division of Forestry are valuable to you? BREAK (10 minutes) DISCUSSION (50 minutes) Questionnaire Now you will be filling out a quick qu estionnaire about your opinions relat ed to different activities and programs provided by the Division of Forestry. Distribute questionnaires to participants. Name Change
150 The Division of Forestry recently changed its name. The new name is the Florida Fore st Service. As a part of this process, different branding materials for the organization are changing. What do you think of this new name? SCREEN Show all of the organizations but swap FFS for DOF. How well does this name differentiate the Florida Forest Service from the organizations mentioned earlier? Mission Statement I am no w A mission statement is the goals an d purpose of an organization. Hand the participants a printed copy of the mission statement. SCREEN employees with the mission to protect and manage the forest resources of Florida, ensuring that they are available for future generations. Wildfire prevention and suppression are key components in our efforts to protect homeowners and forest landowners from the threat of fire in a natural, fire dependent environment. We are dedicated to training individuals to meet these goals. In addition to managing over one million acres of State Forests for multiple public uses including timber, recreation and wildlife habitat, we also provide services to landowners throughout the What are your general thoughts about this mission statement? Probe What do you like about it? Probe What do you dislike about it? Probe Do you feel this is a good representation of Florida Forest Service ? Probe Does this statement help set Florida Forest Service apart from other organizations? Logo I am now going to show you the new logo for the Florida Forest Service. SCREEN Show logo on the screen
151 When you see this logo, what comes to mind? Probe Is it eye catching? Probe What do you think of the colors? Probe What is your attitude toward the visual elements in the logo? Probe How does it make you feel? Probe How easy would it be to recognize? Probe What, do you think, are the advantages and disadvantages of this logo? Probe Is it memorable? I am now going to show you some pamphlets. These pamphlets were created before the name change, so they say Division of For estry instead of Florida Forest Service. Forest pamphlets, Florida Hiking Trails pamphlet, Be a Trailwalker pamphlets, and Your Forest Managed materials one at a time. Also have front and back pages of the pamphlets on the screen SCREEN Show Checklist of Birds pamphlets What are your thoughts about the design of this pamphlet? Probe Is it clear that this document came from the Division of Forestry? Probe What are your thoughts about where the logo is placed? Probe What are your thoughts about the size of the logo? Probe Would you associate the information in this pamphlet with Division of Forestry/Florida Forest Service? SCREEN Show Welcome to ________ State Forest pamphlets What are your thoughts about the design of this pamphlet? Probe Is it clear that this document came from the Division of Forestry? Probe What are your thoughts about where the logo is placed? Probe What are your tho ughts about the size of the logo?
152 Probe Would you associate the information in this pamphlet with Division of Forestry/Florida Forest Service? FFS Communication What audiences should the Florida Forest Service communicate with? Probe How would you segment the Florida Forest Service Probe Who is the main audience? What aspects of Florida Forest Service should be focused on to help Florida Forest Service stand apart from other organizations ? Probe What should the overall message be when communicating with the target audience ? What means should the Florida Forest Service use to communicate what it does? Probes o Broadcast, such as radio and TV o Internet, such as websites, e mail, and social media o Print, such as news paper inserts, brochures, mailings, posters o Any other communication, such as billboards, movie theater ads, workshops/presentations and other signs If the Florida Forest Service wanted to reach you, which would be the best means of communication ? If you were trying to find information about the Florida Forest Service and its services, which means of communication would you use? Probe Which means of communication do you think would be best if you were seeking emergency information and updates rel ated to a wildfire? Recommendations What recommendations would you give the Florida Forest Service for its communications to the public to help FFS be memorable and distinct from other organizations that we have not discussed? If you had 30 seconds to give advice to the Florida Forest Service to communicate effectively, what would you say? CONCLUDING DISCUSSION (10 minutes)
153 say that we have not discussed? key messages and big ideas that developed from the discussion Is this an adequate summary? As was explaine d at the beginning of the session, the purpose of this focus group was to understand your thoughts and perceptions of forests and the Florida Forest Service. Your comments today will be useful in helping to establish the identity of the Florida Forest Serv ice during its rebranding process. Have we missed anything or are there any other comments at this time? Thank you for taking time out of your day to share your opinions. Now that we have finished, I can now tell you that I represent the Center for Publ ic Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida. We are conducting this research in collaboration with Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Florida Forest Service. Your participation is greatly ap preciated and has provided valuable insight into this topic.
154 APPENDIX F QUESTIONNAIRE FOR PARTICIPANTS DURING FOCUS GROUP From the list of activities provided by the Division of Forestry, please rate your opinion. 1. Hunting and Fishing A. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No B. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 C. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 2. Watershed Protection A. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No B. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 C. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5
155 From the list of activities provided by the Division of Forestry, please rate your opinion. 3. Hiking (Trailwalker Program) A. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No B. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 C. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 4. Biking A. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No B. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 C. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5
156 From the list of activities provided by the Division of Forestry, please rate your opinion. 5. Bird Watching A. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No B. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 C. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 6. Geocaching A. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No B. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 C. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5
157 From the list of activities provided by the Division of Forestry, please rate your opinion. 7. Off Highway Vehicle Areas A. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No B. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 C. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 8. Canoeing D. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No A. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 B. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5
158 From the list of activities provided by the Division of Forestry, please rate your opinion. 9. Timber Harvests A. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No B. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 C. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 10. Wildfire Suppression A. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No B. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 C. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5
159 From the list of activities provided by the Division of Forestry, please rate your opinion. 11. Fire Prevention A. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No B. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 C. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 12. Response to Emergencies A. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No B. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 C. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5
160 From the list of activities provided by the Division of Forestry, please rate your opinion. 13. Tree Planting A. Are you aware of that Division of Forestry provides this activity? Yes No B. How important is this activity to you? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5 C. How important is this activity to the state of Florida? Unimportant Slightly Unimportant Neutral Slightly Important Important 1 2 3 4 5
161 APPENDIX G MATERIALS SHOWN ON SCREEN DURING FOCUS GROUPS Description of Forest M anagement: Forest management is the process of ensuring the health and safety of forests through maintenance and the management of natural resources and business resources. Description of the Division of Forestry: The Division of Forestry is a state based organization that is responsible for forest management in Florida. This includes preventing, detecting and suppressing wildfires, managing state forests for public use, and assisting rural and urban landowners, while also serving urban communities. The Florida Forest Service consists of more than 1250 dedicated employees with the mission to protect and m anage the forest resources of Florida, ensuring that they are available for future generations. Wildfire prevention and suppression are key components in our efforts to protect homeowners and forest landowners from the threat of fire in a natural, fire dependent environment. We are dedicated to training individuals to meet these goals. In addition to managing over one million acres of State Forests for multiple public uses including timber, recreation and wildlife habitat, we also provide services to landowners throughout the state with technical information and grant programs. List of Organizations Division of Forestry/Florida Forest Service U.S. Forest Service Florida Park Service U.S. National Park Service Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Florida Forestry Association Friends of Florida Forests
162 Florida Forest Service Logo
163 Division of Forestry Logo
164 Checklist of Birds Pamphlets
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184 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Quisto Settle is originally from Del Rio, TX He co mpleted a animal s cience, with a minor in Journalism from Angelo State University, and he Prior to arriving at the University of Florida, he worked with the Ram Page, the student newspaper of Angelo State University, and the Big City Big Country Road Show, a joint project between Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, and Howard College.