Interactive communication with the public: Qualitative exploration of the use of social media by food and health organizations

Liran Christine Shan, Panagiotis Panagiotopoulos, Áine Regan, Aoife De Brún, Julie Barnett, Patrick Wall, Aine McConnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)
283 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective: To examine the use and impact of social media on 2-way communication between consumers and public organizations in the food safety and nutrition area. Methods: In-depth qualitative study conducted between October, 2012 and January, 2013, using semi-structured interviews in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Sixteen professionals worked on the public interface within 5 national organizations with a role in communicating on food safety and nutrition issues in this thematic analysis. Results: Five main themes were identified: gradual shift toward social media-based queries and complaints; challenges and limitations of social media to deal with queries and complaints; benefits of using social media in query and complaint services; content redesign driven by social media use; and using social media to learn more about consumers. Conclusion and Implications: Social media penetrated and brought new opportunities to food organizations' interactions with the public. Given the increasing use of social media by the public, food organizations need to explore such new opportunities for communication and research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-108
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume47
Issue number1
Early online date25 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

Keywords

  • 2-way communication
  • Food
  • Online monitoring
  • Public engagement
  • Social media

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