Over 50 and wired: Web-based stakeholder communication
First Monday

Over 50 and wired: Web-based stakeholder communication by Heather Martyn and Linda M. Gallant



Abstract
Public relations professionals in the era of online communication and social media need to use the best channels of communication to reach specific publics. To achieve this, research is needed in how specific demographic segments seek out and use online communication. A growing online audience segment is adults 50 years old and older, important organizational stakeholders. A layered case study, utilizing surveys and interviews, presents an organization’s research on Web–based communication strategy with older adults. The findings reveal several important communication dynamics for online interaction with audiences. These include: how older adults prefer to seek out and receive information; the importance of a technology’s ease of use; increasing uses of social media profiles; and, personal contact.

Contents

Introduction
Related work
Methods
Findings
Discussion and conclusion

 


 

Introduction

To create effective messages, the public relations specialist must understand a public’s particular issues (Kent, 2008). This includes how various segments of the public use Web–based communication, which is increasingly becoming a standard part of organizations’ strategic communication plan. In particular, adults 50 years old and older are important stakeholders that organizations must reach online. Unlike young adults who are encouraged by education and social pressure to communicate online, older individuals are less pressed upon to use online communication (Thayer and Ray, 2006). Even so, older adults’ use of the Internet for communication, seeking information, and commercial purposes is steadily increasing (Shima Sum, et al., 2008a). In fact, older Americans are increasingly engaging in online activity at a fast pace. According to Nielsen Wire (2009), seniors have increased their online numbers by 55 percent from 11.3 million active users in 2004 to 17.5 million in 2009.

The push–pull dynamic of online communication is a paradigm shift, which reshapes the flow of messages between senders and receivers (Barnes, 2005; Brody, 2004; Maras, 2000; Veglis, 2008). For most of media history, messages and media content have been pushed–out to a receiving audience. Online communication changes this mostly one–way communication format by allowing audiences to pull messages and media content from Internet sites at the times and places convenient to them. This dynamic of push–pull media dominates the Internet. A new way to advance public relations research in Web–based communication is to conceptualize research using a technology acceptance model (TAM) to investigate online audiences’ push–pull media behaviors. Analyzing how users accept and use online communication technologies is important to best understand how to reach online audiences. This is especially true for targeting the ever–changing landscape of Web–based communication where demographics such as age have been shown to exhibit different communication behaviors and consumption patterns online. For instance, online social networks remain dominated by younger generations, with only seven percent of Americans 65 and older managing a profile online (Greenwood, 2009). Yet, Generation X and older individuals dominate online activities that include: gathering health information, online banking, visiting government Web sites, and making online purchases (Jones and Fox, 2009). Based on age, people engage differently in Web–based communication activities.

The current research holds insights for organizations seeking to communicate with older Americans through Web–based communication. Previously, research has been conducted on how Americans aged 50 and older use the Internet, but no studies have focused on how this age demographic engages in online information seeking behaviors and public relations. This study provides new information on how people 50 years old and older prefer to receive and seek out information. The findings provide important knowledge for public relations professionals planning communication campaigns that include communicating with older generations.

This study reports on research done for a non–profit advocacy organization for people 50 and older in a large northeastern metropolitan area. The pseudonym of 50 Plus is used for this case organization. The data provides insights into how aging adults use Web–based communication to receive and seek out information. The push–pull dynamic of online communication changes the patterns of audience communication (see Barnes, 2005; Brody, 2004; Maras, 2000; Veglis, 2008). Understanding interactive push–pull communication in relation to how seniors prefer to receive and seek out information is valuable information to the corporate communication professional, who must communicate with the growing numbers of older Americans as important stakeholders. Without knowledge of the best ways to communicate with seniors through online and traditional communication channels, organizations courting this special public are unable to create an effective communication outreach plan. Using communication formats that seniors prefer can build better trust relationships between organizations and stakeholders.

A review of literature is done on two areas: Web–based communication acceptance and online communication seeking and age. Next, the case organization is described as well as the methods of data collection and analysis. To conclude, the findings are presented and discussed in light of current research and best practices.

 

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Related work

The concepts of technology acceptance and online information seeking provide insight in communicating with different stakeholder groups, which may have varying online information consumption patterns. This line of research holds the potential to help organizations’ understand that the online push–pull media message tactics and strategies are best used when appropriately matched with a target audience’s technology uses.

