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Defense of a Master’s Thesis by Maysa Omar in the Contemporary Public Relations Program

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Researcher Maysa Amjad Omar, a student in the Master’s program in Contemporary Public Relations, has defended her thesis titled “The Digital Communicative Response of the Palestinian Ministry of Health on Facebook in Light of the Crises it Experienced in 2022 and 2023.”

This study aimed to magnify the understanding of the communicative response of public relations at the Palestinian Ministry of Health during the period of 2022/2023, according to the situational theories of crisis communication, reputation restoration, and apology.

The researcher employed content analysis to uncover public relations strategies in this regard. The results revealed an advanced interest in social media, especially Facebook, in crisis management. The study also revealed a diversity of public relations strategies with a focus on persuasion through rational appeals, then education, followed by propaganda and promotion, and then facilitation. There was more focus on crises that the public can sympathize with, such as victim crises.

The results of the study highlight the importance of training public relations professionals to determine the appropriate communication response to different types of crises. The study also stresses the need to focus on the interest of the public more than the interest of the organization, with an emphasis on trust and strengthening the relationship with the public. In light of the recommendations, it is preferable to intensify efforts in communicating via Facebook during crises, and that public relations focus on cooperation and encouragement strategies to reduce the negative effects of crises. In conclusion, the study suggests a deeper analysis of the crises faced and measurement of the communicative response with a detailed study of public reactions to enhance the appropriateness of the response and promote effective interaction in the future.

The thesis was supervised by Dr. Elias Kokali. The committee of examiners included Dr. Amer Qasim and Dr. Shadi Abu Ayyash.