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The logic of public organizations' social media use: Towards a theory of `social mediatization´
Swedish National Defence College, Stockholm, Sweden.
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
2016 (English)In: Public Relations Inquiry, ISSN 2046-147X, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 187-204Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study aims to explore government agencies' social media use. Inspired by the notion of mediatization, we ask whether it is possible to find traces of a corresponding emerging social media logic with the propensity to challenge established organizational practices and processes. In doing so, we use a modified framework originally developed by Van Dijck and Poell which identifies key three characteristics of social media logics: programmability, popularity, and connectivity. We conducted a qualitative interview study using an abductive and hermeneutist-inspired methodology. The empirical material consists of 21 interviews with representatives of Swedish government agencies. The findings reveal patterns across the organizations studied which can be understood as an emerging social media logic. Regarding connectivity, the social media logic causes agencies to spend resources on channels that engage relatively few people who are already favorably disposed toward the agency, despite government agencies’ obligation to communicate with citizens at large. Programmability refers to agencies’ increased communicative and image-building power. Finally, popularity leads agencies to engage in more personalized communication, which includes exposure of individual employees as well as use of informal communicative styles. Taken together, these categories have important ramifications which risk jeopardizing agencies’ legal and normative foundations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London, United Kingdom: Sage Publications, 2016. Vol. 5, no 2, p. 187-204
Keywords [en]
Crisis communication, crisis management, public organizations, social media, strategic communication
Keywords [sv]
Kriskommunikation, krishantering, myndigheter, social medier, strategisk kommunikation
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-51698DOI: 10.1177/2046147X16654454OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-51698DiVA, id: diva2:953744
Projects
DIGKRIS
Funder
Swedish Civil Contingencies AgencyAvailable from: 2016-08-18 Created: 2016-08-18 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, Mats

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf