A Uses and Gratification Approach to the Usage of Social Media for Public Relations Management at Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS)

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Date

2022-10

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Daystar University School of Communication

Abstract

The study examined a uses and gratification approach to the usage of social media for public relations management with a particular emphasis on Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIs). From literature review, it is evident that corporate organizations that are taking advantage of technological advancements to design and use social media to attain and maintain good public relationships management and service delivery remain flexible amid the changes in the business environment. Therefore, long term benefits are only gained when the established strategy aligns with the new technological changes to ensure that the strategy is adopted and implemented within the required period as well as the proper timing of the market shift. As such, the study objectives were; to examine the motive of using social media for public relations management at KEPHIs, to find out the main gratification of using social media among KEPHI’s publics as a public relations management tool and, to establish the challenges associated with usage of social media (Facebook and Twitter) for public relations management at KEPHIs. The study reviewed relevant literature from previous studies done on social media usage and strategies and what their findings were in regard to organizational public relations management and users’ gratification. For this study, the users and gratification theory was used as the appropriate theory because it incorporates the three main attributes of technological adoption processes in an organization’s public relations management with regard to users’ approach of such technologies. These attributes are first, that media user is motivated and goal oriented, second, users select media based on their expectations that it will meet specific needs, third, media use is driven by individual social and psychological factors and lastly that media competes with other forms of communication for selection and use. This research used mixed methods to examine a user’s and gratification approach to the usage of social media for public relations management. This method was appropriate because its design gave room to the presentation of larger spectrum of divergent views and the mixed method approach allows for stronger interpretations based on the findings. The examination adopted a descriptive research design where data was collected using questionnaires and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and presented using frequency tables. The descriptive research design was also used because the problem was specific and well defined. Questionnaires were used to obtain quantitative data on the subject with the aim of having facts on the situation. Interview of key informants in social media usage and gratification, public relations management and stakeholder communication were also carried out to get more information from authorities in the field. Analysis of social media pages including Facebook and Twitter at KEPHIs was used to determine public relations and dissemination of the content including feedback processes and engagements. In conclusion, advancement of technology especially in the areas of information access has opened a window of opportunity for organizations by providing an endless array of potential interactions with publics as well as management for relations. This gives a vital reason for corporate organizations to explore and understand how such social media platforms satisfies the informational needs of the users which is the reason for further studies regarding users and gratification on use of social media strategies for public relations management.

Description

MASTER OF ARTS in Communication

Keywords

Uses, Gratification, Social Media, Public Relations, Public Relations Management, (KEPHIS)

Citation

Kimosop.R.J(2022).A Uses and Gratification Approach to the Usage of Social Media for Public Relations Management at Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) :Daystar University School of Communication(Thesis)