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  • Author: Tiina Hiob x
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Abstract

This paper is an exploratory study to understand the content marketing practices in Estonia, a current trend that ties together journalism, communications, and advertising. Estonia is a small market where the ‘guilds’ of journalists and PR professionals are rather intertwined. Trends occurring here may provide suggestions for larger markets and future developments. A qualitative study was conducted in Spring 2018. The objective of the study was to describe the problems and potential complications arising from the reorganization of traditional areas of activity of agents operating in the field of the communications industry – specifically in the context of content marketing, and from the viewpoint of representatives of PR agencies. The article begins with putting the phenomenon of content marketing into a wider societal context – and specifically that of the Estonian media ecosystem. The possible influences of content marketing on such important realms, and such defining factors as trust (Luhmann 2000), social capital (Bourdieu 1995) the integrity, independence, and the interactions between the different fields (ibid) are discussed. The results of the survey indicate that the field of public relations is changing as a result of the forces from the other neighbouring fields, that of journalism and advertising. The paper points out that the issue of trust and trustworthiness and the origins of ‘the media’ need to be addressed in order to provide integrity and transparency.

Abstract

The Estonian child helpline service launched in 2009 uses a free nationwide 24h Child Helpline phone number. The purpose of the service is to enable everyone to report on children in need, forward the information to specialists and, if necessary, get primary social counselling and crisis counselling for children and other people. The service is provided in accordance with the Estonian Child Protection Act that prescribes that all citizens are required to immediately notify the social services, police or other assistanceproviding authorities about children in need of protection or assistance. This article is based on studies conducted between 2013 and 2015. In the course of the research, data were collected for increasing the effectiveness of the hotline’s communication campaigns. In addition to the general objective of the article, the data collected includes quantitative research mixed with qualitative data that helps to understand the factors that encourage and inhibit the use of the hotline service. The focus is on indicators that illustrate the effectiveness of the diffusion of innovation, and special attention is paid to the results that highlight risk, the existence of mental barriers and trust. Finally, the study analyses the weaknesses of past hotline campaigns and makes some suggestions for future.