Date Approved

6-9-1999

Embargo Period

8-2-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Sparks, Suzanne

Subject(s)

Labor unions--Public relations

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The goal of this study is to show that unions need to communicate the purpose they serve in society to revive their tarnished image. The results show through quantitative and qualitative analysis that although some studies show the public approval rating of unions has increased, a negative image still exists.

To determine the type of message the mass media is sending to the public about unions, a content analysis was performed on articles written by the Washington Post about four national strikes. Twelve individual in-depth interviews were conducted using six union and six nonunion participants to gather detailed information concerning the participants' opinions, attitudes, and experiences about labor unions. A simple random sample survey was conducted. New Castle County in the state of Delaware was chosen as the sample population of 196. To determine whether to accept or reject each hypothesis for statistical significance, a binomial probability distribution was run on each survey question.

Seventy-two percent of survey respondents believe that society has a negative perception of labor unions. By communicating the contributions unions make to society, the American public will understand why unions are a necessary component in our economic and social system. A well-planned marketing campaign will guide labor unions in the 21st century.

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