10.4185/RLCS-2018-1281en | ISSN 1138 - 5820 | RLCS, 73-2018 | |
Efficacy in communication of DNGOs. The use of Facebook in emergency campaigns
Isidoro Arroyo-Almaraz [CV] Full University Professor. Department of Communication Sciences and Sociology - Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, URJC, Spain - firstname.lastname@example.org
Samuel Calle Mendoza [CV] Professor of the Master’s degree on Communication and Sociocultural problems and Teacher specialized in Save the Children, Spain - email@example.com
Cliff Van Wyk [CV] Senior Lecturer in Advertising & Marketing, Centre for Public Communication Research. The Media School, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom- firstname.lastname@example.org
Translation by Yuhanny Henares
DNGOs dedicate a great part of their activity to communication, both to be able to reach their public as well as to be able to develop their programs and promote and finance organization and, since they are the entities forgotten by conventional communication media, only the ones enjoying more resources, could develop important press and marketing departments and have become mediatic (Campos, 2008; Juez, González, Martín, Pérez, and del Río, 2009: 345).
From the start of the economic crisis, the number of public and private contributions of DNGOs reduced considerably and this caused that between the years 2010 and 2013 around 30% of DNGOs disappeared or stopped performing their activity (PwC, 2014). The most wronged ones were those of smaller since that depended almost exclusively on public funds and didn’t have enough capacity to fund themselves with the affiliation of new members and donors.
The communication currently developed by the communication departments of the DNGO and that it is very related to this course change, orientates towards education for the development, the political incidence and fundraising. (Gil, 2007, p. 493; McCall, 2011: 7; Peláez-Paz, G Carrero, 2017). United Nations (McCall, 2011: 7-8) divide this communication into two large types; the first one, about communication for the change of behavior, for the social change and for incidence or advocacy. And the second one, for fundraising.
The communication for incidence or advocacy, according to the communication guideline of GNO of the International Development Agency of the United States (USAID, 2013: 5), is the action of influencing decision-making actors –which might be individuals, groups or organizations– for the achievement of political, judicial or social changes.
The communication for fundraising is gaining a lot of weight in DNGOs. The use of explicit images of poverty is gaining a lot of relevance in DGNOs. The use of explicit images about poverty was efficacious when it came the time to get private funding in the past but, at the same time, it generated a bad image because there started to be a relationship about the fact that these donations came out of the coercion of the Northern society by making it feel guilty. Lamiers (2005: 38) talks about the continuous presence of uncomfortable images that appear in all kinds of media and that sum to the volunteers that sometimes connect DGNOs’ persuasion tasks. Smillie (1995: 117) refers to this as “The pornography of Poverty”. Besides, the use of these images has generated a stereotyped idea of how the countries of the South are. Cameron and Haanstra (2008) state that the society has generated a false idea that donations made by people could be the solution of the countries of the South, omitting why these nations had that reality.
The strategy in this kind of communication is currently about an horizontal dialog where transversality persuades indirectly while a communication is used for the social or behavior change (Baamonde-Silva, Martínez-Rolán, Mínguez-González ,2016). Solano (2008: 15-16) states that all messages must have an education for development in an implicit manner, causing a permanent process of education that can only be achieved through communication, but at the same time the opposite must occur. Often, a corporate or fundraising message will be better received if transversally there is some type of communication for development. Nos Aldás and Santolino (2015) talk about cultural efficacy.
DNGO were aware that for achieving an education for development, transversal to recruitment of members and donors, they needed a horizontal communication (Barranquero, 2014), and Internet is the ideal scenario thanks to the number of collaborative environments it has. The incorporation of new technologies to the communication departments did not occur until the year 2000 moving from an exclusively instrumental communication to an expressive one. For this reason, these entities lacked strategic communication plans, hence they didn’t have new technologies. With the emergence of the Web 2.0, this dynamic continued, and it wasn’t until the year 2009 when DGNOs started to include web 2.0 applications within their communication campaigns (Soria, 2010). Besides, the slow incorporation of organizations to a web 2.0 environment was also due to the scarce training of employees that comprise DGNOs’ communication departments (Arroyo, Baladrón, Martín-Nieto, 2013).
Therefore, they needed to professionalize the area of social network management, introducing the community manager figure. (Uribe, Rialp, & Llonch, 2013).
