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DOI, Digital Objetc Identifier 10.4185/RLCS-2018-1281en | ISSN 1138 - 5820 | RLCS, 73-2018 | Audio-visual explanation of the author |

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How to cite this article in bibliograhies / 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.
http://www.revistalatinacs.org/073paper/1281/40en.html
DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-2018-1281-40en

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 -   isidoro.arroyo@urjc.es 
[o ORCID] http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4000-5167
[g GS]
http://scholar.google.es/citations?hl=es&user=_d43i_wAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&cstart=20

Samuel Calle Mendoza [CV] Professor of the Master’s degree on Communication and Sociocultural problems and Teacher specialized in Save the Children, Spain - samuel.calle@urjc.es
[o ORCID]https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0384-5845
[g GS] Under construction

Cliff Van Wyk [CV] Senior Lecturer in Advertising & Marketing, Centre for Public Communication Research. The Media School, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom- cvwyk@bournemouth.ac.uk
[o ORCID] http://orcid.org/0000-0002-8779-3511
[g GS] https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=es&user=n8_VTOsAAAAJ

Abstract
Introduction. Social networks are the base of the efficacy of communication of DNGO. The objective of the study is to determine the role of said networks and analyze the characteristics of Facebook messages, the most used social network in emergency campaigns. Methodology.  We performed a survey to DGNO’s community managers, we have studied the behaviors of their publics through the interaction rate and performed a contents analysis of the messages of the campaign of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. Results. Data show that on emergency campaigns publics have more interaction if messages are well articulated. Conclusions and discussion. The efficacy of the emergency campaigns depends more on the interaction of publics than the number of posts published. When the public is more active there generates the horizontal conversation DNGO look for.

Keywords
Facebook; DNGO; communication; emergency; social networks; efficacy.

Contents
1. Introduction. 2. Methodology. 2.1. Population and sample. 2.2. Tools for collecting information and procedure. 3. Results. 4. Conclusions and Discussion 5. List of references.

Translation by Yuhanny Henares
(Academic translator, Universitat de Barcelona)

 [ Research ] [ Funded ] 
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1. Introduction

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.

2. Methodology

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


Year 2015

Foundation year

Year of foundation of Spanish headquarters

Subscription to AECID

Classification in AECID

Gross income

Private income (%)

Cruz Roja

1863

1864

2005

2005

556.443.000(1ª)

72.67%(6ª)

Cáritas

1947

1947

2001

2005

328.642.469(2ª)

72.39%(7ª)

Médicos sin Fronteras

1971

1994

1999

2009

184.067.780(3ª)

93.97%(3ª)

Intermón Oxfam

1956

1956

1999

2005

82.322.033(4ª)

61.88%(8ª)

Unicef

1946

1981

2004

2011

81.545.408(5ª)

95.00%(2ª)

Manos Unidas

1960

1960

1999

2005

45.359.573(6ª)

85.90%(4ª)

Ayuda en Acción

1981

1981

1999

2005

35.941.552(7ª)

84.60%(5ª)

Save the Children

1919

1990

1999

2007

24.202.813(8ª)

61.49%(9ª)

Plan España Internacional

1937

2001

1999

2011

16.162.000(9ª)

52.80%(10ª)

Anesvad

1968

1968

2002

2005

13.482.000(10ª)

97.49%(1ª)

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


STAGES

OBJECTIVES

PROCEDURE

STAGE I. Research definition

Select the social network and the communication campaign to be studied.

In-depth interview to the Community Manager of Save the children and surveys to DNGO’s community manager of the sample

STAGE II. Publics behavior

To obtain the publics’ behavior in the social network selected (Facebook) during the communication campaign chosen (Hurricane Matthew in Haiti on October 2016)

Web tool for the extraction of Facebook information

STAGE III. Correlation of publics’ behavior

To study the association of the information extracted from the public’s behavior

Pearson’s correlation coefficient

STAGE IV. Characteristics of the message

To study what are the common characteristics of most and less efficacious messages.

Content analysis of the fifty best and the fifty worse messages (depending on their I-Rate) of the six weeks of study

Authors’ own creation. Objectives of every stage and methods and tools used to achieve them.

