COVID-19 Communication Management on Facebook Pages of Local Governments

Diego Ravenda, Maika M. Valencia-Silva, Josep M. Argiles-Bosch, Josep García-Blandón

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts

2 Cites (Scopus)


We examine how Italian municipalities manage COVID-19 communication on their official Facebook pages. For this purpose, we apply an automatic topic modeling procedure on a sample of 76,139 posts published on the official Facebook pages of 103 Italian provincial capital municipalities from 1 March 2020 to 26 March 2021 of the COVID-19 pandemic period. We identify two topics related to COVID-19 consisting of restrictive measures and support measures. Using regression models with municipality and year-week fixed effects, we find that the prevalence of the topic on COVID-19 restrictive measures negatively affects the tone of the communication, computed through a sentiment analysis procedure, and it is negatively associated with the number of COVID-19 positive cases in the municipal area. In contrast, the prevalence of the topic on COVID-19 support measures positively affects the tone of the communication and it is positively associated with the number of positive cases. These associations are moderated by ideology, age, and political incentives of incumbent mayors. These results may reveal a strategic communication of municipalities to induce positive perceptions about the performance of municipal incumbents in responding to the pandemic and, therefore, enhance political consensus among voters. Finally, these findings may have practical implications for public regulators, public managers, and other followers of local governments on social media.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)1290-1333
Nombre de pàgines44
RevistaAdministration and Society
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - d’abr. 2023


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