Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Communications

First Advisor

Emmett Coffey


This study aims to contribute to the understanding of the non-profit sector, in particular animal welfare organisations and how social media can be used as a Public Relations tactic which in turn enables them to raise awareness of their cause.

A qualitative research design was deemed the most suitable by the researcher. Semi-structured interviews and a content analysis in the form of a netnographic analysis of the chosen non-profit organisations Facebook pages were used to collect the primary data. Interviewees were chosen on the basis they had knowledge, experience and exposure in their area.

Research findings indicate that social media is an important tool in the arsenal of a non-profit organisations Public Relations effort. The researcher discovered it is not necessarily the biggest organisations that use social media the most effectively.

The research concludes that while there are some disadvantages regarding non-profit organisations use of social media. These prove insignificant when weighed against the advantages. Social media and in particular a Facebook platform lends itself to non-profits in extending their reach, which enables them to fundraise and therefore continue on with their mission.


A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Cork Institute of Technology - For the degree of: Master’s Degree (M.A.) in Public Relations with New Media.

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