Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


Cork Institute of Technology

First Advisor

Emmet Coffey


The purpose of this study is to investigate the importance of interpersonal communication tactics in building and maintaining key relationships in the arts festival context, using two Irish traditional music festivals as its case studies. The main objective of this research is to demonstrate the effectiveness of word-of-mouth endorsements among stakeholders for small organisations.

This research undertook three stages of study. The first stage of this thesis took the form of a literature review - also known as the secondary research phase. Throughout this stage the author found relevant academic opinions and definitions based on selected public relations, culture, and festival themes. The information gathered during this stage helped to form a better understanding of the research question, and to design the basis for the primary research.

The second stage of this study involved a mixed methods approach for the primary research phase. The researcher collected relevant information using a quantitative research methods approach in the shape of a survey, which was distributed to a sample audience of one of the case study festivals chosen by the author. A qualitative research methods approach was also used in the form of interviews with two co-founders of the chosen Irish traditional music festivals. The researcher made use of triangulation in the final stage of the research to analyse the information gathered.

Results found the major impacts of word-of-mouth endorsements and peer recommendations have on these selected arts festivals and the invaluable advantage this has for them compared to larger, international festivals. The research also showed the interpersonal communication tactics used by these two festivals which were successful in building and maintaining the relationships between these two organisations and their key stakeholders.

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