media effects: dissemination, discourse and engagement

Long- time listener, first- time caller

As a communications student, the phrase du jour – not that it needs repeating – is social media. But social media isn’t something I (or anybody else, for that matter) engage with on a purely academic level. I’ve got a list of blogs/ Twitter handles/ Facebook pages/ Flipboard sites/ chronic Instagrammers/ Pinterest boards and news sites longer than I am tall – and that’s just scrolling through my phone’s home screen. It isn’t your garden-variety top-down one-way transmissive traditional media structure; and as time ticks on, it’s looking less and less like a fad. It’s cheap, immediate, accessible and, well, all my friends use it. Just click here for a quick breakdown.

However, as much as social media has innocuously made it’s way into so many parts of my (and like the MediaBistro infographic from Digital Buzz Blog points out, everyone’s) life, this is – as the title of this post suggests – my first time blogging. I’ll be looking specifically at media effects in the social and transmedia environments of our everyday lives, whether it be through a company’s stab at changing their brand personality (like old mate Old Spice) or an experiential campaign that got people up and running (such as Nike’s She Runs the Night). As Gauntlett (2005) said, “media- only campaigns are notoriously poor at producing behavioural changes” – something I’ll be exploring within the context of social media over the coming weeks.

So, until my next post: can you think of any social media campaigns you’ve actively responded to? Have you bought the product, funded the project, or contributed information? Let’s get the ball rolling in the comments section!

Should marketers be viewing behavioural change as currency?



10 comments on “Long- time listener, first- time caller

  1. Vaj
    August 25, 2012

    well i totes brought down Kony

  2. MareeEllen
    August 25, 2012

    I’ve funded a few GetUp campaigns and friends’ families’ music or film ventures. My contribution through Indiegogo allowed a friend’s daughter and her fellow performers to get to the Edinburgh fringe festival where they were a hit! I got to see their farewell show before they left as a ‘thank you’ for the donation. Another friend got to sing with them as her reward. Not so easily done before social media

  3. Consuelo Ferrada
    August 27, 2012

    Great topic congratulations! I am a big fan of social media and I think my attitude to products and company could be affect by social media. My big personal experience is a family facebook page, which help us to keep all connected and interact so next time we see each other we have something to comment about.
    I completely agree with Gauntlett social media does not change behaviour itself, however brings a great environment for interaction which could lead to behavioral change.

  4. Consuelo Ferrada
    August 27, 2012

    Following up with my idea I found this article on Psychology of Social Networking which explains how we are immersed in the social media world

  5. tabithaacl
    August 27, 2012

    Maree: it’s always so heartening to hear that social media really can prompt people to act – particularly when it’s something that really appeals to you personally. I’ll definitely be looking into the emotional side of things and how social media can effectively use social capital. And on a bit of a tangent, looking into ethical marketing and best practice:

    Consuelo: Thanks so much! I definitely agree that being able to interact with a company via social media – which I’ve certainly done – humanises them and can change my perception of how they operate. Contrarily, if it’s managed poorly – which it so often is – it can negatively colour my perception of them. And thanks for posting that link! I’m having a sneaky browse at work and quite a few of the articles are tickling my fancy. Definitely lots of material to delve into!

  6. pyjamajournalist
    August 28, 2012

    Hi Tabitha, It IS so hard to create behaviour change isn’t it? Even with social media I think I’ve been pretty lazy. I didn’t run the night, though I ‘liked’ the page, I thought about going on the treasure hunt for a pair of converse shows but then didn’t when it came down to it. I DID create a red nose day picture of myself – which meant that Harvey Norman donated $1 to the cause, but really…..apart from liking and sharing to promote something I believe in – Amnesty, Marriage Equality – I’ve been super lazy…. Is this common, or is it just me?

  7. tabithaacl
    August 29, 2012

    It’s definitely not just you, Winsome – have a look at this link: A couple of years old, but the quote that I think sums it up is “…But technology does not and cannot change the underlying dynamics of ‘human’ problems: it does not make it easier to love or to motivate or to dream or convince.” There’s a quick reference to McLuhan as well – looking forward to seeing how it plays into the lecture tonight!

    On a slightly more positive note, though, there’s a more recent article from the Guardian offering some insight into how we can effectively harness social media strategies – maybe clicking ‘like’ won’t be the end of our engagement!

  8. kezzakawasaki
    August 29, 2012

    Interesting discussion all – and Tabitha great concept for the site! I’ve been proactive in supporting and promoting the Gay Marriage Rights in Australia Facebook group, and have been successful in signing up a few FB friends (of all persuasions) to follow the discussion as well. I disagree with the comment from the Guardian article that “technology does not and cannot change the underlying dynamics of ‘human’ problems” – on the contrary, I think that social media successfully bring many otherwise silenced debates into the public domain and allow greater scrutiny of policies / expose biases and bigotries like never before.

  9. brandnumber1
    September 9, 2012

    Thanks for the thoughts Tabitha, I too am a first time blogger but also I’m only a short time reader/listener/user of social media so can’t say at the moment there are any particular campaigns I have responded to or participated in… but your examples are good ones especially the Nike she runs the night and now I am out in the bloggosphere I will definitely be more attuned to the campaigns I see and I’ll let you know if any take my fancy.
    ’til next time

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This entry was posted on August 24, 2012 by in Media effects theory, Social media and tagged , .



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