Practice Fields in Public Relations: The Panorama of Turkey

by Ümit Arklan (Volume editor)
©2017 Edited Collection 466 Pages


Public relations is a wide field of practice that encompasses the communicative processes carried out by the organization’s internal and external stakeholders. Due to its multidisciplinary nature, it is in touch with many topics and fields, which necessitates viewing the concept of public relations from a wide and sophisticated perspective as well as handling it through different dimensions. The study focuses on public relations topics and incorporates, within this context, 20 fields of practice, each of which has been detailed in a separate chapter. In addition to handling the general status of the mentioned fields in international literature, it makes efforts to present the panorama of Turkey, making evaluations about Turkey in particular.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Relationship Management in the Context of Proverbs: The Case of Turkey (Cengiz Anık / Ayşe Gül Soncu)
  • Strategic Communication Management in Turkey (Erdem Taşdemir / Emre Ş. Aslan)
  • A View of Corporate Identity and Image in Turkey (Fatma Geçikli)
  • Reputation Management as a Strategic Practice of Public Relations in the Frame of Turkey (Hasan Güllüpunar)
  • Organizational Perception Management (OPM) Perspective for Public Relations Managers: A Review of International Literature and Turkish Studies (Ömer Lütfi Antalyalı)
  • Issue Management Studies From Turkey’s Perspective: The Case of Cargill Turkey (Vesile Çakır)
  • Risk Management: The Rising Philosophy of Public Relations in Turkey (Derya Öcal)
  • Crisis Management as a Practice Field of Public Relations: A Turkish Perspective (Mustafa Akdağ)
  • Rumour Management in Organisations in Terms of Public Relations: An Overview of Turkey (Erdal Eke / Ramazan Erdem)
  • Total Quality Management in Public Relations from the Perspective of Turkey’s Cultural Codes (Ahmet Sait Özkul)
  • Media Relations in Public Relations: A Perspective of Turkey (Ümit Arklan / Nurullah Zafer Kartal)
  • Internet and Social Media Management: A Turkey-Based Perspective (Hatice Baysal)
  • The Importance of Event Marketing in Public Relations in Turkey (Zekiye Tamer Gencer)
  • Corporate Social Responsibility as a Public Relations Practice to Satisfy Social Expectations: A General view of Turkey (Fuat Ustakara)
  • Sponsorship in the Context of Public Relations and Sponsorship Applications in Turkey (Ömer Bakan)
  • Political Public Relations in Turkey: The Applications of the Justice and Development Party in the November 1, 2015 General Elections (Şükrü Balcı)
  • Lobbying as a Public Relations Method Affecting Political Authority and Lobbying Implementations in Turkey (Mehmet Sezai Türk)
  • A Study on International Public Relations and Perspective of Turkey (Emel Tanyeri Mazıcı)
  • Financial Public Relations Applications done via Internet in Turkey: Content Analysis on Trade Banks that are Members of the Istanbul Stock Exchange (Ayça Çekiç Akyol / Mevlüt Akyol)
  • Marketing Communication and Public Relations in Turkey (Kazım Özkan Ertürk)
  • About the Authors

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Public relations is a wide field of practice that encompasses the communicative processes carried out by the organization’s internal and external stakeholders. Due to its multidisciplinary nature, it is in touch with many topics and fields, which necessitates viewing the concept of public relations from a wide and sophisticated perspective as well as handling it through different dimensions. In terms of the dimensions it possesses, public relations is an area comprising a wide range of fields of practice, each of which is of great importance for the organizational structures. These fields of practice are just like the complementary pieces of a puzzle which contribute to each other from different aspects, while having divergent courses that range from the goals desired to be achieved to the patterns of practice. Showing each field the interest they deserve with an elaborative point of view, completely fulfilling their requirements, and actualizing the manners of approaching, activities and processes which are suited to their nature all prove to be a golden key to the success of the organizational structure in general and the relevant field in particular in understanding and practising public relations.

