Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Kelly Page Werder, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Scott Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Mitrook, Ph.D.


attitude, public relations, behavioral intention, willingness to communicate, sadness


The purpose of this quantitative study is to examine receiver variables involved in strategic communications and to look specifically at the use of graphic images in strategic communication materials. It argues that any complete, general model of persuasion effects will include both goal compatibility and emotional determinants. It argues that some influential theories used in strategic communications scholarship, including the situational theory of publics and the elaboration likelihood model, are incomplete because they have omitted these variables. This study also tests variables related to willingness to communicate, behavioral intention, and attitude towards the organization. These variables are drawn from prominent, well-tested theories in strategic communications, and used to begin building a new model of the effects of messages featuring graphic images.