Publication Date

1988

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

First Advisor

Walker, Albert, 1920-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Department

Department of Journalism

LCSH

International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation||Bell & Gossett Corporation||Conglomerate corporations||Consolidation and merger of corporations||Corporations--Public relations

Abstract

International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (ITT) acquired Bell & Gossett Company in 1963. Bell & Gossett was by far the leading company in the hydronics heating and cooling market (hot water/chilled water systems), with an estimated market share at that time of approximately 65 to 70 percent. Subsequently, ITT received negative media coverage in the 1960s and 1970s for a variety of reasons. Four brand awareness and opinion studies were conducted of Bell & Gossett's primary customers, plumbing and heating contractors, from 1968 through 1971. These studies uncovered a negative attitude towards ITT that was adversely affecting Bell & Gossett's own image with its customers. A follow-up opinion study conducted in 1980 using personal interviews clearly indicated that this negative attitude toward ITT was continuing to grow with a corresponding growth in the negativism displayed towards Bell & Gossett since it was owned by ITT. ITT then launched a public relations program with all of its major publics to offset this negative publicity that began in the late 1970s and continued throughout the 1980s. Follow-up brand awareness and opinion studies were conducted in 1987 with this same Bell & Gossett customer group to determine if the negative attitude towards ITT was still impacting adversely on Bell & Gossett. The 1987 study results contained little or no negative attitude toward ITT and its ownership of Bell & Gossett. This series of studies demonstrated two conclusions: 1. A conglomerate's image can adversely affect the reputation of its acquired companies. An effective public relations program can offset negative publicity and transform a negative attitude into a positive one.

Comments

Bibliography: leaf [99]

Extent

v, 130 pages

Language

eng

Publisher

Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type

Text

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