The study in your hand focuses on the fields of practice in public relations and incorporates, within this context, 20 fields of practice, each of which has been detailed in a separate chapter. In addition to handling the general status of the mentioned fields in international literature, it makes efforts to present the panorama of Turkey, making evaluations about Turkey in particular. In addition, all the chapters in the study are painstakingly interpreted from the point of view of public relations and complement each other in such a way as not to disrupt the public relations integrity. In this way, the study has the characteristics of a comprehensive public relations book.

In fact, the fields of practice in public relations have been the subject of the courses carried out under different names at different undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels in many countries around the world. However, there is no basic work that covers all of the practice areas of public relations, which can be used in these courses. This study which has been prepared on the basis of current information on public relations has the potential to be an important resource for the academicians working in the field of public relations, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, professionals in the field, and those interested in public relations, filling an important gap in this area of study.

The authors contributing to this study as a collective work are academics who are experts in the field working at different universities in Turkey. During the ← 9 | 10 → sharing of the topics in the book, it was shown ultimate attention for the authors to assume the authorship of the chapters appropriate for their field of study and expertise. The chapters which emerged following a detailed and intensive literature review were revised again after a detailed editorial review and finalized by making the necessary corrections.

A great number of people have contributed to this study, which is the product of a long-term and meticulous work. In this sense, I would like to express my gratitude to the authors of the chapters, first of all, who devoted a considerable part of their time to this work for a long time and shared their knowledge and expertise with us, and then to my wife Betül and my sons Oğuz Kağan and Yağız Balamir, all of whose support I always feel, for their sacrifice and patience they showed, to Research Assistant Nurullah Zafer Kartal for his contributions during the preparation process, and finally to all the publishing house staff who took on various tasks during the process of making the study into a book and then releasing it to the readers.

May 2017
Associate Professor Ümit Arklan

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Cengiz Anık* & Ayşe Gül Soncu **

Relationship Management in the Context of Proverbs: The Case of Turkey


The notion of relationship reveals plenty, like many other concepts, but it becomes incapable of explaining itself. The relationship between parents is different from their relationship with children. Peer-to-peer relationships are even more different. Each kind of relationship, be it with a fellow passenger, a waiter in a restaurant, a sales clerk when shopping, a seatmate on the bus, or a coworker in the workplace, is different from the other. When applying for a job, for instance, one is supposed to manage a different relationship in every encountered phase. Such different contingencies are expressed by the notion of relationship. The default correlation between two variances is also explained with the concept of relationship.

It is even vaguer to mention the management of the relationship concept, which describes an unclear socio-psychological state which is ambiguous in itself. The concept of management is also uncertain. So many functions are described as management concepts, such as operating a mechanism, leading a team to win, procuring goods, serving in a workplace, ensuring a happy and peaceful family life, supporting people who resist unfairness, calming an angry person down, guiding a person who does not have the ability of self-government, conducting the masses in a political context, directing corporate function, and so on. It is obvious that composing an explanatory and descriptive academic study with these two undetermined concepts is difficult.

However, the aim of this study is not to offer a conceptual model. Although the present work uses data from the disciplines of sociology and social psychology, it does not go beyond the scope and limits of communication science, or rather the public relations discipline. Within this scope and its limits, the axiom of this study is that there is influence in every case in which humans exist and between the factors that constitute society. This influence is the result of interaction and communication. The name of this dynamism is social relationship. In accordance ← 11 | 12 → with this axiomatic background, our hypothesis is that maintaining and managing relations with the public is formed by the public relations function in every institution. According to the predictions of this hypothesis, the function of public relations is an independent variable and the management of institutions’ relations with the public is a dependent variable. We have attempted to test this hypothesis by four ideas.

The first idea examines how a network with harmonious connections between visible and invisible elements of society comes into existence. The connections of this network are established by interaction and communication between social factors. Social relations can be observed from this interaction and communication.

