Social media use by public relations departments in Saudi Arabia

Almfleah, AMA 2017, Social media use by public relations departments in Saudi Arabia , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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The aim of this research is to study and compare the use of social media by public relations departments in the Saudi Telecommunications Company (STC) and The Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Saudi MCI). An integration of cross-sectional and archival research designs was implemented using both secondary and primary data.

Qualitative primary data was collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews, with 12 purposively selected senior public relations and communications’ officials PR and communication practitioners working at STC (n= 7) and Saudi MCI (n= 5). Quantitative primary data was collected through web-administered surveys designed using Google survey Forms (N= 511) and whose links were placed in the STC (n= 262) and Saudi MCI (n= 249) with Facebook pages and Twitter handles. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS version 21, after data preparation and arrangement in Microsoft Excel 2013 Interview and archival data were analysed using inductive content and thematic analysis, which led to the development of thematic maps.

The findings showed that both STC and Saudi MCI use social media to publicise their activities through public information, lobby public support for their positions, enhance information quality and provide a question and answer platform for their publics. Findings show that both STC and Saudi MCI were ethical in their PR practices. The usage of Facebook and Twitter changed the way STC and MCI PR practitioners engage with their publics and stakeholders by easing contacts between the organisation and the public, allowing the public access to important information and enabling the public a voice in the engagement especially through criticising the organisation. The findings also showed that the private and public organisations in Saudi Arabia exploit the social media affordances comprising visibility, editability, persistence, and association.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Funders: Saudi Cultural Bureau
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2018 14:48
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 20:46

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