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Issues Management on Facebook

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0044736/00001

Material Information

Title: Issues Management on Facebook How Fortune 500 Food Consumer Products Corporations are Using Facebook for Obesity Issue Framing and Management
Physical Description: 1 online resource (83 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Sarthou, Shereen M
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: facebook -- framing -- issuesmanagement -- obesity -- socialmedia -- twowaycommunication
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Obesity has become a major issue to stakeholders of food corporations. Many food corporations have been targets of criticism, accused of contributing to growing obesity numbers. To diffuse potential crises, food corporations must actively manage the obesity issue in the pre-crisis stage. This study provides a benchmark and an opportunity for greater understanding of how to manage issues, foster two-way communication with stakeholders and frame the obesity issue on Facebook. To analyze how food corporations are managing and framing the obesity issue on Facebook, a quantitative content analysis was used. The sample data included corporate messages posted between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011 by ten major corporations in the food consumer products industry. Results show that corporations in this sample are not maximizing issues management efforts on this medium. Results also show that when practitioners use messages that seek feedback/comments from stakeholders or messages that ask stakeholders personal questions, stakeholders are more likely to engage in dialogue through comments. When practitioners ask personal questions and prompt stakeholders to click “like,” it generates more positive reaction. This study also reveals that some popular obesity issue frames found in traditional media (Product Nutrition and Global Initiatives frames) are also popular on social media. However, the Marketing Practices frame (often used in traditional media) is not frequently adopted in social media. Based on the results, the Product Nutrition frame is the most effective obesity issue frame in terms of generating dialogue with and positive reaction from stakeholders.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Shereen M Sarthou.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: Kim, Sora.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0044736:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0044736/00001

Material Information

Title: Issues Management on Facebook How Fortune 500 Food Consumer Products Corporations are Using Facebook for Obesity Issue Framing and Management
Physical Description: 1 online resource (83 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Sarthou, Shereen M
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2012

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: facebook -- framing -- issuesmanagement -- obesity -- socialmedia -- twowaycommunication
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Obesity has become a major issue to stakeholders of food corporations. Many food corporations have been targets of criticism, accused of contributing to growing obesity numbers. To diffuse potential crises, food corporations must actively manage the obesity issue in the pre-crisis stage. This study provides a benchmark and an opportunity for greater understanding of how to manage issues, foster two-way communication with stakeholders and frame the obesity issue on Facebook. To analyze how food corporations are managing and framing the obesity issue on Facebook, a quantitative content analysis was used. The sample data included corporate messages posted between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011 by ten major corporations in the food consumer products industry. Results show that corporations in this sample are not maximizing issues management efforts on this medium. Results also show that when practitioners use messages that seek feedback/comments from stakeholders or messages that ask stakeholders personal questions, stakeholders are more likely to engage in dialogue through comments. When practitioners ask personal questions and prompt stakeholders to click “like,” it generates more positive reaction. This study also reveals that some popular obesity issue frames found in traditional media (Product Nutrition and Global Initiatives frames) are also popular on social media. However, the Marketing Practices frame (often used in traditional media) is not frequently adopted in social media. Based on the results, the Product Nutrition frame is the most effective obesity issue frame in terms of generating dialogue with and positive reaction from stakeholders.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Shereen M Sarthou.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Local: Adviser: Kim, Sora.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID: UFE0044736:00001


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1 ISSUES MANAGEMENT ON FACEBOOK: HOW FORTUNE 500 FOOD CONSUMER PRODUCTS CORPORATIONS ARE USING FACEBOOK FOR OBESITY ISSUE FRAMING AND MANAGEMENT By SHEREEN MARIE SARTHOU A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVE RSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012

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2 2012 Shereen Marie Sarthou

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3 To my father, mother and sister for their constant love, s upport and enc ouragement

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to thank my committee members, Dr. Sora Kim, Dr. Linda Hon and Dr. Spiro Kiousis, for their guidance throughout my thesis process and my graduate studies. You have helped me understand the true value of public r elations and of scholarship, lessons that I will carry throughout my career in this field. Thank you for your inspiration, understanding and encouragement. In addition, I would like to thank my family and my fianc for their constant love, encouragement and support. Thank you for always listening and offering advice, for always believing in my abilities, for pushing me when you knew I was capable and for celebrating my accomplishments with me. Most of all, thank you for being a constant reminder of what is most important in life. I am happiest when I am spending time with you, and feel so blessed and lucky to have you in my life. Finally, I would like to thank my fellow classmates. It was a pleasure working with you on projects and spending time with you in classes. When I look back fondly on these past two years, I will remember the lessons you taught me, and treasure the friendships I made. From stressing about our theses and projects to laughing about TPRM, it has been a wonderful two years and I am truly grateful to have met you all.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................. 4 LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................ 7 LIS T OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... 8 ABSTRACT ..................................................................................................................... 9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................... 11 2 LITERATURE REVIEW .......................................................................................... 14 Obesity Issue Discourse ......................................................................................... 14 Issues Management ............................................................................................... 17 Commu nication on Social Media Outlets ................................................................ 21 Research Question 1 .............................................................................................. 24 Framing the Obesity Issue ...................................................................................... 25 Agendasetting Theory and Information Subsidies ........................................... 25 Framing Theory ................................................................................................ 26 Research Question 2 .............................................................................................. 28 3 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................... 31 Sampling Procedure ............................................................................................... 31 Variables Measured ................................................................................................ 33 Variables Measured for Addressing the Obesity Issue (RQ1a) ........................ 34 Variables Measured for Issues Management (RQ1b) ...................................... 35 Variables Measured for Twoway Communication Elements (RQ1c, H1 and H2) ................................................................................................................ 36 Variables Measured for Obesity Issue Frames (RQ2 and H3) ......................... 36 Coding Procedure & Data Analysis ......................................................................... 38 4 FINDINGS ............................................................................................................... 40 Research Question 1 .............................................................................................. 40 Background Information ................................................................................... 40 RQ1a ................................................................................................................ 42 RQ1b ................................................................................................................ 43 RQ1c ................................................................................................................ 46 Hypothesis 1 ..................................................................................................... 47 Hypothesis 2 ..................................................................................................... 48 Research Question 2 .............................................................................................. 49

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6 Hypothesis 3 ..................................................................................................... 50 H3a ............................................................................................................ 50 H3b ............................................................................................................ 51 H3c ............................................................................................................ 51 RQ2a, RQ2b, RQ2c ......................................................................................... 52 5 DISCUSSION ......................................................................................................... 63 Issues Management ............................................................................................... 63 Two way Communication ........................................................................................ 65 Framing ................................................................................................................... 66 Theoretical and Practical Implications .................................................................... 68 Limitations ............................................................................................................... 70 Future Research ..................................................................................................... 72 APPENDIX A CODING SHEET A GENERAL COMPANY INFORMATION ................................. 74 B CODING SHEET B ................................................................................................. 75 LIST OF REFERENCES ............................................................................................... 79 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................................................ 83

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Descriptions of obesity issue frames found in traditional media ........................ 30 4 1 Number of stakeholders who like the corporation (cumulative metric) and who have talked about the corporation (from January 2531, 2012) ................ 56 4 2 Corporate activity in addressing the obesity issue (wall posts and responding comments) in comparison to overall number of corporate posted messages from Jan. 1, 2011Dec. 31, 2011 ........................................................................ 57 4 3 Correlation analysis for relationship between interactivity and personalization elements and number of stakeholder comments ................................................ 58 4 4 Correlation analysis for relationship between interactivity and personalization elements and the number of stakeholder likes ................................................... 58 4 5 Frequently used obesity issue frames and sub frames on social media ............ 59 4 6 Cross tabulation of corporate type (parent or brand) and frame use ................. 59 4 7 One way ANOVA for number of stakeholder comments, likes, and shares by frame used in message ................................................................................. 60 4 8 Correlation analysis for relationship between frames used and number of stakeholder comments and likes ...................................................................... 60

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8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 Content types used in messages that addressed obesity issue ......................... 61 4 2 Interactivity elements frequently used in messages t hat addressed obesity issue ................................................................................................................... 61 4 3 Personalization elements frequently used in messages that addressed obesity issue ....................................................................................................... 62

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9 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication ISSUES MANAGEMENT ON FACEBOOK: HOW FORTUNE 500 FOOD CONSUMER PRODUCTS CORPORATIONS ARE USING FACEBOOK FOR OBESITY ISSUE FRAMING AND MANAGEMENT By Shereen Marie Sarthou August 2012 Chair: Sora Kim Major: Mass Communication Obesity has become a major issue to stakeholders of food corporations. Many food corporations have been targets of criticism, accused of contributing to growing obesity numbers. To diffuse potential crises, food corporations must actively manage the obesity issue in the precrisis stage. This study provides a benchmark and an opportunity for greater understanding of how to manage issues, foster twoway communicati on with stakeholders and frame the obesity issue on Facebook. To analyze how food corporations are managing and framing the obesity issue on Facebook, a quantitative content analysis was used. The sample data included corporate messages posted between Jan uary 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011 by ten major corporations in the food consumer products industry. Results show that corporations in this sample are not maximizing issues management efforts on this medium. Results also show that when practitioners use me ssages that seek feedback/comments from stakeholders or messages that ask stakeholders personal questions, stakeholders are more likely to engage in dialogue through comments. When practitioners ask personal questions and prompt stakeholders

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10 to click like it generates more positive reaction. This study also reveals that some popular obesity issue frames found in traditional media (Product Nutrition and Global Initiatives frames) are also popular on social media. However, the Marketing Practices frame (of ten used in traditional media) is not frequently adopted in social media. Based on the results, the Product Nutrition frame is the most effective obesity issue frame in terms of generating dialogue with and positive reaction from stakeholders.

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11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The obesity issue is a prevalent health concern in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that adult obesity is common, with about onethird of all U.S. adults considered obese ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, in 20072008, about 32.2 percent of men and 35.5 percent of women are obese (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden & Curtin, 2010). This national issue affects many Americans of different ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, regions and ages ( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). The obesity issue is a highly controversial issue facing the food industry, as many corporations are criticized for contributing to and augmenti ng the obesity crisis (Arnst, 2009). Some groups have labeled it a crisis for the food industry. However, for many food corporations, it has not yet caused normal business operations to strop or caused significant financial burden. Therefore, for purposes of this study, the obesity issue is not considered a crisis. Even so, the obesity issue can potentially evolve into a crisis for food corporations, especially if practitioners do not manage the issue and communicate frequently with customers in the precrisis stage. According to Palese and Crane (2002), it [issues management] is about having the capacity to act quickly in order to seize opportunity or to avert risk before impacts or implications become relevant to your business operations and/or reputat ion, (p. 248). Issues management is a component in the precrisis stage and is a proactive, vital aspect of crisis prevention (Coombs, 2007).

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12 According to Hallahan (1999), public health issues have been shown to be dramatically influenced by the way they are presented (p. 218). Previous research revealed that effectively framing messages can be beneficial in managing the obesity issue (Darmon, Fitzpatrick & Bronstein, 2008). However, previous research (Darmon et al., 2008) has been largely focused on stu dying media texts to determine which frames should be used when communicating to traditional media. Traditional media outlets comprise an important stakeholder group and can play an influential role in framing customer perceptions of health issues (Heath & Palenchar, 2009). However, the advent of social media has opened up an opportunity for corporations to communicate directly to another important stakeholder group customers. With social media providing an avenue for direct twoway interaction between a company and its customers (Perry, Taylor & Doerfel, 2003), corporations must monitor and manage issues on social media as well. Among all social media platforms, Facebook is most commonly used by practitioners when communicating with stakeholders (Wright & Hinson, 2009; Macnamara, 2010). High usage by practitioners may be due to Facebooks popularity among stakeholders, as the sites statistics report more than 800 million users of their site, with more than fifty percent of active users accessing it daily ( http://newsroom.fb.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=22). Therefore, this research will examine the following aspects of issues management and framing on Facebook. A broad goal o f this research is to understand how food corporations are using social media (Facebook) in issues management regarding the obesity issue. Further,

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13 this research seeks to understand how food corporations are framing the obesity issue on social media by examining 1) which frames are being used most frequently, and 2) if the frames found to be popular in traditional media are also frequently adopted by food corporations when using social media, a platform controllable by the corporation, as there are no gatek eepers. To further explore the frames that are frequently used on social media, this study will also address which frames stimulate dialogue with stakeholders most frequently, stimulate positive reaction from stakeholders most frequently, and stimulate stakeholders to share the corporations message with others most frequently. Examining how food corporations are framing messages to manage the obesity issue is worthy of study, as the findings will contribute to both scholarship and practice. This study has implications for existing precrisis literature and growing literature on social media use. Tactics used when interacting with stakeholders via social media may differ from tactics and frames used when communicating about issues through traditional media. The unique relationship of framing as a tool for issues management on social media has not yet been studied. This study also has practical implications. It will give practitioners in the food industry an understanding of how food corporations can use social media to proactively manage the obesity issue. It will also give practitioners empirical support to which they can refer when making important decisions in the field. By providing a current status of issues management in social media and by showing how f ood industry corporations manage and frame the obesity issue, this research will provide some benchmark to other food industry corporations

