The aim of this paper is to investigate university communication through a participatory communication project. It is essentially an explorative Italian case study of “FAN”, the Fuori Aula Network or the University of Verona web-radio, which started in 2002, and a survey submitted to the radio‟s student editorial staff (N=47, n=40), where the relationship between students and institution emerges as mediated and enhanced thanks to a participative process that helps to make the university communication process more effective and strategic. The study, using a participatory and horizontal communication perspective (Beltràn, 1993a, 2005b; Hodges, McGrath, 2011), explores the experience of students who are independent and strong protagonists - co-provators - of the university communication. In recent years, universities have become more and more competitive and have adopted marketing communications models (Kotler, Fox, 1995; Kirp, 2003) with a relational approach towards their most important stakeholders: students (Foskett, 1999; Mazzei, 2000). Students, then, assume various roles but always largely primary: as partners (Baccarani, 1995), co-creators (Cheney, 1997) and co-innovators (Tapscott, Williams, 2006). The „customer/student‟ satisfaction, born of engagement based on a two-way symmetrical model (Grunig, Hunt 1984; Hall, Becker, 2003; Luo, 2009), becomes a strategic driver, also in a Total Quality Management perspective (Sperlich, Spraul, 2007; Testa, Ugolini, 2010). This research is original because it analyzes communication relationships between university and students through a new medium, university web-radio, which is a recent phenomenon in Italy (Perrotta, 2005; Cavallo, 2009); practical implications are related to the use of similar experiences in non-educational contexts and to the possibility of generating academic spin offs.

Participatory communication, a case study: Fuori Aula Network, University of Verona web-radio

BACCARANI, Claudio;
2012

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate university communication through a participatory communication project. It is essentially an explorative Italian case study of “FAN”, the Fuori Aula Network or the University of Verona web-radio, which started in 2002, and a survey submitted to the radio‟s student editorial staff (N=47, n=40), where the relationship between students and institution emerges as mediated and enhanced thanks to a participative process that helps to make the university communication process more effective and strategic. The study, using a participatory and horizontal communication perspective (Beltràn, 1993a, 2005b; Hodges, McGrath, 2011), explores the experience of students who are independent and strong protagonists - co-provators - of the university communication. In recent years, universities have become more and more competitive and have adopted marketing communications models (Kotler, Fox, 1995; Kirp, 2003) with a relational approach towards their most important stakeholders: students (Foskett, 1999; Mazzei, 2000). Students, then, assume various roles but always largely primary: as partners (Baccarani, 1995), co-creators (Cheney, 1997) and co-innovators (Tapscott, Williams, 2006). The „customer/student‟ satisfaction, born of engagement based on a two-way symmetrical model (Grunig, Hunt 1984; Hall, Becker, 2003; Luo, 2009), becomes a strategic driver, also in a Total Quality Management perspective (Sperlich, Spraul, 2007; Testa, Ugolini, 2010). This research is original because it analyzes communication relationships between university and students through a new medium, university web-radio, which is a recent phenomenon in Italy (Perrotta, 2005; Cavallo, 2009); practical implications are related to the use of similar experiences in non-educational contexts and to the possibility of generating academic spin offs.
9788890432729
university communication; participatory communication; two-way symmetrical model; customer satisfaction
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/476581
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