Public relations, media coverage, and public opinion in contemporary China : Testing agenda building theory in a social mediated crisis

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)765-773
Journal / PublicationTelematics and Informatics
Issue number3
Online published21 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


This study investigates a social mediated crisis triggered by the Guo Meimei incident that negatively affected the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC). RCSC's public relations efforts, media coverage, and public opinion on micro-blogs are examined through the theoretical grounding of agenda building. Evidence shows that organizational public relations activities strongly influence media coverage at the first level, but exert no influence upon online public opinion. RCSC's agenda neither forms issue salience of online public opinion, nor effectively influences public's attitude on the issue. This study extends the theorization of the effects of agenda building by adding contextual factors about social media, political, and cultural characteristics in China. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Agenda building, China, Crisis, Public relations, Social media, Time series

Citation Format(s)