Reddit as a new platform for public relations: Organizations' use of dialogic principles and their publics' responses in the subreddit IAmA

Phuong Hoan Le, Yuping Mao

Abstract


Applying Kent and Taylor’s (2002) dialogic communication framework, this study aims to explore in what ways organizations implement dialogic principles in the subreddit IAmA, a specific section of Reddit. This study also focuses on the less-researched publics’ side of computer-mediated PR. Twenty-three threads were purposively selected within the year-long timeframe of 1 February 2014 until 1 February 2015, including 40,903 comments of which 1,482 are responses from organizations. A qualitative content analysis was applied. The findings suggest that there is room for improvement in organizations’ use of dialogic principles and highlight the complexity of audience responses. While each dialogic principle can be argued to theoretically have a positive effect on these responses, audiences on Reddit especially hold transparency, open communication, and honesty in high regard and expect organizations’ threads to have extrinsic and/or intrinsic value for the publics besides having value for the organization in marketing and PR context.


Keywords


Reddit; public relations; dialogic framework

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v23i11.8131



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