E-public Relations in Health Organizations: How EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe Uses the Website and Facebook to Communicate with Key Publics
This article focuses on how EURORDIS-Rare Diseases Europe uses e-Public Relations to communicate and construct and strengthen relations with key publics, concretely the patients/members and journalists. Grounded on rhetorical theory and on a triple (qualitative, quantitative, and rhetorical) analysis to content, the study explores the website, Facebook page and press releases of EURORDIS. The results show that the EURORDIS’ website encompasses six types of content: information, clarification, personalization, support, appeal, and empowerment. In Facebook (N=160), the most significant issue is “reference of an event promoted by EURORDIS” (59,4%), “information and appeal” (40,0%) is the most used content type, and “text and photo” (77,5%) is the preferable resource used. Among the rhetorical devices (N=103), the most frequent is “use of question”. The other rhetorical devices used are repetition, mix of information and appeal, personalization, exclamation mark (logos), encouragement of an emphatic spirit (pathos), and reference to elite members (ethos). The most expressive issue in press releases (N=17) is “public support/promotion of actions benefiting the cause of rare diseases” and the most frequent sources are EURORDIS’ direction. Rhetorical analysis reveals the focus on the target public – journalists –, confirmed by the use of a predominantly informative language style.
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