The second concerns the notion that the intention concept—a criterion of communication and interaction—should be understood so that the relation, which is composed of interaction and communication, can be managed and activated.

The third idea states that it is indispensable that institutions and the public mutually influence and affect each other. If the relation is managed and arranged while communicating, the efficiency of public relations is performed between institutions and the public. It can be asserted that the intention concept characterizes whether institutions and the public are managed in compliance with public relations.

The fourth and final idea explains that one of the communication sources which regulates social relation is proverbs. Proverbs carry traces of intention about what institutions, their internal and external environment, and the public may have in their minds. We posit that it is crucial to have a sound grasp of the proverbs that construct our social mindset and to take them into consideration.

We will try to clarify our hypothesis by analyzing these four ideas. According to this, this study problematizes how the public mind is regulated by social values while institutions establish their relations with public. To make this clear, we attempt to articulate and correlate intention, relation management and proverbs subjects with social influence. As a factor of social mindset construction, proverbs have roles in public relations activities and intended success in relation management. Thus, the aim of this study is to distinguish these roles played by proverbs. If achieved, this will create an opportunity to establish connections between common intentions and institutions’ intentions. In this process, public relations have strategic roles.

1. Social Relationship as Interaction Means

Sociology starts from the basic antecedent that humans cannot exist alone and will always be in a group. Sociology focuses on the relations of the mutual actions ← 12 | 13 → and reactions of people, groups and institutions (Lundberg et al., 1970:5). The factors constituting society act upon expectations from one another and interaction arises from these acts. Social life is regulated by interpersonal or intergroup relations (Lundberg et al., 1970:5);

Thus, the scope of sociology is extremely wide, ranging from the analysis of passing encounters between individuals on the street to the investigation of international processes (Giddens, 2000:2). The factors constituting society not only affect each other but they also affect themselves. (Tolan, 1985:422). Because reaction to a stimulus causes a response reaction, interaction is always fostered by social factors. This interconnected and dependent characteristic of social factors in social environment gives them the quality of “symbiotic community” (Nirun, 1991:19). This collaboration can be organized as conscious, planned as unconscious, and be prompted in a spontaneous way. As a result, “the society arises from factors which are fundamentally different but totally and inevitably related to each other” (Layder 2013:42).

There is social influence underlying social psychology (Aranson et al., 2012:30). Social influence, in brief, explains that people change their emotions, opinions, attitudes, manners and behaviors as a result of interaction with other people and groups. This change “can be seen in any case when it becomes foundations of reference frame which specify an individual’s behaviour in that moment. Individuals usually find the foundations of reference frame in their groups. A group consists of individuals who have mutual certain status and role relations for a specific time period. Group is also a social unit that has values and norms regulating the members’ behavior” (Şerif and Şerif, 1996:159). People have different impressions about how they and others are affected. (Hogg and Vaughan, 2006:270). Thus, they are aware of how they affect a person or group that they interact with and of how they are affected by that person or group. Beside this, social life does not only consist of this kind of conscious and controlled interaction types. Another important issue that concerns social influence is norms. Norms specify behavioral patterns, minimize uncertainty and inspire confidence in the individual.

Social control mechanisms, which are sociologically considered to be more significant, exert the same influence by surrounding the individual. With informal and formal types, the concept of social control is a mechanism (Eserpek, 1979:160–162) which prevents the breaking of rules by using various remunerations and penalizing processes and is driven to keep order in society. This concept binds ← 13 | 14 → people together and ensures that behavior principles and values are respected. Hence, social control is an indicator of the extent to which social order is established (Horwitz, 1990:9). Therefore, social control is one of the most significant factors that modern societies have inherited from (Davis, Stasz, 1990:3–12) their traditional counterparts. Proverbs, folk poems and wise sayings can be shown as the most dramatic examples.

