60 miles of meaning : understanding the Avon 3-Day Walk
Edwards, Heidi Hatfield
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This dissertation investigates the audience role in shaping corporate involvement in social issues - identified as cause-related corporate outreach. Drawing upon a cultural studies perspective, I assert that, more than consumer, voter, or passive receptor of corporate messages, the audience is an active participant in the communication process. Specifically, I examine the participant experience of the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. Grounded in a rhetorical theory of public relations, this study uses a variety of qualitative data-collection methods, including in-depth interviews, audio journals kept by walkers, participant observation, and post-walk focus groups to develop an audiencecentered understanding of the walk experience and draw implications for public relations research and practice.