Web–based communication acceptance

The technology acceptance model (TAM) is a tool used to explain how a user accepts or rejects information technology by tracing external variables, which include beliefs, attitudes, and the intention to use the technology [1]. Research by Lin (2007) expands TAM to analyze Web–based communication. The original TAM states that the user’s perception of ease of use and usefulness of the technology influences whether or not they will accept the technology and implement it into their routine [2]. Trust, reputation, and usability are key elements for the adoption of Web–based communication.

An important factor for the adoption of new technology is trust (Durkan, et al., 2003; Noteberg, et al., 2003; Riegelsberger, et al., 2005). Trust in Web–based communication is vital for developing positive long–term relationships between businesses and clients (Casalo, et al., 2007). Trust is a critical factor in online communication for organizations, which increasingly use Web sites to communicate and interact with stakeholders (Lou and Najdawi, 2004; Shanker, et al., 2005). For Web site users, the perception of trust is important in using and transacting with organizations online (Fisher, et al., 2008). Moreover, as research indicates “understanding how online trust is created and maintained can lead to improved websites, sales revenues, profitability, and ultimately shareholder value” [3].

Web sites are an integral part of managing corporate image and reputation (Casalo, et al., 2007). Research indicates that an organization’s perceived reputation is more important to users’ trust of a Web site than privacy assurances (Metzger, 2006). In the online world, recognized brands can lend a degree of symbolic reputation and provide a sense of security and trust for users of Web sites (Durkan, et al., 2003; Lou and Najdawi, 2004). Further, trust building measures for Web sites include privacy statements, source disclosure, ownership disclosure, and third party seals (Hu, et al., 2010, Fisher, et al., 2008; Lou and Najdawi, 2004).

Understanding Web site users’ experiences with usability of organizational Web sites is increasingly important for public relations efforts (Vorvoreanu, 2006). Usability means how easily a user can move around and utilize the tasks on a Web site. When a site is well designed and its usability is easy, users have a positive user experience. This is important for Web sites, as research shows that good user experience with sites creates positive stakeholder responses to sites (Voorveld, et al., 2009). User trust of Web sites is influenced positively by good design (Casalo, et al., 2007; Lou and Najdawi, 2004). When people experience Web sites as easy to use, this contributes to increasing users’ level of trust with the site (Fisher, et al., 2008). Public relations professionals should choose online communication technologies, such as social media sites, that users can quickly and easily use to access and receive information. This ease–of–use for establishing a push–pull communication connection with users can be seen in the use of Facebook. Users already know how to use Facebook; thus, connecting with audiences through this social media site does not burden an organization with designing a positive user experience with the social media technology. The organization using Facebook as a media channel to reach audiences reaps the benefits of positive user experiences.

Online information seeking and age

Information seeking is an integral factor in individuals’ selection and use of Web sites (LaRose and Eastin, 2004). Further, information seeking is a goal directed task that guides individuals’ search for particular information within a context (Kim, 2009). In general, information seeking can be used as a method to understand online interactivity by shedding light on the ways people acquire information online (Ramirez, 2009), an important knowledge in setting stakeholder message distribution. For 50 Plus, providing online information for its constituents is an important mission. Online information literacy is a vital skill for older adults (Williamson and Asla, 2009).

Older Americans seek out information in varying ways [4]. Even though the trend for older Americans going online is increasing, older generations use the Internet less for socializing and more for information seeking, emailing, and purchasing products (Jones and Fox, 2009). Older generations use the Internet to perform tasks and gather information to make decisions rather than online socializing like younger individuals. In fact, research shows that information seeking is a task that is often part of the decision–making process, which has been extended to online behavior (Xie, 2009).

Online information seeking can provide an informational “safety net” to seniors, especially for health information [5]. A main duty of 50 Plus is to inform its members about issues of healthcare and financial well–being. Health–information seeking is consistently reported as one of the most engaged–in activities for older adults (Kivits, 2009; Sharit, et al., 2008; Xie, 2008). According to McMillan and Macias (2008), most of the time, older generations turn to online resources to gather health information, including information on: prescription drugs, weight issues, cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.

Further, research by Shima Sum, et al. (2009) revealed that older adults used the Internet for communicating, information seeking and commerce, while the sense of community felt by users increased with the amount of time spent online. This means the use of the Internet among older adults can increase the feeling of being involved with the outside world, as well as increase well–being. This is due to Internet use being associated with high satisfaction levels in the areas of health, contact with family and friends, hobby and special interests involvement, plus overall happiness without taking away from off–line socialization (Shima Sum, et al., 2009). In addition, research suggests that training could be used to increase positive uses of the Internet for seniors and to decrease any negative effect of online communication behaviors (Shima Sum, et al., 2008b).

