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Title: Saang Kwaampratabjai: The Influence of Wattana-dharm Thai on Thai PR practice [Impression Building: The Influence of Thai culture on Thai PR practice]
Author(s): Srisai, Suttanipa
Supervisor(s): L'Etang, Jacquie
Hodge, Derek
Keywords: Thai PR
The Influence of culture
Thai PR practice
Thai culture
The influence of culture on Thai PR practice
Thai public relations and culture
public relations and culture
relationship in Thai styles
Buddisht PR
religion and public relations
online public relations
Thai online PR
the use of ICTs on PR practice
Thai PR occupation
ICTs and PR
technology and Thai PR
Wattana-dharm Thai and PR
Issue Date: 3-Jun-2011
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis describes how and what Wattana-dharm Thai [Thai culture] has influenced Thai PR practice through the eyes of Thai PR managers and practitioners. It also provides some background information about the evolution of Thai PR practice to link to the current Thai PR practice. The study employs a qualitative paradigm with in-depth interviews as the main method. Documentary sources are mostly used as a supplement. This thesis provides detailed qualitative data describing how Thai public relations (PR) practitioners operate in Thailand both offline and online. The findings highlighted that Wattana-dharm Thai has a strong influence on Thai PR practice. There are eight main Wattana-dharm Thai aspects that influence Thai PR practice: 1) Relationship orientation (relationships in a Thai style including Bunkhun, Pen-Mitr, and Alum aluay relationships); 2) Community-based orientation; 3) Sanook orientation; 4) Hierarchical structure; 5) Buddhist orientation, 6) Monarchy institution respect; 7) Face and eyes in society; and 8) Form over the content. Thai PR practice has an emphasis on Saang Kwaampratabjai [impression building] through Wattana-dharm Thai. For example, historically, Thais accepted westerners because they did Saang Kwaampratabjai by bringing technology and development to the country. Thais have a positive attitude toward westerners because of this history of impression. Thai PR practitioners also try to use Saang Kwaampratabjai influence the public, such as journalists and opinion leaders by offering incentives altruistically (e.g. Namjai, Bunkhun, etc). Thai PR practice Saang Kwaampratabjai based on Buddhism and their respect of the monarchy. Thai PR place an importance on details of public’s personal information to instigate Saang Kwaampratabjai. For online PR, Thai PR use Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to support Saang Kwaampratabjai. It would appear that ICTs, in part, are used to promote company’s image rather than having any practical use. Hence, the core of Thai PR is how to practice Saang Kwaampratabjai based solely on personal and social relationship. This thesis aims to fill in the gaps in knowledge relating to PR and culture. It will make a contribution to the academic literature on culture and public relations, not only in the West but globally. This will also provide a framework for Thai PR practitioners to improve and develop their work. This thesis examines culture and PR through the lens of Thai terminology and discourse facilitated by a native inside-out view moderated by the distance obtained by leaving my country for a substantial proportion of the period of the study. This distance allowed me to re-consider many taken-for-granted aspects of my own culture, as well as allowing me to take on board other cultural perspectives available in a Western but international university. Thus this thesis is in part autobiographical, product of my research journey that allowed me to engage with a range of fundamental issues central to cross-cultural living such as hierarchy, religion, political and regal institutional frameworks, and gender.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Arts and Humanities
Communications, Media and Culture

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