Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Communications

First Advisor

Gearóid ÓSúilleabháin

Second Advisor

Emmett Coffey


This study is concerned with investigating the impact of social media on the relationship between public relations and marketing functions in small businesses in Ireland. The relationship between public relations and marketing has been debated in the literature and in organisations for many decades. Social media has an influence on the channels of communication which in turn influences public relations and marketing functions.

Both primary and secondary research methods on gathering findings of social media, public relations and marketing functions were carried out. Areas of conflict and tension between public relations and marketing were highlighted. The impact of social media and the changes which occurred were discussed and analysed. A significant finding is that the confliet still continues between the two management functions, public relations and marketing and new tools and techniques further complicate their definitions. There is a greater demand for online communication through social media sites and companies must become aware of the tools and techniques to best approach this method and gain advantage.

The research gathered information from those working in the media industry, public relations, marketing, event management and design. To contrast this, the views of the general public were also collected. Not all of the people involved in the data gathering process were of a public relations or marketing background which was important to get a varied response.

An unexpected area of discussion was the response of the general public who felt that businesses were more interested in selling a product than building a relationship with their customers. This was an area which was strongly felt by the general public however came as a surprise to the researcher.

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