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14 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Obesity Issue Discourse In order to understand the controversial nature of the obesity issue and its need for managing by corporations, it is necessary to review obesity issue discourse. The obesity issue has become increasingly more prevalent over the last 26 years (Lawrence, 2004). Lawrence (2004) traced the evolution of the obesity issue. According to Lawrence (2004), the obesity issue began gaining attention in 1985, when the National Institutes of Health panel first deemed it a public health issue. In 1990, the National Center for Health Statistics confirmed that the number of overweight Americans had officially exceeded the number of Americans who were not overweight. That same year, the number of New York Times articles about obesity increased by 50 percent. By 2001, the first lawsuits against fast food companies surfaced, with food co rporations under fire for their alleged influence in the growing obesity figures (Lawrence, 2004). Obesity discourse has been increasingly present in news media, but discussion of obesity has also been evident in popular media. Television programs and show s have raised awareness of the obesity issue through programs dedicated to what is considered by some as the fight against obesity (Zieff & Veri, 2009). Examples include cooking shows, Nickelodeon networks partnerships in promoting the Go Healthy Challenge, the Kid Fitness program and Shaqs Big Challenge (Zieff & Veri, 2009). Recent conversation has been sparked by the Lets Move campaign, spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama in an attempt to fight childhood obesity (Superville, 2011). Accordi ng to Superville (2011), Mrs. Obama said the obesity issue is picking up

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15 momentum and activists of the obesity issue feel there is more awareness of this issue because of campaigns such as these. While some of the aforementioned programs have promoted posi tive conversation about the obesity issue, others have focused on discussing the causal entities of obesity, of which the food industry is often a target (Zieff & Veri, 2009). Some popular media (films, books and television) have contributed to increased discourse about the issue. Scholars have mentioned that the influence of films and documentaries, like Fast Food Nation (2002), Supersize Me (2004), and books, like Food Politics (2002) and Food Fight (2003) have contributed to increased public discussion ( Lawrence, 2004; Zieff & Veri, 2009). In addition to increasing discourse, some media have attributed responsibility for the obesity issue. According to Zieff and Veri (2009), Eric Sclossers 2002 Fast Food Nation attributes the obesity issue to increasing ly sedentary lifestyles and the elimination of school physical education programs, yet more persistently, the widespread availability of highfat, inexpensive meals made possible by the fast food industry (p. 164). The fast food industry is not the only f ood industry that has come under criticism. Food consumer products corporations, such as Kraft Foods Inc. Kellogg Company and PepsiCo Inc. have received pressure from stakeholder groups to minimize their influence on obesity (Carpenter, 2004). Kraft Foods Inc. was facing pressure from stakeholders who wanted healthy, diet oriented products. In 2003, Kraft Foods Inc. began reducing fat content in many of its North American distributed product s to m e et the needs of its diet conscious customers (C arpenter, 2004). In 2004, Kraft Foods Inc.s

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16 chief executive Roger Deromedi explained that the company would refocus its portfolio and approaches to meet consumer demands, which called for products that aided in healthier eating and weight lost (Obesity concerns, 2004). PepsiCo Inc. another major food consumer products corporation, began addressing obesity concerns sooner than other corporations (McTaggart, 2003). After understanding the pressure that was being put on the food industry, PepsiCo Inc. changed busines s practices by ensuring (and communicating to stakeholders) that 50 percent of new products would be healthier, in the nutritional benefits they would provide and th e ingredients used to make them (McTaggart, 2003). Thompson (2006) explained that some food packaging corporations have faced litigation due to concerns about the obesity issue. According to Thompson (2006), Unlike Kraft Foods, PepsiCo and other wouldbe defendants which shout almost daily about proactive changes to their portfolios and ad pr actices Kellogg Company has seemingly ignored warning signs that the growing chatter over childhood obesity would lead down a path of litigation (paragraph 2). The obesity issue has become highly controversial for the food industry, as corporations face criticism from stakeholders (Arnst, 2009). It has the potential to escalate into a crisis for food industry corporations, especially for those that do not frequently communicate their actions and involvement in the obesity issue to stakeholders. Practitio ners in the food industry can capitalize on opportunities to engage in two way communication with stakeholders in the precrisis stage, before the issue escalates.

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17 Issues Management An issue is a topic or situation that causes concern among organizational stakeholders (Dougall, 2008) and can have an impact on the organization (Coombs, 2007). As explained above, the obesity issue has sparked some controversial discussion. Dougall (2008) explained that issues are often caused by gaps in one or more stakeholders expectations of an organization or its actions. Previous literature suggested that bridging the gap can have important implications for organizations (Dougall, 2008). From this perspective, an issue, if not resolved between the organization and its concerned public, can affect the organizations relationship with stakeholders. Issue managers should attempt to create an atmosphere that is hospitable for both the organization and its stakeholders, even those who may be critical of the organizations act ions (Heath, 1990). Heath (1990) explained that people seek information in attempts to reduce their uncertainty when making decisions about issues. How organizations perform will determine whether positive or negative attributions are made about them (Heath, 1990, p. 54). Further, issues management communication can change stakeholders perceptions and/or attitudes (Heath, 1990). In this view, important objectives of issues management are for an organization to increase understanding of stakeholders conc erns and perceptions of the issue and to provide information to help reach mutual understanding. Hainsworth and Meng (1988) explained that an organization can share information with its stakeholders to aid in mutual understanding. Jones and Chase (1979) ex plained that in addition to providing information about the issue, it is important for companies to show initiative by developing solutions to the problem. Thus, two important aspects of

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18 issues management should be incorporated into communication efforts: 1) information sharing (Hainsworth & Meng, 1988; Jones & Chase, 1979) and 2) providing solutions for the obesity issue (Jones & Chase, 1979). According to Verduin, Agarwal and Waltman (2005), some solutions the food industry can suggest include collaborati on with government, schools and/or the medical community in order to create healthier options and education cus tomers. Giving customers the best nutrition information and the best nutritional food options may empower them to make individualized lifestyle changes that will help overcome energy imbalance and, in the long term, may help curb our struggle with obesity (Verduin, Agarwal & Waltman, 2005, p. 260S). Perhaps the most important objective of issues management is to prevent a crisis. In order to under stand issues managements role in crisis prevention, it is important to review issue lifecycle. Scholars (Dougall, 2008; Mahon & Waddock, 1992; Zyglidopoulos, 2003) explained that issues go through a lifecycle. Issues management is the proactive system used to shape an issue while it is developing and in turn, influence how it is resolved (Coombs, 2007) and how stakeholders construct the reality of the issue (Hallahan, 1999). There are many existing lifestyle models and most consist of similar sets of three or four lifestyle stages (Mahon & Waddock, 1992). Many of the existing models are dependent upon the perspective (corporate, pressure group or customer) of stakeholders (Mahon & Waddock, 1992). For purposes of this research, what is important to understan d is that scholars (Mahon & Waddock, 1992; Zyglidopoulos, 2003) have found the notion of evolution present in all lifecycle models. For a corporation, the evolution of an issue can be progressed by pressure from stakeholder groups (Coombs, 2010; Mahon & Wa ddock, 1992; Hainsworth & Meng, 1988; Regester & Larkin, 2008). Other groups may attempt

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19 to shape the issue in ways that affect the corporation (Mahon & Waddock, 1992, p. 26). As pressure from other stakeholder groups intensifies, it becomes increasingly more important for managers to integrate and institutionalize issues management into their overall strategy (Mahon & Waddock, 1992; Hainsworth & Meng, 1988). On further discussion of an issues lifecycle, it is important for practitioners to realize the c onsequences of failing to proactively act and communicate. As the issue matures, the number of engaged stakeholders and other influencers expands, positions on the issue become more entrenched and the strategic choices available to the organization shrink (Douglass, 2008, paragraph 12). It is understood that an issue, if unmanaged in the precrisis stage, can escalate into a crisis (Coombs, 2007; Jaques, 2009; Regester & Larkin, 2005). Once escalated to the point of a crisis, the organization is only left with reactive options (Dougall, 2008). Therefore, managing highly controversial issues in the precrisis stage is essential. Organizations should regularly engage in environmental scanning to assess trends and potential issues, or warning signs (Coombs, 2 007; Gonzalez Herrero & Smith, 2008). Because todays Internet environment increases opportunities for issues and crises to grow (Gonzalez Herrero & Smith, 2008), knowledge of the mechanisms that can be used on Internet communication platforms to manage is sues is of particular importance. Perry et al. (2003) explained that computer mediated communication tools, like the Internet and World Wide Web can help organizations scan through information and identify issues. Coombs (2007) explained that it is importa nt to scan both traditional and online media. Some sources to scan include newsletters, public opinion polls,

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20 online publications, news and business wires and consumer generated media (Coombs, 2007) such as social media. After identifying potential issues during the scanning process, organizations can make changes and act in ways that may reduce the potential for the issue to intensify (Coombs, 2007). Gonzalez Herrero and Smith (2008) explained that stakeholders expect organizations to listen to their comme nts and proactively engage with them, well before the issue evolves into a crisis. Monitoring customer responses to messages can offer corporations insight into how their actions and communication are influencing the progression of the issue. Gonzalez Herrero and Smith (2008) recommended steps for companies to take when handling issues on online platforms in the precrisis stage: 1. Assign human and economic resources to issues management practices. 2. Create or use an online monitoring system to monitor online m edia. 3. Train the issues/crisis management team on how issues can develop on social media or the Internet. 4. Identify some online influencers and the issues for which they show interest or concern. 5. Prioritize issues based on their likelihood and potential impact on the organization. 6. Engage with stakeholders in the online community proactively before a crisis occurs. 7. Do not just think locally. With the Internet, a local issue can evolve into a bigger, even globally reaching issue or crisis. 8. Prepare the organizations approach for communicating online. Often, the tone and language should be more informal than that of the corporate voice used in traditional communication messages (Gonzalez Herrero & Smith, 2008).

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21 Communication on Social Media Outlets As implied by Gonzalez Herrero and Smith (2008), online communication tactics may need to be different than that of traditional messaging tactics. This may be because previous research has considered online media to lend more twoway communication (Perry et al., 2003; Sweetser, 2010) and therefore, stakeholders expectations of the type of communication may differ. Hearit (1999) explained that communication technology has transformed stakeholders into more active groups. Sweetser (2010) pointed out the potential for inf ormation to become viral as interactive features become more available to stakeholders and the ease of sharing via online media increases. The availability of communication technology has created more opportunities for public issues to intensify (Hearit, 1 999) and the accessibility has given stakeholders an increased sense of empowerment to voice their opinions about issues (Gonzalez Herrero & Smith, 2008). Because of this, it is necessary for corporations to proactively address issues before rumors spread and dominate the online conversation (Gonzalez Herrero & Smith, 2008). As previously mentioned, stakeholders expectations of the nature of communication with corporations differ across media. Using a personal touch in Internet communication is effective ( Kent & Taylor, 1998). As previous explained in Gonzalez Herrero and Smiths (2008) recommendations for steps in the issues management process, corporations should adjust the tone and language of online communication. Use of a conversational, personal voice in online communications is important for maintaining relationships with stakeholders who interact with a company online (Kelleher & Miller, 2006; Sweetser, 2010). In addition to more relaxed tone and

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22 language, stakeholders expect transparent and frequent responses from corporations (Gonzalez Herrero & Smith, 2008). Those that fail to deliver it quickly leave themselves vulnerable to attack. The good news for companies is that the very tools that trigger or enable crises can also provide solutions to resolving them (Gonzalez Herrero & Smith, 2008, p. 152). Perry et al. (2003) explained that Internet platforms offer organizations the opportunity to increase twoway communication by encouraging stakeholders to participate in dialogue. It allows the organiz ation to manage conflict more effectively, improve understanding and address stakeholder concerns (Perry et al., 2003, p. 215). Many organizations take advantage of the interactivity components available on social media and other online platforms (Sweetser, 2010, Perry et al., 2003; Kim, Kim & Kang, 2011). Perry et al. (2003) studied the interactivity features used to foster twoway communication and to allow stakeholders to voice concerns or ask questions. Perry et al. (2003) found that proactive discussi on is not only important during a crisis, but also important during preand post crisis stages. Kim et al. (2011) found interactivity components that Fortune 100 companies are using in Facebook messaging. Interactivity components found by Kim et al. (2011) included: prompting stakeholders to take general behavioral action, asking for event participation, prompting feedback or opinions from stakeholders and prompting discussion about stakeholders daily lives to personalize the message. Kim et al. (2011) fo und that fans were more likely to like a message if it was personalized. Kim et al. (2011) also found that the number of stakeholders comments was positively related to organizational messages that sought feedback from stakeholders and to messages

