Integrating Social Media in NGO Strategic Communication: Lessons From Dutch NGOs' Communication Practices

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The integration of social media channels in NGO strategic communication has been examined primarily via studies of organizations’ use of select platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Yet, the use of such channels does not take place in a vacuum. Rather, NGOs integrate the newest social media channel within their pre-existing media and communication plans. This chapter seeks to illustrate a more encompassing approach to NGO social media use able to capture the relationship between the adoption of such channels and the wider communication ecosystem of an organization. To this end, the chapter proposes an ecosystem approach as a suitable theoretical lens. Then, the chapter illustrates it with an exploratory study combining a content analysis of NGOs’ social media presence with the findings from ten in-depth interviews with representatives from different social change organizations in the Netherlands. This triangulated approach foregrounds the mix of traditional and new media channels through which NGOs communicate with their various publics and stakeholders. The ecosystem approach thus affords more nuanced insights into the changes brought about by digitalization in the strategic communication practices of NGO social change initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Perspectives on NGO Communication for Social Change
EditorsGiuliana Sorce
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781003188636
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2021

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