Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Cork Institute of Technology

First Advisor

Mr. Emmett Coffey


The practice of public relations has changed dramatically in the past fifteen years, embracing a variety of new media tools in a fast changing, global market. New and social media have radically altered the work of public relations practitioners. One aspect of this which gives rise to much debate is evaluating the effectiveness of online public relations campaigns.

Travel and tourism is an industry that has been changed fundamentally by the internet. This industry led the way with online reservations and information systems. Online public relations followed this innovation. The aim of this study is to look at the process of online public relations campaigns in the tourism sector and to determine if the effect of such campaigns can be quantified.

This dissertation examines the literature on online public relations, the theory of evaluation and relevant research methodology. In an attempt to grasp hold of the theory of evaluation this dissertation will examine three case studies to show if and how evaluation is carried out and to what extent its effectiveness can be evaluated.

There is real momentum by public relations practitioners in wishing to establish an acceptable method of quantifying the effect of online public relations. It is seen that evaluation helps define objectives, monitors progress and measures outcomes of campaigns. With the downturn in world economy it is essential that public relations be seen to deliver value for money for the client. Quantifiable results reflect well on the professionalism of the public relations industry.

The day has long gone when ‘gut feeling’ could quantify the effect of a public relations campaign. This dissertation will examine how feasible it is to quantify the effectiveness of an online tourism public relations campaign.


Master’s Degree (MA) in Public Relations with New Media

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