International Public Relations

Practices and Approaches

by Mehmet Umut Tuncer (Volume editor)
©2018 Edited Collection 278 Pages


Today, globalisation has reached its peak not only due to economic integration, but also by the multiplier effect stemmed from digital communication technologies. The concept of «global village», mentioned nearly half a century ago by Marshall McLuhan, confronts us as actual reality. Of course, this approach creates radical impact on all management practices.
Public relations is one of the management instruments which is affected most by the emergent change in approach within this context. In this volume, the authors define public relations through an international perspective within the context of both theory and practice. Consisting of fifteen sections, the book describes what intra- and extra-organisational public relation theories and practices correspond to in the present day.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • About the Editor
  • About the book
  • Citability of the eBook
  • Foreword
  • Contents
  • List of Contributors
  • Historical Dimension of International Public Relations
  • Introduction
  • Internationalization of Public Relations
  • Voluntaristic International Public Relations
  • International Public Relations of Organizations
  • International Public Relations as an Extension of Diplomacy
  • Taking Professional Development and Activities to the World Scale
  • Public Relations and Specialization
  • Public Relations and Vocational Training
  • Public Relations and Association
  • Public Relations and Ethics
  • Public Relations and Social Benefit
  • Historical Development of International Public Relations
  • Developments in Communication and Transportation
  • Increase in Global Trade
  • Emergence of Multinational Enterprises
  • International Organizations and Agreements
  • Bibliography
  • Actors of International Public Relations
  • Introduction
  • Actors of International Public Relations
  • For-Profit Corporations and State-Owned Enterprises
  • Non-profit Public and Private Organizations
  • National and International Public Relations Associations
  • Encountered Difficulties Faced by International Public Relations Activities
  • Cultural Differences in International Public Relations
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • International Social Responsibility Campaigns from Public Relations Perspective
  • Introduction
  • Concepts of Public Relations and International Public Relations
  • The Concept of Social Responsibility
  • Social Responsibility in the Internet Age
  • Internationalization of Social Responsibility Campaigns
  • Examples from International Social Responsibility Campaigns
  • H & M “Bring It” Campaign
  • Results and Discussion
  • Bibliography
  • International Crisis Communication and Public Relations
  • Introduction
  • The Concept of Crisis
  • Types of Crisis
  • Stages of the Crisis
  • Pre-crisis Period
  • Crisis Moment
  • Post-crisis Period
  • The Crisis Planning
  • The Process of Crisis Management
  • International Crises and Public Relations
  • Tylenol Crisis
  • Exxon Valdez Crisis
  • Deepwater Horizon Crisis
  • Kardak Crisis
  • The Importance of Communication and Public Relations in the Crisis
  • Bibliography
  • International Reputation Management
  • Introduction
  • The Concept of Reputation and Its Scope
  • Corporate Reputation
  • Concepts Related to the Corporate Relationship
  • Corporate Identity and Corporate Personality
  • Corporate Image
  • Principles of International Corporate Reputation Management
  • Online Reputation Management in a World with No Limits
  • Online Reputation Tools
  • International Online Reputation Management
  • Bibliography
  • Human Resources Management Practices in International Public Relations
  • Introduction
  • Human Resources Management
  • Duties of Human Resource Managers
  • Globalization of Human Resources Management
  • International Human Resources Management and Planning
  • Human Resource Finding, Selection and Placement Policies in International Human Resources Management
  • Selection of Managers in International Human Resources Management
  • Wage Policies in International Human Resources Management
  • Human Resources Management as a Part of Public Relations in International Institutions
  • Bibliography
  • Examination of Community Structure in Corporate Interaction Processes
  • Introduction
  • An Overview of the Concept of Community and Social Memory
  • Transformation of Community Structure into Network of Practice
  • Towards Corporate Community of Practices
  • On Transfer of Knowledge and Experience in Corporate Communities
  • In Lieu of Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Effects of Intercultural Communication on International Relations
  • Introduction
  • Culture
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Obstacles in Intercultural Communication
  • Intercultural Sensitivity and Its Stages
  • Competence in Intercultural Communication in Terms of International Public Relations
  • Intercultural Elements in International Public Relations
  • Bibliography
  • International Lobbyism and Public Relations
  • Introduction
  • Public Diplomacy
  • Lobbyism
  • Lobbyism Methods
  • International Lobbyism
  • Lobbyism in the U.S.
  • Lobbyism in Brussels
  • International Trusts, Cfr, Tc, Bilderberg
  • CFR (The Council on Foreign Relations)
  • Bilderberg Meetings
  • Meeting Points of Public Diplomacy, Public Relations and Lobbying Concepts
  • Lobbying by Justice and Development Party Government after the Failed Coup Attempt
  • Bibliography
  • International Politics and Public Relations
  • Introduction
  • Public Relations Support to International Politics
  • Declaration of Helsinki
  • International Politics, Strategic Public Relations, and Lobbying
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • A Research Based on Corporate Reputation of Global Companies
  • Introduction
  • International Public Relations
  • The Importance of International Public Relations in Companies
  • The Challenges Faced in the Implementations of International Public Relations
  • The Concept of Corporate Reputation and Its Importance
  • The Dimensions of Corporate Reputation
  • A Research Based on Corporate Reputation of Global Companies within the Scope of International Public Relations
  • The Aim of the Research
  • Research Sample and Content
  • The Limitations and Restrictions of the Research
  • The Method of the Research
  • The Findings of the Research
  • Future Research and Recommendations
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix 1: Assessment of the Companies in 2017 Global RepTrak® 100 ‒ The World’s Most Reputable Companies List
  • Bibliography
  • The Concept of Ethics and Public Relations Ethics as a Profession
  • Introduction
  • The Concept of Ethics
  • Ethical Methods
  • Application Areas of Ethical Standards
  • Professional Ethics
  • Public Relations Ethics
  • The Importance of Ethical Rules in Public Relations Management
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Product Placement: Semiological Analysis of Turkish and Hollywood Films in 2016
  • Introduction
  • Product Placement and Its Use in the Cinema
  • Methodology of the Research
  • Semiological Analysis of the Films
  • Video Camera: Canon
  • Camera: Nikon
  • Vehicle: Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger
  • Chocolate: Ülker/Tadelle
  • Product Placements Used in Batman v Superman: the Dawn of Justice
  • Vehicle: Jeep
  • Car: Aston Martin
  • Vehicle: Iveco
  • Mobile Phone: Microsoft 950XL Model Smart Phone
  • Alcoholic Beverage: Chateaux Margaux
  • Beverage: Coca-Cola
  • Airplane: Turkish Airlines
  • Newspapers and TV Channels
  • Wayne Finance
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography
  • Tourism, Promotion and International Public Relations
  • Introduction
  • Tourism Concept and Its Historical Development
  • Definition and Features of Tourism
  • Tourism Economy
  • Actors of Tourism Sector
  • Promotion in Tourism and Strategies of Public Relations
  • International Public Relations
  • International Promotion Techniques
  • Promotion Plan Development Strategies
  • Examples for International Public Relations and Promotion Strategies
  • Tourism Promotion Activities of Turkey
  • Tourism Promotion Organizations of Turkey
  • Bibliography
  • International Public Relations and Sponsorship
  • Introduction
  • What Is Sponsorship?
  • Position of Sponsorship in the International Communication
  • Management of International Sponsorship
  • The Functioning of International Sponsorship
  • Purposes of International Sponsorship
  • Sponsorship Application Areas
  • International Sports Sponsorships
  • International Culture-Art Sponsorships
  • International Social Sponsorship
  • International Sponsorship Policies and Public Relations Strategies of Institutions
  • Bibliography