Social networks are for DNGOs the suitable tool to interact with the society and invite to a greater commitment from the citizen (Arroyo-Almaraz, Baladrón, Martín-Nieto, 2013; Soria-Ibáñez, 2015).
Practically all DGNOs are present on the most important social networks and are providing users multimedia tools that grants them a leading role towards many campaigns (Soria, 2010, Katarini, 2017) but only large and very large ones have professionals dedicated exclusively to their management. Thus, contents updating, a basic pillar on social networks, will also depend a lot on the size of DGNOs (Almansa and Fernández, 2011) and, therefore, the already existing gap among organizations can become bigger due to the fact that these new technologies are approaching DGNOs and civil society, and users will have a greater loyalty towards entities with which they often interact (Hayes, Westrup, 2014).
Due to all this, on one hand, we start from a first hypothesis that establishes that the efficacy of a message depends on the number and type of interactions the DNGO had with its publics. For this, the object of study is to determine the role of social networks on the efficacy of communication of DNGOs from the measurement of interaction indicators of publics on Facebook, because this is the most used social network.
We have applied the measurement to the emergency campaign with more impact and which impact has remained over time, the communication campaign of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti on October 2016 and therefore considered of prototypical representativeness. And the objective is to know how Facebook was used to achieve the maximum number of interactions (reactions, shared or comments) and then determining their efficacy by comparing the results with other messages of other DNGOs in the same time period.
On the other hand, we start from a second hypothesis that manifests that the efficacy of communication of DNGO on social networks will improve if messages are adapted to the characteristics of the publics of said social network and if that social network is appropriate for that kind of communication.
The object of study is analyzing the characteristics that said publications should have on Facebook to achieve a greater number of interactions and elaborate efficacious messages.
Therefore, their objective is to study the features that a message should have so that it can be efficacious on Facebook.
DNGOs have been aware of that and have started to use them more often on social networks, being more common that the pieces used are their own (San Pablo, 2015). It won’t always be possible to achieve virality with the piece since, despite social networks are an ideal environment to get to the user and convey the message, the amount of noise in this context will difficult this diffusion. It will be necessary to provide the message the creative and formal quality that outstands among all contents of other institutions as well as from users (Rodríguez-García, Baños, Arroyo-Almaraz, 2011). The relevance of the issue or the aesthetics of the piece to become viral are reflected in the study of Velasco (2011) who highlights humor and emotion as important element for virality but rejecting victimism.
We used a quantitative and, to a lesser extent, a qualitative methodology, although it cannot be considered mixed due to the low incidence of the later. For the selection of research methods, this research based on the classification of Calvo and García Lastra (2012). The hypothetical-deductive method is used, based on the formal process and oriented to conclusions, considering it is a non-experimental research due to the fact that the reality of the use on social networks by DNGOs is studied using a content analysis of the characteristics of DNGOs and through the systematic observation, publics, communication and social networks, turning them into variables identifiable as analysis units; fragmenting the reality to be studied, the objective of the method is “to detect regularities and constant relationships” (p. 60) starting from a hypothesis formulated through the deduction of expectations extracted from the theoretical framework, studied previously and data obtained in the research are quantified enabling objective and explicit reflections.
2.1. Population and sample
Starting from a study universe that gathers all DNGOs with Spanish headquarters and that use social networks professionally, we proceeded to select a non-probabilistic sample based on the following criteria:
Be a large or very large DNGO based on budget. The selection is based on the Lealtad Foundation (2005), which considers large DNGO to all those that have a budget of more than 5 million Euros, and very large those with more than 25 million.
Be DNGO with mostly private incomes. It is mandatory that these organizations invest all their efforts in fundraising. Therefore, they must be organizations with mostly private incomes. It is a necessary condition that at least 50% of DNGO’s funding comes from members’ dues or private donations.
Be a DNGO registered in the AECID (2016). DNGOs must be registered in the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, evidencing that they are private organizations, constituted in Spain, nonprofit, with Articles of Association that indicate they are dedicated to international cooperation for development and that they have enough structure to work in this field.
Be a DNGO qualified by AECID (2016). The last criterion, sets forth that DNGOs must have this certification, approving an inspection by the agency, evaluating more than 70 criteria related to experience, financial capacity or transparency.
