Internet Website as a Tool of Communication in Scientific Institutions

Open access

Summary

The aim of the article is to analyze the use of websites in communication activities and image building of national scientific institutions. One of the reasons for undertaking this subject is the greater attention paid to scientific communication and its link to the need for society involvement in research, that was expressed in the “Rome Declaration on Responsible Research and Innovation in Europe” in 2014. Apart from that, there is an enhanced science mediatization that requires from PR specialists an extra effort to ensure that their messages are not distorted. The subject seems to be vital as there is a growing emphasis on commercialization of scientific research that creates the need to undertake deliberate efforts to popularize scientific discoveries. Moreover, a demographic decline, which more and more touches higher education institutions and forces them to strive for creating well-known brands, contributes to the subject’s importance.

In order to realize the objective, in July 2015, 605 websites of national research institutions were reviewed to determine whether their operators shared contact details to the employee responsible for communication, posted messages informing about current events as well as visual content, used such tools as newsletters, RSS feeds and social media, utilized solutions that facilitate contacts with experts and reprinted materials about themselves published by other medias. The analyzes were performed taking into account the type of each scientific institution (i.e.: a public university, a private university, a research institute or the PAS institute), its size and the empowerment to award scientific degrees.

The results show that relatively few scientific institutions fully exploit the potential of websites in public relations activities. According to anticipation, scientific institutions with a department or at least a single position responsible for communication are more active in this field. Moreover, public higher education institutions conduct the most professional communication. There is no clear regularity between the size of institutions and their activity in the field of communication, except for private universities. However, the greater engagement in communication activities is observed within the institutions authorized to award scientific degrees.

In addition, conducted research, on the one hand, resulted in identification of the most common mistakes committed in website communication, but on the other hand, revealed the examples of websites that performed their communication and image-building functions excellently. Such information may serve as a benchmark for practitioners who would like to assess their websites and correct eventual defects.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • 1. Antonowicz D. Gorlewski B. (2011). Demograficzne Tsunami: Raport Instytutu Sokratesa na temat wpływu zmian demograficznych na szkolnictwo wyższe do 2020 roku. Warszawa: Instytut Rozwoju Kapitału Intelektualnego im. Sokratesa.

  • 2. CBOS (2014). Internauci 2014. Komunikat z badań CBOS nr 82/2014. Warszawa: CBOS.

  • 3. Gordon J. Berhow S. (2009). University websites and dialogic features for building relationships with potential students. Public Relations Review 35 150-152.

  • 4. Hill L.N. White C. (2000). Public Relations Practitioners’ Perception of the World Wide Web as a Communication Tool. Public Relations Review 26(1) 31-51.

  • 5. Hjarvard S. (2013). The Mediatization of Culture and Society. London - New York: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

  • 6. Instytut Zachodni (2012). Badanie potrzeb wielkopolskich przedsiębiorców w zakresie współpracy ze sferą B+R. Poznań: Instytut Zachodni.

  • 7. Kang S. Norton H.E. (2006). Colleges and universities’ use of the World Wide Web: A public relations tool for the digital age. Public Relations Review 32 426-428.

  • 8. Kent M. Taylor M. (2002). Toward a dialogic theory of public relations. Public Relations Review 28 21-37.

  • 9. Kohring M. Marcinkowski F. Linder Ch. Karis S. (2013). Media orientation of German university decision makers and the executive influence of public relations. Public Relations Review 39 171-177.

  • 10. Linvill D.L. McGee S.E. Hicks L.K. (2012). Colleges’ and universities’ use of Twitter: A content analysis. Public Relations Review 38 636-638.

  • 11. Marcinkowski F. Kohring M. Fürst S. Friedrichsmeier A. (2014). Organizational Influence on Scientists’ Efforts to Go Public: An Empirical Investigation. Science Communication 36(1) 56-80.

  • 12. Molęda-Zdziech M. (2013). Czas celebrytów: Mediatyzacja życia publicznego. Warszawa: Difin.

  • 13. Nie K.S. Kee Ch.P. Ahmad A.L. (2014). Mediatization: A Grand Concept or Contemporary Approach? Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 155 362-367.

  • 14. Rynkiewicz M. (2014). Stagnacja to dobry sygnał. In: Interaktywnie.com E-mail marketing.Raport. Wrocław: Interaktywnie.com http://interaktywnie.com/biznes/-artykuly/raporty-interaktywnie-com/raport-interaktywnie-com-e-mail-marketing-2014-249054 (30.11.2015).

  • 15. Will E.M. Callison C. (2006). Web presence of universities: Is higher education sending the right message online? Public Relations Review 32 180-183.

Search
Journal information
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 176 79 3
PDF Downloads 104 47 0