A Study of the Evolution and Growth of Public Relations Practice in Kenya

Michael Ngonyo, Caroline Oywer


Public Relations (PR), a relatively new and emerging discipline in most developing nations, dates back to human civilization. In Kenya, the practices evolution is associated with Countrys communities cultural practices and traditions even though they practiced it unconsciously. They used traditional methods for social interaction, dialoguing and solving problems through mediators who were people of influence, repute and integrity in society. These practices enhanced mutual understanding, integration and cohesion. They learnt and honed their PR through the process of socialization. Such skills were passed on from generations to generations as the first inhabitants of the present-day Kenya were hunters gatherers. The arrival of the Arab merchants in 2000 BC to the East African region, later the Christian Missionaries, and the actual colonization by the British, gave the communities interaction a different approach and led to the modernization of the practice of PR as it is known today. This study aimed at understanding the evolution and growth of public relations in Kenya. A telephone and in-depth face-to-face interviews were made to interview the 10 purposively selected retired practitioners who served during the Countrys transition to independence from the colonial rule. The findings revealed that though unconsciously, different communities in Kenya practiced PR.


Cultural and Traditional; Evolution; Missionaries; Public Relations; unconsciously.

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