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23 personalized by the organization. They also found that the frequency of stakeholders comments was positively related to the frequency of the companys responsive comments and to its overall number of wall posts. In addition, more fans and the frequency of the organizations responsive comments led to more frequent posts by stakeholders on the companys wall (Kim et al., 2011). Sweetser (2010) found the use of video to be an effective interactivity component in online interaction with stakeholders. Sweetser (201 0) explained that video use is helpful in communicating the companys personality to stakeholders and allows stakeholders the opportunity to comment on the content. While social media offers several interactive features, many organizations are not fully us ing these features in practice. McCorkindale (2010) studied how Fortune 50 companies are using social networking sites and found that organizations were using them as an opportunity to foster dialogue with stakeholders, but were not taking advantage of its full potential. Similarly, Waters, Burnett, Lamm and Lucas (2009) found this to be the case among nonprofit organizations that used Facebook. Macnamara (2010) surveyed senior public relations practitioners in Australia and found that many were using social media to listen to and obtain information from stakeholders, but only a small percentage reported twoway communication as their primary use for social media. Some challenges practitioners reported included: stakeholders expectations for quick responses authorization to comment (particularly for government organizations) and a loss of control (Macnamara, 2010). Macnamara (2010) and McCorkindale (2010) found that many companies are unaware of how using social media coincides

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24 with their overall business strategy. Because of this, a major challenge is the ability to define the objectives for social media use in a clear, understandable way that justifies the use of social media from a business perspective (McCorkindale, 2010; Macnamara, 2010). Previous res earch (Wright & Hinson, 2009; Macnamara, 2010) found that Facebook is among the most popular, if not the most commonly used social media platform among organizations. The 2008 PR Week/BurstonMarstellar CEO Survey reported organizations are more likely to use Facebook when communicating with stakeholders than any other social media (Wright & Hinson, 2009, p. 15). The number of stakeholders that access Facebook offers companies opportunities to build and maintain relationships with them (Waters et al., 2008). According to Facebooks statistics page ( http://newsroom.fb.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=22), there are more than 800 million active Facebook users. The average user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events. For these reasons, Facebook was chosen as the focus of this research study. The aforementioned challenges further support the importance of this research. By studying how food corporati ons use social media for managing the obesity issue, practitioners can use this study as a benchmark for managing issues. To better understand this, this study raises: Research Question 1 How are food corporations using social media (Facebook) in issues management regarding the obesity issue? RQ1a: How often are food corporations addressing the obesity issue in comparison to overall number of messages (wall posts and responding comments)?

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25 RQ1b: What kinds of issues management efforts do food corporations adopt when managing the obesity issue (e.g., information sharing or providing solutions for the obesity issue)? RQ1c: What social media and interactivity tactics are food corporations using to increase twoway communication with stakeholders? In addition to RQ1c, the following hypotheses were proposed, based on previous research findings: H1: Stakeholders will be more likely to comment to the message if the corporations message seeks feedback from stakeholders or if the corporation personalizes the message. H2: Stakeholders are more likely to like the message if the corporations message is personalized. Framing the Obesity Issue In addition to researching how food corporations are addressing the obesity issue, this study will identify the relevant frames commonly used by food corporations on social media. Framing is a tool that can be used for effective issues management and as such, is of importance to the purpose of this study. Agenda setting Theory and Information Subsidies Before review of the literature on framing theory, it is necessary to briefly review agendasetting and information subsidies. Agendasetting theory refers to mass medias influence in setting the public agenda (Carroll & McCoombs, 2003). The theory of traditional agendasetting posit s that if mass media makes a certain object, issue or topic prominent, then that particular object, issue or topic will be seen as more important among the organizations publics (Carrol & McCoombs, 2003). The theory, in its relevance to public relations, posits that if practitioners can influence the salience of certain issues in media coverage/content, then they can influence public opinion (Turk, 1985; Kiousis, Popescu, & Mitrook, 2007; Carroll & McCoombs, 2007).

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26 Information subsidies are used by public relations practitioners to aid in influencing the media agenda, and in turn, shaping public opinion (Turk, 1985; Kiousis, Popescu, Mitrook, 2007). They [public relations practitioners] are charged with the responsibility of providing official organizati onal versions of reality to the media, in the hope that an organizations view of what is real and important will be incorporated into media content (Turk, 1985, p. 12). To accomplish this, practitioners provide proactive information subsidies (e.g., news releases, press conferences), as well as reactive information subsidies (e.g., interviews or providing answers to questions posed by journalists) (Turk, 1985; Kiousis, Popescu, & Mitrook, 2007). According to Kiousis, Popescu and Mitrook (2007), Secondle vel agendasetting has linked the concept with framing by suggesting that news media attention can influence how people think about a topic by selecting and placing emphasis on certain attributes and ignoring others (p. 151). Therefore, framing is an important concept in second level agendasetting and can be used to help influence the attitudes depicted in media content, and in turn, in public opinion. Framing Theory Hallahan (1999) explained that framing influences the psychological processes that stakeh olders use to understand the world around them. Public relations practitioners have the ability to use framing to aid in a stakeholders construction of social reality (Hallahan, 1999). Obesity, like other health issues, is often framed by attribution of responsibility for the cause and solution of this public health issue (Lawrence, 2004). Lawrence (2004) explained that within society, there are competing frames about obesity. Zieff and Veri (2009) explained, the obesity discourse has been framed by oft en sensationalist adjectives such as crisis, epidemic, pandemic and war;

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27 these terms are often used inaccurately, serving to heighten the emotional, rather than scientific tone of the content (Zieff & Veri, 2009, p. 155). To combat the frames that attribu te responsibility to food corporations and create negative perceptions of their involvement, practitioners should be proactive about framing the issue and their involvement on media platforms, like social media, in which there are no gatekeepers. Darmon et al. (2008) studied obesity issue frames in traditional media. According to Darmon et al. (2008), Kraft Foods Inc. was one of the first major food corporations to take advantage of the opportunity to proactively manage the obesity issue by using effective message framing. Confronted with the issue of obesity, Kraft Foods attempted not only to avoid a possible crisis, but also to find a way to turn the situation to its advantage (Darmon et al., 2008, p. 278). For this reason, Darm on et al. (2008) studied K raft Foods Inc. framing approaches to determine which frames were most receptive among traditional media stakeholders. Darmon et al. (2008) used a case study methodology and conducted a qualitative content analysis of media texts (print and broadcast). As a result of their analysis, the researchers found five major themes that Kraft Foods Inc. used to manage the obesity issue: 1) Global Initiatives to Help Address the Rise in Obesity; 2) Product Nutrition; 3) Marketing Practices; 4) Consumer Information; an d 5) Advocacy and Dialogue (Darmon et al., 2008, pp. 375376). Table 21 describes each frame based on the frame name and descriptions of underlying sub frames within each frame. In addition to these frequently used frames and sub frames within, Darmon et al. (2008) found that the Product Nutrition frame was most commonly used in traditional

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28 media, followed by the Marketing Practices frame and the Global Initiatives frame. Based on the frequencies of these frames in the media, these were seemingly the most interesting, important and/or newsworthy frames to traditional media. However, are these frames being frequently used in social media messaging as well? This study will attempt to answer this. To better understand how food corporations are framing the obes ity issue on social media and to compare those frames with the frames found to be used commonly in traditional media (based on Darmon et al. (2008) research), this study raises: Research Question 2 How are food corporations framing the obesity issue? Based on the literature review, the following hypotheses were proposed: H3: The obesity issue frames used by food corporations in traditional media (fo und by Darmon et al. (2008 ) ) will be similar to those frequently used in social media messaging. H3a: The Product Nutrition frame will be the most frequently used obesity issue frame on social media. H3b: The Marketing Practices frame will be the second most frequently used obesity issue frame on social media. H3c: The Global Initiatives frame will be the third most frequently used obesity issue frame on social media. In addition to the hypotheses proposed for testing, the following research questions were raised: RQ2a: Among the five obesity issue frames (Global Initiatives, Product Nutrition, Marketing Practices Consumer Information, and Advocacy and Dialogue) being used, are there statistically significant differences in terms of dialogue participation from stakeholders? RQ2b: Among the five obesity issue frames (Global Initiatives, Product Nutrition, Marketing Practices, Consumer Information, and Advocacy and Dialogue) being used, are there statistically significant differences in terms of positive reaction from stakeholders? RQ2c: Among the five obesity issue frames (Global Initiatives, Product Nutrition, Mark eting Practices, Consumer Information, and Advocacy and Dialogue) being used,

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29 are there statistically significant differences in terms of stakeholders willingness to share the message with others?

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30 Table 21. Descriptions of obesity issue frames found in traditional media Frame Description Global initiatives to help address rise in Obesity (Global initiatives) Focus on the organizations commitment to support healthier lifestyles, commitment to making it easier for customers to eat better, steps the organization plans to take to help battle obesity Product nutrition Focus on importance of product nutrition, portion size, nutritional characteristics of products, efforts to provide healthier options or improve nutritional value of current products Marketi ng practices Focus on the organizations intent to eliminate marketing in schools, criteria the organization will coordinate with the vending industry to decide which of the organizations products are most appropriate to offer in school vending machines, or organizational guidelines for advertising and marketing practices to stress healthy and active lifestyles Consumer information Focus on nutritional labeling, the organizations addition of nutrition information to product labels to help make consumer c hoices easier, healthrelated claims (all in the global market landscape) Advocacy and dialogue Focus on the organization advocating for public policy changes (primarily for schools and communities), efforts to increase conversation about the obesity issue with its stakeholders Note: Adapted from Darmon, K., Fitzpatrick, K., & Bronstein, C. (2008). Krafting the obesity message: A case study in framing and issue management. Public Relations Review 34(4), 373379.

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31 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Through a quantit ative content analysis, this study examined corporations in the food consumer products industry from the 2011 Fortune 500 companies list. The list was obtained from Fortunes online magazine (found at http://money.cnn.com/ magazines/fortune/fortune500/2011/industries/198/index.html ). Sampling Procedure This research examined the Facebook walls of Fortune 500 corporations from the food consumer products industry Data were retrieved from Facebook wall posts dated from January 2011 through December 2011, or one calendar year. Company Facebook accounts were found via searching for the companies names on Facebooks site. Many corporations had established more than one Facebook page for different campaigns or products. Official corporate Facebook URLs were checked using a Google search for the corporate Facebook URL address. Out of 14 corporations in the food consumer products industry ranked in the Fortune 500, nine had a corporate or general (noncampaign or nonproduct specific) Facebook page. Only general corporate Facebook pages were considered because the purpose of this study is to examine the corporations official social media messaging. Out of the nine corporations that had an official corporate Facebook, only three parent company corporations (Kraft Foods Inc. Kellogg Company and PepsiCo Inc. ) had at least 25 messages or more addressing the issue of obesity in the sample time period. These three Fortune 500 parent corporations were deemed appropriate for this sample because they met the criteria and because they are examples of prominent corporations in the food consumer products industry. Kraft Foods Inc. is the nations

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32 largest packaged food manufacturer ( Warner, 2005) and the second largest in the world behind Nestle (Carpenter, 2004), Kellogg Company is among the worlds leaders in convenience foods and is considered the leading cereal producer (Oneof a kind, 2006), and PepsiCo Inc. is a top consumer pac kaging company (McTaggart, 2003). All three parent companies were mentioned in articles to have changed their business practices to address the obesity issue. Kraft Foods Inc. outlined four areas of focus for new products, including weight management and nutrition delivery (Obesity concerns, 2004). Kellogg Company started focusing on themes and programs that would center on avoiding obesity and help stakeholders achieve a balanced diet themes Kellogg Company found would resonate with its target market ( Stuart, 2007). According to McTaggart (2003), PepsiCo Inc. is the most notable, in that the corporation publicly committed to improving the health benefits in 50 percent of new products. Within each of those three parent company corporations, at least two brand corporations were identified that also met the sample criteria of having posted at least 25 messages address the obesity issue in one calendar year (January 1, 2011December 31, 2011). Brand corporations included: Jell O and Crystal Light (Kraft Fo ods Inc. brands); Special K and Frosted Flakes (Kellogg Company brands); and Quaker, Gatorade and Tropicana (PepsiCo Inc. brands). The final sample included Facebook messages from 10 corporations: parent companies Kraft Foods Inc. Kellogg Company and Peps iCo Inc. ; and brand companies Jell O, Crystal Light, Special K, Frosted Flakes, Quaker, Gatorade and Tropicana. Facebook messages considered for this sample included official corporate wall posts (includes text only posts, text posts linked wi th video, text posts linked with a

