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Government Communication 2.0 - The online communication of the Hungarian presidency of the Council of European Union

Gabriella Szabó
Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Gabriella Szabó
Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Open Panel

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to explore the communication efforts of the Hungarian government as undertaking the task of the presidency of the Council of EU. The theoretical framework of the research is the concept of Public Relations as a solid theoretical background which considers communication as a tool for maintaining relationships between stakeholders. This is because the EU presidency often has a meta discourse on country reputation and international trust on the ruling government. In other words: building confidence, which is a foundation stone of PR. Thus, PR seems to perfectly fit to describe government communication too; with this regard we follow the conceptualizations of James Grunig (1984), Liu-Horsley (2007) and Mordecai Lee (2008). The paper is based on an empirical research which is designed to gain more information on the web-based communication activity analysing the data from the official website (http://www.eu2011.hu), official facebook profile (http://www.facebook.com/eu2011hu) and the Twitter pages of the Hungarian EU presidency (http://twitter.com/HU_Elnokseg). To operacionalised our research interest, the following aspects will be examined (Phillips 2001); 1. Target groups (who are targeted by online communication) 2. Content and context (what types of info are available at web pages; what formats of communication are chosen for certain topics) 3. Services provided by the websites (what services are provided) 4. Feedback and interactions (to what extent does the government use online communication to gain feedbacks and foster two-way interactions) Beside archiving and analysing webpages, structured interviews with government officers will be also planned.