Individuals conform to others’ behavior because they also behave in the same way and comply with what others wish or expect of them. These kinds of conformity and compliance are usually conscious and voluntary. Group norms and social control mechanisms involuntarily direct social relations because they are suppressed and infused into them during the socialization process. The individual does not doubt the reality, accuracy, and goodness of group norms and social control mechanisms. That is why s/he unconsciously and involuntarily conforms and complies with the said norms. For this reason, conformity and compliance established by group norms and social control mechanisms are more influential and perpetual in comparison with the conformity and compliance imposed by an external authority. Thus, both social factors should be considered in relationship management.

2. Communication and Interaction in The Context of Relationship Management

Communication is defined as exchange of data or information between two devices. This conceptual mechanism is attributed to the mass media by inspiring phone calls. Schramm (1972) offered a model by associating the concepts of source, encoder, signal, decoder and destination. Although Schramm (1963:1) is one of the communication scientists who emphasize that communication science is not a science like physics or economics, this modelling stonewalled the processing of communication style to model it in a different way. According to him, communication is an extraordinary science and a crossroads at which many disciplines have coincided, met and united. Communication is a secure way to understand humans’ behaviors as well as human-activity-created groups and societies. That is why, if communication is not understood, it is not possible to understand human behavior (Schraamm, 1963:1).

There is no doubt that communication is not only speech or writing. Human communication manifests itself better in nonverbal communication. The most important parameters of nonverbal communication are gestures, mimicry, actions, and meanings attributed to many kinds of nonverbal communication, objects and spaces. These are social interaction media that should be taken into ← 14 | 15 → consideration (Ruesch and Beteson, 1972:39). Each social appearance attributes meanings through cultural codifications such as salutations, handshaking, dress, apparel and style, all of which have a specific communication value. There is no possibility to understand communication without understanding nonverbal communication and silent language (Hall, 1965). Signs that disadvantaged people like the deaf and the blind use, indicators, like pantomime, ballet and religious rites and meanings, ascribed meanings to buildings, squares and spaces by specific objects are more important parameters than newspapers, television and radio as nonverbal communication types (Ruesch and Beteson, 1972:40). Nonverbal–silent mediatic mechanisms make communication possible in many situations in which words remain incapable.

Briefly, the existing conceptual mechanism is useful for communication that uses mass communication devices, but it is inadequate to depict communication between people. Every human has a relationship with another human. This axiom involves two results. The first result is that the relationship between two humans is either a communication or an interaction. This kind of relationship does not exist for any other creature (Anık, 2015:24–25). The second result is that human beings should make their relationships real by a mediatic mechanism. According to this, the concepts of relationship, communication, interaction and media create a conceptual mechanism that should be modelled.

To model this conceptual mechanism, a schema can be offered about how to make a correlation with these four concepts:

Figure 1: Anık’s relationship model

According to this schema, human beings are both the subject and object of information. They are at the same time both the subject of influencer–transmitter and the object of influenced–transmitted (Foucault, 1966). Accordingly, the relationship is realized every time by people, groups and institutions as each of them are partners. A mediatic mechanism should be used to make the relationship real between each partner. Every relation or interaction that is realized by a mediatic mechanism is communication.

Interaction defines that each partner reveals either an influence, deed or an action. Whatever its qualification, this action makes way for a dynamism and ← 15 | 16 → causes an influence, deed or action in response. However, this dynamism is not always communication. If dynamism does not create any intention and people do not purpose any act—in other words, if there is no intentionality—then it can be classed as interaction. But it cannot be referred to as communication. Every interaction does not mean communication. However, it can be asserted that every communication is an output of interaction or that it shapes interaction.