3. Results

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


Topics

Uses and perceptions

Type of public

Social network

%

Social Networks

Use of SSRR in DNGO

General

Facebook

100%

Twitter

100%

Instagram

100%

Google+

56%

LinkedIn

56%

Others

33%

Perception of efficacy

General

Facebook

100%

Twitter

89%

Instagram

44%

Perception of efficacy depending on the target public

No contact

Facebook

66%

Twitter

88%

Instagram

22%

Follower on social network

Facebook

89%

Twitter

44%

Instagram

22%

Occasional donor

Facebook

100%

Twitter

22%

Instagram

11%

Senior  member

Facebook

100%

Twitter

22%

Instagram

0%

Member

Facebook

100%

Twitter

22%

Instagram

0%

Topic

Uses

Campaign

Social network

%

Social networks in communication campaigns

Social networks use don most recent campaigns until December 2016

Haiti

Facebook

100%

Twitter

88%

Instagram

44%

Nepal

Facebook

100%

Twitter

66%

Instagram

66%

Ecuador

Facebook

100%

Twitter

77%

Instagram

33%

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


DNGO

Pre-campaign

%

Campaign

%

Post-campaign

%

Fundación ANESVAD

587

8.6%

587

6.3%

625

3.5%

Cáritas

306

2.1%

400

3.4%

290

1.9%

Plan España Internacional

482

1.7%

2.287

2.5%

2.030

1.3%

Ayuda En Acción

608

1.3%

1.187

2.0%

2.279

1.3%

Intermón Oxfam

1.716

0.8%

1.291

1.5%

740

2.9%

Cruz Roja Española

123

0.5%

1.574

0.9%

893

0.7%

UNICEF España

684

0.2%

1.060

0.9%

724

0.8%

Save the Children

1.209

0.5%

2.123

0.5%

1.585

0.5%

Médicos Sin Fronteras

1.599

0.0%

2.599

0.1%

1.507

0.1%

Manos Unidas

-3

0.0%

81

0.1%

71

0.0%

Total

8.211

1.6%

13.189

1.8%

10.744

1.3%

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


DNGO

Pre-campaign

Campaign

Post-campaign

Plan España Internacional

37

49

29

Fundación ANESVAD

28

30

48

Médicos Sin Fronteras

26

23

41

Intermón Oxfam

20

20

18

UNICEF España

22

19

16

Cruz Roja Española

17

17

19

Ayuda En Acción

12

16

11

Cáritas

9

16

9

Save the Children

15

15

11

Manos Unidas

22

10

17

Total

208

215

219

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


DNGO

Pre-campaign

Campaign

Post-campaign

Médicos Sin Fronteras

Reactions

27.520

72.521

54.776

Comments

795

1.667

1.275

Shared

13.751

26.709

24.007

Total interactions

42.066

100.897

80.058

UNICEF España

Reactions

14.318

26.141

21.991

Comments

449

1.086

658

Shared

4.948

11.921

13.301

Total interactions

19.715

39.148

35.950

Save the Children

Reactions

11.656

25.424

9.931

Comments

346

705

295

Shared

3.403

11.224

3.429

Total interactions

15.405

37.353

13.655

Cruz Roja Española

Reactions

8443

9.120

8.369

Comments

144

248

151

Shared

2.899

4.316

2.921

Total interactions

11.486

13.684

11.441

Intermón Oxfam

Reactions

2.766

3.119

2.934

Comments

38

92

42

Shared

1.394

1.589

2.009

Total interactions

4.198

4.800

4.985

Manos Unidas

Reactions

2.062

1.431

2.235

Shared

10

9

23

Comments

934

1.292

1.065

Total interactions

3.006

2.732

3.323

Plan España International

Reactions

8.631

1.717

1.434

Shared

256

33

22

Comments

2.274

983

407

Total interactions

11.161

2.733

1.863

Cáritas

Reactions

2.031

3.102

1.246

Shared

24

30

42

Comments

1.468

2.801

677

Total interactions

3.523

5.933

1.965

Ayuda en Acción

Reactions

520

1.485

754

Shared

9

30

27

Comments

183

549

264

Total interactions

712

2.064

1.045

Fundación ANESVAD

Reactions

165

260

301

Shared

21

4

14

Comments

84

113

116

Total interactions

270

377

431

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


DNGO

Pre-campaign

Campaign

Post-campaign

Save the Children

0.81%

1.94%

0.95%

UNICEF España

0.34%

0.78%

0.85%

Médicos sin Fronteras

0.21%

0.56%

0.25%

Cáritas

0.51%

0.48%

0.28%

Manos Unidas

0.17%

0.35%

0.25%

Cruz Roja Española

0.29%

0.34%

0.25%

Ayuda en Acción

0.12%

0.25%

0.18%

Oxfam Intermón

0.18%

0.20%

0.23%

Plan International España

0.49%

0.09%

0.10%

Fundación ANESVAD

0.05%

0.06%

0.04%

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

 

Increase of followers on Facebook

Followers on Facebook

Posts on  Facebook

Reactions on  Facebook

Comments on Facebook

Shared on  Facebook

Increase of followers on Facebook

1

.565

-.002

.526

.494

.538

Followers on Facebook

.565

1

.152

.917**

.880**

.980**

Publications on Facebook

-.002

.152

1

.275

.314

.219

Reactions on  Facebook

.526

.917**

.275

1

.989**

.966**

Comments on  Facebook

.494

.880**

.314

.989**

1

.946**

Shared on Facebook

.538

.980**

.219

.966**

.946**

1

**. The correlation is significant in the level 0.01 (two-tailed).
*. The correlation is significant in the level 0.05 (two-tailed).

Authors’ own creation.

Table 9. Pearson’s correlation in the campaign

 

Increase of followers on Facebook

Followers on Facebook

Posts on  Facebook

Reactions on  Facebook

Comments on Facebook

Shared on  Facebook

Increase of followers on Facebook

1

,571

,442

,619

,568

,598

Followers on Facebook

,571

1

-,056

,953**

,894**

,935**

Publications on Facebook

,442

-,056

1

-,071

-,097

-,108

Reactions on  Facebook

,619

,953**

-,071

1

,965**

,995**

Comments on  Facebook

,568

,894**

-,097

,965**

1

,978**

Shared on Facebook

,598

,935**

-,108

,995**

,978**

1

**. The correlation is significant in the level 0.01 (two-tailed).
*. The correlation is significant in the level 0.05 (two-tailed).

Authors’ own creation.

Table 10. Pearson’s correlation in the post-campaign

 

Increase of followers on Facebook

Followers on Facebook

Posts on  Facebook

Reactions on  Facebook

Comments on Facebook

Shared on  Facebook

Increase of followers on Facebook

1

.141

.040

.155

.154

.103

Followers on Facebook

.141

1

.368

.982**

.952**

.954**

Publications on Facebook

.040

.368

1

.373

.330

.339

Reactions on  Facebook

.155

.982**

.373

1

.991**

.987**

Comments on  Facebook

.154

.952**

.330

.991**

1

.993**

Shared on Facebook

.103

.954**

.339

.987**

.993**

1

**. The correlation is significant in the level 0.01 (two-tailed).
*. The correlation is significant in the level 0.05 (two-tailed).

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


DNGO

Posts with greater
I-Rate

Posts with lesser
I-Rate

Difference

Probability that the post is efficacious

Probability post is not efficacious

Difference

Save the Children

24%

0%

24%

29.3%

0.0%

29.3%

Caritas

18%

0%

18%

26.5%

0.0%

26.5%

UNICEF España

22%

4%

18%

19.3%

3.5%

15.8%

Cruz Roja Española

6%

0%

6%

5.7%

0.0%

5.7%

Oxfam Intermón

6%

2%

4%

5.2%

15.6%

-10.4%

Manos Unidas

2%

0%

2%

2.0%

1.7%

0.3%

Ayuda en Acción

0%

0%

0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Médicos sin Fronteras

16%

28%

-12%

8.9%

0.0%

8.9%

ANESVAD

0%

28%

-28%

0.0%

13.2%

-13.2%

Plan International

6%

38%

-32%

2.6%

16.5%

-13.9%

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

 

Posts with greater
I-Rate

Posts with lesser
I-Rate

Difference

Publication time

00,01-04,00

4%

8%

-4%

04,01-08,00

30%

50%

-20%

08,01-12,00

34%

30%

4%

12,01-16,00

22%

10%

12%

16,01-20,00

6%

2%

4%

20,01-00,00

4%

0%

4%

Publication period

23/09 al 6/10 de 2016

28%

42%

-14%

7/10 al 20/20 de 2016

58%

28%

30%

21/10 al 3/11 de 2016

14%

30%

-16%

Format

Video

36%

0%

36%

Picture

44%

20%

24%

Link only

20%

80%

-60%

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


Type of communication

Posts with greater
I-Rate

Posts with lesser
I-Rate

Difference

Communication for change of behavior

53%

36%

17%

Communication for incidence or advocacy

18%

4%

14%

Communication for the social change

6%

0%

6%

Fundraising

6%

12%

-6%

Message of corporate information

18%

48%

-30%

 

