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Social digital trends : Dutch politics and social media.

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Social digital trends : Dutch politics and social media.

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Samenvatting

With powerful traditional media setting the political agenda in the Netherlands, the importance of strategic communication in politics is growing. Free online tools make it easier and faster for politicians to communicate with their voters. At the same time, the Dutch citizen demands more results from politicians as decision makers and remains sceptical about the importance of new media. The stake of communication (via new media) for better interaction between citizen and politician is increasing. As a professional communication consultancy, Fleishman-Hillard Amsterdam assigned this research in order to get a better understanding of the role of social media in political communication, as well as the interaction of social and traditional media in this process. The Public Affairs practice of Fleishman-Hillard needed this knowledge in order to be able to provide professional communications advice for digital media and public affairs to potential political clients. This research was aimed at answering the question: What is the role of social media in political communication? The second goal was to generate practical advice on how social media can be used effectively for this.
The main conclusion of this research is that social media cannot be used as an independent medium in political communication, because it only reaches a small, very specific group of the Dutch population. The great influence of journalists as intermediaries in political reporting and communication creates a distorted and unreliable image of politicians in the eye of the voter. Social media have an important role in skipping these intermediaries when a politician wants to provide a more true and realistic image of himself to his potential voters. However, politicians in the Netherlands are still very inexperienced with social media and more often than not fail to reach their voters. At the same time, voters are hard to reach on social media because the political message is rarely relevant to them, and the fact that it is now communicated via social media does not make much difference to them. This has to do with the political system in the Netherlands and the fact that the voter is only interested in politics when certain negative changes take place in his environment. The Dutch voter appreciates the more genuine and direct communication style which politicians use in social media, and those who do it successfully have seen the benefits of reaching their target groups with more relevant messages. At the same time, social media helps to increase the publicity of a politician in traditional media. In this sense social media has proven to be a very effective tool for generating extra publicity and popularity in traditional media, which is something politicians look for during election time.

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OrganisatieHogeschool Utrecht
OpleidingInternational Communication and Media
PartnersFleishman-Hillard Amsterdam - International Communications
Datum2010-04-22
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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