Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Communications

First Advisor

Emmet Coffey

Second Advisor

Frank O'Donovan


There has been an increased interest from academics, public relations professionals and industry professionals in the importance of social media in the role of public relations. With the advent of social media people have found a new platform on which to communicate with each other through conversations, sharing, and networking online. It is more of a two-way conversations, rather than a one-way broadcast like traditional media and this directly affects the way in which public relations practitioners how they manage the reputation of the companies they represent.

A qualitative approach was taken, through industry professional interviews from PR, Social Media, Communications and Marketing backgrounds, to ascertain how social media is impacting on an organisations brand image and how Public relations professionals will have to adapt to the social media phenomenon.

The research findings show how social media is changing the role of PR in relation of dealing with a new and very different type of media, social media, in managing the reputation and brand of businesses. Through the research carried out author learned of the potential social media has in helping enhance the brand image if companies and what tools PR practitioners should in order to achieve this.

It can be concluded that many advantages and disadvantages exist for companies who engage with their consumers on social media platforms. While there are many different tactics used by companies to engage with their consumers, no one set of guidelines can be established universally because each company has to tailor their tactics to the target audience and reflect their own brand image in their message, these are unique to every business and cannot be easily replicated.

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