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Title: 'As if it was something spoken by a friend' : political public relations and digital vote-canvassing networks via Facebook during the 2013 Bangkok gubernatorial election campaign
Author: Pratheepwatanawong, Mukda
ISNI:       0000 0004 7227 9127
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2017
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Social networking sites (SNSs) are an emerging channel of political mediation in Thailand for political figures to establish and develop their relationships with Thai citizens. Through focusing on the online political public relations work by candidates (and their teams) in the 2013 Bangkok gubernatorial election campaign, this thesis contributes a Thai perspective and experience to the growing literature on the use of SNSs globally in election campaigning. This research utilises multimodal textual analysis and interviews with Thai politicians, candidates and public relations personnel to explore the management of candidates’ images on Facebook via photographs, text and interactions, the management relationship between candidates and public relations personnel and citizens, the dynamics of what can be understood as ‘digital vote-canvassing networks’, and the various associated possibilities and challenges of using SNSs to contest for political power in the Thai context. This thesis finds that the political public relations work carried out via Facebook during the 2013 election campaign constituted a new and complex process of managing content and of managing human resources and relationships. The construction of candidates’ political images integrated existing Thai archetypes and connotations with more global images and strategies. The publication of campaign content on Facebook over the entire election campaign was managed to facilitate followers’ interpretations of the candidates’ campaigns. Election campaigns on Facebook developed digital vote-canvassing networks as candidates and their teams used different tactics to engage, interact with and manage citizens, as well as attempt to maximise the ‘spreadability’ of their content and thus extend their reach. As candidates campaigned on Facebook under election campaign rules not defined particularly for Facebook, the decentralisation of interaction among Facebook users was a major concern in controlling their election campaign on Facebook.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JF Political institutions (General)