Assessing the efficacy of communication interventions for shifting public perceptions of park benefits
Weiler, B, Moyle, BD, Wolf, ID, de Bie, K & Torland, M in press, 'Assessing the efficacy of communication interventions for shifting public perceptions of park benefits', Journal of Travel Research.
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One way national parks can sustain their societal relevance and ensure ongoing political and community support is through conscious and deliberate repositioning. This study investigates the potential for psychologically repositioning national parks using persuasive communication designed to shift public perceptions of the benefits of visitor experiences in parks. The experimental communication interventions were selected to target benefits where gaps were identified between the perceptions of park managers and the parks’ constituent publics. Using a pre–post design on 1,055 respondents split evenly across two Australian states, the experiment revealed that the website and the video used as interventions were highly effective at improving public perceptions of park benefits. This was attributed to the persuasiveness of the website and the video, which respondents rated as having positive valence, as highly vivid and as credible. This research provides theoretically informed insights into the application of persuasive communication theory to psychologically reposition national parks.