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Influencing mass media discourse is considered an essential part of the work carried out by think tanks. This research focuses on the influence Spanish think tanks have exercised in shaping the ubiquitous and all-pervading concept of “economic crisis” in the press of reference during 2013 and 2014. The results show that very few such entities have had even a minimally significant impact in this area, while also demonstrating that very diverse communicative strategies existthat canresultinmaximizing the amount ofmedia attention gained. Consequently, despite being regarded as intelligence actors, Spanish think tanks do not seem to be so.
5. Discussion and conclusions
The data suggest that very few Spanish think tanks actually have even a minimally significant impact on media discourse on the economic crisis. Of the 27 organizations analyzed, three account for more than half of the impacts (51.8%), while 16 move within the range of 0–2 impacts. This very limited influence on the media is in tune with the findings of research conducted by Barberà andArregui(2011), who determined that Spanish think tanks tend to foster direct contact with relevant political actors rather than achieving this via the media. In addition, within the context of a severe and prolonged economic crisis, the urgency with which it is expected that certain corrective policy measures are implemented may discourage the use of public relations strategies linked to the think tanks in favor of lobbying strategies, which by definition pursue a more immediate result (Leeson, Ryan, & Williamson, 2012).