FSD3658 Twitter Use of Diplomats and Foreign Policy Professionals Survey 2021

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Keywords

Twitter, communications, diplomacy, international relations, public relations, social interaction, social media

Abstract

The survey studied diplomats and foreign policy professionals who use Twitter as part of their work. The survey examined diplomats' involvement in Twitter communication and the value of Twitter interaction in the diplomatic context. 108 Icelandic, Swedish, Finnish, Danish and Estonian diplomats responded to the survey.

The first set of questions focused on the respondents Twitter use and included questions on type of Twitter account the respondents used, how long they had been using Twitter, and how frequently they used Twitter for various activities (e.g. tweeting, retweeting, following other accounts). Satisfaction with Twitter regarding personal and organisational goals was also surveyed. Additionally, the respondents were asked how important active Twitter participation was for their work.

Next, the respondents' communication on Twitter was investigated with a series of statements (e.g. On Twitter I am very perceptive to the meaning of others' behaviour in relation to myself and situation). Those respondents who did not use Twitter for their work as a diplomat were asked about main reasons for doing so. Finally, the respondents were asked to assess how Twitter communication benefitted their country (e.g. maintaining important networks, increase in the amount of media exposure and publicity, increase in public impression that my country supports good causes).

The questionnaire is largely based on the use of two survey instruments. Interaction involvement was measured with the 18-item Interaction Involvement Scale, the wording of which was adapted to suit Twitter communication. The benefits of Twitter communication were measured with a 10-item Public Relations Value Assessment, which was also adapted to the context of the study.

Background variables included the respondent's place of work (geographical area), and position and personnel category in the embassy.

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