The European Commission’s EMPL presence on Twitter in 2012: Communication subjects
All tweets published by the three account holders, the subjects of this research project, namely Social Europe, EURes and Commissioner Andor in 2012, were copied onto a separate spreadsheet to prepare the raw data for coding.
I identified six categories of tweet subjects:
- EU Social policies and programmes, which also include all the projects funded by the EU programmes managed by DG Employment:
- EU employment strategy: Employment package, Youth employment, New Skills for New Jobs
- Social protection and social inclusion
- Social partnerships
- Europe 2020 initiatives: Youth on the Move, Agenda for new skills and jobs, European platform against poverty and social exclusion
- Working in another EU country
- Funding opportunities
- Rights at work.
- EY 2012 groups all the events and activities organised within the frame of 2012 the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012:
- Opening and closing conferences of the EY 2012
- European and national activities related to the EY 2012
- European Year Award Ceremony (projects and initiatives in the framework of the EY 2012).
- Other events includes all non-EY 2012 events such as conferences, debates, campaigns, EURes events, initiatives, press conferences and both online and offline surveys related to the events:
- EURes online and offline events (European and national events)
- Business visits of Commissioner Andor
- Youth employment chat hosted by Commissioner Andor
- The Employment Policy Conference “Jobs for Europe”.
- Publications contains official survey reports, statistics, studies, news and press releases, speeches and factsheets:
- Eurofound Quality of Life survey (2012)
- Eurofound European Working Conditions Survey
- Press and blog articles
- Eurobarometer public opinion surveys
- Eurostat statistics reports
- EC’s White paper: an Agenda for Adequate, Safe and Sustainable Pensions
- Guidelines are the practical aspects of the EU Social policies and programmes: general advice, Human Resources assistance, practice examples and online resources featuring job-hunting tips. They were mainly provided by EURes and its network of advisors in the member countries.
- Others includes non-related news to the previous categories, EURes partnership agreements with European and national bodies, job and internship opportunities.
Each tweet body was analysed, coded and placed in the relevant category. If a tweet body focused on more than one subject, it was coded and classified according to the dominant subject. For example, if the tweet covered both EU Social policies and programmes and publications, it was placed in the dominant category and not in both. When coding was completed, the data was sorted to have the items grouped by category and counted accordingly.
The results are presented in Figure 1.
The tweets featured a wide range of subjects from communicating the policies to pan-European and national, regional and local events. The subjects cover almost all communication activities that were planned by the communicators in the year 2012, according to what they stated in the interviews.
It is obvious that the communication actions are somewhat replicated at national, regional and local level. Even though most of the content was available in English, the administrators justify the minor coverage of missing languages through the need of establishing a common communication language between the communicators, stakeholders and the audience.
It is also important to note the concrete communication dimension which is visible in the guidelines: assistance to job hunting, workers’ mobility, social protection and social inclusion, to name a few. The publications play a significant role in disseminating the major aspects of the employment, social affairs and inclusion policies together with official statistics and reports published by other European bodies (Eurofound, Eurostat, Eurobarometer reports).
The top subjects of the unified tweet corpora were as follows: other events (29%), EU social policies and programmes (25%), others (14%), EY2012 and publications (both 13%), and guidelines (7%). The administrators validated the tweets’ subjects but not necessarily in this order.
More information to come in the next articles.
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