Plenary speakers

We invited four speakers with an expertise in discourse- and communication-related approaches to online consumer complaints, reviews, and webcare: Camilla Vasquez (University of South Florida), Valerie Creelman (Saint Mary’s University), Guda Van Noort (University of Amsterdam), Rob Le Pair (Radboud University Nijmegen).


Camilla Vásquez is a Professor of Applied Linguistics in the Department of World Languages at the University of South Florida.  Her research examines language use in various online contexts.  Her book, The Discourse of Online Consumer Reviews (Bloomsbury, 2014), has been featured in The New York TimesOutside magazine, and other media outlets.  Camilla has investigated the language of consumer reviews –as well as businesses’ responses to reviews –on a wide range of platforms including TripAdvisorYelpAmazon and Airbnb.  Her work on review language has been published in journals such as Current Issues in TourismDiscourse Context & MediaFood and FoodwaysJournal of PragmaticsNarrative Inquiry, and Visual Communication. She is a frequently invited speaker at both academic conferences and industry events. abstract Camilla Vásquez

Valerie Creelman is Associate Professor of Communications at the Sobey School of Business’ Department of Marketing and Business Communication at Saint Mary’s University. Her research interests include language use in online customer care exchanges, negative news and product recall messaging, crisis communication, and impression management. She has contributed chapters addressing these subjects to several recent and forthcoming publications: Digital Business Discourse (Palgrave, 2015); Advertising, Consumer Culture & Canadian Society (Oxford University Press, Fall 2018); and Rhetorical Theory and Praxis in the Business Communication Classroom (Routledge, Fall 2018). She was recently awarded The Rising Star Award in recognition of her research and teaching contributions at the Association of Business Communication’s annual conference in Ireland.​ abstract Valerie Creelman

Guda van Noort is an Associate Professor for Marketing Communication at the Department of Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the new and unique characteristics of so-called new media. She examines the role of new media characteristics, such as interactivity personalization and targeting, in the persuasion process of (marketing) communications. In recent projects, she investigated effective webcare strategies to counter online complaints, consumer responses to online behavioral advertising, and advertising campaigns in social network sites. Other studies focused on interactivity effects in brand websites, political websites, online games, and digital diplomacy in social media. abstract Guda Van Noort

Rob le Pair. Rob Le Pair is Assistant Professor at Radboud University Nijmegen. He conducts research in the field of the persuasiveness of text (verbal anchoring) and visuals in advertising. In several publications he investigated the effects of visual metaphors on reader’s cognitive elaboration, comprehension and attitude towards advertisements and advertised products. In some of these research projects, there is a special interest in the possible effects of culture and cross-cultural variability on consumer responses when advertisements with visual metaphors are evaluated.  Rob’s latest research interests are in the field of persuasive technologies and online persuasive communication via social media. In some recent master theses, he directed graduate students’ research into e.g. the effects of the use of Twitter and Facebook in crisis communication, the effects of different Twitter message types in recruitment strategies, and the effects of different types of Twitter messages on the reputation of organisations. abstract Rob Le Pair