Keywords: Institutional Communication; Public Communicators; Law n. 150; Digital Media; Participation.
The paper analyzes the changes in institutional communication subsequent to the advent of digital media. Through 39 in-depth interviews with public communicators who work in 19 municipalities in Tuscany we tried to understand how their work is changing. In particular, our study focuses on the ways in which the greater fluidity, typical of digital communication, is redefining and complicating the separation - wanted by the law n. 150 of 2000 - between institutional communication and political communication. The professionals interviewed seem to be aware of these major changes. Concerned about the vigorous return of politics in the management of the institutional communication processes and the gradual reduction of economic investments, they manifest, nevertheless, the awareness of a slow but gradual penetration of the communication rationale within their organizations. This could be used to increasingly involve citizens in innovative participatory processes, which can exploit the greater levelling potential between administrators and the community typical of digital communications.