Beattie, P. N., Lamm, A. J., Bunch, J. C., & Lundy, L. K. (2019). Communicating with 4-H stakeholders: Examining social media use in rural and urban programs. Journal of Agricultural Education, 60(1), 202-223.


Traditionally, 4-H agents have been communicating with stakeholders through newsletters; either in print or online. 4-H agents have used social media as an additional tool to communicate with their stakeholders since its introduction. Social media communication can help maintain or increase stakeholder involvement in the 4-H program because a large percentage of the population is active on social media. Using Uses and Gratifications Theory and Diffusion of Innovations Theory as frameworks, this study sought to determine how Florida 4-H agents engaged with their stakeholder audiences using social media, and vice versa. The uses and gratifications motivations for engaging in media were used to understand what motivations were used to engage their audience and what type of posts (according to motivation) stakeholders were engaged in most. The diffusion of innovations innovation-decision process helped to understand the audiences’ decision to engage in posts dependent upon the motivation used. The results of this study concluded the selected 4-H programs differed in the content that they posted but the 4-H stakeholders did not differ in how they engaged in their respective programs posts.

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