A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Conquering the Liminal Space : Strategic Social Media Influencer Communication in the Finnish Public Sector During the COVID-19 Pandemic (2023)

Reinikainen, H., Laaksonen, S.-M., Pöyry, E., & Luoma-aho, V. (2023). Conquering the Liminal Space : Strategic Social Media Influencer Communication in the Finnish Public Sector During the COVID-19 Pandemic. In O. Niininen (Ed.), Social Media for Progressive Public Relations (pp. 161-175). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003177791-15

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Reinikainen, Hanna; Laaksonen, Salla-Maaria; Pöyry, Essi; Luoma-aho, Vilma

Parent publication: Social Media for Progressive Public Relations

Parent publication editors: Niininen, Outi

ISBN: 978-1-032-01233-9

eISBN: 978-1-003-17779-1

Publication year: 2023

Publication date: 23/09/2022

Pages range: 161-175

Number of pages in the book: 270

Publisher: Routledge

Place of Publication: London

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003177791-15

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/86008


Public sector organisations have traditionally used mass media and their own communication channels to communicate urgent matters to citizens. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced these organisations to look for new communication approaches. In Finland, several public-sector organisations collaborated with social media influencers (SMIs) to maximise their efforts in communicating about the measures needed to constrain the spread of the virus. Using a multiple-case study design, this chapter scrutinises four public-sector organisations and their collaboration with SMIs during the pandemic in 2020. We found that public organisations turned to SMIs through influencer marketing and influencer public relations to approach citizens in a personalised and emotional way to create a sense of community. This finding suggests expanding the previous categorisations of public communication campaigns and examining not only the purposes of the campaigns (behaviour change—policy change) but also their main appeal to citizens (information-centric—emotion-centric). While the campaigns appeared as efforts towards controlling the risks of the prevailing pandemic, they also appeared to entail possible risks.

Keywords: public sector; organisations (systems); organisational communication and public relations; information (communication); social media influencers; social media; influencing; efficacy; COVID-19; pandemics

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2023

Preliminary JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2023-03-04 at 08:49