Towards an integrated social media communication model for the not-for-profit sector: a case study of youth homelessness charities

2017-03-01T23:33:50Z (GMT) by Sutherland, Karen Elizabeth
Not-for-profit organisations have looked to social media as a less expensive option to build relationships with those they rely on for survival: donors, supporters and volunteers. While recent research has explored ways not-for-profits have used social media to strengthen brands, engagement and relationships, less attention has focused on stakeholders of charities in relation to habits, attitudes and approaches to social media technology, particularly within Australia. To address this gap, a triangulated, mixed-methods approach was used. This included semi-structured interviews, an online survey, and social media content analysis that compared organisational motives and challenges with stakeholder perspectives. This data was contrasted with observations of each party’s interactions in a social media environment. Results indicated that public relations social media activities are generally engaged in as isolated ventures. However, as stakeholder relationships move fluidly between online and offline environments, communication using social and traditional media has the potential for greater impact when integrated. An integrated social media communications model to guide such endeavours is proposed.