Mapping the consumption of government communication: a qualitative study in Germany



Successful communication between citizens and government is critical for the effective implementation of governance. Although government communication is highly relevant to society, few governments fully exploit the potential benefits of the direct communication instruments at their disposal. To establish foundations for encouraging various forms of government communication, this article starts by examining its reception among German focus groups and thus offering general implications for successful, citizen-sensitive government communication. The results suggest the need for better articulation of interests in government communication, such that they appear more egalitarian, closer to the citizen, and online—that is, successful government communication demands considerable proximity to citizens, interactive feedback channels, and systematic participation by citizens in political processes. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.