The purpose of this paper is to help enrich the body of knowledge of public relations by exploring the status of the practice in Kuwait. Using the generic principles of public relations, a well-known theoretical framework in the field, we study the three major types of organizations: government agencies, nonprofits and corporations.
The authors gathered data using a self-administered survey and qualitative interviews. In total, 250 questionnaires were distributed (both printed and electronic) to employees working in public relations departments in all sectors and received 66 completed responses for a response rate of 26%. In addition, the first author conducted nine elite interviews with a chief executive officer (CEO) of a non-profit organization, a CEO of public relations (PR) agency, four directors of PR department in the private sector and three directors of the PR department in governmental organizations.
The results indicate that the press-agentry and technical functions dominate PR practice in the country. However, there appears to be a slow momentum for more specialized PR practitioners, who can assist their organizations in coming up with strategies and thus help organizational effectiveness. PR in Kuwait continues to suffer reputationally including the assumption that someone with no relevant knowledge or experience can be employed and succeed.
To the authors knowledge, this is the to study the present some of the generic principles of PR in Kuwait. Therefore, this paper contributes to the PR in Kuwait body of knowledge and provides the generic principles of PR in a new cultural context to test its applicability.