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33 photo, and text posts linked with polls) and corporate comments posted in response to a stakeholders post. For clarification, a wall post is a message (text only, video, photo or poll) posted directly on the companys wall. A comment is a message that is posted in response to another. To determine which messages addressed the obesity issue, some keywords were adopted from previous literature and from news articles (keywords discussed in more detail in the Variables Measured section). All data were collected during the last two weeks of January 2012, saved in Microsoft Word documents, and then converted to PDF documents to prevent any new posts from interfering with the sample data. This was conducted in preparation for t he coding procedure. A total of 514 Facebook messages (wall posts and responding comments) were coded for the sample. Variables Measured A coding sheet (Appendix A) was designed to obtain general information about each corporations Facebook page. Coders c oded (a) the number of stakeholders that like the company, and (b) the number of stakeholders that has talked about the company. According to Constine (2011), the number of stakeholders talking about this is linked to a Facebook metric that records F acebook users interactions with the company in the past seven days only. The nature of the metric is that it only records and reports interactions that occurred during a oneweek time period, and specifically within the past seven days. Interactions recor ded by this metric include: liking a page; posting to a pages wall; liking, commenting or sharing a page post; answering a question posted; responding to an RSVP to an event; mentioning the company page in a post; phototagging a page; liking or sharing a check in deal; or checking in at a place. This feature does not break up the specific instances. Rather, it consolidates them into one metric, which is refreshed daily to report the last seven days (Constine, 2011). In the

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34 case of this study, since the data were collected on January 31, 2012, this metric reflected the number of stakeholders who talked about the company from January 2531, 2012, or one week. Variables Measured for Addressing the Obesity Issue (RQ1a) To investigate how often food corporati ons are addressing the obesity issue in comparison to overall number of messages (RQ1a), the researcher coded (a) the total number of official corporate wall posts (not including responding comments) that address the obesity issue, (b) the total number of comments posted in response to stakeholders comments that address the obesity issue, and (c) the total number of corporate messages (wall posts and responding comments) that the corporation posted within the sample time period. To determine which messages address the obesity issue, some terms were found through emergent coding, a process in which the terms develop from factors found when examining the data (Wimmer & Dominick, 2011), including the following terms or forms of the terms: obesity, nutrition, health, lifestyle, weight, portion(s), whole grain, and staying in shape (including active, fit, sports). Other terms were adapted from previous research (Verduin et al., 2005) that suggested companies may use the following terms: low c alorie, unsalted, no trans fat, or cholesterol free when addressing the obesity issue. Other terms were flagged based on emergent coding and by their mention in news articles regarding company efforts to address the obesity issue: diet (Stuart, 2007; Carpenter, 2004); fiber (Kraft flags, 2005); low carb (Carpenter, 2004), and sugar free (Thompson, 2006). Messages that included the keywords made up the sample, which was further stratified and evaluated for relevance to the obesity issue. Mes sages that included the keywords but were too short or vague to show relevancy to addressing the obesity issue

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35 (e.g., Exercise is nice.) were eliminated due to their unclear relevancy. Messages that included these keywords but talked about them in the context of building up (for athletes) or in the context of malnutrition were also eliminated from the sample due to irrelevance to the obesity issue. Variables Measured for Issues Management (RQ1b) A second coding sheet (Appendix B) was designed to address t he remaining research questions and hypotheses. To investigate the types of issues management efforts food corporations adopt when communicating about the obesity issue on social media (RQ1b), coders coded for corporate wall posts and responding comments t hat focus on (a) information sharing, and (b) providing solutions for the obesity issue, based on previous research (Hainsworth & Meng, 1988; Jones & Chase, 1979). For a better understanding of the type of information corporations are sharing, coders coded for the presence and frequency of the use of the terms: (a) obesity; (b) nutrition/nutritious; (c) health, healthy, healthier or healthiest; (d) diet; (e) lifestyle; (f) weigh or weight; (g) portion(s), serving size(s); (h) wholegrain; (i) staying in shape (including active, fit, fitness, sports, workout) (terms found through emergent coding); (j) low calorie, reduced calorie; (k) unsalted, low sodium, reduced salt/sodium; (l) low fat, no trans fat, reduced fat; and (m) cholesterol free (terms suggested by previous research by Verduin et al., 2005). Coders also coded the presence and frequency of the following terms, found through emergent coding and by notice of mention in news articles, regarding company efforts to address the obesity issue: diet (Stuart 2007; Carpenter, 2004), fiber (Kraft flags, 2005), low carb, good carbohydrates (Carpenter, 2004), and sugar free, reduced sugar (Thompson, 2006).

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36 To understand the type of solutions corporations are providing, coders coded for messages that mention solutions (adapted from previous research by Verduin et al., 2005), such as: (a) collaborating with government; (b) collaborating with schools; (c) collaborating with the medical community; and (d) giving nutritional information or talk about providing the best nutritional choices to empower stakeholders to make the right decisions. Another item (collaborating with nonprofit organizations) was found through emergent coding and was included. Variables Measured for Two way Communication Elements (RQ1c, H1 and H 2) To examine the social media tactics food corporations are using to increase twoway communication with stakeholders (RQ1c, H1 and H2), three items were adopted from previous research (Kim et al., 2011) regarding interactivity components. Adopted items include messages that (a) seek feedback/opinions/comments from stakeholders (e.g., What do you think? or Tell us how you feel); (b) prompt stakeholders to act in some way (e.g., Upload a photo, learn more by going to this website, or Try this recip e to stay healthy); and (c) ask personal question (e.g., Tell us your favorite healthy food, What is your favorite way to stay active?). An additional item (the source of the corporations post) was developed through emergent coding. To discern a pers onal approach tactic used by the corporations, the source of the corporations post was coded (e.g., whether the corporate Facebook account is used for posting messages on Facebook or whether an individual is using his or her personal account to post offic ial comments on behalf of the corporation). Variables Measured for Obesity Issue Frames (RQ2 and H3) To identify how food corporations are framing the obesity issue (RQ2) and to compare frequently adopted frames with those found in previous research (Darmon et

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37 al., 2008) (H3), the presence and frequency of each of the five frames (Global Initiatives, Product Nutrition, Marketing Practices, Consumer Information, and Advocacy and Dialogue) and their corresponding sub frames were coded. To measure the Global Initiatives to Help Address Rise in Obesity frame (referred to as the Global Initiatives frame) four items were included: discussion of (1) global initiatives to help address rise in obesity (in general); (2) the corporations commitment to support healthier lifestyles; (3) the corporations commitment to making it easier for customers to eat better; and (4) steps the corporation plans to take to help battle obesity. To measure the Product Nutrition frame, five items were included: discussion of (1) produc t nutrition (in general); (2) the importance of product nutrition; (3) portion size; (4) nutritional characteristics of products; and (5) efforts to provide healthier options or improve nutritional value of current products. To measure the Marketing Practi ces frame, four items were included: discussion of (1) marketing practices (in general); (2) focus on the corporations intent to eliminate marketing in schools; (3) criteria the corporation will coordinate with the vending industry to decide which of the corporations products are most appropriate to offer in school vending machines; and (4) organizational guidelines for advertising and marketing practices to stress healthy lifestyles. To measure the Consumer Information frame, four items were included: di scussion of (1) consumer information (in general); (2) nutrition labeling; (3) addition of nutrition information to product labels to help make consumer choices easier; and (4) healthrelated claims. To measure the Advocacy and Dialogue frame, three items were included: discussion of (1) advocacy and dialogue (in general); (2) the corporations efforts to advocate for public policy changes (primarily for

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38 schools and communities); and (3) the corporations efforts to increase dialogue about the obesity issue with key stakeholders. In addition, to understand characteristics of stakeholders interaction and responses to these frames (RQ2aRQ2c), three items were created: (1) number of stakeholder comments; (2) number of stakeholder likes, adapted from previous research (Kim et al., 2011); and (3) number of shares, adapted through emergent coding. To examine which frame(s) stimulate(s) the dialogue with stakeholders most frequently (RQ2a), coders coded the number of stakeholder comments posted in response to a particular corporate message about the obesity issue. To understand which frame(s) stimulate(s) positive reaction from stakeholders most frequently (RQ2b), coders coded the number of likes. To understand which frame(s) stimulate(s) stakeholders willin gness to share information with others most frequently (RQ2c), coders coded the number of shares. Coding Procedure & Data Analysis Coding protocol was developed to accompany the coding sheet and to provide definitions and clarifications for each variable. The unit analysis for Coding Sheet A (general company information) was per company. The unit analysis for Coding Sheet B was one corporate Facebook message (wall post or responding comment). Coders coded the dichotomy of each item (e.g., 1 or 0) to maxim ize objective decisions when coding. Coders also coded the frequency of some items as appropriate, such as keywords, solutions used, and frames. Two coders independently coded 20 percent ( n = 104) of the total sample ( n = 514) to determine intercoder reliabi lity of the study. Every 5th message was selected to be coded in the intercoder reliability check. This method allowed the reliability sample to be

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39 proportionally representative of all 10 corporations. SPSS macros for Krippendorffs alpha (Hayes, 2005) wer e used to determine reliability. According to Wimmer and Dominick (2011), Krippendorffs alpha is an all purpose reliability measure that accounts for situations where there is more than one coder and can be used with several types of data scales (nominal, ordinal, interval or ratio) (p. 174). In the first wave reliability check, coders independently coded 1.9% of the sample ( n = 10) of the corporations Facebook messages. Krippendorffs alpha reliabilities ranged from .81 to 1.0. Coders then independently coded 25 messages (5% of the sample) in a secondwave intercoder reliability check. In the secondwave, Krippendorffs alpha reliabilities ranged from .76 to 1.0. In the final wave, coders independently coded the remainder of the intercoder reliability sample, with Krippendorffs alpha reliabilities ranging from .72 to 1.0. According to Wimmer and Dominick (2011), a reliability coefficient of .70 or greater is acceptable. Therefore, intercoder reliability in this study was considered acceptable. Afterwards the two coders discussed differences and agreed upon which data (from the 104 messages coded for intercoder reliability) would be incorporated into the final sample ( n = 514). After determining that the intercoder reliability was acceptable and discussing differences, the remainder of the sample was coded.

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40 CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS Research Question 1 How are food corporations using social media (Facebook) in issues management regarding the obesity issue? RQ1a: How often are food corporations addressing the obesity issue in comparison to overall number of messages (wall posts and responding comments)? RQ1b: What kinds of issues management efforts do food corporations adopt when managing the obesity issue (e.g., information sharing or providing solutions for the obesity issue)? RQ1c: What social media and interactivity tactics are food corporations using to increase twoway communication with stakeholders? In addition to RQ1c, the following hypotheses were proposed, based on previous research findings: H1: Stakeh olders will be more likely to comment to the message if the corporations message seeks feedback from stakeholders or if the corporation personalizes the message. H2: Stakeholders are more likely to like the message if the corporations message is person alized. Background Information Coding Sheet A was used to obtain general company information for each corporation in the sample. Information for the 10 companies was collected January 31, 2012 to prevent any new numbers from affecting the data, given the c hanging nature of Facebook. The results of the data collected from Coding Sheet A show that there are many stakeholders that have shown interest in connecting with the corporation, revealed by the number of stakeholders who like the company and the number who have talked about the company in the past seven days. Table 41 reflects the results for the number of stakeholders who have cumulatively liked the page, or talked about the company within the last seven days before January 31, 2012 (the date o f recording).

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41 For clarification, the number of likes for a company is a cumulative metric. As mentioned in the methodology section, the talking about metric is comprised of several aspects of stakeholder interaction with the company, including a stakeholder: (a) liking a page; (b) posting to a pages wall; (c) liking, commenting or sharing a page post; (d) answering a question posted; (e) responding to an RSVP to an event; (f) mentioning the company page in a post; (g) phototagging a page; (h) liking or sharing a check in deal; and (i) checking in at a place (when the company has listed a location on its Facebook wall). Again, this metric only reflects and reports the aforementioned interactions that occurred in the last seven days (Constine, 2011). As indicated in the table, at the date of recording (January 31, 2012), Gatorade had the most active stakeholders, with 4,557,719 stakeholders who like the company and 84,588 stakeholders who had talked about the brand within the past seven days. Of the companies within this sample, Kraft Foods Inc. reported the least number, with 34,195 likes and only 691 stakeholders who had talked about the company within the last seven days. However, in terms of percentage of stakeholders who are talking about t he company in comparison to total number of stakeholders who like the company, Quaker had the greatest percentage (4.7%) and Gatorade had the lowest percentage (1.9%). The results suggest that for the most part, brand corporations have more of a stakeh older following and more stakeholder interaction than do parent corporations. Stakeholders must physically click like to like the corporations page, or physically act in a certain way (based on the interactions listed above that trigger the talked about metric) to be included in the reported talked about number. This implies that these are

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42 active stakeholders who have shown interest in connecting with the corporation via its Facebook page. The number of likes and stakeholders who have talked abo ut the companies, even in the case of Kraft Foods Inc. (who had the lowest number reported) show that there is opportunity to directly communicate with a large population of active stakeholders through use of this medium. RQ1a RQ1a asked how often food c orporations are addressing the obesity issue in comparison to overall number of posted messages (wall posts and responding comments) Table 42 offers the breakdown for each corporation, in terms of the activeness in posting (via wall posts) and commenting (via responding comments) about the obesity issue, compared to the overall number of posted messages (wall posts and responding comments). Collectively across all 10 corporations, a total of 14,401 messages were posted (wall posts and responding comments) Based on the results, the corporations in the sample are actively using Facebook, with an average of 1,440 messages (wall posts and responding comments) per company posted over the course of one year. However, only about 1.9 percent of messages were wall posts that address the obesity issue, and only about 1.7 percent of messages were responding comments that address the obesity issue. The results do not suggest that corporations are communicating often with stakeholders about the obesity issue, with just an average of 51 messages per company, per year addressing the issue. This showed that only a small percentage of corporate messages (wall posts and responding comments) are being used to address the obesity issue when communicating with stakeholders on F acebook.

