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Responding to Activism: An Experimental Analysis of Public Relations Strategy Influence on Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behavioral Intentions
Unformatted Document Text:  Responding to Activism (ICA-15-11621) 12 Measures Strategy type was manipulated by creating eight messages from McDonald’s. The seven response messages derived from the strategy taxonomy featured the following introductory text: “An activist group known as PETA recently accused McDonald’s of engaging in practices that result in the inhumane treatment of food animals. We believe that PETA’s accusations are unwarranted.” The unrelated message created to control for strategy type did not include this. Following are the manipulations for strategy type: Informative strategy: McDonald’s is an international restaurant that provides food at a reasonable cost to consumers. In the course of conducting business, we do not raise or slaughter animals. We do not encourage or support the cruel and abusive treatment of food animals. Our meat purchasing criteria meet or exceed industry standards. Facilitative strategy: McDonald’s has no legal standing or right to tell farmers and ranchers how to raise and slaughter food animals. This is the responsibility of the United States Department of Agriculture. If you are a concerned party and wish to comment on this issue, we suggest you contact this agency toll-free at 1-800-332-4357. Persuasive strategy: We believe that we are being unfairly targeted by PETA due to our success in the preparation and distribution of meat products. Our meat procurement policies are designed to ensure that we provide only the freshest, highest quality meat products to you–our valued customer. Support McDonald’s commitment to quality. Promise and reward strategy: McDonald’s believes that PETA has identified some important issues concerning the proper handling and treatment of food animals. McDonald’s promises to donate 10 percent of restaurant sales during the month of April to groups concerned with the humane handling and treatment of food animals. Eat at McDonald’s and support animal welfare. Threat and punishment strategy: McDonald’s believes the animal handling practices advocated by PETA will create serious problems in our food supply operations. The result of complying with PETA’s demands will be extreme price increases without corresponding improvements in food quality. We believe this does not serve the interests of our customers. Support McDonald’s low prices. Cooperative problem solving strategy: McDonald’s has recently added expert veterinarians and scientists, as well as members of the American Humane Society and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to our Board of Directors. Together, we will be engaging in efforts to create common ground between our restaurant and animal welfare advocates. Bargaining strategy: We feel that meeting PETA’s unrealistic demands will result in price increases for you–our valued customer. We feel your input is critical to the satisfactory resolution of this

Authors: Page, Kelly.
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Responding to Activism (ICA-15-11621)
12
Measures
Strategy type was manipulated by creating eight messages from McDonald’s. The seven response
messages derived from the strategy taxonomy featured the following introductory text: “An activist group
known as PETA recently accused McDonald’s of engaging in practices that result in the inhumane
treatment of food animals. We believe that PETA’s accusations are unwarranted.” The unrelated message
created to control for strategy type did not include this. Following are the manipulations for strategy type:
Informative strategy: McDonald’s is an international restaurant that provides food at a reasonable cost
to consumers. In the course of conducting business, we do not raise or slaughter animals. We do not
encourage or support the cruel and abusive treatment of food animals. Our meat purchasing criteria
meet or exceed industry standards.
Facilitative strategy: McDonald’s has no legal standing or right to tell farmers and ranchers how to
raise and slaughter food animals. This is the responsibility of the United States Department of
Agriculture. If you are a concerned party and wish to comment on this issue, we suggest you contact
this agency toll-free at 1-800-332-4357.
Persuasive strategy: We believe that we are being unfairly targeted by PETA due to our success in the
preparation and distribution of meat products. Our meat procurement policies are designed to ensure
that we provide only the freshest, highest quality meat products to you–our valued customer. Support
McDonald’s commitment to quality.
Promise and reward strategy: McDonald’s believes that PETA has identified some important issues
concerning the proper handling and treatment of food animals. McDonald’s promises to donate 10
percent of restaurant sales during the month of April to groups concerned with the humane handling
and treatment of food animals. Eat at McDonald’s and support animal welfare.
Threat and punishment strategy: McDonald’s believes the animal handling practices advocated by
PETA will create serious problems in our food supply operations. The result of complying with
PETA’s demands will be extreme price increases without corresponding improvements in food
quality. We believe this does not serve the interests of our customers. Support McDonald’s low
prices.
Cooperative problem solving strategy: McDonald’s has recently added expert veterinarians and
scientists, as well as members of the American Humane Society and the Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals, to our Board of Directors. Together, we will be engaging in efforts to create
common ground between our restaurant and animal welfare advocates.
Bargaining strategy: We feel that meeting PETA’s unrealistic demands will result in price increases
for you–our valued customer. We feel your input is critical to the satisfactory resolution of this


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