#nodam in #maewong: Framing Analysis on the Roles of Social Media and Strategic Public Relations in Environmental Movement in Thailand

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Teerada  Chongkolrattanaporn 

Abstract

Public relations play crucial roles in advocating environmental issues in Thailand where several natural resources are under risk due to precarious plan of authority. Together with the sacrifice spirit of the campaigners, agitation strategies and public relations tactics by a local major environmental advocacy group in Thailand—SeubNakhasathien Foundation—enable the process of change to become more feasible by engaging virtual and physical public support. Yet, only a few studies have examined public relations and its function in environmental movement (Jurin, Roush, and Danter, 2010; Hansen and Cox, 2015). Thus, this research is an attempt to understand how social media has become an important tactical tool to achieve the goals of environmental campaigners by applying framing analysis to investigate PR key messages distributed on social media. In 2013,a year before the coup d'etat, Mr. Sasin Chalermlarp started a 388 kilometers walking campaign from the location where Mae Wong dam was planned for construction to Bangkok, Thailand's capital city. He called for support from more than 20,000 people to join him in central of Bangkok by spreading the word through the social media site of SeubNakhasathien Foundation, particularly its Facebook Fanpage (https://www.facebook.com/pages/มูลนิธิสืบนาคะเสถียร/
58487231166017) and Twitter (seubfd and sasin_seub). This article analyzes news relevant to the issues to identify the frames presented and compare them to the campaign frames to evaluate the campaigns’ effectiveness. The analysis shows that that the frames evident in big data analysis of social media campaigners, news, and publics are not consistent. Yet, the campaign can be considered a successful case, as the government decided to prolong and revise the dam project.


 

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