This research is summarized by IPR from the original journal article published in the Public Relations Review.

Nathian Shae Rodriguez, Ph.D., analyzed the social media tools used to communicate the plight and struggles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) refugees and asylum seekers from around the globe.

The author analyzed Facebook posts and tweets from January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013, from Organization for Refuge, Asylum &Migration (ORAM), and International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). This included 85 Facebook posts and 155 tweets from ORAM and 79 Facebook posts and 492 tweets from IGLHRC. An inductive, qualitative textual analysis was performed on all 771 tweets and posts.

Key Findings:

  • Over half (55%) of the social media messages’ purpose was to inform. Categories within this function include informing stakeholders about LGBTI refugee/asylum seeker’s human rights, affective personal stories, progress and pride, government and legislation, or about a report/study that had been released.
  • An action function was utilized in 12.5% of the tweets, encouraging individuals to partake in actions such as voting, donating, volunteering, applying for jobs, supporting or following another NGO, filling out a survey/petition, or completing a grant/funding/scholarship application.
  • The NGOs’ messages focused more (13.6%) on North America, specifically the United States. The target audience for the messages was U.S. citizens who could affect legislation in by voting, lobbying, or protesting and/or could potentially donate money by attending events thrown by the NGO.
  • As technology continues to evolve and advance, so must the organization. The use of mediated messages, whether through traditional or social media, to further social change has long been a focus for advocacy groups worldwide.


Read more to learn how NGOs can use social media tools to share information, community, and action for LGBTI asylum seekers.

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