This research is summarized by IPR from the original journal article published in the Journal of Communication

Erica Ciszek, Ph.D., researched how activists are producers of strategic communication for social change. Drawing from critical public relations research, this article argues for activism as cultural intermediation to bridge the disciplines of CDSC and strategic communication.

To answer these questions, this research examined a transnational activist network, the It Gets Better International Program. Multiple sources of data were used in this study, including content from the parent organization’s website, the international affiliate blog, affiliate social media sites, and publications featuring interviews with organizational leaders, as well as in-depth interviews with members of the affiliate network.

Key Findings:

  • Rather than a linear model of strategic communication, cultural intermediation offers a concentric conceptualization of strategic communication for social change.
  • Activism is a relational process, focused on making connections between cultural components. Therefore, transnational activists must create content with local specificity that resonates across national boundaries.
  • Through symbolic work, activists, like public relations practitioners, have the potential to challenge and redefine cultural discourses, employing strategic communication for social change.

Read more to learn how activists function as cultural intermediaries, playing a mediating role that is often concerned with (re)producing and challenging cultural meaning.

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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