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 editorsReinikainen, Hanna; Laaksonen, Salla-Maaria; Pöyry, Essi; Luoma-aho, Vilma

Parent publicationSocial Media for Progressive Public Relations

Parent publication editorsNiininen, Outi



Publication year2023

Publication date23/09/2022

Pages range161-175

Number of pages in the book270


Place of PublicationLondon

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot 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.

Keywordspublic sectororganisations (systems)organisational communication and public relationsinformation (communication)social media influencerssocial mediainfluencingefficacyCOVID-19pandemics

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

Preliminary JUFO rating3

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 21:46