Activism and women's health: Planned Parenthood's use of social media during the 2012 Susan G. Komen funding controversy
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Type of Workapplication/pdf
viii, 119 pages
DepartmentTowson University. Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies
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In 2011 and 2012, social media activism-generated by individuals, groups, corporations, and nonprofit organizations-gained considerable media attention. Using content analysis, this paper examined Facebook and Twitter activity during one such news event: the 2012 funding controversy between Planned Parenthood and Susan G. Komen. Viewed through the lens of the Situational Theory of Publics, it considered how Planned Parenthood's social media strategy was impacted by the involvement of hot-issue publics. The study found that Planned Parenthood used similar activist strategies before, during, and after the controversy. It found notable differences between messages on Planned Parenthood's Facebook and Twitter sites. It also identified patterns in messages receiving high levels of Facebook interactions. Its results have implications for nonprofit organizations' social media strategies, including suggestions on appropriate message frequency, message variety, and message content. Still more studies are needed to explain nonprofits' social media use, using evidence from additional activism-related cases.