Dan Zhang

Dan Zhang

Participant in 2014
Work history 1991-1999: Feature Writer, Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, China.
2001-2005: Manager, Walt Disney Internet Group, Disney Company (China), Beijing, China.
2005-2007: Director, Digital Distributions, Warner Bros. (China) Company, Shanghai, China.
2007-2010: Founding Partner, SportsCom Beijing Consulting, Ltd., Beijing China; Contributing Journalist, SportBusiness International Magazine (London).
2010-2012: Researcher, Wind Power Intelligence Data Service, London, the U.K.; U.K. & Europe Journalist, Tecent Media (QQ.com), based in the U.K.
Study history 1985-1989: B.A. Degree in English Literature and Language, Shandong University, China.
1989-1991: B.A. Degree in Journalism, China School of Journalism, Beijing, China.
1999-2000: M.S. Degree in Media Management, Syracuse University, NY, U.S.A.
2012-Present: MPhil/PhD in Media and Communication, University of Westminster, London, the U.K.

Phd Projects

2014

Who Is Afraid of Social Media: How British B2B Publishers Respond to the Impacts of Social Media?

Business-to-Business (B2B) publishing is becoming a complex media sector that is drastically different from its old profile as trade press. This research integrates perspectives from journalism and business (resource-based view) studies to analyse the response of UK B2B publishers to the impacts of social media.

A literature review showed that there has been little academic study of this subject and that academics have considered trade press as a sub-branch of magazine journalism. The next step was to try to identify the core values which differentiate B2B journalism from other forms of journalism. This research identifies the core value to be offering useful and accessible content and services to satisfy the financial and career development needs of businesses and professionals. Further research has enabled differentiation of three content genres (Business Data, Intelligence, and Knowledge) and a range of service offerings (response-driven advertising, product advertising, branding and marketing, community networking and events).

Social media enabled professional networks and user generated content that disrupted the journalistic value chain and the entrenched relationships between publishers and information sources, readers, advertisers and clients. This research argues that social media provide publishers with opportunities in marketing and engaging stakeholders. However the research also argues that, B2B publishers differ in their sensitivity to social media impacts according to the genre of content and service offerings. The research analyses the source of this differing sensitivity in terms of two variables: timeliness and confidentiality. Based on this analysis the research hypothesises that B2B publishers will respond to the impacts of social media by attempting to control the level of timeliness and confidentiality of content and services. Five hypotheses are proposed.

H1. Publishers of content with high timeliness and confidentiality (e.g. financial data, legal, and medical journals) are less sensitive to social media impacts

H2. Publishers offering services with high timeliness (e.g. classifieds and product catalogues) are more sensitive to the impacts of social media

H3. Publishers wishing to decrease the risks associated with social media impacts will increase the timeliness and confidentiality of their content (e.g. moving into business data provision).

H4. Publishers wishing to decrease the risks associated with social media impacts will offer services with lower timeliness level (e.g. exhibition events)

H5. B2B publishers are restricted in their responses to social media impacts by their available resources.

Testing these hypotheses requires questionnaire survey and case studies; and this is the current stage of the research.

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