List of Contributors

Erkan Akgöz, Phd.,
Selçuk University/Kyrgyz Turkish Manas University

Hasret Aktaş, Phd.,
Selçuk University

Hicabi Arslan, Phd.,
Adnan Menderes University

Mustafa Aslan, Phd.,
Selçuk University

Behiç Alp Aytekin, Phd.,
Adnan Menderes University

Nilay Başok, Phd.,
Ege University

Hatice Hale Bozkurt, Phd.,
Adnan Menderes University

Gül Coşkun Değirmen, Phd.,
Ege University

M. Evrim Gülsünler, Phd.,
Selçuk University

Ulzhan Koishymanova, Phd. student,
Akdeniz University

Selin Bitirim Okmeydan, Phd.,
Ege University

Ibrahim Özbükerci,
Ege University

Mine Saran, Phd.,
Ege University

Goksel Şimşek, Phd.,
Selçuk University

Başak Solmaz, Phd.,
Selçuk University

Asli Icil Tuncer, Phd.,
Adnan Menderes University

M. Umut Tuncer, Phd.,
Adnan Menderes University

Sumru Yildirim,
Adnan Menderes University

M. Umut Tuncer

Historical Dimension of International Public Relations


With the emergence of international capital flows and multinational corporations, increasing international political, economic and cultural relations and rapid developments in communication technologies, the contemporary world has become smaller and Marshall McLuhan’s “global village” definition has come true. Especially “www”, that is the World Wide Web, has brought humanity to the rise of a new era of communication by eliminating the geographical and physical distances. The “globalization era” in which economic and political interdependence is increasing rapidly, internal and external affairs in politics have blurred the boundaries of the local and international in the economic arena and of the local and intercultural in the cultural arena. In the new world formed by globalization, any event taking place beyond the nation creates serious domestic effects while local events can generate significant global repercussions (Held and McGrew, 2008: 8–10). The period of interdependence of nations has inevitably led to new approaches in communication theory and practice.