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43 RQ1b RQ1b asked what kinds of issues management efforts (e.g., information sharing and/or providing solutions) food corporations are adopting when managing the obesity issue on social media. By coding the frequency of keywords that were adapted fr om previous research (Verduin et al., 2005) and from emergent coding, results showed that there were some commonly used keywords. Of the keywords used, the term healthy or forms of the term were most frequently used (with a frequency of 191), followed by nutrition or forms of the term (with a frequency of 171), portion size or forms of the term (with a frequency of 130), and low calorie or forms of the term (with a frequency of 110). It is interesting to note that the keyword obesity or forms of t he term were only used twice throughout the 514 messages that were coded. Previous research (Verduin et al., 2005) suggested companies may use the following terms: low calorie, unsalted, no trans fat, or cholesterol free when addressing the obesity issue. The results of this study revealed that these terms, with the exception of low calorie are not necessarily the most commonly used terms in social media messaging. Other terms, such as weight/weight management and others listed above were used m ore often when communicating directly to stakeholders in Facebook messaging. While 514 messages were coded based on presence of these commonly used obesity issue keywords in other media, results showed that only 93% of messages ( n = 478) in the sample used these keywords and shared information with stakeholders on Facebook. The remaining seven percent of corporate messages in the total sample ( n = 36) used one or multiple keywords, but the message itself did not necessarily share information about the obesity issue. Some examples of these messages include: What is your favorite way to stay healthy?; Do you incorporate exercise into your weight

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44 management program? Its chilly outside! Whats a workout youre into now that its winter? Often, the corporat ions message served as a prompt to encourage dialogue about the obesity issue among stakeholders. It was observed that in cases with messages like these, the corporations message itself did not necessarily share information. Rather, stakeholders respons es often served to share information. However, this study only focused on corporate messages and messages from stakeholders were not coded. This implies that at least seven percent of corporate messages in this sample were used to prompt conversation about the issue, but did not necessarily share information. One hundred and fifty seven messages (30.5%) in the sample talked about sports, exercise or staying in shape and terms related to this item (fitness, sports, staying in shape). Collectively, these term s were used 334 times throughout the 514 messages. Thirty nine messages in the sample (7.6%) shared information through healthy recipes, and 207 messages (40.3%) in the sample shared information through mentioning another source or a website. Four hundred twelve messages (80.2%) of the total sample provided solutions for the obesity issue. Of those solutions that were communicated, 34 messages (6.6%) in the total sample talked about collaborating with nonprofits, 29 messages (5.6%) mentioned collaboration w ith government, 22 messages (4.3%) discussed collaboration with schools, 8 messages (1.6%) talked about collaborating with the medical community, and 319 messages (62.1%) gave stakeholders nutritional information to empower them to make the right choices.

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45 To determine any relationship between messages that shared information and messages that provided solutions, a correlation analysis was performed. The analysis showed a significant positive relationship between messages that share information and messages that provide at least one solution ( r = .327, p < .01). The result suggests that when messages share information, they are likely to include a solution. Consequently, when a message provides a solution, it will often share some information. To compare the effect of the solutions adapted on the number of comments, likes and shares, a oneway ANOVA was conducted. Messages tested included those with solutions that mentioned (1) collaborating with nonprofits (a solution found through emergent coding); (2) collaborating with government; (3) collaborating with schools; (4) collaborating with the medical community; and (5) providing nutritional information to empower stakeholders to make the right choices (solutions adapted from previous research by Verduin et al., 2005). Messages providing multiple solutions were excluded from this ANOVA test to remove the uncertainty of which solution may have more effect on the number of comments, likes and shares than the other. For example, if two solutions were utilized in one message, it may not be evident as to which solution influenced the dependent variable more than the other. Therefore, the messages in this ANOVA tested only those solutions messages with a unique solution mentioned ( n = 347). Results of the ANOVA sh owed that among the five solutions used, there were no significant differences in the number of stakeholder comments ( F (4,343) = .953, p > .05), the number of likes ( F (4,343), p > .05), and the number of shares ( F (4, 343) =

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46 .025, p > 0.5). Therefore, it cannot be concluded that the solution used has a significant effect on the number of stakeholder comments, likes or shares. RQ1c RQ1c asked about the social media and interactivity tactics that food corporations are using to increase twoway commun ication with stakeholders. As shown in Figure 41, in the sample data, of the content types used for wall posts ( n = 268), text only wall posts were most frequently used (22%, n = 113), followed by text plus a photo (14.4%, n = 74), text plus the corporation s logo (8%, n = 41), text plus a video (5.3%, n = 27), and lastly, text plus a poll (2.5%, n = 13). Of the messages in the total sample, responding comments were used in 246 messages (47.9% of the sample) to discuss the obesity issue. In regards to the intera ctivity elements used, 144 messages (28% of the sample) sought feedback from stakeholders, 192 messages (37.4% of the sample) prompted action from stakeholders, and six messages (1.2% of the sample) prompted stakeholders to click like. In assessing how c orporations personalize the communication with stakeholders, it was found that 95 messages (18.5% of the sample) asked stakeholders personal questions. The majority of messages were posted by the corporations official Facebook account ( n = 497, 96.7% of th e sample), whereas 13 messages (2.5% of the sample) were using an individual voice, with Kraf t Foods Inc. being the only corporation that allows individuals to post answers on behalf of the corporation. Figures 42 and 43 show the interactivity and person alization elements used in corporate messaging. The results suggest that corporations are using wall posts (text only, text plus a poll, photo, logo picture or video) more often than they are using responding comments

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47 to address the obesity issue. In terms of interactivity elements, food corporations are frequently using messages that prompt stakeholders to act in some way (e.g., Upload a photo, Learn more here, Try this recipe). In terms of personalization techniques, corporations do use messages that ask stakeholders personal questions. However, regarding the entity from which the official corporate messages are posted, not many corporations are using individual voices. Rather, the overwhelming majority of messages are posted via the corporations of ficial Facebook account. Correlation analyses were performed to test H1 and H2 and to examine the relationship between the interactivity variables and stakeholders participation in dialogue (comments), positive reaction (likes) and willingness to share with others (shares, only available in cases when the corporate message was a wall post). Hypothesis 1 Stakeholders will be more likely to comment to the message if the corporations message seeks feedback from stakeholders or if the corporation personal izes the message. (Supported) Results of a correlation analysis (shown in Table 43) suggest that there is a significant positive relationship between a message that seeks feedback and the number of stakeholder comments ( r = .225, p < .01). The results also suggest a significant positive relationship between messages that ask stakeholders a personal question and the number of stakeholder comments ( r = .223, p < .01). There were no other significant relationships (positive or negative) found relating to messag es that sought action ( r = .026, p > .01), messages that prompted stakeholders to click like ( r = .009, p > .01), messages that used an official voice ( r = .040, p > .01), or messages that used an individual voice ( r = .035, p > .01), and the number of stakeholder comments.

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48 The finding is consistent with previous research (Kim et al., 2011) regarding the correlation of interactivity features with the number of comments. Hypothesis 2 Stakeholders are more likely to like the message if the corporations mes sage is personalized. (Supported) Results of a correlation analysis (shown in Table 44) revealed a significant positive relationship between the messages that sought feedback/comments from stakeholders and the number of likes ( r = .200, p < .01), and the messages that asked personal questions and the number of likes ( r = .139, p < .01). This is consistent with the findings of previous research (Kim et al., 2011). Further, results showed that a significant positive relationship exists between a corporate message that prompts stakeholders to click like and the number of stakeholders who like the message ( r = .201, p < .01). There was no significant relationship between the number of likes and messages that sought action ( r = .015, p > .01), messages tha t used an official voice ( r = .084, p > .01) or messages that used an individual voice ( r = .076, p > .01). To further investigate RQ1c, a correlation analysis was performed to examine the relationship between the number of shares and the interactivity fe atures studied. The results showed no significant relationships between the number of shares and messages that seek feedback ( r = .078, p > .01), messages that seek action ( r = .011, p > .01), messages that prompt shareholders to click like ( r = .003, p > .01), messages that ask personal questions ( r = .003, p > .01), messages that use an official voice ( r = .017, p > .01), or messages that use an individual voice ( r = .015, p > .01). The findings of RQ1c (H1 and H2) show that stakeholders are more likely to comment on a message if the corporation (1) seeks feedback from stakeholders, and/or

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49 (2) asks stakeholders personal questions. The results also showed that stakeholders are more likely to like a message if the corporation (1) prompts stakeholders to click like, (2) seeks feedback from stakeholders, and/or (3) asks stakeholders personal questions. Research Question 2 How are food corporations framing the obesity issue? To answer this, the researcher tested the following hypotheses and addressed the f ollowing research questions: H3: The obesity issue frames used by food corporations in traditional media (found by Darmon et al. (2008)) will be similar to those frequently used in social media messaging. H3a: The Product Nutrition frame will be the most f requently used obesity issue frame on social media. H3b: The Marketing Practices frame will be the second most frequently used obesity issue frame on social media. H3c: The Global Initiatives frame will be the third most frequently used obesity issue frame on social media. In addition, the following RQs were investigated: RQ2a: Among the five obesity issue frames (Global Initiatives, Product Nutrition, Marketing Practices, Consumer Information, and Advocacy and Dialogue) being used, are there statistically significant differences in terms of dialogue participation from stakeholders? RQ2b: Among the five obesity issue frames (Global Initiatives, Product Nutrition, Marketing Practices, Consumer Information, and Advocacy and Dialogue) being used, are there statistically significant differences in terms of positive reaction from stakeholders? RQ2c: Among the five obesity issue frames (Global Initiatives, Product Nutrition, Marketing Practices, Consumer Information, and Advocacy and Dialogue) being used, are ther e statistically significant differences in terms of stakeholders willingness to share the message with others? As per Coding Sheet B, only the frames that were found in previous research were coded. RQ2 asked how food corporations are framing the obesity issue on social media. A total of 80.5 percent ( n = 414) of the messages in the sample used one or more of the

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50 previously found frames, whereas 19.5 percent ( n = 100) of the messages included keywords and met sample criteria, but did not have a specific fram e associated with it. Of those that matched with frames from previous research, the Product Nutrition frame was used in the most messages ( n = 457, 88.9% of messages in the sample), followed by the Global Initiatives frame ( n = 212, 41.2% of messages in the sample), and the Advocacy and Dialogue frame ( n = 94, 18.3% of messages in the sample). The Consumer Information frame ( n = 18, 3.5% of messages in the sample) and the Marketing Practices frame ( n = 0, 0% of messages in the sample) were the least used. Table 4 5 shows the breakdown of how many messages used each frame and sub frame, and the overall frequency of each frame and sub frame. Hypothesis 3 The obesity issue frames used by food corporations in traditional media (found by Darmon et al., (2008)) will be similar to those frequently used in social media messaging. (Partially Supported) The results are further explained below under hypothesis subheads (H3aH3c). Some elements of this hypothesis were supported while some were rejected. H3a The Product Nutrit ion frame will be the most frequently used obesity issue frame on social media. (Supported) The results of this study were consistent with previous research on traditional media messaging (Darmon et al., 2008), regarding the popular use of the Product Nutr ition frame. Results showed that the Product Nutrition frame is the most commonly used in social media messages as well. This frame was used in 457 messages (88.9%

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51 of the messages in the sample). Regarding overall frequency of use, a Product Nutrition fram e or sub frame was mentioned 815 times throughout 457 messages. H3b The Marketing Practices frame will be the second most frequently used obesity issue frame on social media. (Not Supported) The results of the use of the Marketing Practices frame were inco nsistent with previous research. Among 514 messages, this frame was not used at all when addressing the obesity issue. Darmon et al. (2008) research on the popularity of the Marketing Practices frame in traditional media revealed that it was the second mos t commonly used frame. H3c The Global Initiatives frame will be the third most frequently used obesity issue frame on social media. (Partially Supported) The results of this study showed that the Global Initiatives frame was among the top obesity issue frames most frequently used. It only differed from previous research (Darmon et al., 2008) in that it was the second most commonly used, instead of the third. It was used in 212 messages (41.2% of the messages in the sample). Regarding overall frequency of us e, a Global Initiatives frame or sub frame was mentioned 227 times throughout 212 messages. The help answer RQ2 (How food corporations are framing the obesity issue), a chi square analysis was performed to examine any differences between parent corporations and brand corporations in terms of frame used (Global Initiatives frame, Product Nutrition frame, and Advocacy and Dialogue frame). For this analysis, the Marketing Practices and Consumer Information frames were dropped due to the inability

