Edited by Eungjun Min
[Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 27:2] 2017
► pp. 196–212
The purpose of this study is to examine the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as a part of new public diplomacy. The study specifically investigates NGO’s use of soft power and social media and how they collaborate with the government. This study utilizes qualitative analysis to investigate how an NGO called the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK) influences the national reputation of South Korea. In-depth interviews were conducted with VANK employees and officers from Korean government agencies who have expertise in promoting Seoul, South Korea, and Korean culture and have previously collaborated with VANK. Findings show that VANK shares functional roles with the government to convey positive information about South Korea based on boundary-spanning theory. VANK specifically demonstrates expertise in correcting misconceptions about Korea online and implanting positive images of Korea to foreigners by actively employing its extensive networks, social media, and soft power.
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