Virtual diplomacy: an analysis of the structure of the target audiences
AbstractIn the context of the global information society the communication processes, especially at the international level, become more important. The effectiveness of communication depends primarily on its focus, i.e. on defining clearly the target audience which it should focus on. Virtual diplomacy, as a kind of political communication at the international level, is no exception. The novelty, rapid development and dissemination of this phenomenon require profound analysis and elaboration of effective utilization strategies, including studying its recipients and target audiences. Purpose: identification, structuring and analysis of the recipients of virtual diplomacy as the audiences of international political communication. The study uses such research methods, as system analysis, structural functionalism, dialectics and synergy, comparison, critical analysis. Main results of the research: 1. The study examined the specifics of political communication in the context of the development of the global information society at the international level. 2. It also analyzed the recipients of virtual diplomacy as a kind of political communication at the international level. 3. The study highlighted the key target groups in the global Internet network based on the tasks performed by virtual diplomacy. 4. It proved the effectiveness of cooperation with each target group in the framework of virtual diplomacy. 5. It described the specifics of the work with each target group in the context of virtual diplomacy. Practical implications: The article may be useful for writing scientific theoretical studies, tests, essays and term papers, for designing special courses in universities in the sphere of international relations and international information. It can also be a guide for the authorities carrying out diplomatic activities and international information cooperation. Findings: In the context of the establishment of the global information society political communication arrives at a new – «international» – level. On the basis of the tasks performed by virtual diplomacy we can identify two groups of its recipients: definite and potential. Definite recipients of virtual diplomacy take part in technical support of diplomatic activities by means of virtual diplomacy, as they include particular people, groups of people and organizations. Identifying of the key target audiences is extremely important for conducting effective public diplomacy by means of virtual diplomacy. In the context of the establishment of the global information society the key target groups must be: Diasporas, foreign media (including bloggers), investors, influential foreign politicians and officials, virtual communities. The most active and effective policy on the work with these target audiences today is conducted by the USA.
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