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Social media use by legislative offices for constituent communications
An important function of a state legislator’s office staff is to communicate with constituents on a mass basis. The changing media environment challenges staffers to find new means of keeping the legislator foremost in constituents’ minds. New and social media provide an alternative to traditional media for this function. This study surveyed the legislator’s office staff in three states and was conducted by a former legislator who is a communication scholar. The qualitative data indicate recognition of the usefulness of new media, and a modest amount of its use, but a less than emphatic embrace of it. Findings also indicate benefits and limitations of social media as an alternative to the traditional modes of communication when used by legislative offices.
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