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

  • Phuong Hoan Le Department of Media and Communication, Erasmus University, Rotterdam
  • Yuping Mao Department of Communication Studies, California State University, Long Beach
Keywords: Reddit, public relations, dialogic framework

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.

Author Biographies

Phuong Hoan Le, Department of Media and Communication, Erasmus University, Rotterdam
Phuong Hoan Le, M.A. M.Sc., is a Lecturer at the Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She earned her M.A. in Media Studies and her M.Sc. in Business Administration.
Yuping Mao, Department of Communication Studies, California State University, Long Beach
Yuping Mao (Ph.D., Ohio University) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at California State University, Long Beach. She is the co-editor of two books: Culture, Migration, and Health Communication in A Global context, as well as Handbook of Research on Citizen Engagement and Public Participation in the Era of New Media. She has published a few book chapters, and her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as, Communication Research, Canadian Journal of Communication, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, Journal of Substance Use, and Advances in Public Health. She has made more than 50 research presentations in regional, national, and international academic conferences.
Published
2018-11-01
How to Cite
Le, P. H., & Mao, Y. (2018). Reddit as a new platform for public relations: Organizations’ use of dialogic principles and their publics’ responses in the subreddit IAmA. First Monday, 23(11). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v23i11.8131