The Use of Social Media by PR Practitioners and Organizations in Saudi Arabia

PhD Thesis

Alhamamy, S. 2022. The Use of Social Media by PR Practitioners and Organizations in Saudi Arabia. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Arts and Creative Industries
AuthorsAlhamamy, S.
TypePhD Thesis

This study examines and analyses how social media are being used for PR practice in Saudi Arabia, and how organizations integrate social media into their PR communication. Three research methods were consequently adopted: a survey to gather data from 117 PR practitioners, an online questionnaire conducted with 20 PR practitioners, and one-on-one interviews with senior PR managers from four organizations, and five Saudi academics. This research compares the use of social media with traditional methods of PR communication, finding that PR practitioners and organizations mainly use social media for their low cost, and prompt and wide dissemination of information. The findings also indicate Twitter as the most important and most frequently used platform across the entire study sample, followed by YouTube, and Facebook. Additionally, the findings show that the main purpose for using social media in PR in Saudi Arabia is to collect information about customers and products, but PR practitioners and organizations rarely use social media to build new relationships or to communicate with clients and stakeholders. Likewise, it was found that the use of social media did not differ across organizations of different sizes and sectors. Furthermore, the findings revealed that traditional media are valuable for PR practitioners and organizations in Saudi Arabia, with TV, radio and newspapers representing essential tools of PR communication, while social media form part of the same media pie, sharing the budget and adopting the same strategies as traditional media. Moreover, the main challenge encountered by the PR practitioners and organizations was the management of online interaction and exchange with the public. Here, the practitioners generally avoided engaging with online communities, partly due to their limited ability to develop suitable content, and partly because of their inability to use the proper Arabic dialogue or dialect as a means of engaging with the public to build and maintain relationships.

PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
File Access Level
Publication dates
Online25 Mar 2022
Publication process dates
SubmittedApr 2021
Deposited25 Mar 2022
Permalink -

Download files

License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File access level: Anyone

  • 273
    total views
  • 1685
    total downloads
  • 10
    views this month
  • 97
    downloads this month

Export as