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Broadcast Versus Interaction: Environmental Groups’ Use of Twitter

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Abstract

This study examines the extent to which interest groups utilize Twitter to engage in interactive communication and the potential of such communication to serve organizational goals such as mobilization, fundraising, and expanding support for groups’ causes. Based on a content analysis of 5,000 tweets by environmental organizations in the context of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I show that interactive communication was relatively uncommon and, further, that interactivity did not yield a significant payoff in terms of expanding groups’ reach and influence within the medium. These findings suggest that the benefits of interactivity may be overstated, and that other communicative strategies may better serve groups’ goals during times of crisis.

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... In the societal engagement category, we considered posts that explicitly replied to citizens' complaints or explicitly @mentioned non-EPB users, 7 a practice that social media users adopt to engage with and show connections with other users (Merry 2014). We also considered posts that forwarded societal information (NGOs or scientific studies and environmental activities). ...
... In the second stage of our analysis of social media data, we returned to the full dataset of 35,700 posts to investigate the origins and flows of the information posted by Shandong EPBs using quantitative analysis of the hierarchal and geographic source and dissemination of environmental information. Inspired by studies which have used similar techniques to study social media ecosystems around environmental issues (Merry 2014;Kay, Zhao, and Sui 2015;Comfort and Hester 2019), this analysis helps to address several points. First, information originating with grassroots EPBs and then disseminated laterally and by higher level EPBs would support e-governance objectives, as it is EPBs at the district and county level that are responsible for the bulk of environmental enforcement and information disclosure. ...
... Most interactions occurred between EPBs, and the remainder generally involved individuals with obvious, but often undisclosed, relationships to EPBs. At first sight, these practices resemble those of political actors and large environmental NGOs in the west, who have been found to use social media to broadcast their message unilaterally and to reinforce their internal connections, rather than to interact with the public and risk losing control of their communication (Hutchins 2016;Merry 2014;Comfort and Hester 2019). Such an interpretation can plausibly explain the behaviour of EPBs, to the extent that editors serve political goals and may also worry about losing control over their communication (Zheng 2013). ...
Article
Since 2011, Chinese environmental authorities have undertaken a project of “occupying” online spaces, with a particular focus on social media like Weibo. These activities have been analysed alternatively as a promising attempt to improve environmental governance by increasing citizen engagement and transparency, or as a new tool of control over online environmental discourses. However, empirical research into the practices of state microblogs is rare, and the implications of their emergence for local environmental governance remain poorly understood. Using a combination of online and offline investigation methods, this paper analyses the use of microblogs by 172 local environmental authorities in Shandong Province, whose multi-level EPB microblogging system is seen as a model for other provinces, testing whether this system improves environmental governance, and whether this objective is impeded by practices aimed at controlling online environmental discourse. We find limited evidence of improved environmental governance that would be attested by enhanced information disclosure and active citizen engagement. Instead, EPB communication appears mostly insular, and obstructed by floods of diversionary content and propaganda. We suggest that while these behaviours are likely driven by misaligned state incentive structures and fears of triggering social unrest, they also support the goal of discursive control by occupation.
... Although ENGOs need to employ environmental communication as part of their common advocacy aim to protect the environment, there are also a variety of communicative aims and strategies that they need to consider, ensuring that they have the resources required to continue to function as an organisation. Merry (2014) identifies key organisational purposes as "mobilisation, fundraising, and membership recruitment, and broadening of public awareness and sympathy for groups' causes" (339). In Merry's research of 5000 tweets from ENGOs, following the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, she references that the opportunities to further these aims are amplified in a time of crisis event, or focusing event (339). ...
