Vol. 2, No. 1 – Summer 2000

 

Activism and International Public Relations:  ... – Ali Kanso and James G. Duffy
Communication and Community:  Two Experiences of Consultation – Margie Comrie
What Outcomes should Public Relations Education Provide? – Gael Walker
The Ways of Words.  Language, Culture and Society and ... – Elisabeth Patz
The Role of Public Relations Professionals in Corporate ... – Carol J. Steiner and Leeora Black
Citizen’s Juries:  Reclaiming Public Opinion from the ... – Rose S Macbeth and David McKie
New Trends in Public Relations – John Allert
The ‘Ad Value’ of PR? – Jim Macnamara
Introductory Education in Public Relations at Australian ... – Jane Johnston and Clara Zawawi
Organisational Communication in India:  Refocussing ... – K K Jayan
SEQ2001 Regional Planning Project’s Public Relations Initiatives – Tracey Griffin
Case Study:  Millennium Bug Insurance...  Australian Securities and Investments Commission
Book Review


Activism and International Public Relations:  The Case of Freeport-McMoRan in Indonesia

Ali Kanso and James G. Duffy

As emerging markets expand, international public relations practitioners will be involved in projects in lesser-developed countries (LDCs).  Economic development of LDCs is inexorably linked to natural resource concerns.  Therefore, the practitioner must develop plans that not only consider the social needs of the host country and the corporate needs of the client, but must also satisfy environmental and natural resources concerns.  This article unites theory to practise by analysing Grunig and Hunt’s two-way symmetric model of public relations and Freeport-McMoRan’s operations in Irian Jaya, Indonesia.  The authors call practitioners’ attention to the significance of environmental activism and suggest the use of a two-way symmetric model of public relations rooted in a polycentric orientation.

 

Communication and Community:  Two Experiences of Consultation

Margie Comrie

This study uses public consultation projects by a city council to examine the mechanics of ‘dialogue’ or symmetrical communication in action.  A number of local authorities in New Zealand are going well beyond statutory requirements to involve the public in decision-making, but some of their communication efforts have been sharply criticised.  These contrasting case studies from Christchurch in New Zealand demonstrate the complexities inherent in achieving symmetrical communication with communities.  In both cases the strategic intent was to receive and act on public feedback.  One failed, the other succeeded.  The paper explores some reasons why, throwing light on elements of communication strategy and tactic making in practice.  The cases illustrate Mintzberg’s (1987) contention that frequently strategies emerge, rather than being formally planned.  They also reinforce the importance of attending to communication basics.

 

What Outcomes should Public Relations Education Provide?

Gael Walker

This paper concentrates on the outcomes practitioners and educators want from public relations education.  The results of a major survey of practitioners and educators were analysed in a specialist workshop at a National Communication Association Conference to identify what these two groups desired from entry-level and advanced-level practitioners and to compare this with what they actually found.  The surprising result is that there was a great deal of agreement between educators and practitioners about the outcomes they would like from public relations education.  In general, practitioners and educators agreed that current public relations education is on track in that students are learning what they should and what they need but both groups believed that improvements could be made.

 

The Ways of Words, Language, Culture and Society and Some Implications for Communication

Elisabeth Patz

This paper seeks to underpin practical professional language usage, such as in Public Relations, with a framework of language as a cultural and social phenomenon.  It gives a brief overview of some aspects of the link between language, thought and culture, the issue of variety within a language and the matter of social judgement based on language usage.  It then relates these aspects to communication across language and cultural boundaries by reference to translations and English as a global language.

 

The Role of Public Relations Professionals in Corporate Strategic Planning in Australia:  Educational Implications

Carol J. Steiner and Leeora Black

This paper reports empirical research about how senior managers in large Australian organisations view and use public relations.  The evidence suggests few Australian organisations practice “symmetric public relations” which we understand to be based on power sharing with stakeholder groups.  To us, seeking symmetry in public relations means encouraging stakeholder participation in decisions, especially in corporate strategic planning.  We see a role for public relations professionals in facilitating that participation but doubt that current approaches to public relations education adequately prepare graduates for that role.  We suggest his may be due to how we understand “communication”.

 

Citizen’s Juries:  Reclaiming Public Opinion from the marketers and Pollsters

Rose S Macbeth and David McKie

This article introduces the concept of Citizens’ Juries and proposes that the model is a more ethical public opinion gathering method than current virtual polling methods. It discusses the background and international use of Citizens’ Juries and outlines the ability of this model to equalise the relationship between researchers and their subjects.  It goes on to argue that Citizen’s Juries are a particularly useful symmetrical communication strategy for professionals involved in issues management and community policy planning.  Finally it illustrates the success of the strategy in action through a case study from the Waikato Citizens’ Jury held in July 1999.

 

New Trends in Public Relations

John Allert

It is time for public relations practitioners and educators to not only take a hard look at the changes going on in the marketplace, but also to redefine their roles in this brave new world of international business.  What we need to be doing to survive in the new millennium is to change the paradigm in public relations from the communication practice of conveying information to that of building coalitions.

 

The ‘Ad Value’ of PR?

Jim Macnamara

The struggle for legitimacy of any management discipline or practice centres around demonstrating that it adds value to the field it seeks to serve.  In today’s efficiency-seeking business and professional world, if an activity does not add value, it stands to be eliminated.

 

Organisational Communication in India:  Refocussing on the Function of the House Magazine

K K Jayan

There is a strong case for an alterative approach to public relations.  Since public relations is primarily a communication exercise, developments in human communication have a bearing on public relations activities as well.

 


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