At this point, the concepts of intention and intentionality should be added to the communication process. These concepts specify which action is interaction or communication. Then, the schema shown above should be re-arranged:

Figure 2: Anık’s communicative relationship model

The qualification of this communication process can be applied to every kind of communication from intra-communication to (inter) person–group, person–institution and mass communication. Communication means cooperation, mutual interaction, and mutual mobilization. The media concept, which is the plural of medium, is a mechanism of indicators system and is different from the concepts of apparatus, tool, vehicle and instrument. The intentionality concept characterizes relation (Anık, 2014:220–222). Human is an existence that influences himself and is influenced by himself. S/he is both subject and object at the same time. Thus, s/he creates “I” and “me” identities together at the same time. Meanwhile, s/he is a teleologic and axiological existence that creates harmonious relations between “I” and “me”.

Human existence is influenced by environment as well as influencing it. In some situations, a person is influenced but does not influence. Much the same people are influenced by the sun or wind but they are not capable of influencing them in return. On the other hand, the human as an object human existence is constructed by the social environment and simultaneously constructs the social environment as a subject. In this interaction process, all factors of society and the natural environment are communication sources. Although they are a communication source for themselves, their environment and people, this kind of interaction is not communication. Interaction becomes communication only when every influence builds mutual intention between partners. Also, this intention should ← 16 | 17 → lead to a cognitive preparation, planning, envisioning and scheme to present a specific action. After this cognitive preliminary preparation, if a human has a certain intentionality—in other words, if s/he is cognitively ready to act—then it can be designated as a communication behavior. Therefore, if a human does not have an intention, it cannot be described as communication even if there is an interaction.

In this context, when the communication act is articulated the intention and intentionality concept is used as a qualifier of communication, thus the communication act becomes prominent. According to this, the communication act is not an exchange of messages between receiver and sender. Message exchange by mass media is interaction in many respects, at least in the context of feedback. This kind of interaction usually does not lead to communication. That is why it has been long said that a broadcast can influence its audiences, readers and listeners but their consumers do not have the ability to reciprocate. This relation type is not equal to a communication act between two partners in daily life even though there is an interaction between sender and receiver. In other words, the masses influence broadcasts after a while but the relation between broadcaster and audience is not a communication act; it is mass interaction.

Referring to this evaluation, public relations activities as a technique of institutional communication management should be reframed. Institutions are approved, accepted, and shown favor with various activities by their publics. However, to decide which institutional activity is appropriate for public relations activity the institutions should firstly determine a) what contributes to that approval, acceptance and favor; and b) to what extent their intentions correspond to them. Otherwise, there would be only interaction between institutions and the public. To decide whether this interaction is communication, one must examine the correspondence between the respective intentions of the institutions and the public.

3. Public Relations as Management Effectiveness of Institutional Relation

Relationship management is defined as a public relations practice that clarifies benefits, values, and judgements between the consumer, the institution and its audience. The purpose of this practice ensures mutual trust, reconciliation and collaboration (Hutton, 2004:16). Thus, all sides win.

The relationship concept first attracted attention in public relations in the middle of the 1980s (Bruning and Galloway, 2003:310). Some time later, Cutlip, Center and Broom (1994:6) defined public relations as “the management function that establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the publics on whom its success or failure depends.” Ehling (2005:648) ← 17 | 18 → states that with this definition, public relations no longer has the function of shaping opinion, attitude, image, impression and beliefs. It would not be wrong to evaluate this transformation as passing from communication management to relationship management.

Ledingham and Bruning (2000:xiii) mention relationship management in public relations as an indicator of what public relations is, what it does and what it should do. Relationship management brings up some problems to the agenda relating to the role of public relations in an organizational structure and society. They emphasize the benefits generated not only for the sponsoring organizations but also for the publics the said organizations serve and the societies in which they exist. The relationship management perspective holds that public relations balances the interests of organizations and publics through the management of organization–public relationships. Within this perspective, public relations is seen as “from the view of relationship management, public relations is defined as a management function which is responsible for establishing and maintaining relationships between target group and organization based on mutual benefit” (Cutlip et al., 1994:2).