After the application of these criteria, the sample is established in the following ten DNGOs ranked by gross income:
Table 1. DNGO of the sample ranked by private income
Authors’ own creation. List of DNGOs of the sample classified by the number of gross income
2.2. Tools for collecting information and procedure
To obtain the information needed that allows the study we used four different stages:
On the first stage, we select the social network and the campaign to be studied considering the information provided by sample’s community managers. The information is obtained through a survey that measures the use and perceptions of these professionals about social networks used. The sample error was 10.9% because only one DNGO did not complete the survey. The survey’s design was done with data extracted from the non-standardized in-depth interview to Clara Ávila, Save the Children’scommunity manager.
The second stage, is focused in the behavior of DNGO’s publics on Facebook before, during and after the communication campaign that covered Matthew Hurricane when it passed through Haiti, which occurred on October seventh, 2016. We selected there different time periods to contrast the different indicators. This way, we can observe differences between interactions to messages between some periods and others. Based on the information obtained from the in-depth interview with the community manager from Save the children, it is considered that the campaign has a duration of two weeks, so that the analysis is done is done in the two previous weeks, the two weeks of the campaign and the two weeks after. The study data on Facebook are obtained with the Quintly tool for Facebook.
In the third stage, once the information of DNGO during the six weeks of campaign was extracted, we used a bivariable analysis, specifically Pearson’s correlation coefficient to observe the association of each pair of variables.
In the last stage we proceeded to the study of the features a message must have so that it becomes efficacious on Facebook. The main idea is to obtain information about the characteristics of the messages that were impactful through usage trends and results. In order to do this, we use again the six weeks of study of the Hurricane Matthew campaign in Haiti on October, 2016. We selected 100 Facebook posts based on results that had impact previously. We selected the 50 better and the 50 worse Facebook publications depending on their interaction rate. The interaction rate (I-Rate) is the reference indicator in this social network and it is obtained with the sum of all interactions a publication has divided by the number of followers of the DNGO. The efficacy with this rate is determined by comparing DNGOs competing directly.
The sample error of selected publications of Facebook is 9.1%. For the study of these characteristics we used a content analysis.
Table 2. Relation of objectives and methods of every stage
Authors’ own creation. Objectives of every stage and methods and tools used to achieve them.
All organizations studied have a community manager and with social network campaigns included within communication and marketing plans. The social network used quite above the others is Facebook (See Table 3).
Followed by Twitter and Instagram, however, the number of global followers of Instagram does not reflect its professional use.
Table 3. Uses and perception of social networks of DNGOs community managers
Authors’ own creation. Information extracted from surveys to DNGOs community managers of the sample to know what social networks are used mostly and how they were used in the last campaigns.
The DNGO difference the use made of every social network. A DNGO can use a social network to generate awareness but it may not have a planning behind it to achieve objectives. The example is Instagram, which even though it is the second social networks in number of followers, it does not have the full trust of DNGO on campaign results offered. Facebook demonstrates that it is the great professional tool for DNGOs. In all campaigns, all entities use this network to achieve its objectives. Twitter is the other great application that DNGOs use for these campaigns; but the difference between both are observed in community managers’ perceptions.
Every social network has a profile and structure peculiarities that may not make it useful for all types of publics. Facebook is not perceived by all DNGOs as efficacious for the public that does not have contact with DNGOs. This kind of public is not a follower of organizations and therefore, there are very few posts from them. 66% of DNGOs that consider Facebook relevant for that public is based on the payment posts or in shared post of active publics (Table 3). However, Twitter is the most efficacious tool for that kind of users. Due to the fact that it is a network of social mobilization, diffusion and virality achieved in this network is very important to catch the attention of this public. For the rest of publics, the guidelines for use of social networks is established by DNGOs. With a clear use of Facebook considering that the publics that have been or are donors and members follow the DNGO in this social network.
Twitter seems to stablish as the tool for recruiting followers because once they have that minimum contact with the organization, it is not deemed such a useful tool. After the analysis of all information it is considered that the social network to study is Facebook, and therefore, the communication campaign that must be studied is either Ecuador or the one from the Matthew Hurricane in Haiti, which have a 100% of use of this social network in the campaign.
Finally, we choose the Hurricane Matthew in Haiti for two reasons; due to being more recent and of prototypical representativeness and due to having fewer posts, an evolution of campaigns to avoid the noise produced by several publications, as mentioned by Clara Ávila, the community manager of Save the children. Fewer posts also make the sample error inferior.