 

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Methods

A case study, like this one, plays a secondary and supportive role in understanding other larger issues like how communication professionals can reach older Americans through online communication, especially social media. Case studies can mix qualitative and quantitative data, as this project does, “to address more complicated research questions and collect a richer and stronger array of evidence than can be accomplished by a single method alone” [6]. Case studies clearly define the boundaries and the object under study [7].

The current study is a layered case study. Layered case studies combine how research participants’ data findings align with the large program or system being studied [8]. Surveys, interviews, and organizational documents are analyzed with a breakdown of how 50 Plus matches its online communication strategies to data findings and current social media trends. The overarching question for this case study is how do older Americans, aged 50+, prefer to receive and seek out information online. This inquiry is valid as a case study because “such questions deal with operational links” [9] that use multiple data findings to investigate program level issues and strategies.

Data collection

The duration of data collection was six weeks, 2 November through 15 December 2009. Data collection was two–fold. First, the case organization was analyzed by conducting interviews and document review. This revealed 50 Plus’ existing stakeholder communication strategies with traditional and online communication. As 50 Plus’ member base continues to age and change, so too can their outreach to include more or less emphasis on online interaction. The first author of this study worked as a paid intern for a Northeastern 50 Plus State Office for a semester. At the organization’s request, the author continued as an unpaid volunteer for six more months. In addition to firsthand observations by the first author, interviews for this case study were conducted with qualified staff members who worked specifically on the 50 Plus State Office’s daily communication management and long–term strategy.

The other half of this study included 98 surveys of English–speaking participants who lived in the northeastern metro area and were age 50 and older. This metro area was defined as communities within 20 miles of the northeastern metropolitan area. Further, the population was divided into age groups: 50–59, 60–69, 70–79, and 80 plus. Data collection was done at branches of a major northeast metropolitan library and councils on aging. The survey included closed–ended and open–ended questions. All surveys were administered as paper surveys. The survey answers were entered into online survey software. This data collection process was done to avoid any usability problems participants might encounter completing online surveys. All surveys and interviews were kept confidential, as they had no personal identifying markers.

Data analysis

Organizational. Interviews were conducted with staff at the 50 Plus State Office. The purpose of these interviews, which were conducted with the communications department, was to provide insight into what the organization is currently doing to target members. These interviews were conducted with those who have the most experience communicating vital information with members. Experience was defined as a minimum of five years working in a position, such as director or coordinator. Thus a screening process took place during initial contact with the organization to determine qualifications for interviews.

Surveys. All surveys consisted of both open– and closed–ended questions. The statistical analyses of closed–ended answers were done by software. A thematic analysis using a grounded theory approach was conducted on open–ended questions. Thematic analysis is important in describing phenomena because the process distills and categorizes the interview data into distinct themes (Bogosian, et al., 2009; Fereday and Muir–Cochrane, 2006). To discover emergent themes, a thematic analysis requires a thorough reading and re–reading of the collected data (Fereday and Muir–Cochrane, 2006). Upon completion of the thematic analysis, emergent themes are applied to the overall case analysis to assist in understanding the phenomena under investigation: how residents in the targeted metro area, aged 50+ prefer to seek out and receive information. The analysis of the interview data continued until “theoretical saturation” occurred. Theoretical saturation occurs when additional analysis does not produce new data and no new themes emerge (Bowen, 2006). The coding process sequentially proceeds through three coding stages: open [10], axial [11], and selective [12]. Open coding provides the initial conceptual breakdown of data into emergent categories. During axial coding, the emergent categories are compared for distinctions and similarities. Selective coding distinguishes core thematic categories and their systematic relationship to any sub–categories and other divergent themes.

 

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Findings

Case organization and communication strategy

Utilizing various methods of communication to reach their members, this 50 Plus State Office has not conducted formal research to understand members’ preferences for receiving and seeking out information, especially in the form of Web–based communication. The primary focuses of member communication are education, information, and advocacy initiatives. A major tactic in communicating with stakeholders is to create a coordinated plan for each communication that includes multiple channels to increase information impressions that successfully communicate messages to members. Thus, 50 Plus is constantly communicating with their members through a variety of channels. As a state office, 50 Plus has a section in the monthly 50 Plus National Bulletin. The majority of member information from this 50 Plus’ office is provided through earned media such as advertisements in local broadcast and print media. The office’s Web–based communication occurs through its online state office Web page, online social networking sites, and e–news e–mail blasts. Traditional direct mail is utilized when necessary.