“The proper term for the desired outcomes of public relations practice is civil relations. An organization with effective public relations will attain positive public relationships” (Center and Jackson, 1995:2). Moreover, the relation perspective is consistent with the function that public relations initiatives should generate understanding and benefit for both organizations and publics. Ledingham and Bruning (1998:62) offered the following: “[An organization–public relationship is] the state which exists between an organization and its key publics, in which the actions of either can impact the economic, social, cultural or political well being of the other”. Broom et al. add that “relationships consist of the transactions that involve the exchange of resources between organizations…and lead to mutual benefit, as well as mutual achievement” (2000:91). The relationship between organization and public is represented by interaction, transaction, changing patterns, and connection between organization and public. Connected relationships vary from the identities of individual and social groups to their subjective perceptions and features. In this dynamic variability, organization–public relation can be analyzed and followed through certain points (Broom et al.,1997:18).

According to Ledingham (2001b:286), “There are four pivotal developments which spurred emergence of the relational perspective as a framework for public relations study, teaching, and practice”. He offered the following:

The theory of relationship management has the following criteria:

Moreover, the theory shows that if the relationship of organization and public is planned, focused on mutual benefits and interests, and conducted effectively as oriented management, a mutually beneficial and symmetrical relationship emerges.

Ledingham and Bruning (1998:62) operationalized five relevant dimensions: trust, openness, involvement, investment, and commitment. In that typology, trust is operationalized as an organization “doing what it says it will do” and openness is seen as “sharing the organization’s plans for the future with public members.” Involvement is described as “the organization being involved in the welfare of the community,” investment as “the organization investing in the welfare of the community,” and commitment as “the organization being committed to the welfare of the community”. Finally, loyalty is defined as “organisational involvement in and support of the community in which it operates can engender ← 19 | 20 → loyalty toward an organisation among key publics when that involvement/support is known by key publics”.

Ledingham and Bruning then explored the linkage between those dimensions and public perceptions, attitudes, and choice behavior, finding that public awareness of an organization’s support for the community is associated with a favorable predisposition toward that organization. Ledingham and Bruning (1998:63) also found that consumers who ranked an organization highly with regard to the five relationship dimensions were more likely to use that organization’s services when given a competitive choice. Based on the results, they posited a theory of loyalty that: “organizational involvement in and support of the community in which it operates can engender loyalty toward an organization among key publics when that involvement/support is known by key publics”. They further concluded that “what emerges is a process in which organizations must (1) focus on the relationships with their key publics, and (2) communicate involvement of those activities/programs that build the organization–public relationship to members of their key publics”. They also suggested: “To be effective and sustaining, relationships need to be seen as mutually beneficial, based on mutual interest between an organization and its significant publics,” and argued that “the key to managing successful relationships is to understand what must be done in order to initiate, develop and maintain that relationship” (Ledingham and Bruning, 1998:57).

Focus should be concentrated on the relationship concept to clarify the relationship management perspective framed in the literature. Relationship is defined as “interpersonal solidarity” (Kent and Taylor, 2004:55). The linkage concept characterizes relationships to some extent. It indicates that a relationship can have moral, economic, sensual, geographical and cultural forms. Linkage engenders mutual contact and connection and realizes interaction. It is emphasized that if that interaction is of long duration, it should be accepted as a relationship.

It has been said that short time encounters or message exchanges cannot be considered as a relationship. Five qualifications embody the relationship concept: 1) dynamism against stability; 2) openness against closure; 3) satisfaction for both the organization and the public; 4) power distribution in the relationship; 5) mutual understanding, conformity and reconciliation (Kalender, 2008:14). These qualifications of relationship are the core of public relations. Thus, organizational relationships are the parameter of perfect public relations. This perfection is determined by the quality of communication (Grunig et al., 2005:84), which compels organizations to improve their strategic management models (Grunig and Repper, 2005:133).