Table 4. Variation of the number of followers during the six weeks of analysis
Authors’ own elaboration. Percentage variation and the number of total followers of Facebook
The variation of the number of followers during the campaign is an indicator that provides a lot of information. A noticeable increase in each one of the periods means that the public is more active during that Interval or that messages have been most efficacious. We can observe (Table 4) that in seven DNGOs there is a response that follows a logical structure if we base on a communication campaign, being the period of the campaign the one of greater growth, compared to the Pre-campaign and the Post-campaign. In Ayuda en Acción or ANESVAD the campaign has also influenced in publics’ behavior but the greatest increase occurred in the next two weeks. This can be due to the growth dynamic that started in the campaign period.
One of the fist data observed in the six weeks of analysis was the number of publications. This data is interesting because after 90% of DNGOs ensured that they planned the communication campaign, and since they were not into another one, it indicated that more posts will be published during that period.
Table 5. Number of DNGOs’ publications on Facebook during the six weeks of analysis
Authors’ own creation
After observing each one of the DNGO on Facebook(Table 5), it does not seem that the implantation of a campaign is determined by the number of publications. Many of them, such as Médicos sin Fronteras, Anesvad and Cruz Roja, extend the period and the post-campaign is the period they publish the most. Other ones such as Manos Unidas and Médicos sin Fronteras have fewer post during the campaign period. We observe (Table 5) a noticeable increase of publications in the campaign period, there is an increase of the total interactions (Table 6), especially in Médicos Sin Fronteras, Unicef, Save the Children, Cruz Roja, Cáritas and Ayuda en Acción), so it invites to thinking that said response can be due more to publics’ activity during that period than due to the implementation of DNGO.
Table 6. Interactions of publics with DNGO of the sample on Facebook during the six weeks of analysis
Authors’ own creation. Interactions that publics had with DNGO of the Facebook sample during the six weeks of analysis. The different interactions are differentiated in reactions, comment and shared
The number of interactions is the reference indicator to measure the publics’ behavior. This differentiates the active public among all followers DNGOs have on Facebook. The number of interactions depends on the number of followers and publications, so it is not strange that DNGOs appearing in the first places are the ones with a greater number of fans. The important data is the predisposition of publics. Considering there doesn’t exist, in general, more publications in the campaign period, interactions are analyzed.
We observe (Table 6) that there outstand the four DNGOs of greater number of followers and knowing that none of them has published further posts during the campaign period, we find that the public’s response has been a success. In the four of them there have been much interactions during that period that in the other two. Proportionally speaking, Médicos sin Fronteras outstands due to its great number of followers. However, regarding number of comments, Unicef and Save the children are quite above in proportion. Comments indicate the level of activism of publics and generate the horizontal conversation that DNGOs look for. An activist public, but not active, will be a lot more loyal. Regarding shared there outstands Save the Children far above the rest. The relevance of this kind of interaction lies in the diffusion of the campaign and the possible recruitment of potential followers. The DNGO breaking the dynamic is Unicef. Despite having a huge increase pre-campaign, during post-campaign the number of shared keeps growing, being besides the period in which Unicef had fewer posts. This can be due to the dynamic the campaign generated. Intermón, Cáritas and Ayuda en Acción keep in the same line that the first four. They have a greater number of reactions in the campaign period. Besides the three cases that have not shown the same results they seem as exceptions and with behaviors that are different between them. Plan España has a number of reactions in the period before the campaign that can be due to another one that initiated before and which had the presence of celebrity faces. Manos Unidas and Anesvad have results proportional to their number of posts but still have very low results. Regarding the comments, Cáritas and Ayuda en Acción ndo not present the increase they had on reactions. Plan España demonstrates that their previous campaign was indeed a success, and can lead to think that it is not the one launching the campaign in Haiti and Anesvad and Manos Unidas continue with their poor results that do not correspond with the campaign. Cáritas shows very good results, having the campaign period as the one that most shared posts had. Manos Unidas and Ayuda en Acción also had a greater number of shared in that period and something similar to Unicef happens with Intermón, increasing in the campaign period and growing the in post-campaign, analogous to Anesvad’s behavior, but having lower numbers. Lastly, Plan España shows again an activity that does not correspond to the analyzed campaign.
