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The logic of public organizations’ social media use: Toward a theory of ‘social mediatization’
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Media and Communication Science. Swedish Defence University.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Media and Communication Science. Örebro University.
2016 (English)In: Public Relations Inquiry, ISSN 2046-147X, E-ISSN 2046-1488, Vol. 5, no 2, 187-204 p.Article 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
2016. Vol. 5, no 2, 187-204 p.
Keyword [en]
Crisis communication, Crisis management, Public organizations, Social media, Strategic communication
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-30657DOI: 10.1177/2046147X16654454ScopusID: 2-s2.0-85016100373OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-30657DiVA: diva2:1090898
Available from: 2017-04-25 Created: 2017-04-25 Last updated: 2017-04-25Bibliographically approved

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Olsson, Eva-KarinEriksson, Mats
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • 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