Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


Cork Institute of Technology

First Advisor

Emmet Coffey

Second Advisor

Frank O'Donovan


This study looks into the area of social media use in Irish festivals from a public relations perspective. The aim of the study is to provide an understanding of the effect social media is having on the regional festival industry in Ireland.

The study also accesses how social media has affected the public relations industry and reveals the predicted future of social media in Ireland. I’he study used a qualitative method of research through use of semi-structured interviews. Interviews were carried out face-to-face, online and on the telephone. All interviewees in the study had relevant experience in the social media and festival industries so it was clear they could provide significant findings for the study. The festivals used in the study were the Matchmaking festival in Lisdoonvarna in Co. Clare, Puck Fair festival in Co. Kerry and the Cork MidSummer festival in Co. Cork. The festivals chosen all have an international reach, are well distinguished and agreed to take part in the study.

The author identified that social media is only beginning for regional festivals in Ireland and the festivals that are using social media have limited it so far to Facebook and Twitter. The study also revealed how social media has changed the public relations industry and made it adapt to a different way of communicating to their key audiences. The findings revealed how social media has become a specific role of its own within the PR and Festival industries where as for example the Cork Midsummer festival hired an intern for 2011 to carry out the social media for the festival. The study also provides recommendations for the PR and festival industries in regard to using social media. The author also recommends future study in the subject area.

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