According to this, it should be noted that there are some concepts which hide different relationship types in their meanings. These concepts can clarify the ← 20 | 21 → relationship concept. Based on this, a sampler typology should be offered about what kind of public should be contacted/linked with/correlated to. Then, clues may be found as to what kind of relationship will be forged with the public and what that relationship will look like. This typology sheds light on relationship management applications. Also, based on this typology there would be a possibility to offer a strategic communication management model:

Figure 3: Relationship types between organizations and their publics

The notion of contact identifies the first types of relationship and is for primary relationships. It expresses closer relationships in which people can make physical contact with each other. It is also used to express face-to-face communication. According to this concept, the relationship type which public relations specialists maintained with the closest publics of their organizations is contact relationships. The closest public is the internal public, which we refer to as workers. The second closest public is the primary external public, which includes stockholders, partners, stakeholders and customers. These two publics are the target groups that are supposed to have an emotional bond with the organization. Relationships with these two publics should be maintained and managed through the creation of emotional bonds like domestic relationships. If possible, face-to-face relationships should be maintained and people should be made to feel special on certain occasions.

The second type of relationship is connection. It refers to relationships maintained by devices; i.e., interpersonal relationships that use mass media such as communication via phone, text messages, email and other devices. Although telephoning, text messaging and other forms of telecommunication are maintained with all publics, connection is mostly appropriate for public opinion and media publics. For instance, congratulating workers, stakeholders and especially partners on their birthdays does not constitute a successful communication method. ← 21 | 22 → However, a journalistic report or an informative message destined for the masses can be publicized in this way. Beside this, the connection method can be used while sending activity invitations or press releases to opinion leaders, artists, community leaders, corporate leaders, public opinion leaders and group leaders.

Linkage means being linked to a center; it defines the voluntary and involuntary links with certain sociocultural centers that institutions forge legally, politically and economically. Linkages with government agencies are the most prominent examples. Every institution has legal or illegal linkage relationships at a certain level with non-governmental organizations and opinion leaders. Relationships with these linkages should be more carefully maintained, by, for example, visiting said linkages in-person on various occasions. Moreover, legal formalities should also be managed carefully in order to avoid sanctions.

The meanings of the attachment concept—which means being related—, the dependency concept and the commitment concept are very close to each other. These concepts are basically about established relationships with workers, partners, stakeholders, customers and governmental agencies. Relationships with reciprocal contracts, legal rules and unenacted laws are usually in this frame. Although relationship types under these semantic fields are subject to certain formalities and rules, the management of maintaining these relationships is as important as other relationship types.

For instance, the management relationships of manager-employee communication or organizational communication types in an institution directly affect organizational productivity and achievement. Attachment in the meaning of being related manifests itself in superior-subordinate relationships. It also shows the importance of cross-cultural relations. The dependence concept mostly defines relationships as legally binding but it is important to understand relationships between workers and natural leaders in the workplace. Commitment corresponds to contractual obligations but there does not necessarily have to be a contract. In some situations, they are sometimes a matter of socio-cultural unwritten commitments. For example, if a manager is a lodger of his/her employee, this implicit contract affects their business relationship too. Public relations specialists and workers are supposed to know primary commitments such as stakeholders, partners, shareholders and loyal customers. They should take these details into consideration in relationship management.

Grunig and Hunt (1984:138–149) present a sampler model of this typology. They offer an organizational linkages model including five key link centers about organizations and their publics. Their model is shown as follow: ← 22 | 23 →

Figure 4: External linkages of organizations

Source: Grunig and Hunt, 1984:138

According to this, all organizations have four primary linkage types. These are enabling linkages, normative linkages, functional linkages and diffused linkages. They include clues as to how relationships should be maintained. Input and output relationships must be conducted in functional linkages. Enabling linkages which are required in order to maintain efficient relationships are crucial for the political position of the institution. Normative linkages are important for legal legitimacy while diffused linkages are important for socio-cultural legitimacy. ← 23 | 24 →

4. Turkish Proverbs as Socio-cultural Sources of Relationship Management

In this chapter, relationship management will be shown in a Turkish context. We try to present what the content of the relationships between institutions and linkage centers should be. This chapter also observes how the mindset of the socio-cultural environment—which is the activity area of every institution—is structured through proverbs.