... Four of Greenpeace's 64 tweets collated for this data were repliesand all four of them referred to Trump whilst thanking the user for their donation or support for the organisation. This interactivity with donators, establishing a relationship with gratitude for their involvement, could suggest that interacting with stakeholders is especially prevalent during "focusing events" such as the 2010 Oil Spill that Merry's (2014) research focuses on and the election of Trump to the presidency discussed in this dissertation. The fact that many of these interactions were based on Greenpeace's publicity event of dropping a resist banner within sight of the White House suggests that they may be more comfortable limiting interactions within the framing of these focusing events, supporting Greenberg and MacAulay's (2009) concerns that generally increasing interactivity with the audience may result in a loss of "steering control" from the organisation. ...
... e platform more as an opportunity to engage with journalists and promote environmental journalism than to engage with audiences, especially those who aren't already sympathetic to their causes. Studies have shown that the largest group of "Verified" accounts (i.e. accounts that have been authenticated by Twitter staff) are journalists(Kamps, 2015).Merry's (2014) study concludes in a similar way, stating that "information diffusion… might be the more critical function of social media than interactivity, at least in the context of political advocacy during policy windows of opportunity" (340). This might be especially relevant for large organisations like the ones covered in this study: dissemina ...
... There was much criticism of academics for the overemphasis of Twitter's role in the Arab Spring (Carley et al., 2016), but the largely successful use of Twitter and other social media in protests around Standing Rock (Di Ronco et al., 2019), and the persistent use of the platform by movements such as #BlackLivesMatter (Taylor, 2016) suggests that the platform may still play a significant role to play in protests. Researchers have long noted the potential of the internet to strengthen democratic governance (Grossman, 1995), through its ability to promote and shape collective action (Merry, 2014), while collective action has long been the mainstay of environmental movements, where environmental issues are not fought for alone but are defined through collective processes (Taylor, 2000). Twitter lends itself to the loose but connected nature of environmental movements, allowing them to frame arguments (Doğu, 2019), build online connections (Merry, 2014), provide a base for knowledge sharing (Costie et al., 2018), and give a sense that one can change and shape the world around them (Drury & Reicher, 2009). ...
... Researchers have long noted the potential of the internet to strengthen democratic governance (Grossman, 1995), through its ability to promote and shape collective action (Merry, 2014), while collective action has long been the mainstay of environmental movements, where environmental issues are not fought for alone but are defined through collective processes (Taylor, 2000). Twitter lends itself to the loose but connected nature of environmental movements, allowing them to frame arguments (Doğu, 2019), build online connections (Merry, 2014), provide a base for knowledge sharing (Costie et al., 2018), and give a sense that one can change and shape the world around them (Drury & Reicher, 2009). Although many environmental struggles remain local, retaining their own identity and narratives, the digital age has allowed some to tackle large-scale political-economic processes on a global scale (Serafini, 2018). ...
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This article explores how the anti-fracking movements in the province of Mendoza, Argentina, have used Twitter to shape narratives around anti-fracking. Adopting a dynamic view of collective action frames, the article shows that the anti-fracking movements have developed multiple frames to articulate their struggle and justify their grievances, and how procedural injustice and environmental values have been motivational factors for local citizens. The article also demonstrates that Twitter is principally being used as a broadcast platform rather than being used to create online collective action, but that the strong framing means that disparate groups have been united behind the common cause.
... The author also suggests that nonprofit advocacy organisations use different social platforms for different purposes, such as thanking on Twitter, engaging in two-way communication on Facebook, and communicating messages by using authority figures on YouTube (Auger, 2013). Exploring environmental groups' use of Twitter during the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Merry (2014) argues that the community function-in other words, interactivity-was rarely used. ...
... Topsy (http://www.topsy.com) were used to collect tweets (see Guo & Saxton, 2014;Merry, 2014). For our purposes, we preferred to use the Export Tweet (http://www.exporttweet.com) ...
Article
This paper examines social media use by cause and sectional interest groups in the European Union. The literature suggests that cause groups should focus on building a constituency more than sectional groups, because they do not offer exclusive benefits to their members. Cause groups face collective action problems more than sectional groups, so they have to take a proactive approach to community building. The nature of the causes cause groups lobby for is also more suitable for protest and thus calls to action. An in-depth analysis of a random sample of 1,000 tweets by cause and sectional groups reveals differences with respect to social media use. Cause groups use social media to pursue two-way communication with the public slightly-albeit not significantly-more than sectional groups. Cause groups mobilise the public to take action significantly and substantively more than specific interests.
