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War in 140 Characters

How Social Media Can Shape Country Image During Conflict

On November 14th, 2012 Israel announced the launch of Operation Pillar of Defense, a widespread campaign attacking terror sites into the Gaza Strip on Twitter.  The ensuing 310 tweets that were released over the eight-day campaign provide one of the first case studies in the use of social media communication by a national government during times of conflict.  This report analyses how the Israeli government and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) used social media to shape their national image and country brand throughout Operation Pillar of Defense.  With an understanding of how it was used in the past, this report hopes to inform future planning efforts regarding the integration of a social media strategy into pre-campaign planning, the execution of a social media strategy throughout the campaign, and post-campaign follow through.