Facebook users' engagement with Israel's public diplomacy messages during the 2012 and 2014 military operations in Gaza

Moran Yarchi, Tal Samuel-Azran, Lidor Bar-David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

In an attempt to broaden our understanding on current uses of public diplomacy tools and their effectiveness, the study focuses on an Israeli citizens' initiative (Israel Under Fire) that promoted messages via social media in the two recent rounds of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (2012, 2014). The study examines the message strategies used by the initiative in their English Facebook page (N = 926 posts), and the users' engagement they generated. Four message strategies were identified: (1) Israel has the Right to Defend Itself; (2) "What Would YOU Do (if you were in the same situation)?"; (3) Exposing Hamas' Propaganda; and (4) Free Gaza from Hamas. The analysis revealed that the "What would YOU do?" strategy generated significantly greater audience engagement compared to the other message strategies. The study indicates that countries such as Israel, which suffer from a Goliath image problem, may benefit more from messages that encourage online audiences to engage in perspective taking and to think about the conflict vicariously than from messages that refer directly to the positions of the conflicting sides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-375
Number of pages16
JournalPlace Branding and Public Diplomacy
Volume13
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • civic public diplomacy
  • digital diplomacy
  • facebook engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing

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