Table 7. Average interaction rate of publications on Facebook
Authors’ own creation
In a campaign, the measuring of I-Rate or interaction rate will be essential to be able to know whether the messages launched have been efficacious. The impact that posts generate in the campaign period will determine the efficacy of it on Facebook. Many DNGOs also consider part of the efficacy of the campaign of positive results in the two weeks after.
On this campaign an DNGO outstood over the rest and it was Save the Children (Table 7). Its I-Rate has been close to 2%, a number that is considered very high, , and that it is appreciated since it doubles the one that better rate has in that period, Unicef. The latter, achieved a very high I-Rate in the campaign that has keep increasing the two following weeks. In the line of Save the Children, Médicos sin Fronteras appears but with a much lower rate but that almost triples its pre-campaign period. Manos Unidas, Cruz Roja and Ayuda en Acción achieve this success in the campaign and others such as Intermón, extend this increase in the campaign, to the post-campaign. Cáritas is the DNGO that is not successful in getting a good result, regardless of Plan España, in whih e already seen that great effort has not been dedicated to it. Lastly Anesvad, which presents a rate touching 0%, has a campaign period with the one of best results but we cannot talk about success with such a low index.
Table 8. Pearson’s correlation in the pre-campaign
Authors’ own creation.
Table 9. Pearson’s correlation in the campaign
Authors’ own creation.
Table 10. Pearson’s correlation in the post-campaign
Authors’ own creation
Correlations in the three periods are very similar (Table 8, 9 and 10). One of the eye-catching indicators is the lack of relationship between the increase of followers and any of interactions. It is true that during the campaign there is an increase in the affiliation, but no correlation is far above 0.6. However, the number of followers is essential. Reactions, comments and, above all, shared have a very high coefficient with the number of followers with a significance of 0.01. The correlation that exists between Facebook interactions have very high coefficients with significance values of 0.01. Lastly, we observe that the number of publications do not present high correlation coefficients with interactions on Facebook, something that professionals already consider.
Table 11. Difference between posts of greater and lesser I-Rate of DNGOs
Authors’ own creation
The first characteristic studied is from what DNGO is each one of the messages being studied. It is a way of observing strategies and behaviors of publics before publications depending on the launching organization.
When studying to what DNGO messages belong to, which have achieved a greater impact during the six weeks of analysis, there outstands three above the rest: Unicef, Save the Children and Cáritas (Table 11). These three DNGO are also the ones that increase the most, together with Médicos sin fronteras, regarding the number of members, they had since 2013 so there might be a correlation. What it is evident is that these DNGOs have bet on the use of Facebook because such positive results lead to a great planning behind. Save the Children’s case is eye-catching because without having the budget of the other two organizations, it achieved good results. Another DNGO that has a lot of budget is Cruz Roja that, nevertheless, evidences a lack of planning of social networks. Médicos sin Fronteras is interesting, which having a lot of efficacious publications, it also has many with few interaction. Anesvad and Plan España, are the ones with worse efficacy in their messages.
We can get more accurate information if we relate the number of efficacious messages or not so efficacious messages with the total of posts and publications by every DNGO. In Facebook the DNGO that achieves a greater success for every publication is Save the Children. It does not only outstand by the fact it achieved a greater number of efficacious posts compared to the rest of DNGO, but also that it didn’t need many publications. Almost a third of what has published in the six weeks of analysis has filtered among the fifty posts of greater impact. There is not much variation in DNGO of a greater number of publications with more I-Rate and those that are more efficacious. The strategy of Médicos sin Fronteras about publishing a lot makes that some of their messages have a lot of interaction but others turn into noise. Plan España and Anesvad get bad results because they are not successful in achieving a high interaction rate with their messages, and a greater percentage of them end up not being so efficacious.
Table 12. Difference between posts of greater and lesser I-Rate based on their time, period and publication format
Authors’ own creation
The publication time of the different messages on social networks can be quite relevant because the activity of publics is not the same in the different moments of the day (Table 12). The diffusion of the message in the moment of most participation of users is key, because if the publication occurs in a bad time, due to Internet’s noise, it might be possible that the message is not even seen. In the morning is the moment that a greater number of efficacious posts are registered but it is also the interval when more information turns into noise. The best moment to publish is midday. Here is a relevant conclusion. As the day progresses on Facebook messages shift from low impact to high impact. It seems that posts publications in the evening is quite efficacious but DNGO publish very little at those hours.
