Building context-based knowledge of government social media communication through an ethnographic study of the US Coast Guard
Journal of Applied Communication Research
Governments are increasing digital communication with citizens, yet little is known about how the public sector influences communicators’ daily social media activities. This ethnographic study uses interviews, documents, and participant observation to offer a rare emic view of the US Coast Guard (USCG) social media program. Breaking up the monolithic public sector communication context, influences on social media communication were nested within five contexts: organization, military, parent agency, federal government, and the US public sector. By observing how the contexts and related attributes influence personnel and the program, the study provides insights related to social media communication processes rather than merely content products. Findings extend theoretical and practical applications by identifying enablers and challenges to government social media communication within an applied context. USCG's culture and history of transparency and engagement drive the strategy, while resource constraints and a devaluing of social media within the decentralized organization constrain program effectiveness and real-time engagement.
The version of record can be found through WorldCat.
Levenshus, Abbey, "Building context-based knowledge of government social media communication through an ethnographic study of the US Coast Guard" (2016). Scholarship and Professional Work - Communication. 157.