Measuring the influence of international public administrations has traditionally been conducted with ‘offline’ data, using interviews, surveys or official documents. However, an emerging strand of the literature argues that influence can also be observed ‘online’, with data based on online social networks, such as Twitter. Our contribution aims at bringing these two strands closer together. We triangulate offline data from a large-N survey with online data from Twitter to examine to what extent they provide distinct theoretical and methodological insights into the role of international public administrations in global governance. As a case study, we use the policy area of global climate governance, an issue area where the influence of international public administrations has raised increasing scholarly interest. Our findings show that international public administrations occupy potentially influential positions in both ‘offline’ and ‘online’ networks. They are more often central actors in the survey network than in Twitter network, but in both networks, they constitute the primary source of issue-specific information.
Points for practitioners First, online social networks provide practitioners with opportunities to connect and interact with other political actors and help shape public discourse through communication. Second, online social networks provide important forums for societal actors who aim to protect global public goods. Third, online social networks offer actors the opportunity to shape values and norms, and to persuade persons or organizations beyond one’s own circle. Therefore, it is particularly important that online communication strategies are carefully designed and implemented in view of their potential power.