Project Title

Health Communication Strategies Among Non-Profit Organizations in Appalachia

Authors' Affiliations

McKenzie Liegel and Dr. Jodi L. Southerland, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee.

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

58

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Jodi L. Southerland

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Community and Behavioral Health

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Master’s

Project's Category

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract Text

Social media has several advantages over more traditional forms of mass communication, but many non-profit organizations (NPOs) are underutilizing social media as a communication platform. There is limited research on social media use among NPOs in rural Appalachia. The current study fills this gap in the literature by examining social media use among NPOs in rural Appalachian Tennessee. We conducted 20 semi-structured phone interviews with NPO representatives (President, CEO, Executive Directors) in an 8-county region of Appalachian Tennessee. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis. Thematic analysis indicated that rurality, organizational capacity, messaging, and social media as a secondary communication strategy were important themes. Fiscal, personnel, and time constraints were limiting factors in terms of NPOs ability to use social media. NPOs used social media primarily to share information with their target audience. While acknowledged as an important feature of social media, NPOs were less likely to use social media to advocate, engage, or mobilize community support. Further data collection is ongoing to confirm these findings and to identify best practices. NPOs in rural Appalachia can use these findings to enhance their communication strategies.

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Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Health Communication Strategies Among Non-Profit Organizations in Appalachia

Ballroom

Social media has several advantages over more traditional forms of mass communication, but many non-profit organizations (NPOs) are underutilizing social media as a communication platform. There is limited research on social media use among NPOs in rural Appalachia. The current study fills this gap in the literature by examining social media use among NPOs in rural Appalachian Tennessee. We conducted 20 semi-structured phone interviews with NPO representatives (President, CEO, Executive Directors) in an 8-county region of Appalachian Tennessee. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed using Braun and Clarke’s thematic analysis. Thematic analysis indicated that rurality, organizational capacity, messaging, and social media as a secondary communication strategy were important themes. Fiscal, personnel, and time constraints were limiting factors in terms of NPOs ability to use social media. NPOs used social media primarily to share information with their target audience. While acknowledged as an important feature of social media, NPOs were less likely to use social media to advocate, engage, or mobilize community support. Further data collection is ongoing to confirm these findings and to identify best practices. NPOs in rural Appalachia can use these findings to enhance their communication strategies.