Citizen engagement and the Covid-19 mask communication

Author/s Vilma Luoma-aho, Maria-Jose Canel, Jana Bowden, Erika Ek, Viktoria Vainiomäki
Publishing Year 2021 Issue 2021/61 Language English
Pages 16 P. 20-35 File size 392 KB
DOI 10.3280/SC2021-061003
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This paper looks at the changing communication environment of public sector organizations and examines how the traditional understanding of citizen engage-ment is becoming outdated. Building on literature on customer engagement from marketing and civic engagement from the field of political science, this article es-tablishes the process of citizen engagement in the public sector. Our propositions for future citizen engagement include the following: (i) a willingness and empow-erment to engage from both sides, (ii) the potential for either positive or negative manifestations, (iii) realistic expectations for outcomes, (iv) an understanding of its process-form and (v) having the aim of improving society. We tested these propo-sitions in the context of young opinion leaders in Finland in the Covid-19 related communication aiming to engage citizens to wear protective face masks. Our data confirmed the five propositions, and two new ones also emerged from the data: citizen engagement (vi) occurs in the global information environment and (vii) is enforced by others in society.

Keywords: Citizen engagement, civic engagement, customer engagement, public sector communication, Covid-19 masks, young people

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Vilma Luoma-aho, Maria-Jose Canel, Jana Bowden, Erika Ek, Viktoria Vainiomäki, Citizen engagement and the Covid-19 mask communication in "SOCIOLOGIA DELLA COMUNICAZIONE " 61/2021, pp 20-35, DOI: 10.3280/SC2021-061003