Appendix 1: Theoretical models we refer to in our work

Learning from public entities' use of social media.

To help identify the social media success factors that we talk about in this paper, we drew on models of change management and social media practice. In particular, we used the:

  • eight-step process for leading change by Dr John Kotter; and
  • POST social media model by Forrester Research.

Kotter's eight-step process for leading change

Dr John P Kotter is internationally known as an expert in leadership and business transformation. Dr Kotter summarises successful change in eight basic steps:

  • establishing a sense of urgency;
  • creating the guiding coalition;
  • developing a change vision;
  • communicating the vision for "buy-in";
  • empowering broad-based action;
  • generating short-term wins;
  • never letting up; and
  • incorporating changes into the culture.

Forrester Research's POST social media model

Forrester Research is a global research and professional advisory firm. It aims to guide leaders in business technology, marketing and strategy, and the technology industry.

For social media, the POST acronym stands for:

  • People – first identify the audience and their social media behavioural traits. Who are these people conversing with and what is their aptitude for using social technologies?
  • Objectives – like other strategies, social media requires a clearly defined purpose. What kind of conversations should be facilitated and what does success look like?
  • Strategy – how will the organisation prepare, what needs to be done, and who needs to be involved both internally and externally? What are the possible barriers to overcome in order to achieve the objectives?
  • Technology – which technology is appropriate for the audience, the objectives, and the strategy?

Forrester Research believes there is a risk that social media strategy can become a list of technologies to be deployed, in the belief that this will achieve the goal. Its preferred approach is to determine which target audience uses which social media channel, to gain an understanding of "who" is "where". Entities should then use the social media strategy to plan how to reach those people.

International Association for Public Participation

The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) is an international organisation dedicated to advancing the practice of public participation. It was founded in 1990 in response to a rising global interest in public participation. The following table sets out the IAP2's spectrum of public participation.

Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower
Increasing level of public impact arrow.gif
Public participation goal
To provide the public with balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problem, alternatives, opportunities, and/or solutions. To obtain public feedback on analysis, alternatives, and/or decisions. To work directly with the public throughout the process to ensure that public concerns and aspirations are consistently understood and considered. To partner with the public in each aspect of the decision including the development of alternatives and the identification of the preferred solution. To place final decision-making in the hands of the public.
Promise to the public
We will keep you informed. We will keep you informed, listen to and acknowledge concerns and aspirations, and provide feedback on how public input influenced the decision. We will work with you to ensure that your concerns and aspirations are directly reflected in the alternatives developed and provide feedback on how public input influenced the decision. We will look to you for advice and innovation in formulating solutions and incorporate your advice and recom-mendations into the decisions to the maximum extent possible. We will implement what you decide.
Example techniques
Fact sheets
Web sites
Open houses
Public comment
Focus groups
Public meetings
Deliberative polling
Citizen advisory committees
Consensus building
Participatory decision-making
Citizen juries
Delegated decision

Source: International Association for Public Participation.

page top