Public relations communications in public diplomacy : Libyan institutions in Egypt and the UK

Abdalla, KSA 2018, Public relations communications in public diplomacy : Libyan institutions in Egypt and the UK , PhD thesis, School of Arts and Media.

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Libya's recent past has limited any potential economic and political benefits, such as interaction, cooperation and association, which positive perceptions of the country might bring about. However, following the revolution of 17 February 2011, Libya has employed public relations communications in its public diplomacy efforts. Yet these efforts have not been subject to any evaluative assessment with regard to public relations communications models, methods, strategies, and themes provided to foreign publics abroad.

The key aim of this study is to provide an enriched understanding of Libyan institutions’ public relations practices post 2011 revolution, utilizing the interpretivist paradigm and inductive reasoning due to a lack of previous studies addressing Libyan public relations practices for public diplomacy purposes. Content analysis and interviews were used to investigate the behaviours, opinions, and attitudes of public relations practitioners in Libyan institutions in Egypt and the UK.

Anholt’s Nation Brand theory and Grunig’s Excellence theory are proposed as a theoretical framework used to gain a comprehensive understanding of the practice of public relations adopted by Libyan institutions. The findings indicate that this practice depends heavily on a one-way communication model aimed at publicity that concentrates on two key themes: People and Governance. Two image-repair strategies have been utilized by these institutions: the reduction of offensiveness and corrective action. However, the findings also suggest that Libyan institutions in Egypt and the UK do not employ any evaluation strategies to assess the success of their public relations efforts.

The study concludes that Libyan public relations practice has not adopted the new concept of public diplomacy in its communication efforts; instead, it has adopted the old, narrow concept of public diplomacy: providing information to that public, most likely through the publicity model.

The study is the first to present a comprehensive understanding of the practice of public relations of Libyan institutions abroad. The theoretical framework may be utilized for future academic studies concerning the converging relationship between public relations and public diplomacy. The study also offers a set of recommendations to improve public relations practices in Libyan institutions abroad.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Depositing User: Khalid S Abdulaziz Abdalla
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2018 08:22
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:07

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