Date

3-2014

Degree Name

BS in Journalism

Department

Journalism Department

Advisor(s)

Dan Eller

Abstract

In our modern digital society, news consumption has evolved to reflect an increased reliance upon immediate and mass-distributed forms of communication channels. Social media, whether in the form of a personal profile, photo or blogroll, is consistently turned to by most audiences for updates in any market. Specifically within the fashion industry, high-end designers and reputable brands are turning to social media channels to not only inform, but increase, their consumer base through brand exposure. Newly emerging as this visual industry’s most trusted influencers, fashion bloggers provide for a means for designers to not only show, but inform, a larger, global audience of their brand and their products.

In applying expert opinion to guide this study, the Social Media Impact theory states that professionals must “position themselves to benefit from fundamental changes that are occurring in the ways people decide on which products and services to consume, and how they actually consume them” (Mir & Zaheer, 2012). Fashion bloggers have become trusted sources of new and emerging trends and products for fashion audiences to rely upon for inspiration and consumption. Because of what Grunig and Grunig refer to as “two-way communication,” a blog’s audience is encouraged to incorporate communication to not only lead to their own purchasing behavior, but also inspire all individuals who follow said blog (Dozier, Grunig & Grunig, 1995).

With fashion bloggers’ increasing influence and followings within the industry, this study reveals how supportive relationships, supplemented with public product reviews and other public relations strategies, can grant the exposure necessary for designers, specifically new designers, to be successful in the industry.

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