Another factor to be considered is the messages’ publication date (Table 12). When analysis is focused on a campaign, we start from the premise that there are more messages in the two weeks where the campaign becomes more intense. But we have seen this is not so and that not always more is published. However, we observe that on Facebook we noticed the activity of users in the campaign period a lot, existing a greater interaction compared to the two other periods.
In the theoretical grounds we already explained how the audiovisual format started to be quite relevant in the Web 2.0 in general and of social networks in particular. For this reason, it was necessary to study whether publications appeared with any format accompanying the message.
We observe that on Facebook the power of image is quite evident. A 80% of posts that had a greater I-Rate included a video or a picture. The audiovisual format is the one with greater efficacy. There are more efficacious publications with pictures but also publications with this format are among the 50 worse. This does not happen with video. There is no publication that is not so efficacious, that was accompanied by a video.
Table 13. Difference between posts of greater and lesser I-Rate based on the type of communication
Authors’ own creation
If we analyze individually, the communication used in messages, we clearly see that the different types of communication comprised within the communication for development – change of behavior, incidence and social change- are very welcomed by publics and those destined to fundraising or improvement of organizations’ image are quite rejected (Table 13). Therefore, the transversality of messages is needed. If we analyze those where a transversality has produced, we see how fundraising can be accepted by publics. Corporate information has bad results even being overlapped by other more efficacious communications.
Table 14. Difference between posts of greater and lesser I-Rate based on their general and specific topic
Authors’ own creation
The main topic in the six weeks of analysis that best results presents that the communication campaign (Table 14). Together with this one, the Syria’s wari s still a topic where publics interact. If an specific topic is observed, then a more concrete conclusions are obtained. Messages were there are deaths, cause a huge reaction among publics and death is something presented both in Hurricane Matthew as well as in Syria. However, the part of war talking about refugees starts to stop generating reactions.
Table 15. Difference between posts of greater and lesser I-Rate depending on the type of message
Authors’ own creation
Even more adjusted, we can observe that informational and critique messages are the ones generating more reactions (Table 15). Public’s demand information but reject testimonies or requests of economic collaboration. Information or critique messages about social problems are quite welcomes by publics. This contradicts the main subject and it is due to the fact that DNGO also use this topic a lot for fundraising and corporate communication.
Table 16. Difference between posts of greater and lesser I-Rate depending on the message’s protagonist
Authors’ own creation
If publications are led by childhood (Table 16), there is about 30% possibilities that the post filters among the most efficacious. If it is woman or general population, reactions are quite inferior. We have not analyzed publications where the protagonist is exclusively a man.
Table 17. Difference between posts of greater and lesser I-Rate based on the publication location
Authors’ own creation
Lastly, we observe how publications about Haiti and Syria are the ones generating more reaction in the public (Table 17). The scarce reaction the problematic raises in Spain is noteworthy.
4. Conclusions and Discussion
This research identifies the two main networks to achieve strategic plan objectives of DNGOs, being Facebook and Twitter, excluding Instagram, currently the second network in number of followers, of its communication plans and using it only for the positioning in the sector. Despite the use of Twitter, Facebook is considered by community managers as the great professional tool for communication.
The objectives that said DNGO have set forth on social networks respond mainly to the existence of interaction from publics with the message thus achieving an increase of followers, of leads and traffic to the Web. Social networks are recovering the good image DNGOs had and fundraising starts having results on these networks.
This professionalization needs an economic investment and the DNGOs with a greater number of income are those that could create huge campaigns on the networks. Cruz Roja (with a budget of 556.443.000 €), Cáritas (328.642.469 €), Médicos sin Fronteras (184.067.780 €), Unicef (82.322.033 €) and Intermón Oxfam (81.545.408 €) growth both in the number of members as well as incomes and have good interaction results on Facebook. Save the children with incomes lower to the previous ones (24.202.813 €) have bet on investing more in their community manager being the one that, speaking about percentages, has increased more the number of members and private income but also the one that most interactions had.
The first hypothesis of this research is confirmed because it is concluded that the efficacy of a message depends on the number of interactions it had with their publics.
