Digital transformation, and the use and pervasiveness of social media in particular, have changed society. Politicians and political institutions increasingly use social media channels; hence political communication is changing as well. Continuous availability through smartphones and other devices has not only led to more information exchange between political and public actors, but also lobbyists, who classically communicate remotely, are also starting to respond to these changes and use tools such as Twitter, Facebook and the like. Against this background, this study provides insights into the effects of digital transformation, especially social media, on lobbying in Germany. Data were gathered from 15 interviews and seven focus groups with lobbyists and political decision makers in Berlin. The analysis shows that digital lobbying operates within a novel logic, due to the public context of social media. It is the human element that becomes the decisive factor in digital lobbying due to the social aspect in social media. Accordingly, investigating digital lobbying is critical to establish implications for theory and for practice.
Stürmer, K., Rademacher, L., Fenton, P. and Suilleabhain, G.O. (2023), "Discovering Digital Lobbying: How Digital Transformation and Social Media Affect Classic Lobbying Actors", Rodríguez-Salcedo, N., Moreno, Á., Einwiller, S. and Recalde, M. (Ed.) (Re)discovering the Human Element in Public Relations and Communication Management in Unpredictable Times (Advances in Public Relations and Communication Management, Vol. 6), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 211-227. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2398-391420230000006013
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Copyright © 2023 Kathrin Stürmer, Lars Rademacher, Pio Fenton and Gearoid O Suilleabhain. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited