Social Media Workflow at the United Nations
Social media is a powerful tool that is transforming communication between people around the world. International organizations—be they non-governmental, intergovernmental, or multinational corporations—are tapping into the potential of social media technologies and are leading conversations with their target audiences. However, orchestrating these social-media-communication activities in large, international organizations is quite a challenge when it comes to creating structure, ensuring consistent branding, and disseminating appropriate multilingual messages.
To address this challenge, this thesis’ objective was to design a social media communication process, or workflow, for international organizations. Based on research conducted with the UN’s communications department (Department of Public Information, DPI), the thesis attempted to design such a social media communication process by answering two questions:
- How can international organizations structure their social media communication activities?
- How can international organizations plan, design, and disseminate social media messages—messages that portray one coherent image of the organization, work in many languages, and consider the diversity of a global audience?
The answer to these research questions is represented in the design for a social media communication process, which consists of two elements: a process map and a workflow. The process map suggests how international organizations can structure social media communication activities. The workflow proposes how such organizations can plan, design, and disseminate coherent multilingual social media messages to a diverse global audience.
I have presented research findings in a number of fora to social media operators and senior UN officials, such as the directors and the Under-Secretary-General of DPI. Insights have been included in DPI’s social media strategy reform and have contributed to streamlining operations of the UN’s official social media channels.
Selection of Related Work
- “Designing a Social Media Communication Process for International Organizations: The Case of the United Nations.” Master’s Thesis. Vienna University of Economics and Business. October 2014. Receive thesis by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- “Designing a Communication System That Enables Consistent, Immediate, Multilingual and Accurate UN Communication Through Social Media Communication Channels.” Presentation to social media experts of the UN Department of Public Information. March 2014.