... Scholars have also pointed out some benefits of noninteractivity and the strategic significance of one-way communication on Twitter. Getting involved in conversations with the public is not only time-consuming for political leaders but it also detracts from broadcasting information more widely (Merry, 2014). Politicians involved in interactive communication, including responses to user questions and comments, will inevitably be at the receiving end of some unexpected, even unpleasant reactions, thereby weakening the impact of the original message sought to be broadcasted (Waters & Williams, 2011). ...
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Does interactivity on Twitter initiated by political elites yield dividends in terms of indirect outcomes such as online political mobilization? Twitter has traditionally been utilized by political elites mainly as broadcasting media, characterized by its limited interactions with the wider public. In doing so, political elites may be overlooking Twitter's utility as an interactive media for mobilizing their supporters, which we seek evidence for in this paper. We adopt a naturalistic quasi-experimental design utilizing a unique dataset comprising tweets of users who were mentioned (36.62 million tweets) and not mentioned (29.73 million tweets) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16th March, 2019 during his general election campaign. A controlled intervention analysis using Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models was carried out, which suggests that, on average, the total tweets count increased more for users mentioned by Modi (treatment group) as compared to those not mentioned by Modi (control group). However, no substantive lasting effect could be detected, indicating therefore that a mention by political elites helps generate immediate engagement which is not necessarily self-sustaining. To determine if this activation behavior is more prominent for less or more active users, we categorized the users based on their Twitter activity and assessed the significance of any movement between categories; no evidence could be found in support of this claim. Our findings thus provide important insights to understand how Twitter can be used as an effective platform for political campaigns by exploiting some of its interactive features such as replies and mentions to mobilize supporters.
... Scholars have also pointed out some benefits of noninteractivity and the strategic significance of one-way communication on Twitter. Getting involved in conversations with the public is not only time-consuming for political leaders but it also detracts from broadcasting information more widely (Merry, 2014). Politicians involved in interactive communication, including responses to user questions and comments, will inevitably be at the receiving end of some unexpected, even unpleasant reactions, thereby weakening the impact of the original message sought to be broadcasted (Waters & Williams, 2011). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Does interactivity on Twitter initiated by political elites yield dividends in terms of indirect outcomes such as online political mobilization? Twitter has traditionally been utilized by political elites mainly as broadcasting media, characterized by its limited interactions with the wider public. In doing so, political elites may be overlooking Twitter's utility as an interactive media for mobilizing their supporters, which we seek evidence for in this paper. We adopt a naturalistic quasi-experimental design utilizing a unique dataset comprising tweets of users who were mentioned (36.62 million tweets) and not mentioned (29.73 million tweets) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 16th March, 2019 during his general election campaign. A controlled intervention analysis using Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models was carried out, which suggests that, on average, the total tweets count increased more for users mentioned by Modi (treatment group) as compared to those not mentioned by Modi (control group). However, no substantive lasting effect could be detected, indicating therefore that a mention by political elites helps generate immediate engagement which is not necessarily self-sustaining. To determine if this activation behavior is more prominent for less or more active users, we categorized the users based on their Twitter activity and assessed the significance of any movement between categories; no evidence could be found in support of this claim. Our findings thus provide important insights to understand how Twitter can be used as an effective platform for political campaigns by exploiting some of its interactive features such as replies and mentions to mobilize supporters.
... Scholars have also pointed out some benefits of noninteractivity and the strategic significance of one-way communication on Twitter. Getting involved in conversations with the public is not only time-consuming for political leaders but it also detracts from broadcasting information more widely (Merry, 2014). Politicians involved in interactive communication, including responses to user questions and comments, will inevitably be at the receiving end of some unexpected, even unpleasant reactions, thereby weakening the impact of the original message sought to be broadcasted (Waters & Williams, 2011). ...