The state office staff is working to increase stakeholder communication through joining online social networking sites to increase organizational presence online. The staff noted that online social networks are an important area of focus for one–on–one interaction with the members. This online information outlines: how the non–profit is working in the best interest of the members and what actions are occurring in federal and state governments which impact older Americans’ financial and health benefits. The national 50 Plus office, on the other hand, targets members on a broader scope through more channels of communication. Nationally, 50 Plus communicates to members via the 50 Plus Magazine, 50 Plus Bulletin, 50 Plus Newsletter, direct mail, advertisements, and 50 Plus–produced television shows and radio programs. This 50 Plus state office relies heavily on communication to members via online communities, blogs, and e–mail messages, but has yet to examine the effectiveness of each type of communication medium and the ways its members prefer to seek out information.

Surveys: Close–ended questions

Of the 97 survey participants, 68 percent had access to a computer while 32 percent did not. Beyond access, the use of computers is high among this older demographic. Of 92 participants answering a question on computer usage, more than half (53.2 percent) use a computer at least once a week with 40.2 percent using a computer every day. See Table 1.

 

Table 1: How often do you use a computer?
FrequencyTotal
Every day40.2% (37)
Every other day4.3% (4)
A couple times per week8.7% (8)
Once a week6.5% (6)
A couple of times per month6.5% (6)
Once a month2.2% (2)
A couple of time per year2.2% (2)
Never28.3% (26)
Total100% (92)

 

Many participants active in using the Internet for receiving and seeking out information provided insights into their preferences for traditional communication methods versus online communication methods, such as e–mail and Internet databases which include online news sources, blogs and online communities. When receiving information, participants ranked traditional methods of communication (letters/mailings; face–to–face; television; and, telephone) as most preferred. See Table 2. E–mail is ranked most heavily as neutral; while Internet databases are ranked equally neutral and not preferred. This shows that people prefer traditional communication methods more than Web–based communication when receiving information from organizations.

 

Table 2: How do you prefer to seek out information?
Info seeking preferenceLetters/mailingsFace–to–faceTelevisionTelephoneE–mailInternet database
Most preferred43.1% (28)52.4% (33)32.3% (20)32.1% (18)15.6% (7)46.9% (23)
Preferred10.8% (7)11.1% (7)19.4% (12)12.5% (7)28.9% (13)6.1% (3)
Neutral23.1% (15)25.4% (16)27.4% (17)42.9% (24)37.8% (17)16.3% (8)
Not preferred12.3% (8)9.5% (6)8.1% (5)8.9% (5)17.8% (8)22.4% (11)
Least preferred10.8% (7)1.6% (1)12.9% (8)3.6% (2)0% (0)8.2% (4)
Total100% (65)100% (63)100% (62)100% (56)100% (45)100% (49)

 

When seeking out information, people prefer traditional methods of communication (letters/mailings; face–to–face; television), but not telephone, which is ranked primarily as neutral. See Table 3. E–mail is ranked most frequently as neutral for seeking out information. Unlike receiving information, Internet databases are ranked first (46.7 percent) in preference of their use in seeking out information. This indicates that older Americans are actively seeking information from online news sources, blogs, Web sites, and online communities.

 

Table 3: How do you prefer to receive information?
Info receiving preferenceLetters/mailingsFace–to–faceTelevisionTelephoneE–mailInternet database
Most preferred45.5% (35)61.2% (41)39.7% (27)31.7% (20)22% (11)14.9% (7)
Preferred19.5% (15)9% (6)10.3% (7)27% (17)14% (7)17% (8)
Neutral26.0% (20)16.4% (11)26.4% (18)26.4% (16)44.0% (22)25.5% (12)
Not preferred5.2% (4)13.4% (9)13.2% (9)11.1% (7)14% (7)25.5% (12)
Least preferred3.9% (3)0% (0)10.3% (7)4.8% (3)6.0% (3)17.0% (8)
Total100% (77)100% (67)100% (68)100% (63)100% (50)100% (47)

 

An important piece of data is the percentage of respondents that had a social networking profile on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. In total, 18 percent (15 participants) have a social networking profile while 81.9 percent (68 participants) did not have a social networking profile. See Table 4. The results show that the age group with the highest number of social networking profiles is the 60–64 age group respondents. They account for 40 percent (six of the respondents aged 60–64) with social networking profiles.

