The study is also important for its examination of government relations as practiced by the developing world—an area that has been mainly ignored in the public relations scholarship to date. It provides empirical grounding for benchmarking how new technology is working to level the playing field for developing nations, allowing them to create a national brand on the World Wide Web. As such, the study contributes important insights into the areas of nation building and branding.
The use of mixed-methods lends much to the richness of the findings. The quantitative data are extensive, while the narrative analysis provides a nuanced, finely textured exploration of the stories underlying some of these sites. Taken in tandem, they provide a thorough exploration of how the Web can be used as a government relations tool to directly reach international target audiences.
In sum, this research is highly recommended for public relations, communications, and international relations scholars. The theoretical model proposed advances public relations theory. The mixed methods employed provide strong empirical and analytical support for the model. The results serve as a handbook for new technology use in government relations. This research not only provides scholars with new areas of theoretical development to explore, it also provides practitioners with a blueprint for future practice.
Dr. Patricia A. Curtin
Professor, Endowed Chair of Public Relations School of Journalism and Communication
The University of Oregon