Preprint
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Does interactivity on Twitter by political elites yield dividends either in terms of a direct outcome (winning elections) or an indirect outcome (political mobilizations)? We answer this question using a unique dataset of Twitter users (N=27,640) who were among those thanked for their support by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his tweets on 16thMarch, 2019 during his campaigning for the general election. We extracted tweets (tweets, retweets and replies) from these users from 10thJanuary (beginning of the campaign) to 19th May 2019 (the day the election ended), which yielded a total of 36.62 million tweets, and proceeded to classify these users based on their activeness on Twitter, for a comprehensive analysis of their Twitter activity over a period of 18 weeks to understand the impact of Modi’s intervention. A controlled intervention analysis using Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) models was carried out with a control group comprising a similar set of Twitter users (N=27,610) supporting Modi's campaign, but were not mentioned by Modi. Our results suggest that, on average, the aggregate number of tweets shared by users had increased after mentions by Modi. However, our findings do not provide any evidence for the prominence of the activation behavior among less active Twitter users. We discuss the implications of our findings for the use of Twitter by political elites during electoral campaigns. Inferences about political activity on Twitter may also offer important insights into overall political activeness outside Twitter, as evidenced by the use of Twitter activity to capture social trends validated by other studies.
... The development of new media technology has brought about subversive changes in the media ecological environment, and the changes that have taken place in the media ecology of new media have given way to a new landscape for EC. In more recent years, scholars have begun to study EC on the Internet and social media, communication mediums that have exceeded the scope of the mainstream mass media, and they considered the contribution of non-media actors' activities to EC (Alexander, 2013;Autry and Kelly, 2012;Merry, 2014). In addition, with the development of new media technology, the increase in communication channels has led to a gradual reduction in the cost of public access and participation in EC, and to more public participation. ...
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Environmental communication (EC) is of great significance to the practice of environmental protection by human society, as it involves disseminating ecological and environmental information, communicating environmental risks, and increasing environmental awareness among the audience. In this study, knowledge mapping analysis was used to systematically review research in the field of EC. A scientometric analysis (1900–2020) was carried out on 2219 journal articles obtained from the Web of Science database to explore the basic characteristics, research hotspots, and research frontiers of EC research. The results revealed that: (1) Research on EC received widespread attention since the beginning of the 21st century, and 2010 was an important turning point in the study of EC. EC research shows the trend of interdisciplinary development. (2) Well-known universities in western countries and from around the world constitute the main body of current EC research. However, there is still a lack of international cooperation in the field of EC research. (3) Climate change, as a complex scientific issue, is not only a global environmental issue, but also the most concerned and hot issue in the field of EC. It has a strong political attribute and has become a major issue that cannot be ignored in politics. (4) According to the timeline analysis of research hotspots, EC research was innovatively divided into an initial stage, a development stage, and a rising stage. Combined the keyword bursts result with the research hotspots analysis, the research frontier of EC was divided into four periods. Finally, the shortcomings of this study are summarized and directions for future research of EC are proposed by considering the following four aspects: research perspective, research content, research paradigm and method, and research context.
... Despite the myriad ways in which social media platforms allow for stakeholder engagement, few organizations are taking full advantage of these tools. In contrast to the dialogic interaction envisioned by early scholars, one-way broadcasting of information remains the dominant form of communication Merry, 2014). Moreover, though social media platforms greatly reduce the costs associated with advertising, fundraising, organizing and mobilizing, it is not the case that these technologies are free. ...