Global world order, which can be described as “think global, act local” for international organizations, stands out with the communication opportunities that it reveals as well as threats that it causes. The function of public relations which has undertaken the task establishing a balance between the institution and its environment under these conditions passed through the stages of professional change and adopted new democratic communication strategies. In this section, the processes of internationalization of public relations will be examined and information will be given about the international practice of this profession.

Internationalization of Public Relations

The history of one-dimensional public relations which has traditionally been only intended to promote has usually asymmetrical practices which are based on persuasion and for which it is not possible to talk about ethics. However, public relations as a result of interactions across national boundaries and processes of globalization differentiated from traditional forms of practice, and important changes in communication policies and communication strategies of ←11 | 12→institutions emerged. Modern public relations shaped by the impact of transparency, accountability and sustainability paradigms owe its social aspect to internationalization. However, just as globalization itself, the internationalization of public relations is also a process. For this reason, international public relations are explained by a grouping which covers the stages of professional development as well. Accordingly, international public relations can be evaluated under the following headings (Kunczik, 1992: 348–350, quoted by Okay and Okay, 2011: 270):

Voluntaristic international public relations

International public relations of organizations

International public relations as an extension of diplomacy

Taking professional development and activities to the world scale

Voluntaristic International Public Relations

Voluntarism is a libertarian movement that advocates that interpersonal relations should be based on volunteerism (Watner, 2009). Olasky (2011), a researcher of public relations, investigated public relations activities spontaneously evolving and not based on any professionalism in the 19th century to understand the developmental stages of international public relations and pointed to the examples of practice which he defined as “voluntaristic public relations”. According to Olasky (2011), one of the most prominent examples of voluntaristic public relations used for the states is Lafayette’s visit to the United States, one of the heroes of the American Revolution, in the 1820s.

Lafayette, son of a long-established family in France, went to America in 1777 to fight against the British in the American War of Independence despite all the objections of the King of France. Lafayette, a great contributor to the American Revolution, donated a large part of his wealth to the American Revolution. In France, on the other hand, he was cast away, and his property was expropriated because he was an ardent advocate of religious tolerance and equality. The difficulties Lafayette experienced in France led to a unique opportunity for the American people for public relations. Lafayette, who was invited to the United States in 1824, 50 years after the American Revolution, was welcomed with great enthusiasm by the American people. Speaking in honor of Lafayette, US Judge Toomer said “For you, we did not organize pageantries or bandsmen. Instead we embrace you with all our sincerity”. There is no central planning, organization or any contract in Lafayette’s visit to the United States (Olasky, 2011: 7–8). ←12 | 13→Organizations to welcome Lafayette were carried out by spontaneous voluntary resources within the region.

Another typical example of the practice of voluntaristic public relations in the 19th century was during the building of railways in the United States. In the 1830s, there were no public relations professionals to work in the promotion of the newly built railways. Copying and distribution of brochures and banners promoting railways were carried out by enthusiastic volunteers. The “voluntarism” period of public relations in the United States also attracted the attention of the French thinker Alexis de Tocqueville. In his book Democracy in America, published in 1835, Tocqueville, who assessed the volunteerism of the public relations in the 19th century, exemplified the solidarity and cooperation among the American people regardless of age and social status. Today, the voluntaristic period of public relations has been substituted by modern public relations and professionals. However, from time to time, it can be seen that volunteers in international public relations contribute to some activities without any charge and without any compulsion (Olasky, 2011: 9–12).

In particular, the widespread use of social media has increased the number of examples of voluntaristic public relations. Citizens preparing social networking content on various social networking sites which promote their countries on a variety of topics such as tourism, culture and education are voluntarily engaged in international public relations. There are various exemplary activities of voluntaristic international public relations not only for states but also for social affairs. Recently, attempts of international celebrities or ordinary citizens from various countries of the world to attract attention to ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) by pouring down a bucket of iced water in the social media have been catchy examples of voluntaristic international public relations. On the other side, various celebrations for sports teams and athletes with significant international success and the Turkish Day Walk held every year by Turks living in the United States are examples of voluntaristic public relations carried out without any public relations professionalism.

