Activist practitioner perspectives of website public relations: Why aren't activist websites fulfilling the dialogic promise?

Erich J. Sommerfeldt, Michael L. Kent, Maureen Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations

Abstract

Kent and Taylor proposed five dialogic principles for mediated public relations in 1998 and numerous studies of activist groups, corporations, and educational institutions have shown that most websites fail to meet their dialogic potential. This study explores some of the reasons why activist organizations do not integrate dialogic features into their websites. Thirteen activist public relations practitioners were interviewed to determine their perceptions of websites as tools for information dissemination and resource mobilization. Three consistent themes emerged from the interviews: (1) website communication is perceived to be most effective when tied to issue-specific events and issue currency, (2) websites cater to existing and highly involved publics, and (3) websites are viewed as passive communication tools that must be supplemented with traditional public relations practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-312
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Relations Review
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Activism
  • Dialogue
  • Issues management
  • Public relations
  • Social media
  • Websites

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