The purpose of this paper is to examine how microblog communication enabled a new form of hybrid net-roots third-sector organization that rely heavily on the internet to achieve multiple organizational successes in civil society, social movement and service providing in China, where the government holds predominating power over the third sector.
A qualitative inductive analysis was conducted to analyze two successful organizations’ Sina tweets sent from their Weibo debuts to the dates when they achieved their first milestone successes. In the analysis, the author iteratively alternated between emic data coding and etic reference to literature on social movement rhetoric and nonprofits’ microblog communication.
This study developed an indigenous communication framework featuring three key communication strategies: changing perceptions, mobilizing action, and building and maintaining relationships, each associated with specific tactics. These strategies and tactics allowed both organizations to tap into social media’s interactive features to engage publics and construct legitimacy.
This paper enriches social media-based communication research and classic social movement rhetoric, and further illustrates strategic communication’s active role in reacting to and reforming institutional contexts. Findings from study might be extended to address similar problems experienced by nonprofits across countries, especially within those that operate in a context where institutional separation from a predominant government is unavailable.
This original communication framework developed in this study crystalizes strategic microblog use by a nascent type of nonprofit when fulfilling functions reflects civil society, social movements and traditional nonprofit organizations in an understudied political and social context.
Chen, F. (2019), "Leveraging interactive social media communication for organizational success: An examination of Chinese net-roots third-sector organizations’ microblog use", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 143-161. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCIJ-10-2018-0103Download as .RIS
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