Vanessa Bravo, assistant professor in the School of Communications, published the refereed research paper “Engaging the Diaspora: El Salvador and Costa Rica´s Use of Social Media to Connect with their Diaspora Communities in the United States” in the academic journal Global Media Journal – American Edition.
The peer-reviewed article was published in a special edition about the use of social media in U.S. public diplomacy.
The article can be found online at http://journals.textual.info/index.php/gmj-american/issue/current .
This research project, a case study of two countries based on document analyses and in-depth interviews with government officials, politicians and journalists in the region, helps to understand how and why the governments of Costa Rica and El Salvador, both in Central America, utilize social media and Internet-based communications to interact with their citizens who live in the United States (through websites, Facebook, and Twitter, among other web-based outlets).
The article offers an analysis of the contrasting styles between these two countries, in which El Salvador utilizes social media and web-based communications intensely with strategic purposes to engage with its millions of diaspora members based on well-defined goals and objectives, while Costa Rica misses opportunities to connect online with its thousands of diaspora members in the United States, except for the academic diaspora.
This paper is part of the Fall 2012 edition of Global Media Journal, a peer-reviewed publication that has been sponsored by Purdue University for the last 10 years.
This particular issue is a special edition dedicated to the theme of the use of social media in U.S. public diplomacy. The editors of this issue were Dr. Rhonda S. Zaharna, from American University (Washington D.C.), and Ambassador William A. Rugh, from Tufts University, in Boston.
Professor Bravo obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Florida and has also published research findings in the journals Public Relations Review and Palabra Clave (Universidad de La Sabana, in Colombia). Bravo, who worked for about 14 years as a reporter, online editor, features editor, and public relations practitioner in Costa Rica, joined Elon in the fall of 2011.