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52 to meet the c hi square test criteria of having an expected count of at least five (Wimmer & Dominick, 2011). As shown in Table 46, results revealed that for the Global Initiatives frame, the relationship between these variables was significant, X2 (1) = 39.561, p < .0 5. Brand corporations were more likely to use the Global Initiatives frame in obesity issue messages on social media than were parent corporations. Results also showed that for the Product Nutrition frame, the relationship between the variables was also si gnificant, X2 (1) = 11.030, p < .05. Brand corporations were more likely to use the Product Nutrition frame than were parent corporations. The results of the chi square analysis showed a significant relationship between the corporation type and use of the Advocacy and Dialogue frame ( X2 (1) = 5.289, p < .05). Brand corporations were also more likely to use the Advocacy and Dialogue frame than were parent corporations. The results revealed that in the case of this study, brand corporations are more likely th an parent corporations to use the Global Initiatives, Product Nutrition and Advocacy and Dialogue frames. No conclusions could be made regarding differences between corporation types (parent corporation or brand corporation) in terms of use of the Marketing Practices or Consumer Information frames. RQ2a, RQ2b, RQ2c The remaining research questions (RQ2aRQ2c) asked if there are statistically significant differences among the five obesity issue frames (Global Initiatives, Product Nutrition, Marketing Practic es, Consumer Information, and Advocacy and Dialogue), in terms of (a) dialogue participation from stakeholders, (b) positive reaction from stakeholders, and (c) stakeholders willingness to share information with others. To answer RQ2aRQ2c, Facebook messages with at least one frame were considered

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53 from the analysis. From that pool, those with more than one frame were then eliminated, due to the uncertainty of which frame may have the dominant effect on number of comments, likes, and shares over the oth er frame(s). It is also noted that only Facebook wall posts were included in the analysis for shares, as Facebook does not give stakeholders an option to share a responding comment message. After compiling those that included only one major frame ( n = 3 72), ANOVAs were conducted to examine the relationships among the five frames employed and the number of comments, likes and shares. In regards to RQ2a, results showed no significant differences in the numbers of comments ( F (3, 368) = .787, p > .05) b ased on frame use. In regards to RQ2b, results revealed that number of likes was subjected to an analysis of variance, using frame as an independent variable. The analysis showed a significant main effect of frame ( F (3, 368) = 8.171, p < .05). A post hoc test was then conducted, and the Scheffe post hoc test was chosen since it is considered the most conservative method (Hilton & Armstrong, 2006). Post hoc analysis indicated that the mean score for Global Initiatives frame ( M = 14.19, SD = 33.11) was sig nificantly different than the mean score of the Product Nutrition frame ( M = 47.24, SD = 98.63) and Advocacy and Dialogue frame ( M = 27, SD = 75.03) in the number of likes. This indicates that the Product Nutrition frame is more effective than the Advocacy and Dialogue frame or the Global Initiatives frame in terms of generating likes. In regards to RQ2c, the results showed no significant differences in the number of shares ( F (3, 368) = .082, p > .05) based on frame use. Table 47 reflects the results of the ANOVA test.

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54 The results (shown in Table 47) suggest that the use of specific frames can have an effect on the number of likes (RQ2b). Specifically, these results suggest that when the Product Nutrition frame, the Advocacy and Dialogue frame, or the Global Initiatives frame is used, there are more likes. However, it should be noted that in the case of this study, frame use did not have a significant effect on number of comments (RQ2a) or on number of shares (RQ2c). To further investigate relationships between frame use and the number of stakeholder comments, likes and shares, correlation analyses were run for all frames without dropping any cases that presented more than one frame, but excluding messages that did not use any frames. The Market ing Practices frame was dropped from this analysis, as there were zero results in terms of frame use. Results of these correlation analyses are shown in Table 48. Results of the correlation analysis showed that there was a significant positive relationshi p between the number of comments and the Product Nutrition frame ( r = .116, p < .05), and a significant negative relationship between the number of stakeholder comments and the Global Initiatives frame ( r = .164, p < .01). Results showed no significant rela tionships between the number of comments and the Consumer Information frame ( r = .046, p > .05), and the Advocacy and Dialogue frame ( r = .048, p > .05). Results of the correlation analysis also revealed that there was a significant positive relationship be tween the number of likes and the Product Nutrition frame ( r = .103, p < .05) and the Advocacy and Dialogue frame ( r = .143, p < .01). Results also showed a significant negative relationship between the number of likes and the

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55 presence of a Global Initiatives frame ( r = .206, p < .01). Results did not show a significant relationship between the number of likes and the Consumer Information frame ( r = .064, p > .05). Results also suggested that there were no significant relationships between the number of shares and the frames used. Results showed a nonsignificant relationship between the number of shares and the Global Initiatives frame ( r = .007, p > .05), the Product Nutrition frame ( r = .029, p > .05), the Consumer Information frame ( r = .005, p > .05), and the Advocacy and Dialogue frame ( r = .052, p > .05). Results from the correlation analyses show that when examining the direct relationship between the use of specific frames and the number of stakeholder comments, likes, and shares, the Product Nutrition frame is most effective. In addition, the Advocacy and Dialogue frame is also likely to generate more stakeholder likes. The correlation analysis did show that the Global Initiatives frame should not be used often, as results indicate that the use of this frame does not generate more comments or likes. The ANOVA and correlation analyses show that the Product Nutrition frame is the best frame for practitioners to use to generate more dialogue with and positive reaction from stakeholders. Both analyses also show that the Advocacy and Dialogue frame is the second most effective, whereas the Global Initiatives frame and Consumer Information frame are not recommended if practitioners are seeking increased dialogue and positive reaction.

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56 Table 4 1. Number of stakeholders who like the corporation (cumulative metric) and who have talked about the corporation (from January 2531, 2012) Corporation (P) Parent Corp. (B) Brand Corp. Likes for corporations page (cumulative) Number of stakeholder s who talked about the corporation (from Jan. 25 31, 2012) Percent of stakeholders who talked about the corporation PepsiCo Inc. (P) 47,392 2,027 4.2% Quaker (B) 656,658 30,860 4.7% Gatorade (B) 4,557,719 84,588 1.9% Tropicana (B) 177,9 77 4,214 2.4% Kraft Foods Inc. (P) 34,195 691 2% Jell O (B) 293,590 7,720 2.6% Cryst al Light (B) 418,122 12,152 2.9% Kellogg Company (P) 278,343 6,781 2.4% Special K (B) 516,798 14,513 2.8% Frosted Flakes (B) 126,910 10,642 8.4%

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57 Ta ble 42. Corporate activity in addressing the obesity issue (wall posts and responding comments) in comparison to overall number of corporate posted messages from Jan. 1, 2011Dec. 31, 2011 Corporation (P) Parent Corp. (B) Brand Corp. Total number of messa ges (wall posts and responding comments) Number of wall posts addressing obesity issue Percent of total messages Number of responding comments addressing obesity issue Percent of total messages Combined Percent addressing obesity issue PepsiCo Inc. (P) 4, 664 22 .5% 16 .3% .8% Quaker (B) 1,296 28 2.2% 16 1.2% 3.4% Gatorade (B) 804 31 3.9% 18 2.2% 6.1% Tropicana (B) 466 35 7.5% 8 1.7% 9.2% Kraft Foods Inc. (P) 802 28 3.5% 12 1.5% 5% Jell O (B) 1,334 14 1% 15 1.1% 2.1% Crystal Light (B) 3 ,091 22 .7% 48 1.6% 2.3% Kellogg Company (P) 658 34 5.2% 5 .8% 6% Special K (B) 1,088 32 2.9% 104 9.6% 12.5% Frosted Flakes (B) 198 22 11.1% 4 2% 13.1% Totals 14,401 268 1.9% 246 1.7% 3.6%

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58 Table 43. Correlation analysis for relationship between interactivity and personalization elements and number of stakeholder comments Interactivity elements Personalization elements Seek feedback/ comments from stakeholders Prompt stakeholder s to act in some way Prompt stakeholders to click like Ask stakeholders personal questions Use official voice (post via corp. FB) Use individual voice (post via indiv. FB) # of stakeholder comments Pearson correlation .225** .026 .009 .223** .040 .035 Note: *Significant at the p < .05 level. **Significant at the p < .01 level. Table 44. Correlation analysis for relationship between interactivity and personalization elements and the number of stakeholder likes Interactivity elements Personalization elements Seek feedback/ comments from stakeholders Pr ompt stakeholders to act in some way Prompt stakeholders to click like Ask stakeholders personal questions Use official voice (post via corp. FB) Use individual (post via indiv. FB) # of stakeholder likes Pearson correlation .200** .015 .201** .139** .084 .076 Note: *Significant at the p < .05 level. **Significant at the p < .01 level.

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59 Table 45. Frequently used obesity issue frames and sub frames on social media Frame and sub frames # Messages using the frame/sub frame Frequency of frame or sub fr ame use Global initiatives to address rise in obesity 27 30 Commitment to support healthier lifestyles 111 117 Commitment to making it easier to eat better 50 52 Steps/plans to help battle obesity 24 28 Product nutrition 212 337 Portion/s erving size 27 118 Nutritional characteristics of products 178 315 Efforts to provide healthier options 27 29 Improving nutritional value of current products 13 16 Marketing practices 0 0 Eliminating marketing in schools 0 0 Coordinati on with school vending industry 0 0 Mktg/adv to stress healthy/active lifestyles 0 0 Consumer information 8 8 Discuss nutrition labeling 10 12 Adding nutritional info to product labels 0 0 Discuss health related claims 0 0 Advocacy and di alogue 47 48 Actions to advocate for public policy changes 2 2 Increase dialogue about obesity issue 45 47 Table 46. Cross tabulation of corporate type (parent or brand) and frame use Times used by corporations Times used by brand corporations X 2 P Global initiatives frame 63 93 39.561 .000* Product nutrition frame 40 205 11.030 .001* Advocacy and dialogue frame 17 30 5.289 .021* Note: *Significant at the p <.05 level.

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60 Table 47. Oneway ANOVA for number of stakeholder comments, likes, and shares by frame used in message Df Mean square F P # of stakeholder comments 3 15518.654 .787 .502 # of stakeholder likes 3 53122.669 8.171 .000* # of shares 3 2.802 .082 .970 Note: *Significant at the p < .05 level. Table 48. Correlation analysis for relationship between frames used and number of stakeholder comments and likes Global initiatives frame Product nutrition frame Consumer information frame Advocacy and dialogue frame # of stakeholder comments Pearson correlation .164** 116* .046 .048 # of stakeholder likes Pearson correlation .206** .103* .064 .143** Note: *Significant at the p < .05 level. **Significant at the p < .01 level.

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61 Frequently Used Content Types 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Text-only Wall Posts Text + Video Wall Posts Text + Photo Wall Post Text + Poll Wall Post Text + Logo Wall Post Responding Comment Content Type Used Figure 41. Content types used in messages that addressed obesity issue Figure 42. Interactivity elements frequently used in messages that addressed obesity issue

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62 Figure 43. Personalization elements frequently used in messages that addressed obesity issue

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63 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of this research was to report the current status of how food industry corporations are managing and framing the obesity issue on social media. The results of this study are intended to contribute to the development of current literature on issues management and the growing literature on social media. In addition, this study is also intended to provide some benchmark for other food corporations that are not on Facebook, not actively using Facebook, or not using this medium to maximize issues management efforts in regards to the obesity issue. In the sampling procedure, it became evident that many corporations among the Fortune 500 companies were not active Facebook users. Out of 14 parent corporations in the food consumer products industry on the Fortune 500 list, only nine corporations had an official Facebook page, and only three corporations had posted 25 messages or more in one calendar year (2011) that addressed the obesity issue. This studys findings can provide those corporations not using Facebook or not fully using this medium with strategies and tactics for maximizing issues management and twoway communication efforts with stakeholders on Facebook. Issues Management In order to provide this benchmark, a goal of this research study was to first understand how food corporations are using social media (Facebook) in issues management, specifically regarding the obesity issue. Previous research explained that Facebook could be an important tool for corporations t o use to communicate directly with stakeholders, as this medium is controllable by the corporation and as there are no gatekeepers. Based on the results of this study, the corporations in the sample are

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64 actively using Facebook, but are not using this mediu m to communicate frequently about the obesity issue. Messages that included commonly used keywords when addressing the obesity issue were included in the sample. The majority of messages shared information with stakeholders. However, there were some that used the keywords, but did not necessarily share information about the obesity issue. Often, messages in these cases came in the form of questions or conversation prompts for stakeholders to engage in dialogue about the obesity issue among each other. In ma ny of these cases, stakeholders responses served as information sharing mechanisms, and corporate messages only served to facilitate or prompt this among stakeholders. Most of the messages both shared information with stakeholders and provided at least one solution to the obesity issue. However, not all of the messages that shared information provided a solution. The results show that there is an opportunity for corporations to maximize issues management efforts by providing solutions (either collaborating with entities or providing stakeholders with nutritional information to empower them) with informationsharing messages. Based on the results of this study, it cannot be concluded that any one solution (collaborating with nonprofits, collaborating with government, collaborating with schools, collaborating with the medical community, or providing nutritional information to empower stakeholders) generates more activity (dialogue, positive reaction, or willingness to share with others) among stakeholders. How ever, as an important component of issues management, practitioners should show initiative by providing

