Effectiveness Of Celebrity Credibility In Developing Brand Community Commitment For Disaster Management Programs
Disaster management has been a challenging task for many countries including emerging economies in Asia. Countries followdifferent communication strategies to mitigate the impact of natural disasters. There are cases found using celebrities to motivate brand community commitment amongst publics to engage with disaster management programs. Specially, credibility of the celebrity personality has been empirically tested as a significant mechanism in motivating communities. Accordingly, this study investigates the effectiveness of using celebritiesin disaster management programs sponsored by institutions. Study was carried out in Sri Lanka, one of the emerging economies in Asia thatbattles against series of natural disasters. A quantitative survey was done specifying disaster management cases found in Sri Lanka where celebritiesengaged representing different brands and corporates including media firms. Researchers conceptualized the study byhypothesizing the direct path of how celebrity credibility relates with brand community commitment in engagingdisaster management programs. It empirically argued and examined how brand community trust influences as a mediating mechanism towards the relationship between celebrity credibility and brand community commitment. It used both descriptive and inferential statistical tools to analyze the surveyed data whilst hypotheses were tested accordingly. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was performed to test the hypotheses by using AMOS 20 software. Results prove that celebritycredibility significantlyinfluences brand community commitment in motivating community or public to attend disaster management programs. Analysis verified brand commitmenttrust acts as a significant mediator influencing on the impact made by celebrity credibility on brand community commitment. Paper concludes new knowledge and directions to decision makers and institutions addressing how to employee celebrities in mitigating or managing natural disasters via a community participating strategy.
Keywords: Brand Community Commitment, Brand Community Trust, Celebrity Credibility, Disaster Management, Sri Lanka