 

 

 

 

Communication

Transversal to…

Posts with greater
I-Rate

Posts with lesser
I-Rate

Difference

Communication for change of behavior

Fundraising

36%

20%

16%

Advocacy

18%

8%

10%

Social change

2%

2%

0%

Corporate

14%

8%

6%

Fundraising

Advocacy

4%

2%

2%

Social change

2%

2%

0%

Corporate

8%

6%

2%

Communication for incidence or advocacy

Social change

0%

0%

0%

Corporate

0%

2%

-2%

Communication for social change

Corporate

4%

0%

4%

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


General topic

Difference +/-
(%)

Specific topic

Difference +/- (%)

Natural catastrophe

10%

Death

28%

War

6%

Poverty

18%

Social problematics

2%

Medical poverty

16%

Information about DNGO

1%

Physical violence

12%

Poverty

-2%

Information of DNGO

10%

Political consequences

-4%

Hunger

10%

Health

-8%

Child marriage

4%

 

 

Hygienic conditions

4%

 

 

Risk of social exclusion

2%

 

 

Immigration

2%

 

 

DNGO Event

2%

 

 

Epidemics

2%

 

 

Political decisions

0%

 

 

Decent job

0%

 

 

Unschooling

-2%

 

 

Sexual abuse

-2%

 

 

Inequality

-2%

 

 

Children kidnapping

-4%

 

 

Emotional violence

-6%

 

 

Refugees

-12%

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


Type of message

Difference
+/- (%)

Informational message about the social problematic

28.00%

Informational message about the consequences of a war

26.00%

Informational message about the consequences of a catastrophe

18.00%

Message of political critique

14.00%

Message of social critique

12.00%

Request for economic collaboration (punctual donation)

10.00%

Request of signatures or other actions for a social, political or cultural change

8.00%

Acknowledgement messages for members or donors

6.00%

Presentation of the year report

6.00%

Request for collaboration in the diffusion of a critical message

4.00%

Information of success of an event or campaign

4.00%

Testimony of complaint or for promoting a social, political or cultural change of a famous character

2.00%

Testimony of complaint or for promoting changes of a person affected by a catastrophe, war or social
problem

2.00%

Request for collaboration through a punctual action (manifestation, solidarity race, food collection,…)

2.00%

Acknowledgement messages for volunteers

2.00%

Informational message about an event

2.00%

Testimony of a famous character for a fundraising campaign

2.00%

Informational message about a report performed by DNGO

0.00%

Information about an action carried out by DNGO

-2.00%

Informational message about audiovisual material (movies, documentaries …) where other entities
participate

-2.00%

Request for economic collaboration (become a member or patron)

-2.00%

Testimony of a person affected by a catastrophe, war or social problem

-2.00%

Testimony of a person affected by a catastrophe, war or social problems for fundraising

-4.00%

Articles’ sales

-4.00%

Fundraising as initiative of a third party for that DNGO

-4.00%

Informational message about an event organized by other entities

-6.00%

Testimony of a famous character about the consequences of a catastrophe, war or social problem

-18.00%

Information about a DNGO event

-24.00%

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


Protagonist

Difference +/- (%)

Childhood

22%

Girl

6%

Woman

-12%

All population

-16%

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

 

Posts with greater
I-Rate

Posts with lesser
I-Rate

Difference

International

70%

50%

20%

Central America

43%

16%

27%

Asia

50%

25%

25%

Europe

3%

3%

0%

South America

0%

14%

-14%

Africa

4%

42%

-38%

Spain

16%

18%

-2%

No location

14%

32%

-18%

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.

* This paper is product of the research project titled COMCIENCIA. Efficacious, efficient and responsible communication for competitive research projects”, reference CSO2017-82875-C2-1-R, funded by the General Management of Research and Administration of the R+D+i National Plan, from the Ministry of Science and Innovation, within the Observatory of Scientific Communication of URJC (link to pdf belonging thereto).

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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.
http://www.revistalatinacs.org/073paper/1281/40en.html
DOI: 10.4185/RLCS-2018-1281-40en

 

Article received on 18 February 2018. Accepted on 19 April.
Published on 23 April 2018.

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