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65 solutions alongside informationsharing efforts (Jones & Chase, 1979). This research showed that food corporations are not practicing this tactic as oft en as they should be. Two way Communication This research also examined the use of social media to increase twoway communication with stakeholders. With the opportunities that connecting directly with stakeholders can provide, this aspect of this research can be beneficial to nearly any organization, across different industries and fields. Results showed that corporations are mostly using wall posts to address the obesity issue. In addition, they are often using messages that prompt stakeholders to act in some way. However, this interactivity element does not necessarily generate the most stakeholder activity in terms of dialogue, positive reaction and willingness to share with other stakeholders, when compared to other interactivity elements. The results of this study were consistent with the findings of previous research (Kim et al., 2011), in that when corporations use messages that seek feedback from stakeholders or messages that ask stakeholders personal questions, stakeholders are more likely to inter act with the company via comments. Another finding that is consistent with previous research is that stakeholders are more likely to like the message if it is personalized. Further, this research examined a new interactivity prompt, in which corporations ask stakeholders to like. This interactivity element is also likely to generate more stakeholder likes. In addition, while Kraft Foods Inc. allows individuals to post messages on behalf of the corporation, the majority of corporate messages are posted via the corporations official Facebook account. The results of this study showed that there were no

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66 significant relationships between voice used (e.g., official vs. individual) and the generation of more stakeholder comments, likes, or shares. Framin g Another goal of this research was to understand how food corporations are framing the obesity issue when communicating directly with stakeholders on social media. Previous research (Darmon et al., 2008) revealed that the Product Nutrition frame and Globa l Initiatives frame were among the most frequentl y used obesity issue frames Kraft Foods Inc. used when communicating in traditional media. This study also revealed these obesity issue frames to be frequently used by food corporations in Facebook messaging The results of this study did reveal a major difference in terms of corporations use of the Marketing Practices frame. Previous research (Darmon et al., 2008) listed the Marketing Practices frame as the second most frequently used obesity issue frame by Kraft Foods Inc. when communicating via traditional media. However, when examining the obesity issue frames that food corporations (including Kraft Foods Inc. ) use in Facebook messaging, no messages included a Marketing Practices frame. In theory, the fra mes found to be used in traditional media messaging should be similar to that of social media messaging. The lack of use of this frame, which was the second most popular in traditional media messaging, shows another opportunity for food corporations commun icating on Facebook. If the frame were particularly interesting and newsworthy when communicating to traditional media (an important stakeholder group), then perhaps it would be interesting and helpful for practitioners to communicate this frame directly t o stakeholders on Facebook.

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67 Further, this research showed that the Global Initiatives frame, the Product Nutrition frame and the Advocacy and Dialogue frame were used in more messages by brand corporations than by parent corporations. There was not enough evidence to conclude whether parent or brand corporations were more likely to use a Marketing Practices frame or a Consumer Information frame. The results of this study showed that for the most part, with the exception of Kraft Foods Inc. and its brands (J ellO and Crystal Light), brands show more activity as far as addressing the obesity issue in comparison to overall number of posts. This could be a reason why brands are more actively using these particular obesity issue frames when compared to parent corporations. This study also revealed that the use of specific frames may influence the number of stakeholder likes (positive reaction) more than the use of other frames. Results showed that of the five frames, the Product Nutrition frame, Advocacy and D ialogue frame, and Global Initiatives frame may result in more positive reaction than the Consumer Information frame. The Marketing Practices frame was not considered in this analysis, due to lack of messages including this frame. However, when examining t he direct relationship, results showed that the Product Nutrition frame is more likely to be effective in generating dialogue with and positive reaction from stakeholders than any other frame. While not as effective as the Product Nutrition frame, the Advocacy and Dialogue frame is also likely to generate positive reaction. Results showed that the Global Initiatives frame did not seem to be as effective in generating dialogue with stakeholders or positive reaction from stakeholders. Regarding the likelihood of stakeholders to share the message with others, results showed nonsignificant

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68 relationships, and therefore, no conclusions could be made in terms of which frames generate the most shares. Theoretical and Practical Implications The findings of this st udy present several implications. This study offers theoretical implications based on the results of hypothesis testing and the answering of research questions. Thus, it further contributes to the literature on issues management and social media. Practical implications are provided for corporations that are not using Facebook or that are not actively using this medium, as this research provides evidence for opportunities that Facebook provides them in terms of strategic issues management, two way communicat ion and framing efforts. Considering the number of stakeholders who have shown interest in connecting with corporations, indicated by the large quantity of stakeholders who have liked the corporations and have talked about the corporations, there is a tremendous opportunity for corporations in terms of using this medium for issues management. Practitioners should recognize the potential for direct communication with such large groups of active stakeholders and understand that it is an opportunity to bui ld relationships with stakeholders. Practitioners can use some of the following tactics to maximize communication efforts. Social media offers opportunities for twoway communication with stakeholders. The results of this study imply that corporations can be involved in the discussion of issues in social media, but may use different tactics (like prompting stakeholders to engage in conversation with each other) to involve them in discussion about the issue. This finding present s interesting theoretical impl ications, as the nature of how corporations communicate and approach issues via social media may be fundamentally

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69 different than the nature of how corporations communicate in traditional media. Because social media allows for twoway communication, corporations can pose questions and act as facilitators for discussion of issues among stakeholders. This is not an opportunity found in traditional media, as it is more oneway in nature. Results showed that while the corporations in this sample are active on Facebook, they are only dedicating a small percentage of their messages to communicate about the obesity issue with stakeholders. As tools for issues management, effective frames (discussed in more detail later) can be used to increase issues management efforts. While many messages in the sample share information, practitioners should provide solutions alongside all messages that share information. The results of this study were consistent with previous research regarding some of the interactivity and personalization elements. Based on the results, practitioners can increase dialogue with stakeholders by using messages that seek feedback and comments from stakeholders and by using messages that ask stakeholders personal questions. In addition, to increase posi tive reaction from stakeholders, practitioners should use messages that ask stakeholders personal questions and messages that prompt stakeholders to like the message itself. Results show that there is no significant relationship between the voice used (o fficial or individual) and the generation of stakeholder comments, likes, and shares. Therefore, in terms of generating this activity, the voice from which the message originates is less important to apply than are other, more effective, interactivity tactics. This study was consistent with previous research in that corporations often use the Product Nutrition and Global Initiatives frames in obesity issue messaging. However,

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70 this study found that the Marketing Practices frame is fairly unused in social media. Theoretically, the frames found in traditional media should be consistent with the frames often found in social media. This provides theoretical implications in that the tactics used to frame certain issues may differ across media platforms. As too ls for issues management, frames can be used to influence stakeholders through secondlevel agendasetting (Kiousis, Popescu, & Mitrook, 2007). The results of this study offer suggestions for practitioners. In terms of framing, practitioners should use mes sages that include a Product Nutrition frame, as it tends to generate the most dialogue with stakeholders and the most positive reaction from stakeholders. The Advocacy and Dialogue frame can also be used, as it tends to be effective in generating positive reaction among stakeholders. Contrastingly, practitioners should avoid using a Global Initiatives frame if the objective is to encourage dialogue from stakeholders or to gain positive reaction. Results showed that when used, this frame is not likely to ge nerate these results. This study addresses the unique relationship between issues management and framing on Facebook, and can therefore provide some benchmark for other food corporations. Understanding which interactivity and personalization components and which frames will generate more communication with stakeholders can contribute to the development of scholarship in these fields and can help practitioners decide which tactics are best to use when communicating directly with stakeholders about the obesit y issue on Facebook. Limitations Findings and lessons learned from this study can be helpful to scholars and practitioners. However, there are some limitations. The data were limited to those from

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71 the January through December 2011 time frame. Also, this st udy on ly investigated the issues management and framing techniques used on Facebook, and did not examine other social media platforms. Therefore, it cannot be generalized to all of social media, as the metrics and features of Facebook differ greatly from t hat of Twitter, blogs and other social media platforms. Also, the sample was limited by the number and types of corporations examined. Based on the explained criteria, only three parent companies and seven brand corporations were examined in this study. Pa rent company food corporations were chosen from the food consumer products category of the Fortune 500 list. This study did not investigate the issues management and framing techniques used by other food industry corporations like fast food companies, for example. Based on research about the obesity issue discourse, there are several types of food corporations that have been criticized for contributing to the obesity issue, such as the fast food industry (Zieff & Veri, 2009). Other types of corporations (for example, the fast food or dining and restaurant industries) may yield different results. Because this unique aspect (framing and managing the obesity issue on social media) has not previously been studied, this research focused mostly on items found thro ugh emergent coding to determine which messages will be considered for the sample. Previous research had been done on recognizing obesity issue themes, keywords and frames found through traditional media. Because there were not many messages that clearly used the word obesity, social media messages appeared to address the obesity issue more discretely. While keywords from previous research and

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72 from emergent coding were incorporated, there could be some items or keywords that were not accounted for in this particular study. Another limitation is that this content analysis only examined the frames found in previous research (based on Darmon et al., 2008). Previous research was helpful in defining frames that are frequently found in traditional media; however there may be other frames that could be examined outside of the findings of previous research. Future Research The purpose of this research was to expand on current precrisis (issues management) literature and the growing literature on social media by examining the relationship between issues management and framing on Facebook, a phenomenon that has not been previously studied. As exploratory research, this study raises several opportunities for future research. One interesting component that can be expanded upon in future research is the difference in the wording of frames between traditional media messaging and social media messaging. It was observed that there are limitations of social media in terms of message length. While Facebook does not put a cle ar restriction on number of characters (as does Twitter), there could be a logical reason for shorter messages. The theme and message of each frame are recognizable. However, it would be interesting to study the differences in frame typology across differe nt media. Would this change their effectiveness, based on the amount of space allotted to expand on each frame? Future research can focus on the typology of frames and how corporations adapt them across different media. This research focused on the current status and output that corporations use on Facebook. Specifically, it explored the likelihood of interactivity/personalization elements

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73 and of certain frames to generate stakeholders dialogue, positive reaction and willingness to share the message with other stakeholders. Future research can expand on this, through investigation of the effectiveness of these messages by studying the stakeholders responses in more depth. To study the effectiveness, future research can focus on investigating the tone and attitude of stakeholder comments or wall posts that are addressing the obesity issue. Future research can also investigate if the same results are found among other food industry corporations (such as fast food, dining and restaurant industries), as well as across other social media platforms (for example, Twitter and corporate blogs). It is hoped that future research will be conducted to expand on this research and to further contribute to the development of issues management, framing, and social media lite rature and practice.

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74 APPENDIX A CODING SHEET A GENERAL COMPANY INFO RMATION A. Coder ________ 1= Shereen B. Corporation ________ 1= PepsiCo Inc. 2= Kraft Foods Inc. 3= Kellogg Company 4= Quaker 5= Gatorade 6= Jell O 7= Special K 8= Tropicana 9= Fro sted Flakes 10= Crystal Light C. Type _________ 1= Parent Corporation 2= Brand Corporation D. If brand corporation, what is the parent company? ________ 1= PepsiCo Inc. 2= Kraft Foods Inc. 3= Kellogg Company E. General Information about Corporations F acebook: Number 1 How many total stakeholders like the company? 2 How many stakeholders have talked about the corporation within the last seven days (determined by the number of stakeholders talking about this)? 3 What is the total number of o fficial corporate wall posts (not including responding comments) that address the obesity issue? 4 What is the total number of comments the corporation has posted in response to stakeholders comments that address the obesity issue? 5 What is the total number of corporate messages (wall posts and responding comments) that the corporation has posted?