The emergency communication campaigns, where a strategy needs to be elaborated immediately, are more efficacious on Facebook because they get to the publics in an instantaneous manner. On Facebook, a great percentage of users that follow DNGOs in the social networks, will read their news and often, interact with them, therefore the number of followers will determine interaction increase measured through the interaction rate (I-Rate). In the planned emergency communication campaign of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti the interaction rates are evidenced (between a 1.94% and 0.06%) are still very low but have increased compared to the one of two weeks before. The publications of an emergency (10% of messages with greater I-Rate) are the ones getting better reaction from the public, nevertheless, not any kind of message is valid. Everything that is informational (18%) will be welcomes, but testimonies of affected parties do not generate such good responses (2%). If deaths (28%) and physical violence (12%) sum to these kind of messages, publics’ interactions increase.
In Facebook between 4 and 12 h. 64% of messages with better I-Rate are published, but also the 80% of the worse. It is a time of a lot of information consumption but this produces a lot of noise. However, this changes in the evening. Between 16 and 24 h. (10% of the best I-Rate and 2% of the worst) the public reacts very well with messages produced but DNGOs are not using that time frame for post publication. Regarding the format, the presence of videos would be ideal (36%) but considering it is expensive, otherwise a picture must be always included (24%). If the image protagonist is childhood (22%) and located abroad (70%), a greater response generates.
The second hypothesis of this research is confirmed because it is concluded that the DNGOs communication on social networks will improve if messages are adapted to the characteristics (time, format, theme, typology of message, type of communication, protagonist and location).
A discussion about the strategy of DGOs investing on communication departments has been opened, because these allocations are in detriment of those targeted to intervention (Baamonde-Sil, García-Mirón, Martínez-Rolán, 2017). However, thanks to departments a fluent, continuous and close communication is generated through social networks that has approached organizations to people, thus reverting the budget scarcity issues derived from the economic crisis (Arroyo-Almaraz, Martín-Nieto, 2011). Understanding publics and giving them the relevance Susana de Andrés refers to, gains value (2007: 75): “publics in the global sense and emerging publics in particular instrumentalize the system and make it their own”. Critiques from some sectors of society did not delay in accusing that part of the money was not being used for the purposes it was donated for, and some DNGOs did not help having a dull management in many cases.
Social networks have been helpful for DNGOs for multiple reasons, demonstrating that they have been efficacious in many aspects, contradicting Clemons’ skepticism (2009).
Nevertheless, the management of these social networks is not intuitive, DNGOs have been aware of the relevance they are having and of how efficacious interactions with the publics can be.
Therefore, in accordance with the evidences that this research contributes with, we will need to consider, firstly, the relevance of the community manager and the efficacy of Facebook on emergency campaigns.
Secondly, the use of resources social networks offers for aiming that its communication goes beyond the simple transferal of information (Arroyo-Almaraz, Baños, 2014). The audiovisual format acquires validity, because it generates a greater interaction than pictures or links.
Thirdly, the relevance of the increase of the interaction rate of its messages and not focusing only on being better than competitors.
Followers will not react in the same way to a fundraising post than communication for development. Within an emergency campaign, DNGOs inform but also need to recruit members and donors articulating their messages depending on the type of communication, therefore transversality is mandatory. DNGOs will have to intertwine different types of communication so that publics react to any kind of publication. The clearest example is communication for fundraising, because if a message only has that purpose, it will not achieve publics’ interaction. However, if in the construction of communication, communication for the change of behavior and fundraising transversally, public’s interaction is very high. Using the transversality and knowing in what messages publics interact more, DNGO’s will achieve a greater efficacy.
Future research works should consider the study of other social networks analyzing what characteristics are necessary for an efficacious communication in that network. What is clear is that users’ communities have come to stay and professionals in charge of their management, must keep updated continuously, because they will need to adapt their messages to each one of the social networks managed.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that among the limitations of this research, the fact that results have been taken from an emergency campaign of prototypical representation and, even though results are translatable, the same model should be reproduced to other less representative campaigns. Therefore, this research would have a double value, to provide evidences about the use of Facebook in emergency campaigns and propaedeutic value as model to keep progressing in this field’s study.
5. List of references
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How to cite this article in bibliographies / References
I Arroyo-Almaraz, S Calle Mendoza, C Van Wyk (2018): “Efficacy in communication of DNGOs. The use of Facebook in emergency campaigns”. Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 73, pp. 765 to 789.
Article received on 18 February 2018. Accepted on 19 April.