Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to investigate the relationship between customer perceptions of public relations (PR) and customer loyalty; to test for the moderating role of brand image in that relationship. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected in a survey of customers of the insurance industry in Taiwan, using a questionnaire designed on the basis of focus‐group discussions with 30 consumers. Hierarchical regression analysis of data from 367 respondents was used to test two hypotheses. Findings – The results show that consumers' perception of an organisation's PR practice is an antecedent of loyalty. The impact of public relations perception (PRP) on customer loyalty is stronger and more significant when the brand image is favourable. If it is unfavourable, the effect of PRP on customer loyalty is negligible. Research limitations/implications – This study extends previous research by examining the moderating role of brand image. Further research is indicated, to identify the key moderators of the driving force of PR in relation to customer relationship marketing. Originality/value – This paper proposes an original eight‐item scale for the assessment of customer PRP activity, which can be applied in practice to measure its effectiveness under different brand‐image conditions.
Marketing Intelligence & Planning – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 8, 2008
Keywords: Public relations; Customer relations; Brand image; Customer loyalty; Insurance services; Taiwan
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