What Are You?

Authors: Norazmah Suhailah bt Abdul Malek, Noor Aireen bt Ibrahim (Language Academy, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur )
Speaker: Norazmah Suhailah bt Abdul Malek
Topic: Language in Real and Virtual Spaces
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2020 General Session


Branding plays a significant role in advocating universities among stakeholders. It tells a story of what a university is, what is its positions among stakeholders, what are the promises that it holds, what are the differences that it has compared to other universities, what is its personality and how are all these constructed among its stakeholders. With the birth of the Internet, social media has played a significant role in the way we communicate. Social media can be the platform to create awareness on an institute or to disseminate information to stakeholders. Universities and other higher learning institutes are not spared from using social media in communicating with stakeholders. Among the social media used by these institutes is Facebook. This research explores how selected universities use Facebook postings to position their brand among stakeholders and it also seeks how the relevant key elements of branding are constructed in these postings. The Facebook postings are classified into visual component and textual component. These components are analyzed using the multimodal analysis and the discourse analysis in investigating how are the key elements of brand positioning are constructed through them. Each posting is a story of a university’s values, promises and identifiers that are communicated visually and textually. Therefore, the analyses conducted enable stakeholders to identify who and what a university is. This research work is significant because it provides a guideline for universities on using Facebook postings to construct branding that is distinctive and obvious among stakeholders. It is also beneficial to academicians and communication practitioners because it offers insights into branding within the setting of higher education which is gaining importance in today’s competitive edge.


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Keywords: Visual Space