Social Media As An Effective Lobbying Tool Essay

2202 WordsFeb 5, 20129 Pages
This essay will seek to argue a case positioning social media as an effective lobbying method in Australia and internationally. Prior to this argument being addressed an examination of the changing nature of lobbying over the last 20-30 years will be undertaken to determine the validity of media as a lobbying method. This will be achieved by investigating the transition from traditional, behind the scenes lobbying methods employed by corporate ‘old boys’ to an approach that places its focus squarely on the media as a tool for issue expansion. Following this argument a case for social media as an effective lobbying method will be presented. This argument will seek to highlight social media’s ability to act as a tool that instigates “face-to-face” conversation with politicians in an online domain, allows poorly resourced interest groups to organise their members and solicit donation as well as social media’s propensity to act as a critical factor in shaping online public opinion. This will be achieved using the GetUp! organisation as a case study, highlighting their effective use of social media to petition government. Media vs. “Behind the Scenes” Lobbying Methods From the birth of democracy, the act of lobbying policymakers regarding legislation and regulatory measures has been an integral facet of the democratic process. From the Athenian sophists of ancient Greece to the tens of thousands of women and men who petition parliaments and ministers, who join interest groups, comment through the media or represent unions, corporations and community movements (Althaus et al, 2008, p. 1), the process of lobbying ones government for change has essentially remained unchanged. However, the advent of e-democracy and the rise to prominence of social media applications have introduced a new element to the practice of lobbying, making it easier for ‘outsiders’ to press their

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