Local Governments’ communication through Facebook. Evidences from COVID-19 pandemic in Italy

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose – The study aims at demonstrating how social communication has changed in terms of flows and content in the different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic to get to the fact that Public Administrations has embarked on a path of rapprochement with the citizen that starts from the methods of communication and interaction. Design/methodology/approach – This article presents an exploratory and multidisciplinary study conducted through the analysis of the Facebook page of the Italian municipalities with the highest Covid19-induced mortality rates (Piacenza, Bergamo, Lodi, Cremona, Brescia, Pavia, Parma, Mantova, Alessandria, Lecco and Sondrio). Fanpage Karma has been used to conduct the investigation and get the analytics. Findings – Local governments are implementing a process of gradual approach to the needs of the citizen and learning new ways of communication. In conclusion of our study – conducted at the time of pandemic - we can affirm that local governments are in an early stage of the process both for the acquisition of skills for social communication and for the definition of a communication strategy to strengthen their social identity aware of the fact that the agile and lean communication makes the citizen much more informed and involved in city life than traditional communication. Originality – This paper analyses a social network like Facebook as a not common tool for local government communication in a period of severe emergency. A multidisciplinary approach is adopted as a distinctive factor. The focus is on the contribute of social communication on citizens’ engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Public Affairs
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Communication Strategy
  • Local Authorities
  • Risk Communication
  • Social media
  • governmental communication


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