The route to persuasion: gaining/maintaining local support for the hometown Air Force mission
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Each Air Force Base throughout the world has a Public Affairs team dedicated to communicating information about a base's specific mission and, ultimately, gaining/maintaining local interest and support. This study specifically looks at the local Air Force mission in Denver/Colorado Springs, Colo. - our nation's mission in Space. By employing qualitative methods based on the Elaboration Likelihood Model, this thesis attempts to explain how perceptions and attitudes about the Air Force are formed, and then applies this theory to determine how Public Affairs people, through effective communication, can best persuade target audiences to support their hometown Air Force mission through the model's two routes to persuasion - central and peripheral. Information attained from this study suggests that the central route (message-based) should be chosen for Air Force messages, while the peripheral route (cue-based) should be chosen for Space-specific messages - a combination of routes is ideal. The study could benefit mass communication scholars and professionals through its exploration of the overarching concepts of persuasion and attitude formation. It also expands the density of qualitative research in regards to the Elaboration Likelihood Model because this theory is usually the backbone for quantitative exploration.
Access is limited to the campuses of the University of Missouri.