Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


Media Communications

First Advisor

Emmet Coffey

Second Advisor

Frank O'Donovan

Third Advisor

Dr Gearóid Ó Súilleabháin


This thesis uses a case study approach to explore the role of public relations in promoting an international brand. This thesis attempts to determine whether public relations can contribute significantly to the promotion of an established international brand. This thesis looks at whether the people in the organisation formally responsible for promoting the Irish Sport Horse brand have a stated goal of promoting the brand, a clear intention of promoting the brand through public relations tactics, and whether find these tactics successful. The thesis also looks at the views of opinion makers within the industry to try to verify the success of the tactics used. This thesis attempts to fill a gap in the understanding of the role public relations can play in promoting an international brand, particularly in the contemporary environment, which is increasingly driven by online and social media marketing. The literature reveals that the function of promoting an organisation's brand has traditionally been the responsibility of marketing professionals, while the traditional objective of public relations professionals has been reputation building through transparent communication with publics and the development of positive relationships with stakeholders. The literature describes an inherent potential conflict between the role of promoting a brand and the goals and ethical limitations of public relations. However, this study found that public relations can be used successfully to promote an international brand if care is taken to be transparent and maintain integrity.


The majority of the appendices included in this thesis have been removed for the digital download due to copyright and personal data restrictions.

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