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Increasingly, advocacy organizations are routing their communications through social media platforms. One notable difference from traditional communication outlets is the easy inclusion of visual elements within social media messaging. One such example of the turn toward the visual in online communication is the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), during which environmental groups livestreamed protests and posted images of demonstrators staring down police. This study examines the use and consequences of visual-based ‘new media’ platforms by applying the Narrative Policy Framework (NPF) to the case of DAPL. The NPF focuses our attention on the role of policy stories, acknowledging that narratives have impacts on policy beliefs and actions. I compare social media messaging that includes imagery to that which does not, exploring creation of policy narratives as defined through the NPF. I do so by drawing on a dataset of more than 580 Twitter posts by five environmental advocacy groups from July 2016 through October 2017. My findings speak to the ways in which images and accompanying text interact to form more robust narratives. Visual tweets are also more likely to stimulate greater sharing behavior. These results have implications for interest group communications strategy.
... Bruns ja Highfield 2013;Bruns ja Stieglitz 2014;Jungherr 2014;Marttila ym. 2016;Merry 2014;Trilling 2014), tai tehty mittavaa manuaalista työtä aiheiden tunnistamisek- si (esim. Ausserhofer ja Maireder 2013;Graham ym. ...
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In this article we use the perspectives of agenda-building and issue ownership to study the public agenda preceding elections. By using computational topic modeling we investigate, how the public agenda and the topics covered in candidates' social media messages are connected. Our data consists of candidates' social media messages and political news of 20 major Finnish newspapers one month prior to the Finnish parliamentary elections 2015. The analysis shows that social media was used more for campaigning than policy-related messaging. Instead of clear issue ownership patterns the candidates and the media focus on same main issues: economic situation, security politics, and work and entrepreneurship. To a large extent the public agenda online followed the main topics of news media. Exceptions are the topic of immigration raised by conservative parties, and conversations related to education and youth wellbeing raised by NGO campaigns. Our analysis implies that the candidates react to the themes present on online arenas, which suggests that citizens or NGOs can use social media to exhibit agenda-building power over the public, political agenda. In addition, our analysis demonstrates the ability of computational methods to explore issue coverage across media arenas.
... This single-case analysis is of course limited by its lack of generalizability. Following previous research, we conceived of the People's Climate March as a "focusing event," in which attention is drawn to an issue and opportunities are opened up for organization building (Merry, 2014). As such, the next steps in this research will be to explore how the shape and content of the conversations around this event might have impacted online conversations on climate change going forward. ...
Article
The September 2014 “People’s Climate March” was reportedly the largest climate change mobilization in history. The coalition of organizations behind the march chose a strategy of inclusion: They sought to create a “big tent” for a climate movement. Building on theoretical developments in the literature on digital media and social movements, we used Twitter as a window to observe how march organizers and participants attempted to (a) create a digital space of shared attention intersecting with the on-the-ground event, and also (b) thread together diverse orientations to the climate issue.
... While much has been written about online environmental content (e.g. [22]) and media tactics environmental activists and NGOs use [18], very little is known about the "average" green consumer's media habits on the Internet. Various motives for sustainable behaviors (responsibility, involvement, internalization) have been examined among Facebook and Twitter users [31]. ...
... A comunicação no Twitter vem sendo investigada nos últimos anos com análises do retweet como uma prática conversacional (Boyd et al., 2010), do uso da rede como uma forma de comunicação em situações de desastres (Takahashi et al., 2015), de mobilização para ações nas ruas (Theocharis et al., 2014), e da atuação de organizações não-governamentais e associações (Merry, 2014), entre outros aspectos. ...