Relationship management has the postulate that the more sensitivity, expectations and values are known about the public, the more success can be gained in the institution and its public relationships. The most important activity for any public relations department is to explore the social values of the target group. Proverbs that construct the values of the social mindset are a significant resource for relationship management; they are also one of the most important parameters of the Turkish perspective and help to explain how the socio-cultural mindset is structured.

Proverbs, which are defined as stating something commonly experienced, and public advice are an important part of social memory. Experiences that are leached away from the mind of society are carried into the future by stereotyped statements passed from mouth to mouth. It is the gene map that commits the culture, way of living, customs and common laws of nations to posterity (Tergip, 2014:276). Proverbs are accepted as the mirror of culture, and they are significant in terms of reflecting various views, thoughts and values of society (Ercan, 2014:16). Proverbs are prologues embraced by folk and they are based on our ancestry’s experiences and judgements (Aksoy, 1984:37). These prologues are turned into principles as wise thoughts and advice and they have the form of stereotypes. Proverbs are wise sayings that express the character, manner and attitude of nations. They are the products and cultural goods of the collective consciousness (Çobanoğlu, 2004:10).

Proverbs are meaningful products of a humanistic sensibility that emanates from experiences. They become a part of culture through language as long as they are conveyed in interpersonal communication processes. Because proverbs reflect people’s collected experiences, they are used in reasoning in multiple ways (Ercan, 2014:16).

As proverbs depend on experiences in historical process, they can be seen as a substantial data source in terms of analysing the lifestyle and consciousness of society. Analysing proverbs thematically reveals society’s viewpoint on a certain theme. Turkish proverbs have a wide range of themes (Ercan, 2014:16). In proverbs and idioms, it possible to find advice, warnings, satires and detractions about numerous fields ranging from humans and nature to animals and the economy. ← 24 | 25 →

Proverbs have both historical and cultural content. Relationship management from the point of public relations is set forth in that the theoretical approaches, values and expectations of the target group and all other related institutions and organizations should be known. All activities should be carried out in consideration of that data. Then we can determine the mindset of associated groups by looking at proverbs in Turkey.

In this research, the target groups of relation management are the internal public (workers), the primary external public (shareholders, stakeholders, customers), non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies, traditional and new media, opinion leaders and intellectuals. If we determine how each target group is evaluated by society, a basis for relationship management can be formed. In order to understand how each target group is defined and structured, this study employs a qualitative research method which reveals perceptions and events realistically and holistically and forms a basis for in-depth analysis. Qualitative research methods enable the thorough examination of a social event or phenomenon especially if there are “how” and “why” questions. The data has been obtained from document review as one of the qualitative methods. Document review comprises the analyses of written materials which include information about the targeted event or phenomenon. 2210 proverbs were selected by scanning dictionaries relevant to these target groups in relationship management.

4.1. The Mindset of the Inner Public Within the Context of Proverbs

“Bugünkü işini yarına bırakma.”

Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

“Akarsu çukurunu kendi kazar.”

This means that if you really want to do something and are capable of doing it, you will always find a way to do so.

“Emek olmadan yemek olmaz.”

Nothing ventured nothing gained.

“Sen ağa ben ağa, bu ineği kim sağa?”

Too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

“Ana gezer, kız gezer; bu çeyizi kim düzer.”

This means that if nobody takes on responsibility, then none of the issues can be solved.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2018 (September)
Communication Strategies Communication Management Corporate Affairs Strategic Management
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2017. 466 pp., 25 b/w ill., 33 b/w tables

Biographical notes

Ümit Arklan (Volume editor)

Ümit Arklan is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Communication at Süleyman Demirel University. He graduated from the Faculty of Communication at Selçuk University. His research fields are public relations, political communication, new communication environment and research methods.


Title: Practice Fields in Public Relations: The Panorama of Turkey