Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Protecting our Prodigious Pachyderms: How Non-profit Organizations Use Storytelling through Twitter and Instagram to Save Elephants
by Whetsell, Nikki, M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2015, 63; 1590788
Abstract (Summary)

The poaching crisis facing elephants is dire, but there are several non-profit organizations fighting to save these magnificent creatures. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and Elephant Voices each have a campaign dedicated to elephant conservation. To better understand the communicative functions social media serves for these organizations, this study examines the Twitter and Instagram utilization practices of these three organizations through a directed content analysis. A prior categorization scheme was used first, but then an organizational storytelling lens was applied to examine the data further. The analysis reveals that the previously established functions of “information,” “community,” and “action” were utilized in much the same way as previously established. This is an important theoretical implication because Instagram has not been extensively studied. Additionally, this study found that these organizations are using epic, tragic, comic, romantic, and report stories to accomplish advocacy efforts, build relationships, and fulfill their missions. This is also an important theoretical implication because organizational storytelling has never been utilized to examine non-profit organization use of social media.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schaefer, Zachary
Commitee: DeGroot-Brown, Jocelyn, VanSlette, Sarah
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Speech Communications
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 54/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication
Keywords: Elephants, Instagram, Non-profit organizations, Organizational storytelling, Social media, Twitter
Publication Number: 1590788
ISBN: 978-1-321-80529-1
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