Corporate Media Work and Lobbying
2013 (English)In: The
workshop: Political Affairs: Bridging Markets and Politics , / [ed] Garsten, Christina & Sörbom, Adrienne, Copenhangen, 2013Conference paper (Refereed)
In this chapter we address how mediatization is involved in the way market actors such as business organizations, industry associations and PR-consultants enact politics. To illustrate and understand how different forms of mediatization come to expression in this process we use observational and interview data from Almedalen – Sweden’s major political event. The chapter presents and discusses two main findings. First, we suggest that the observed market actors deal with the political sphere on the basis of different conceptualizations and understandings of the media/mediatization. Whether some of these actors have incorporated media values and practices relatively unreflectively (high level of institutionalization), others provide evidence of being highly intentional in the way they use the media and the different journalistic tools and practices (high level of strategic use). To illustrate, what characterize actors who belong to the first group is e.g., that they want to get media attention because everybody else seems strive for it (cf. Boorstin, 1961; Falkheimer, 2004; Zoch & Molleda, 2006). Those who belong to the second group have a more independent relation to the media (Pallas & Fredriksson in 2013). The media activities of these actors are more to be understood as a form of institutional work (Lawrence et al. 2009). That is to say, as these actors have a more profound and instrumental knowledge and understanding of media logic and the principles of newsworthiness (Hernes, 1978; Hjarvard, 2008), they use these skills not only to pursue or influence specific political issues. They also use their media activities to alter the institutional properties of the very context in which politics is conducted.
Secondly, we identify three distinctive driving forces behind the media activities of the market actors vis-à-vis the political sector: visibility, connectivity and performativity. Concerning visibility, some actors wants to reach publics outside of Almedalen (creating an opinion), but in most cases it is seen as a way to get a “puff” for e.g., a seminar (to draw politicians and officials) or to reach politicians and officials directly. Since Almedalen gathers much of the Swedish political elite, many market actors view this week as an opportunity to connect and socialize on a less formal base than that usually offered. During the week new contacts are made but a lot of the connectivity revolves around deepening those relationships that are already in place. This connectivity may, however, be also directed and developed beyond the scope of sustaining the existing relations. By way of addressing and inviting other non-political actors to co-operate on specific issues the market actors seek to create strong networks (Bourdieu, 1986; Ihlen, 2009; Viedma, 2004) that would help them to increase their performativeness in influencing the policy processes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Politics, Media, Lobbying, Almedalen, Public Relations
Business Administration Communication Studies
Research subject Media and Communication Studies; Business Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-229105OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-229105DiVA: diva2:735703
: Political Affairs: Bridging Markets and Politics , Copenhagen