The Use of Social Media as Communication Channels in Nation Branding and New Public Diplomacy Acts : A study on the "Up Greek Tourism" project in contemporary Greece

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Medier och kommunikation

Abstract:

This thesis, as part of the one-year Master Programme in Social Science with specialization in Digital media, has taken up the concepts of nation branding and new public diplomacy and examined them from the perspective of the role that new, digital or even innovative – as some may call them – media play within them. It consists of five (5) chapters and is a little less than sixty (60) pages long.

The concepts and fields above  are usually confused with each other, as people tend to use the one notion for naming the other and vice versa. However, what is common in those two fields is the involvement of new media, such as social media platforms or platforms that enable crowdsourcing activities. Especially, within the past few decades that the internet has invaded the most into the lifestyle of a large segment of this planet, it seems as things, thoughts, ideas and actions are driven by or with the internet.

Thus, with the opportunity of this thesis, I wanted to examine the role that new media play when it comes to talking about nation branding or new public diplomacy acts. This work has attempted to achieve that by focusing on a recently run initiative in Greece, called “Up Greek Tourism”. The initiative’s goal was to promote Greek tourism abroad, in an attempt to help Greece from within. A group of Greek people formulated the group and intended to gather the money through a crowdsourcing platform, in order to advertise Greek tourism abroad.

What I actually tried to do is investigate the way they handled their channels of communication and the reason they chose internet as being central to their communicational policy. My idea was to do that by discursively analyzing a TEDx talk of the initiator, conducting a semiotic analysis on the images they used in their advertisements and by a short content analysis from the early stages of their Facebook page, through which it became known. Last but not least, I tried to verify the results by using their own answers from an open-end questionnaire they answered for me.

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