CALL FOR PAPERS
Journal of Marketing Communications
Special Issue: Word of Mouth and Social Media
Editors: Allan J. Kimmel and Philip J. Kitchen
The Internet and mobile devices have come to occupy a central role in the transmission of word of mouth (WOM) and the spread of marketing buzz, an impact that has shown phenomenal growth over the past decade with the emergence of blogs, Internet forums and discussion groups, text messaging, email, and the like. In fact, the most powerful media form is WOM and it is no longer limited to face-to-face encounters. Moreover, WOM today can spread with lightning speed to reach countless numbers of consumers. As marketers strive to adapt to these rapidly evolving technological and social developments and keep pace with their markets, researchers have followed suit, as evidenced by the growing body of scientific literature on various aspects of WOM communication (i.e., the act of a consumer creating and/or distributing marketing-relevant information to other consumers) and related personal influence phenomena (e.g., brand communities; brand ambassador programs; product seeding campaigns). Nonetheless, to date, relatively little academic research scrutiny has been devoted to WOM as it relates to social media and other web-driven consumer-generated phenomena, such as blogs and consumer Internet forums. Moreover, there is a paucity of academic research relating to the strength of consumer-to-consumer communications as compared to B2C and B2B. There is evidence of resistance by marketers in staying with the time-worn, but tested and tried traditional types of communications.
This special issue of the Journal of Marketing Communications is intended to bridge this knowledge gap by providing an outlet for innovative and timely contributions pertaining to online WOM, as disseminated through the broad array of social media (a category of online media where people are talking, participating, sharing, networking, and bookmarking, including social sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr; social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook; online forums; and corporate and consumer-generated blogs.
Topics for the special issue include but are not limited to:
- methods of using social media for generating WOM
- comparisons of online and offline WOM dynamics and consequences, including the interplay between these various forms of WOM
- the conversational, as opposed to dyadic, nature of online WOM disseminated through social forums
- antecedents to and conditions facilitating online WOM
- the impact of negative online WOM and complaint behavior
- the impact of online WOM on sales
- the dynamics, spread, and consequences of marketing-relevant online rumors
- rhetorical analyses of online WOM conversations
- brand-related storytelling in blogs and online forums
- segmentation analyses of online WOM participants
- the integration of WOM with other on- and off-line techniques
- where WOM fits in terms of integrated marketing communications from an organizational or consumer-based perspective.
Submissions to the special issue
should be original empirical or theoretical contributions and should not be
under simultaneous consideration for any other publication. Online WOM should not be treated as a
peripheral aspect of the paper, but must serve as a central focus. As a guide, papers should be between 4000 and
6000 words in length, including an abstract of no more than 200 words. Manuscripts should be submitted
electronically in Microsoft Word format to the guest editors before
All questions regarding the suitability of manuscripts should be sent to the Editors.
Dr. Allan J. Kimmel Dr. Philip J. Kitchen
79 avenue de la République 500 Glenridge Avenue