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The work behind the representation: A qualitative study on the strategic work of the communicators behind political social media accounts.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Social media has given politicians another platform to perform campaigning in. This

essay has been a study on the relationships between politicians, social media,

communicators and their mutual work behind what is published. Has this relatively

new form of media channel affected the way that politicians market themselves

online? How does the work behind the social media channels look, what strategies are

planned behind the representation for the party leader to stand for an entire ideology

with its values?

The research questions of this study:

- Do the strategic work from a communicator affect what is published on the politicians personal

account and the official party account, and to what extent?

- How do the communicators of Swedish political representatives use social media? Do they express

their communication in a personalized manner or focus mainly on the professional part of their


- What are the most important aspects in communicating through social media?

A personalization within political campaigning has increased during the past time,

much because of the new media channels working together with the traditional media

channels, leaving not much to be hidden about the person that is the representative

for the ideology at hand. Personalization does not mean what the person is but what

qualities that this person shows. How much personalization is presented is dependent

on the political climate that is in the country at hand, but this study focuses on the

Swedish political climate, where personalization has become a more important part of

campaigning, whether on social media or physical campaigning.

Social media can not only work as a way of presenting a party leader or the ideology

but as a mobilization factor for the followers of the political accounts. This can mean

information of when a political representative are to hold a press conference or

present an important message in a debate, to be able to lead followers to watch the

representatives in more mediums than social media. In this study it has become clear

that this differs between the different social media channels, as the strategies varies to

the different target groups that are followers of the accounts.

An important factor that has come up from doing this study is personal branding and

branding in organizations. Since it is of great value that the representatives of the

ideology perform all communication through the ground values of the party, this

study has shown that the work of the communicators is of the most important value,

to put a strategy together that will work as a ground for all campaigning in the party,

no matter physical or online.

This study has brought most theoretical focus on organizational branding,

personalization and mobilization. This laid the ground for the interview questions that

we created as a method of finding the results that best would answer our research

questions. We interviewed eight respondents from seven different parties, that were

hired either as communicators or media strategists with focus on social media

channels and campaigning through them. The results showed both differences and

similarities from the respondents. For example opinions differed in social media and

its effect on the political climate, but they did all agree on the way that a strategy

needs to be performed to best get a positive result of an online campaign. The study

came to the conclusion that social media can improve the democratic participation

from the people who use it, as it is an interactive media that reaches many big target

groups, but that it is of importance to know that it needs to be combined with

traditional ways of campaigning. The communicators all told that meeting people

physically is of importance to succeed online as well.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 53 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41903OAI: diva2:922975
Educational program
Media and Communication: Communication and Global Media (180 ECTS credits)
Available from: 2016-04-29 Created: 2016-04-25 Last updated: 2016-04-29Bibliographically approved

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