EIRP Proceedings, Vol 14, No 1 (2019)

The Personalization of Political Communication in Social Media Era. Case Study: Gabriela Firea, the Mayor of Bucharest

Adina-Loredana Dogaru-Tulică

Abstract


Social media era brought a major change in the way politicians communicate online with their voters.  Social platforms are bringing politicians closer to people and communication is now more interactive and more personalized. The paper examines how a woman politician, the mayor of Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, uses social media to promote personalized messages in daily political communication during an ordinary period of office. Politicians use personalized communication in the online environment to transmit both personal information about family life, religious orientation, personal experiences, and to disseminate information of public interest that has not been made public by traditional media. This fades the boundary between what is public and what is private. There is a broad agreement on the fact that the personalization of the political message must be studied as a multidimensional phenomenon (Holtz-Bacha et alii, 2014; Nave, N. et alii, 2018) being "a natural consequence of transformations at the level of political and media systems, at the level of society and public culture "(Toader, 2017) transforming politicians into"intimate strangers "(Stainer, 2007). The research analyzes the personalized messages on the Facebook page of Gabriela Firea, the mayor of Bucharest, between 1st of July and 31st December 2018 on quantitative criteria, as well as the reactions of the online public and is part of a larger research work that approaches the triad of women political leadership, social media (Facebook) and political communication from a multidisciplinary perspective.

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