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A 21ª Conferência das Partes (COP21) da Convenção-Quadro das Nações Unidas sobre Mudanças no Clima foi apontada como a mais promissora reunião para um acordo global de combate aos efeitos das mudanças climáticas e redução da emissão de gases de efeito estufa. Este artigo analisa a comunicação sobre as mudanças climáticas no ambiente online durante o período da Conferência. Os temas debatidos nas redes sociais são suscetíveis a afetar o debate de forma ampla e trazem importantes informações a respeito da opinião pública e de percepções sobre as mudanças climáticas (Williams et al., 2015). Para este fim, o trabalho foca-se na popular rede social Twitter, que tem sido apontada como um termômetro da percepção pública (Brown & Wake, 2015). O Twitter tem mais de 310 milhões de utilizadores ativos por mês, dos quais 79% estão fora dos Estados Unidos da América, o que possibilita analisar outros contextos e fomentar a investigação em idiomas sub investigados, como o espanhol e o português. Lança-se um primeiro olhar sobre os usos e conteúdos publicados no Twitter nas línguas mencionadas visando responder às seguintes questões: Que tipo de conteúdos são mais populares no Twitter sobre mudanças climáticas? Qual a linguagem (palavras, nomes) utilizada para se debater o tema? Até que ponto é que a mídia tradicional é referência relevante no contexto da comunicação sobre as mudanças climáticas na rede social? Quem são os atores que formam esta rede e quais são os mais influentes? Conclui-se, entre outros aspectos, que entre os atores da rede se destacam diversos políticos e que a mídia é referência importante de informação nesta rede social. Nos dados em língua portuguesa, constatou-se um nível de atividade muito elevado dos cidadãos, que dominaram a produção de conteúdos sobre a COP 21.
... Higgins and Walker (2012) suggests that strategies of persuasion facilitate the process of social influence. In the recent years, several studies have begun to explore non-profit organizations' use of social media to interact and persuade their stakeholders (Merry, 2014;Nah & Saxton, 2012). A current study has explored the use of rhetorical content of three non-profit organizations on Twitter and found that ethos is the most prominent element of persuasive pattern and more than 90% of the tweets showed the presence of one of the persuasive elements (Smitko, 2012, p. 633). ...
Article
Much work has been done on the role and impacts of social media in social movements, but less attention has been paid to the use of content features such as hashtags and URLs, and visual rhetoric used in persuading and mobilizing in social movements. We address this gap by analyzing a sample of 1271 tweets during World Environment Day, a yearly and global movement to commemorate and promote awareness about the environment. We examine the impacts of content features and the use of three types of visual rhetoric (ethos, pathos and logos) on retweeting, as retweeting is a measure of retransmission and expressive participation in the movement. The use of URLs was positively associated with retweeting, but the relationship is reverse for hashtags and retweeting. Ethos was the dominant persuasion strategy present in the visual rhetoric, and the use of both Ethos and Pathos were significantly associated with retweeting.
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Conference Paper
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... On the other, the ability of Twitter to increase interactivity may be overstated and bear other costs. 320 For example, in the case of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, looking across traditional (donation request, action request) and novel forms of group behavior (interaction, self-promotion), Merry (2014) finds little evidence of interactivity between groups and individual users. Moreover, interactivity may not always be a good thing, as groups' reduced control opened the 325 movement to increased fragmentation. ...
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1. INTRODUCCIÓN; 2. EVOLUCIÓN DE LA REGULACIÓN EUROPEA; 3. EVALUACIÓN Y COMUNICACIÓN DEL VALOR PÚBLICO; 4. EL RETO DE LA INNOVACIÓN; 5. ESTADO DE LA FINANCIACIÓN; 6. PROMESAS ELECTORALES GENERALES; 7. PROGRAMAS AUTONÓMICOS; 8. LA GOBERNANZA ESTATAL Y AUTONÓMICA; 9. BALANCE Y CONCLUSIONES.
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Los medios de comunicación públicos viven tiempos de un profundo cuestionamiento de sus funciones sociales y dinámicas profesionales. La crisis económica ha obligado a reducir los presupuestos de las radiotelevisiones públicas, lo que está repercutiendo en la calidad de su servicio. Además, factores como la instrumentalización política o la corrupción en su gestión económica, han generado fuertes críticas hacia el papel de estos medios de titularidad pública en nuestra sociedad. En concreto, en el contexto europeo encontramos un intenso debate sobre los problemas y sobre todo, el futuro de Servicio Público de Comunicación (SPC o Public Service Media —PSM—) que este libro pretende abordar de forma detallada y panorámica. Desde una óptica novedosa, centrada en los medios de proximidad, el presente trabajo aborda tres grandes cuestiones: un repaso a la necesidad actual de los SPC en el contexto europeo; la urgente redefi nición de los medios públicos en la era digital en torno a conceptos como gobernanza, calidad informativa e innovación; y fi nalmente, se profundiza en el intenso debate generado por el cierre de Radiotelevisió Valenciana (RTVV). En este sentido, esta obra colectiva, con reconocidos autores del ámbito académico y profesional, pretende aportar conocimiento y argumentos de futuro para comprender la importancia de lo público en el complejo entorno mediático en el que vivimos y contextualizar la necesaria recuperación del servicio público de radio y televisión en la Comunidad Valenciana.
