FIR Interview: Brian McNely on Instagram as a medium for image-power


Brian J. McNely, an assistant professor in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program at the University of Kentucky, posted a pre-publication draft of a study he conducted on the use of Instagram to build an organization’s “image-power.”

The methodology resulted in a classification schema for the kinds of images organizations post – a schema that could be useful as organizations continue to strategize their approach to social visual communication (also labeled “visual marketing”).

FIR co-hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz spoke with McNely about his research and some of the conclusions he has reached. The actual research paper is available at the end of this post.

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About our Conversation Partner

brianmcnelyBrian McNely is an Assistant Professor in the Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program at the University of Kentucky. He primarily researches and teaches professional and technical communication in digital environments and research methods and methodologies.

His empirical work is diverse, exploring professional communication genres and practices among software developers, playwrights, Roman Catholic Priests and parishioners, and media researchers, among others.

Brian’s recent work develops the notion of ambient research methods, a systematic, qualitative approach to the collection and analysis of ubiquitous social software data. In ambient research methods, social software genres are surfaced and traced as the infrastructural and coordinative work mediating the everyday practice of many contemporary knowledge workers.

Connect with Brian on his website and on Twitter at @bmcnely.

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This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information:

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(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Brian McNely’s draft study:

Shaping Organizational Image-Power through Images: Case Histories of Instagram

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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