Online communication of Public Leisure Services
Gillies, Ann Christine
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Through the assistance of the Internet, public organizations can create lasting relationships with citizens in an individualized and interactive manner. The purpose of this study was to obtain a preliminarily understanding of the Web Presence of public leisure service agencies (PLSA) in Canada. Currently very little is known about the use of Internet Communication within PLSA. A stratified random sample of ten Canadian municipal Web sites helped to generate 100 content units from which a quantitative content analysis was conducted. Utilizing a marketing perspective, the analysis assessed the marketing communication efforts, design, electronic service quality, and interaction standards of these sites. Findings suggested that the evidence of marketing and communication efforts were quite limited while the design and navigational features, although basic, were well executed. The results indicated that most PLSA online communication is rather limited, focusing on providing basic information regarding programs, services, facilities and events. In the future, this is expected to change. In general, PLSA appear to recognize the importance of online communication. However, a re-definition of communication strategies may be needed for better implementation. It is suggested that these strategies should encompass the underlying goal of creating a relationship with citizens.