Credibility of Corporate Communication on Climate Change (Ph.D. Thesis I. Schlichting)

This dissertation project deals with the credibility of consumer-oriented public affairs campaigns in the context of public communication. Specifically, it is about the perception and evaluation of climate campaigns of German energy companies by recipients. Discrepancies between the depicted common good orientation and the commercial interests of companies have recently attracted the attention of critical  actors (media, NGOs), who subsequently publicly warned against fraudulent "green washing". Against this background, the study will examine the relevance and credibility issue of consumer-oriented public affairs communication by means of expert interviews with public affairs and public relations managers of the German energy industry. Experiments then analyse two independent variables in terms of their influence on the credibility assessment by the recipient:

1. The description of the motifs in the campaigns and

2. Critical media coverage on the campaigns.

Involved: Inga Schlichting, Mike S. Schäfer (Supervision)
Duration: 2010-2012