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School of Business | Department of Languages and Communication | International Business Communication | 2009
Thesis number: 12180
Web 2.0 corporate communications for youngsters as stakeholders - Case: Forest Life website by UPM
Author: Luontama, Saija
Title: Web 2.0 corporate communications for youngsters as stakeholders - Case: Forest Life website by UPM
Year: 2009  Language: fin
Department: Department of Languages and Communication
Academic subject: International Business Communication
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; yritysviestintä; business communication; yhteiskuntavastuu; corporate responsibility; media; media; internet; internet; sosiaalinen media; social media; kestävä kehitys; sustainable development; metsätalous; forestry
Pages: 119
Full text:
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Key terms: international business communication; corporate social responsibility; environment; Internet; website; stakeholders; corporate communication; Web 2.0; social web; social networks; sustainability; forestry; UPM; issues management
Objectives of the study: The thesis is about attracting visitors to the website, also called Forest Life, by investigating the viewpoint of corporate communication and the special features of the Web 2.0 era. The stakeholder group of 13-16-year olds in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Finland is studied from the point of view of their Internet behaviour. The research questions were derived from the initial question from UPM: how do we attract youngsters to our website without search engine optimisation?: What is the role of the Forest Life website within the corporate communication function of UPM? How do the 13-16 year olds in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Finland behave on the Internet in the Web 2.0 era: which sites they visit, how do they choose sites to visit? How can UPM attract visitors from the target group of 13-16 year olds in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Finland onto the Forest Life website in the Web 2.0 era?

Methodology and theoretical framework: Background information for the thesis was gathered through discussions and an interview with UPM’s key communication personnel, who work with Forest Life website. Based on this information, a web survey was carried out targeting France, Germany and the UK. The web survey resulted in 202 completed responses from the target countries. Focus group discussions were held in France, Germany and Finland, one discussion in each country. Finland was added for the focus group discussions, as the researcher needed background information for briefing UPM’s local communicators, who carried out interviews in the target countries. The researcher instructed the local communicators about the length and other practicalities of the focus group discussion setting. The theoretical framework for the thesis is a figure illustrating impact of Web 2.0 to the ways of attracting visitors to an Internet site. The figure is based on Weber’s (2007) ideas about how the Internet has developed and is developing on stakeholder web engagement.

Findings and conclusions: The Internet in the Web 2.0 era is a two-way communication arena: just having an excellent website is no longer enough. User Generated Content and the fact that the audience want to engage with the content as well as with other site visitors should be cherished by companies in their Internet communication plans. Providing platform for social interaction and participating in social networking on the Internet enable the company to attract the desired web audience to their website.
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