A study to examine the role of social media within public relations.

O'Neill, Elaine (2019) A study to examine the role of social media within public relations. masters thesis, Griffith College.

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Social media quickly became popular since its introduction over a decade ago. It was quickly adapted into society and has changed how we act and interact with others. Not only has it changed how we interact as individuals it has changed how businesses and consumers interact with each other. It has provided a new tool for public relations practitioners to communicate directly with their audiences. However, as social media is a relatively new tool for businesses it is important to examine how and why it is used within companies. This study set out to examine what the role of social media is within public relations by examining how companies used their social media accounts, what content they posted and examining the opinions and uses of social media among public relations professionals. The research questions addressed in this study are: 1. What is the role of social media within public relations? 2. Is the pattern of social media use consistent across these different businesses and participants? 3. Is third party media coverage and ‘word of mouth’ communication still important to companies and consumers? The study followed a mixed methods approach combining both qualitative and quantitative research. To collect this data an online analysis (content and engagement) of three companies social media accounts was conducted followed by two interviews with public relations and communications professionals and a further survey among seven other public relations and communications professionals. The results of this research indicated that social media is used within public relations for relationship building, two-way communication, reputation management, content control and word of mouth communication.

Item Type: Thesis (masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public relations, social media, the role of social media, mixed methods, content analysis, engagement analysis, interviews, survey, relationship building, wordof-mouth, professionals’ opinions, audience engagement
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Journalism & Media Communications > MA in Journalism and Public Relations
Depositing User: Ms Dimphne Ni Bhraonain
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2020 11:48
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2020 11:48
URI: http://go.griffith.ie/id/eprint/288

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