School of Business publications portal
This portal is no longer updated. Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Communication | International Business Communication | 2012
Thesis number: 12926
Managing web communication. Case: diplomatic missions of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Author: Hakaoja, Helena
Title: Managing web communication. Case: diplomatic missions of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
Year: 2012  Language: eng
Department: Department of Communication
Academic subject: International Business Communication
Index terms: viestintä; communication; yritysviestintä; business communication; kansainvälinen; international; internet; internet; suunnittelu; planning; strategia; strategy
Pages: 87
Key terms: communication planning; web communication; communication strategy; web site; Internet; communication goals; International Business Communication
Objective of the Study

The objective of the study was to examine the managing of web communication in a Finnish public sector organization through the perceptions of its web editors. The case organization of the study was the globally located diplomatic missions of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The study explored the perceptions of the missions’ web editors to answer the research questions: 1) How is web communication planned in the missions? 2) What goals are set for web communication? and 3) What do the MFA editors suggest for the future development of web communication and its planning?

Methodology and the Analytical Framework

The study was conducted using qualitative research methods. The data was acquired using group discussions and an online survey and analyzed using thematic content analysis. The analytical framework of the study was based on theory on communication planning, i.e. communication strategy, its link to the corporate strategy, communication planning levels and goal-setting, as well as web communication, web services and strategic use of the Internet.

Findings and Conclusions

The study indicated a need for more planning and guidance from the MFA for the missions’ web communication. The data also revealed problems in committing the missions’ staff in web communication as well as concerns over sufficient resources. The study found that planning web communication and social media activities should be integrated in existing planning documents, e.g. the Public Diplomacy program. The link between web communication and the missions’ strategy should be strengthened and the goals set for web communication should be derived from the missions’ strategy in order for the web sites to truly support the missions’ functions. The MFA should provide centralized content on the missions’ sites and clarify the division of responsibilities between the two sides. The MFA should also emphasize the importance of web communication and improve attitudes towards communication to facilitate committing the missions’ staff in web communication.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.