Henderson, A. & Bowley, R. (2010). Authentic dialogue? The role of “friendship” in a social media recruitment campaign. Journal of Communication Management, 14(3), 237-257.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4555
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to emerging theory about the role of authenticity in social media use through discussion of a not-for-profit organisation's experiences of using social networking to communicate with potential stakeholders during a recruitment campaign . Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses critical discourse analysis of semi-structured interviews with organisational spokespersons to examine the use of social media by this not-for-profit organisation. Findings – The organisation attempted to re-position its identity to appear “authentic” to potential young stakeholders, and to use social media to build a dialogue that would attract new recruits to the industry. The paper discusses the challenges and opportunities experienced by the not-for-profit organisation in this recruitment campaign. Practical implications – Organisations contemplating the use of social networking sites to engage new audiences can reflect on the problems encountered in the implementation of this campaign, and plan to avoid similar pitfalls. Originality/value – The study presents original empirical data in relation to social networking by a not-for-profit organisation. It demonstrates the importance of audience perceptions of authenticity and raises important questions about organisational “control”, and the expectations of employees carrying out “authenticity work”.
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