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75 APPENDIX B CODING SHEET B A. Coder ________ 1= Shereen 2= Willy B. Corporation ________ 1= PepsiCo Inc. 2= Kraft Foods Inc. 3= Kellogg Company 4= Quaker 5= Gatorade 6= Jell O 7= Special K 8= Tropicana 9= Frosted Flakes 10= Crystal Light C. Type ________ 1= Parent Corporation 2= Brand Corporation D. If brand corporation, what is the parent company? ________ 1= PepsiCo Inc. 2= Kraft Foods Inc. 3= Kellogg Company E. Content Type ________ 1= Corporate wall post; text only 2= Corporate wall post; text + video 3= Corporate wall post; text + photo 4= Corporate wall post; text + poll 5= Corporate wall post; text + logo 6= Responding comment 7= Other : _______ F. Month ________ G. Characteristics of Stakeholder Interaction and Response Number 1 How many stakeholders have commented in response to the corporations message (as indicated by the number of comments)? 2 How many stakeholders have a pos itive reaction for the corporations message (as indicated by the number of likes)? 3 How many stakeholder show willingness to share the corporations message (as indicated by the number of shares)? H. Issues Management Efforts In regards to the obesity issue: Presence (Yes:1; No:0) Frequency 1 Does the corporation share information about the issue? N/A 2 Does the corporation share information through healthy recipes? N/A 3 Does the corporation share information from other sources or websit es? N/A 4 Does the corporation use the term obesity or forms of the term? 5 Does the corporation use the terms nutrition, nutritious or forms of the term? 6 Does the corporation use the terms: health, healthy, healthier, or healthiest ? 7 Does the corporation use the term low calorie, or forms

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76 of the term? 8 Does the corporation use the terms unsalted, low sodium, or forms of the terms? 9 Does the corporation use the terms low fat, no trans fat, or forms of the terms? 10 Does the corporation use the term weigh or weight? 11 Does the corporation use the term diet, dietary or dietitian? 12 Does the corporation use the term lifestyle? 13 Does the corporation use the term low carb or talk about good carbohydrates? 14 Does the corporation use the term cholesterol free or forms of the term? 15 Does the corporation use the term sugar free or discuss reduced sugar content? 16 Does the corporation use the term portion, discuss proper portio ns or serving sizes? 17 Does the corporation talk about sports, exercise, outdoor activities, being active or ways to stay in shape? 18 Does the corporation talk about collaborating with nonprofits as a solution to the obesity issue or cite a nonpro fit source for more information? 19 Does the corporation talk about collaborating with government as a solution to the obesity issue or cite a government source for more information? 20 Does the corporation talk about collaborating with schools as a solution to the obesity issue? 21 Does the corporation talk about collaborating with the medical community as a solution to the obesity issue or cite a medical source for more information? 22 Does the corporation give stakeholders nutritional inform ation to empower them to make the right choices? Total I. Two way Communication Efforts In order to increase interactivity by stakeholders, does the corporation: Presence (Yes:1; No:0) 1 Seek feedback/opinions/comments from stakeholders (e.g., Ask stakeholders What do you think? or Tell us how you feel,)? 2 Prompt stakeholders to act in some way (e.g., Upload a photo, Attend this event, Learn more by going to this website, or Try this recipe to stay healthy)? 3 Prompt stakeholder s to click like?

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77 In order to personalize the communication with stakeholders, does the corporation: Presence (Yes:1; No:0) 1 Ask personal questions to stakeholders (e.g., Tell us your favorite... or What is your favorite way to stay active? You stay fit by ___)? 2 Post wall posts and comments via the corporations official Facebook account? 3 Allow an individual using a personal Facebook account to post on behalf of the corporation? Total J. Framing the Obesity Issue Regarding the Global Initiatives frame, does the corporation: Presence (Yes:1; No:0) Frequency 1 Mention global initiatives to help address the rise in obesity? 2 Discuss the companys commitment to support healthier lifestyles? (e.g. promotion of healthy and act ive lifestyles through programs or explicit statement of companys commitment) 3 Mention the companys commitment to making it easier for customers to eat better? 4 Outline a step the company plans to take to help battle obesity? Total Regar ding the Product Nutrition frame, does the corporation: Presence (Yes:1; No:0) Frequency 1 Talk about product nutrition? 2 Explain the importance of product nutrition? 3 Discuss portion size/ servings? (e.g. portion control or amount per serving) 4 Discuss nutritional characteristics of a product or products? 5 Discuss the companys efforts to provide healthier options? 6 Discuss the companys efforts to improve nutritional value of current products? Total

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78 Regarding the Marketing Practices frame, does the corporation: Presence (Yes:1; No:0) Frequency 1 Talk about its marketing practices? 2 Discuss the companys intent to eliminate marketing in schools? 3 Outline criteria the organization will coordinate with the vending industry to decide which of the companys products are most appropriate to offer in school vending machines? 4 Discuss company guidelines for its advertising and marketing practices to stress healthy and active lifestyles? Total Regarding the C onsumer Information frame, does the corporation: Presence (Yes:1; No:0) Frequency 1 Talk about consumer information? 2 Discuss nutrition labeling? 3 Talk about the companys addition of nutrition information to product labels to help make consumer choices easier? 4 Discuss health related claims? Total Regarding the Advocacy and Dialogue frame, does the corporation: Presence (Yes:1; No:0) Frequency 1 Talk about company efforts for advocacy and increased dialogue? 2 Discuss the comp anys actions to advocate for public policy changes (primarily for schools and communities)? 3 Discuss efforts or act to increase conversation about the obesity issue with stakeholders? Total

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79 LIST OF REFERENCES Arnst, C. (2009 May 16). Blaming the food industry for obesity. [blog entry]. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/careers/workingparents/blog/archives/2009/05 /is_the_food_i nd.html Carpenter, D. (2004, August 23). Kraft, like America, thinks healthy; Diet conscious products catering to health concerns. The Colum bian, p. e2. Retrieved January 22, 2012, from LexisNexisX. Carroll, C. E., & McCombs, M. (2003). Agendasetting ef fects of business news on the publics opinions about major corporations. Corporate Reputation Review 6(1), 3646. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Adult Obesity Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html Coombs, T. (2007). Ongoing crisis co mm unication: Planning, m anaging and responding. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Coombs, T. (2010). Crisis communication and its allied fields. In W.T. Coombs & S.J. Holiday (Eds.), The Handbook of Crisis Co mm unication (pp. 5464), Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell. Constine, J. (2011, October 3). Facebook lets brands measure earned media with People Talking About This page metric. Inside Facebook Retrieved at http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/10/03/peopletalking about this pageinsights/ Darmon, K., Fitzpatrick, K., & Bronstein, C. (2008). Krafting the obesity message: A case study in framing and issue management. Public Relations Review 34(4), 373379. Flegal, K.M., Carroll, M.D., Ogden, C.L. & Curtin, L.R. (2010). Prevalence and trends in obesity among US adults, 19992008. Journal of the A m erican Medical Asso ciation 303(3), 235241. Gonzalez Herrero, A. & Smith, S. (2008). Crisis communications management on the Web: How Internet based technology are changing the way public relations professionals handle business crises. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Managem ent 16(3), 143153. Hainsworth, B. & Meng, M. (1988). How corporations define issue management. Public Relations Review 14(4), 1830. Hallahan, K. (1999). Seven models of framing: Implications for public relations. Journal of Public Relations Research, 11(3), 205242.

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80 Hayes, A. F. (2005). An SPSS procedure for computing Krippendorff's alpha [Computer software]. Available from http://www.comm.ohio state.edu/ahayes/macros.htm Hearit, K. M. (1999). Newsgroups, activist publics, and corporate apologia: The case of I ntel and its Pentium chip. Public Relations Review 25(3), 291 308. Heath, R.L. (1990). Corporate issues management: Theoretical underpinnings and research foundations. Public Relations Research Annual 2(4), 2965. Heath, R.L. & Palenchar, M.J. (2009). S trategic Issues Managem ent: Organizations and Public Policy Changes 2 nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Hilton, A. & Armstrong, R. (2006, September). Stat N ote 6: Post hoc ANOVA tests. Microbiologist 34 36. Jaques, T. (2009). Issue management as a post crisis discipline: identifying and responding to issue impacts beyond the crisis. Journal of Public Affairs 9, 35 44. Jones, B.L. & Chase, W.H. (1979). Ma naging public policy issues. Public Relations Review 5(2), 3 23. Kelleher, T., & Miller, B. M (2006). Organizational blogs and the human voice: Relational strategies and relational outcomes Journal of Com puter Mediated Co mm unication, 11 (2), 395414. Kent, M. L., & Taylor, M. (1998). Building dialogic relationship through the World Wide Web. Public Relations Rev iew 24(3), 321 324. Kim, S., Kim, S.Y., & Kang, H.S. (2011). How Fortune 100 com panies are em ploying corporate comm unication strategies on Facebook: Corporate ability versus corporate social responsibility Paper presented at 2011 International Communication Associations (ICA) Conference, Boston, MA. Kiousis, S., Popescu, C., & Mitrook, M. (2007). Understanding influence on corporation reputat ion: An examination of public relations efforts, media coverage, public opinion, and financial performance on an agendabuilding and agendasetting perspective. Journal of Public Relations Research, 19(2), 147165. Kraft flags new ad strategy to promote healthy food options for children. (2005, January 13). Ha m ilton S pectator p. A16. Retrieved January 22, 2012 from LexisNexisX. Lawrence, R.G. (2004). Framing obesity: The evolution of news discourse on a public health issue. The International Journal of Pr ess/Politics 9(3), 5675.DOI:10.1177/1081180X04266581. Macnamara, J. (2010). Public relations and the social: How practitioners are using, or abusing, social media. Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal 11, 21 39.

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81 Mahon, J.F., & Waddock, S.A. (1992). S trategic issues management: An integration of issue life cycle perspectives. Business S ociety 31(19), 1932. McCorkindale, T. (2010). Can you see the writing on my wall? A content analysis of the Fortune 50s Facebook social networking sites. Public Rela tions Journal 4(3). McTaggart, J. (2003, July). Weighing obesity. Progressive Grocer 82(1), 2223, 26, 28.Retrieved January 22, 2012 from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 721585901). Obesity concerns provide focus for new Kraft products. (2004, March). Diary Industries International 69(3), 12. Retrieved January 22, 2012 from ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry. (Document ID: 1158108651). One of a kind partnership between Kellogg and leading retailers goes nationwide: Kelloggs Healthy Beginnings program fea tures complimentary health screenings and educational tips and tools for customers. (2006, April). PR Newswire Retrieved January 22, 2012 from ABI/INFORM Dateline. (Document ID: 1051005451). Palese, M. & Crane, T.Y. (2002). Building an integrated issue m anagement process as a source of sustainable competitive advantage. Journal of Public Affairs 2 (4), 284292. Perry, D.C., Taylor, M. & Doerfel, M.L. (2003). Internet based communication in crisis management. Manage m ent Comm unication Quarterly 17(2), 206232. Regester, M. & Larkin, J. (2008). Risk issues and crisis management in public relations: A casebook of best practices. [Books24x7 version] Available from http://common.books24x7.com/toc.aspx?bookid=28479 Stuart, D. (2007, October). Kellogg bets on breakfast boost. Pro m otions & Incentives 1819. Retrieved January 23, 2012 from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1372090731). Superville, D. (2011, April 10). Michelle Obamas obesity campaign Lets Move turns 1: Is it working? AP/The Huffington Post Retrieved January 23, 2012 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/08/michelleobamaobesity n_820171.html Sweetser, K. D. (2010). A losing strategy: The impact of nondisclosure in social media on relationships. Journal of Public Relations Research, 22 (3), 288 312. Thompson, S. (2006, January). Standing still, Kellogg gets hit with a lawsuit. Advertising Age 77(4), 1, 25. Retrieved January 21, 2012 from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 977858531).

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82 Turk, J.V. (1985). Information subsidies and influence. Public Relations Review 11(3), 1025. Verduin, P., Agarwal, S., & Waltman, S. (2005). Sol utions to obesity: Perspectives from the food industry. A m erican Journal of Clinical Nutrition 82(1), 259S 261S. Warner, M. (2005, September 16). Kraft introduces 2 somewhat healthier cookies made of whole grains. New York Ti m es (Late Edition (east coast) ), p. C3. Retrieved January 22, 2012 from New York Times. (Document ID: 897223521). Waters, R.D., Burnett, E., Lamm, A., Lucas, J. (2009). Engaging stakeholders through social networking: How nonprofit organizations are using Facebook. Public Relations Re view 35, 102106. Wimmer, R.D. & Dominick, J.R. (2011). Mass m edia research: An introduction (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth. Wright, D.K. & Hinson, M.D. (2009). Examining how public relations practitioners actually are using social media. Public Rela tions Journal 3(3), Summer. Public Relations Society of America. Retrieved October 22, 2011 from http://www.prsa.org/Intelligence/PRJournal/Summer_09/ Zieff, S.G. & Veri, M.J. (2009). Obesity, health, and physical activity: Discourses from the United States. Quest 61(2), 154179. Zyglidopoulos, S.C. (2003). The issue lifecycle: Implications for reputation for social performance and organizational legitimacy. Corporate Reputation Review, 6(1), 7081.

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83 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Shereen Sarthou was born in 1988 in San Diego, California. Because her parents were in the Navy, she had the opportunity to visit and live in many unique places around the country and world. After 26 years, her father retired in Chesapeake, Virginia, and Shereen graduated from Western Branch High School in 2006. In August 2006, Shereen began pursuing her undergraduate degree at Virginia Tech, but left in 2007 to attend school in Florida, closer to where her parents lived at the time. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of South Florida in May 2010. In August 2010, she moved to Gainesville to pursue her m asters degree at University of Florida. Shereen continued to intern during her last year of graduate studies, and finished her two years of graduate courses with a 4.0 grade point average. Upon graduation, she wi ll pursue career opportunities in Florida.