Vol 13 No 1 - 2012


A new crisis type: management-induced crisis (MIC) and the Qantas lockout - Damian John Gleeson

Developing risk-literate public relations: threats and opportunities - Chris Galloway

Examining Perceptions about Public Relations: A Study among Communication Scholars and Public Relations Practitioners in Bangladesh - Habib Mohammad Ali & Sudhangshu Shekhar Roy

The Distinction Between Lobbying and Advocacy in Health; The Framework Developed for The Royal Australasian College of Physicians to Address the Specific Characteristics of Medical Practitioner Involvement in Public Policy


We are fortunate to able to publish in Volume 13 edition one of the Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal a mix of academic and professional papers each covering broad issues affecting public relations in our region.

Ali and Roy's paper examines public relations in Bangladesh. It defines the practice in traditional terms but has done so while charting the profession's growth in this developing nation and makes valid predictions of public relations practice and the need of education . The authors acknowledge that there is much work to be done in both these areas.

In developing risk-literate public relations Dr Chris Galloway has identified the very minor role that has so far been attributed to risk communication in the public relations lexicon of practice. Galloway's questions where is the public relations practitioner situated in the risk mandate and concludes that developing a better working understanding of risk with other risk professionals can only enhance PR's role in the in risk communication.

Some authors have claimed that over half of organisational crises stem from management. Gleeson's paper takes up this point and seeks to expand the crisis communication typology with management-induced crisis. His excellent example of the Australian airline, QANTAS's lockout of 2011, supports this and the analysis of the outcome lends weight to his contention that such a 'strategy' may ultimately deliver long term benefits to the organisation.

Sasha Grebe, Director Professional Affairs, HR & Advocacy for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has written a practitioner paper that will shed light on the policy process and how that process affects and is affected by key stakeholders. The RACP approach to policy involvement described in Grebe's paper provides a template for not only professional associations lobbying in cognate areas but is instructive in how, as noted by Shergold, to influence 'capital P' policy.

The 7th World Public Relations Forum 2012 is to be held in Melbourne, Australia on18-20 November. This will be a rare opportunity for practitioners and academics in public relations to meet, converse and hear some of the best minds in the contemporary world of public relations. For the first time a Research Colloquium is to be held as part of the conference and will take place on 18 November.

The inaugural research colloquium brings together international participants who will discuss, debate and examine contemporary and future issues of communication without borders. It is a unique opportunity to hear the latest research on corporate social responsibility, social media, international education and global public relations.

You can register now for the WPRF and the Colloquium at this address:

Mark Sheehan
Deakin University

A new crisis type: management-induced crisis (MIC) and the Qantas lockout

Damian John Gleeson

University of New South Wales

Organisational crises include financial scandals, hostile take-overs, and industrial confrontations. Existing clusters or crises typologies do not adequately explain a situation where management actions are an intentional catalyst for crisis intensity. This paper expands upon Coombs's (2004) three cluster crisis typology and proposes a new category of intentional crisis: management-induced crisis (MIC). Such a crisis typically threatens the organisation's immediate viability in a strategy, but aims to bring about longer term benefits. An example is Australia's largest airline, Qantas, which intentionally locked out its employees and grounded its fleet in late October 2011. Through this MIC Qantas successfully coaxed the Australian Government to intervene, paving the way for resolution of an otherwise chronic unstable situation.

Developing risk-literate public relations: threats and opportunities

Chris Galloway

Swinburne University of Technology

This paper argues that without a commitment to developing "risk literacy" in public relations, Palenchar's positioning of risk communication as "one of the stronger contributions to the public relations body of knowledge" (2010, p. 448) is undermined because the contribution is relatively untapped. Risk literacy is a sufficient familiarity with risk studies and risk communication research to enable them to be applied in productive conjunction with more traditional approaches to risk issue campaigns. It is vital because when it comes to risk, "some forms of communication enhance understanding; others don't" (Gigerenzer, 2002, p.32). Academics daring enough to expand their disciplinary vision could help produce risk-literate graduates, but would need to adapt curricula. Risk-literate practitioners would pay more attention to the antecedent phenomena of risk perceptions and anxieties that may be the root of the issues and crises they and their clients face. But such changes would spotlight an identity issue for PR: what is its role when other professionals with a specific risk or risk communication mandate are involved? The paper proposes a strategy based on cross-disciplinary partnerships. It concludes that risk-literacy would credential PR's involvement and build recognition of risk communication's place in the public relations canon, thereby supporting Palenchar's assessment.

Examining Perceptions about Public Relations: A Study among Communication Scholars and Public Relations Practitioners in Bangladesh

Habib Mohammad Ali

East West University, Bangladesh


Sudhangshu Shekhar Roy

University of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Public relations is the art and science of establishing relationships, monitoring and assessing public attitudes, and maintaining mutual relations and understanding between an organization and its stakeholders. It is particularly important in the area of public affairs, community relations, issues management, crisis management and media relations. However, wide-spread negative attitudes create misunderstanding about this profession, which ultimately degrade the status of this job. This paper aims to deconstruct the negative perceptions of public relations through examining the views of communication scholars and public relations practitioners of Bangladesh. The authors have also discussed theoretical and ethical perspectives of this profession.




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