An exploratory study on content and style as driving factors facilitating dialogic communication between corporations and publics on social media in China

Cindy Sing Bik Ngai, Sabine Einwiller, Rita Gill Singh

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Global corporations publicize on social networking sites (SNSs) to foster dialogic communication with publics as a form of building relationships. Yet the link between the content and style of the corporation communication from different cultural backgrounds and publics’ responses in the form of likes and retweets is under-researched. This empirical study explored how global corporations from China and Germany employ factors such as useful content topics and culturally-influenced communication styles to cultivate dialogic communication with publics on Sina Weibo, the largest SNS in China. Although both German and Chinese corporations similarly posted a range of content on products/services, corporate appeal and relationship building with no distinct significant differences in their communication styles, publics’ response varied noticeably in that they were more receptive to content on products/services disseminated by German corporations yet had greater responses to content on corporate appeal posted by Chinese corporations. In addition, publics were more inclined to react favorably to messages presented in an individualistic style of communication by German companies and messages in a collectivistic style by Chinese companies. The implications of how to effectively use SNS to engage in dialogue with publics are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101813
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • China
  • Dialogic communication
  • Engagement
  • Global corporations
  • Publics’ response
  • SNS
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing

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