Agozzino, Alisa (2015). Dialogic communication through “pinning”: An analysis of top 10 most-followed organizations’ Pinterest profiles. Public Relations Journal, 9 (3).

Summary

The current study aims to explore how the top 10 most-followed organizations on Pinterest (defined by Mashable) build relationships through the dialogical communication framework. The study seeks to determine the dialogic features present on organizations’ Pinterest profile pages, as well as individual pins. In addition, the study considers the extent to which organizations employ two-way communication on Pinterest. A content analysis of organizations’ Pinterest profile pages and individual pins was conducted to determine the extent to which dialogic principles were present as an attempt to build relationships with its publics. The organizations studied supplied useful information, provided opportunities to engage through dialogic communication, and encouraged users to stay on the site. However, these same organizations seem to be lacking in encouraging users to come back to its profile pages.

Method

A content analysis of organizations’ Pinterest profile pages and individual pins was conducted to explore the dialogical principles of: Usefulness of information, conservation of visitors, generation of return visits, and dialogical loop. The top 10 most-followed organizations on Pinterest were used in the analysis including: Perfect Palette, Real Simple, The Beauty Department, HGTV, Apartment Therapy, Kate Spade New York, Better Homes and Gardens, Whole Foods, West Elm, and Mashable.

Key Findings

  1. Usefulness of information principle scored the highest in regards to the dialogic features on organizations’ Pinterest profile pages and individual pins. Second highest principle was the dialogic loop, followed by conservation of visitors, and generation of return visits.
  2. The organizations studied are supplying useful information, providing opportunities to engage through dialogic communication, and encouraging users to stay on the site.
  3. Of all of the 10 organizations analyzed, none took engagement a step further to respond or comment to user’s questions, inquiries, etc.
  4. Organizations are lacking in explicitly inviting users to return.

Implications for Practice

The current study can offer guidelines to those organizations that want to utilize Pinterest to better foster its relationship with target audiences, filling a gap of literature that is needed to bridge academic literature and the public relations practice. Organizations scored the lowest on generation of return visits, which aligns with past studies looking at dialogic features on social media. Mainly, organizations are lacking in explicitly inviting users to return. Organizations can work on creating messaging around “call to action” invites via Pinterest accounts, and by doing so, will be taking further steps to build relations with its publics. Additionally, it was found organizations are simply using the tools inherent on Pinterest to encourage engagement, but organizations are doing a very poor job in fostering dialogue. However, the study identifies Pinterest as a social media tool with which practitioners can utilize to cultivate relationships among their publics in a visually stimulating way.

Article Location

The article is available for free at: https://www.prsa.org/Intelligence/PRJournal/Vol9/No3/index.html#.VwsI-zbrj78

 

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