312 | 30, pp. 309-330 | doxa.comunicación

January-june of 2020

Tourist functionality of the communication management on Malaga’s museums’ social networks

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

estimates that these institutions received “65.4 million visitors throughout 2018, a figure that represents a 9.2% increase compared to 2016” (Ministry of Culture and Sport, 2019: 37).

Scientific research has shown that the increase in the number of visits to cultural institutions in recent years, specifically to museums, is mainly due to visitors’ motivations (Hood, 1983; Falk, 2012; Menor, 2019) and their psychosocial characte-ristics: “their values, attitudes, perceptions, interests and satisfactions” (Parguiña, 2015: 18). Thus, a study on the visitor’s profile from the Directorate-General of State Museums acknowledges that:

the collective thinking about museums, what the potential public thinks about them, how they see them, how or with whom they plan the visit, and what they hope to obtain from it is very valuable information which allows for the communication to be varied and address a potential public that doesn’t attend museums because they have preconceived ideas that prevent them from deciding to do so (Directorate-General of State Museums, 2012: 7).

Therefore, the departments and areas dedicated to institutional communication management launch campaigns to achieve and maintain stable relationships with the public (Van Riel, 2005; Gürel & Kavak, 2010; Viñarás, 2011; Oksuz & Gorpe, 2019; Salmon, Poorisat & Kim, 2019). The stakeholders can be understood as “persons or organisations that have an interest and influence on the museum’s ability to achieve its objectives” (Legget, 2009: 214). At the same time, “in this communication process, the institution conveys-symbolically and behaviourally- the values and features that charac-terize it, and that shape its image, through perceptions and experiences, in each person’s and group’s mind” (Viñarás, Cabezuelo & Herranz, 2011: 565).

Many authors highlight the importance of both the internal and external strategic nature of communication manage-ment. Since it makes it possible to plan potential scenarios, set objectives and lines of action and create support tools based on the information obtained in previous diagnoses, which are designed and coordinated to contribute to achieving the goals proposed by the organisations (Villafañe, 1999; Xifra, 2005; Timoteo, 2013; Argenti, 2014; Puertas, Cadme & Al-varez, 2015; Madroñero & Capriotti, 2018).

This strategic planning acquires particular relevance in the current scenario of constant technological transformations, which are not only redefining the way of establishing relationships with the public, but also the very role of the institu-tions in society. The development of digital tools has called into question the classic model of privileged broadcasting and passive reception, providing citizens with a two-way communication system that gives them an active part in the message exchange process (Almansa & Castillo, 2014; Van Ruler, 2015; Gershon, 2016). For Quintana, Sosa, and Castillo (2018: 253):

The conversational vision or rather a dialogical view of Public Relations 2.0 requires organisations to engage in conversations actively and participatively based on both their content and that of their fans or followers. This means that organisations need to engage in real-time conversations with a wide range of audiences, generating a dialogue that involves listening to their audience’s opinions actively.

In the specific case of museums, the use of digital space and its communication tools has made it possible to overcome social and culturally established functions for this type of organisation- acquisition, conservation, and exhibition of heri-tage (Viñarás, 2005). Thus allowing institutions to gain an exhaustive knowledge of their types of audiences. For Martínez (2012: 394) the novelty lies in the fact that it is the institution now “which must seek out or locate the conversations that