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Previous studies of advocacy groups’ Web sites suggest that the use of dialogic strategies could lead to greater dialogic communication. This study examined whether dialogic strategies utilized by environmental advocacy groups via their social networking profiles lead to greater dialogic engagement between organizations and visitors. This study offers the first examination of the relationship between the creation of an online space for dialogue and actual dialogic engagement by identifying and measuring six dialogic outcomes.
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From the Publisher:Can our system adapt to the new form of democracy forming via the electronic age? Will the new communication age usher in a nation governed not by professional politicians but by citizens themselves? Grossman answers these questions and many others clearly and provocatively as he brings the features of our rapidly changing political environment into focus.
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Twitter is rapidly gaining attention from strategic communicators for its ability to enhance communication campaigns. Whether using the site to augment word-of-mouth marketing campaigns or engage in conversations with stakeholders, Twitter has become the leading online social media outlet for marketing and public relations efforts. However, despite the service's ability to provide a forum for interacting with stakeholders, the site primarily began as a way for its users to provide one-way updates and disseminate information. By using the models of public relations as its framework, this study examines how government agencies are using Twitter to communicate with their audiences through content analysis of 1800 updates from 60 government agencies. Contrary to public affairs practitioners' claims of interactivity on Twitter, government agencies primarily relied on one-way communication that sought to inform and educate rather than two-way symmetrical conversations. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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The federal government's adoption of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 represented a radical statutory departure from past policy. Coastal oil spill control provisions that had languished for decades within the industry-friendly confines of a few select congressional subcommittees suddenly became law. Much popular belief credits the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill crisis for bringing about this radical policy change. Closer examination reveals that postcrisis policy change is much more complex. Crisis events intermingle with other short- and long-term factors that either inhibit or support dramatic change. This study analyzes change within the coastal spill arena over several decades. Particular attention is given to crisis episodes, periods identified with a major catastrophe or a successive series of attention-getting spills over a brief time. Analysis finds that crises can play an instrumental role in eliciting change.
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The rapid growth and popularity of the microblogging service Twitter has been one of the most recent phenomena of the Internet, which opens up opportunities for businesses in general and publishers in particular to do marketing in a dialogue- and consumer-oriented way. This survey analysed UK trade publishers’ use of Twitter with the specific objective of finding out what influence a publisher’s size has on its Twitter adoption, patterns of use and the content of its Tweets. Overall, the results suggest that a publisher’s size primarily affects its general Twitter use, while being less influential regarding its patterns of use and the tweeted content. KeywordsTwitter–Book publishing–Marketing strategy–Customer relations–Publicity–Online marketing–Internet marketing–Social media–Networking–Blogging–Microblogging–Online activity–Trade publishers–Size–United Kingdom
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Since social networking sites, such as MySpace and Facebook, began allowing organizations to create profiles and become active members, organizations have started incorporating these strategies into their public relations programming. For-profit organizations have used these sites to help launch products and strengthen their existing brands; however, little is known about how nonprofit organizations are taking advantage of the social networking popularity. Through a content analysis of 275 nonprofit organization profiles on Facebook, this study examines how these new social networking sites are being used by the organizations to advance their organization's mission and programs. Solely having a profile will not in itself increase awareness or trigger an influx of participation. Instead careful planning and research will greatly benefit nonprofits as they attempt to develop social networking relationships with their stakeholders.