Social Media Use in Public Diplomacy
Sammanfattning: This study explores the discrepancy between the belief in public relations and public diplomacy research and practice that the use of social media will lead to more two-way communication. It takes the form of a case study, examining the public diplomacy efforts of the German missions abroad. Having established that the social media communication of the German missions is making little use of two-way communication strategies and that it is not as dialogic as the Federal Foreign Office and the missions believe, the analysis identifies the reasons for this discrepancy. The study identifies the challenges the missions are facing, namely to use an informal channel for the communication of a government institution that is used to very formal communication, the fear of loss of control over content, the lack of resources, and the lack of a mass audience online. It concludes that social media communication is playing a supporting role in the German public diplomacy efforts, and while it cannot stand alone yet, its role will be growing in the future.
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