 

Table 4: Do you have a social networking profile? Examples: Facebook, Twitter, Myspace?
 What is your age?Total
 50–5455–5960–6465–6970–7475–7980+ 
Yes13.3% (2)6.7% (1)40.0% (6)13.3% (2)6.7% (1)20.0% (3)0.0% (0)18.0% (15)
No10.3% (7)5.9% (4)22.1% (15)8.8% (6)17.6% (12)22.1% (15)13.2% (9)81.9% (68)
Total10.8% (9)6.0% (5)25.3% (21)9.6% (8)15.7% (13)21.7% (18)10.8% (9)100% (83)

 

Surveys: Open–ended questions and thematic analysis

Theme one: Ease of use. Ease of use is defined by the participants’ skills and comfort in using the computer and Internet to receive and seek out information. In general, many of the respondents cited ease of use as the reason for choosing a method to seek out and receive information, as these participants did not want to experience difficulty in utilizing a method of communication. They did not want to have to seek out or receive information beyond their comfort level or ability. They want convenience and speed in receiving and accessing information online. One respondent wrote, “Many resources are available on my time frame, when I want to, online,” and another stated, “I can search until I have all the information I need, and I don’t have to leave home to get it.” Further, another respondent stated, “Internet offers information on demand 24/7, but information overload and inability to define scope of information sought is frustrating.” This statement illustrates that although it may provide a level of ease due to the ability to seek and receive information on the participant’s own terms, the convenience and speed may be negatively affected due to overload of information.

Theme two: Personal contact. Although many respondents preferred methods that allowed the most ease, a second theme that arose from the research was personal contact. Personal contact was a benefit that many respondents found from non–computer resources. One respondent wrote, “Personal connections, as in–person and phone, produces more immediate contact and sometimes is the fastest way to do things.” Respondents were interested in receiving and seeking out information in ways that allowed them to still have a “personal touch” and “interaction” with other parties. Although many preferred methods that allowed them to maintain this personal contact, many indicated that they felt this was becoming more difficult. One respondent stated, “Interaction with another person is important and becoming obsolete.” Non–Internet sources were cited as most personal because participants know whom they were talking with and believed that the best information is gained from personal contact, especially as a starting point in research.

 

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Discussion and conclusion

National survey findings show that older generations are increasingly going online (see Jones and Fox, 2009). While a relatively low number of the current survey participants have a social networking profile, nearly 60 percent of participants are online every day. These participants also have particular preferences for traditional and online communication for receiving and seeking out information. McMillian and Macius (2008) stated in their research that Americans aged 50+ are not a monolithic group because of the varying ways they seek out information. The findings in this paper connect with this past research because of the variety of findings in preferences in seeking out and receiving information; technology’s ease of use; social media profiles; and, personal contact.

People vary their methods of seeking out and receiving information (McMillian and Macius, 2008; Ramirez, 2009). Older Americans use the Internet less for socializing and more for information seeking (Jones and Fox, 2009). Interaction, or personal contact, was a major theme among the participants. Survey participants prefer to communicate, in both seeking out and receiving information, using traditional channels, such as face–to–face and television, where they can hear inflection of voice or see gestures. These can be classed as passive forms of communication (see Ramirez, 2009). Even though the majority of participants have access to computers, many still prefer traditional methods of receiving information, such as telephone and letters or mailings. The 50 Plus state office needs to address this, as previously stated. While doing so, however, the state office needs to continue using traditional, non–Internet methods to communicate information to their members.

In open–ended questions, the theme of ease of use emerged. Ease of use is a key element that can affect trust, reputation, and usability for online communication technologies (Al–Gahtani and King, 1999). The overall trust a person has for a Web site is increased if the site is easy to use (Fisher, et al., 2008). The media user is the ultimate judge of any online communication medium (Flanagin and Metzger, 2007). Organizations, including the one studied here, need to attend to the needs of older people online. This includes designing online communication that is accessible for those with visual and hearing impairments.

The current findings align with the Pew Internet & American Life Project (Jones and Fox, 2009) in that both found that the older population surveyed were not as likely to maintain a social networking profile. This holds true for this research, as only 18.1 percent of respondents stated that they have a social networking profile, a hallmark of social media. In line with technology diffusion, social networking profiles are becoming more frequently used in older populations. While only 18.1 percent of the respondents have a social networking profile, Droge, et al. (2010) state that early adopters of online communication are an influential reference group for later adopters. Plus, older users of communication technology are heavily influenced by social norms to use new technologies (Tobola, 2009). Given research on early adopters (see Droge, et al., 2010; Tobola, 2009) and trends in older age groups increasing use of social media (see Koppen, 2010), the use of social media and online community networks is a positive step for 50 Plus’ stakeholder communication strategy. As older Americans continue to join online networks, 50 Plus will have an established online social media identity and will be ready to connect with their audiences.

The personal contact theme is a reflection of people interested in a more social presence. As social media becomes more natural in mimicking face–to–face communication, online communication can be seen as a more personal experience. Hassanein and Head (2007) found that when users perceive increasing levels of social presence on a Web site, it positively affects users’ perceived usefulness, trust, enjoyment, and overall favorable attitudes toward that site. Online content is perceived by users as having more social presence with socially rich text and images (Hassanein and Head, 2007). In accordance with media naturalness theory, people and media uses evolve together so that technologies become more natural to use for social interaction (DeRosa, et al., 2004). Media naturalness theory conceives of media as more or less natural based on how well it matches face–to–face communication, the most natural communication situation (Kock, 2005; 2004). Social media allows people to communicate using both synchronous chats and asynchronous threaded discussions, such as instant messaging, to provide meaningful communication that more closely mimic face–to–face communication than traditional media (see Baker–Eveleth, et al., 2005). Additionally, social media having technologies that alternate between synchronous and asynchronous forms of communication allows online community members to communicate at a pace and time that best fits each individual (Gallant, et al., 2007). As older Americans continue to adopt social media, this mode of communication may become a more natural way for organizations to interact with stakeholders.

While a weakness of this study is that it is based on a small, localized sample of older Americans, it does provide insight for organizations seeking to connect online with older adults. The study’s findings help the case organization as well as similar institutions understand that online communication needs to be utilized cautiously and strategically with older adults. For instance, 50 Plus has positive and negative alignments with the research results. On the positive side, the state office posts a daily journal entry and blog on their state page. This is an appropriate use of blogging for this age group. Participants rank Internet sources such as blogs in preference (46.7 percent) as a communication channel for seeking out information. Organizations should be using online formats to post information where stakeholders can search for and find it. In contrast, 50 Plus’ state office has recently launched a media campaign for their presence on Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, the use of social media online profiles tends to be lower in this older age group. However, research shows that older American are going online and joining social media sites at a faster rate than younger age groups (Nielsen Wire, 2009). Having an established online communication and social media communities ready for older Americans to join is an essential stakeholder strategy for any organization serving older Americans. In fact, organizations that can provide learning opportunities for older people to use online media could gain a better online communication connection with these constituents and consumers. Instruction in online information seeking tasks can improve older adults’ ability to find information online (Sharit, et al., 2008).

Future research should continue to look at how older adults prefer to receive and seek out information online. As technology influences how people interact with each other and organizations, public relations professionals need to stay abreast of how people acquire information. Knowing the communication channels that are most used and preferred by a stakeholder group can provide a strategic benefit in advocating and campaigning for organizations. End of article

 

About the authors

Heather Martyn is a program manager at Oceanos. She completed her M.A. in communication management at Emerson College. Heather’s research and professional interests are in Web–based communication.
E–mail: hmmartyn [at] gmail [dot] com

Linda Gallant is the graduate director of the communication management M.A. program at Emerson College, where she is an assistant professor of communication studies. Her research focus is on Web–based communication and social media.
E–mail: Linda_Gallant [at] emerson [dot] edu

 

Notes

1. Parks, 2009, p. 151.

2. Al–Gahtani and King, 1999, p. 278.

3. Shanker, et al., 2005, p. 326.

4. McMillan and Macias, 2008, pp. 778–779.

5. McMillan and Macias, 2008, p. 791.

6. Yin, 2009, p. 63.

7. Patton, 2002, p. 298; Stake, 2000, p. 436.

8. Patton, 2002, pp. 449–450.

9. Yin, 2009, p. 9.

10. Strauss and Corbin, 1990, p. 61.

11. Strauss and Corbin, 1990, p. 96.

12. Strauss and Corbin, 1990, p. 116.

 

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Editorial history

Received 27 February 2011; revised 26 February 2012; accepted 20 May 2012.


Copyright © 2012, First Monday.
Copyright © 2012, Heather Martyn and Linda M. Gallant.

Over 50 and wired: Web–based stakeholder communication
by Heather Martyn and Linda M. Gallant
First Monday, Volume 17, Number 6 - 4 June 2012
http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3449/3262
doi:10.5210/fm.v17i6.3449





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