There are variables that will motivate people who contribute to the activity of voluntaristic international public relations that can be further diversified. These variables, which are usually emotional, have feelings of love, happiness, enthusiasm and sometimes fear. Masses participate in the activity to express their feelings. Although it has no public relations professionalism in it, international voluntaristic public relations are much more remarkable and interesting than events organized by an organization. For, there is sincerity in its source. ←13 | 14→

International Public Relations of Organizations

The definition of international organizations covers a wide range including international diplomatic organizations, non-governmental organizations, foundations and commercial institutions. International organizations whose number has been increasing in a globalizing world have become the most important actors of international economic and cultural activities. This increases the current economic and cultural concentration at the national level and makes the conditions for competition and interaction more difficult. Therefore, nowadays international organizations need public relations more than ever to develop cooperation in stakeholder relationships and to gain the approval of stakeholders.

The methods that organizations frequently use as practices related to international public relations are public relations campaigns, fairs, conventions, forums and special events. Business organizations doing business in international markets contribute to the societies of the countries in which they do business on the issues related to environment, education or health through social responsibility practices. Thus, they obtain positive reputation and corporate citizen position. They create hot contact points with their stakeholders by carrying out sponsorship campaigns. In addition to marketing goals such as sales and publicity, they also achieve communication goals such as creating a positive image through interaction opportunities with specific target groups. Another important tool that organizations use in their studies of international public relations is lobbying. Lobbying, defined as initiatives to influence decision makers indirectly or directly in the decision-making stages (Farnel, 1994: 17), is one of the international public relations methods commonly used by international organizations. Especially in the United States and Europe, lobbying has become an industry for international public relations.

International Public Relations as an Extension of Diplomacy

Diplomacy in traditional sense refers to inter-state contacts and interactions at diplomatic level in international relations. It is a state’s direct communication of its opinions and views on certain issues to decision makers of the other state (Gönlübol, 1993: 116). Diplomacy in modern sense refers to relations established by peaceful means in foreign relations of countries. From this point of view, diplomacy is the management of the international arena through communication interactions (Cull, 2009: 12). It is coordinated by diplomats or communication officers who are actively involved in foreign policy. The international actors in the diplomacy are governments, government officials, multinational ←14 | 15→corporations, various organizations, non-governmental organizations, the media and the public. The concept of “soft power” developed by Nye (2005: 15) for international relations defines a diplomacy that includes strategies for “agenda-setting and attracting” alternatively to the use of military or economic power in international relations. Accordingly, diplomacy has been idealized as “meeting in common values” centering on dialogue as an alternative to tougher forces such as military and economic sanctions (Nye, 2005: 16). It aims to develop the international reputation of the countries by developing mutual understanding (Simonin, 2008: 24).

The most useful tool of strategic diplomacy is the international public relations based on two-way communication. International public relations which stand out with special event organizations, event management and social communication campaigns in diplomacy have the function of external relations providing unique opportunities for developing good will and creating a positive image.

Taking Professional Development and Activities to the World Scale

There are a number of studies that have dealt with the development process of public relations, but these studies are far from developing a common point of view when presenting the historical development of the profession. According to a group of researchers, the history of public relations dates back to 1800 BC (see Heath, 2000: 70; Smith, 2008; Ülger, 2003: 10). Examples of this include farm bulletins for Sumerian farmers describing how to farm, celebrations according to cultural values in the territories conquered by Alexander the Great and sophisticated debates with the participation of the people in ancient Greek democracy. On the other hand, according to another group of researchers, public relations date back to the industrial revolution which emerged with the invention of the steam engine (see Cutlip, 1994; Wilcox et al., 2003; Hallahan, 1999). According to this approach, among the first examples of public relations are a US company named Virginia printing banners for the sale of a land of 50 hectares in 1620, the fundraising campaign launched in 1641 to educate Indians and the announcement of the graduation ceremony of King’s University by the press in 1748.

The most accepted approach to explain the historical developmental stages of public relations is the four public relations models developed by Grunig and Hunt (1984) based on the purpose and direction of communication. These models are Press agency, public information, bi-directional asymmetrical and bi-directional symmetrical practices. In the press agency model that emerged in the 1800s, public relations created agendas based on lies and exaggeration. The ←15 | 16→aim of these practices is to attract as much interest as possible from the people (Grunig, 1990: 21). The public information model used at the beginning of the 1900s is a public relations model that relies on the philosophy of honesty and aims to establish trust to gain stakeholders’ trust (Grunig, 1990: 21).

The “muckraker” public journalism movement that emerged in the United States during the 1900s produced professional journalism practices based on the media’s social benefit and recognizing the ethical values of journalism as absolute boundaries (Fee, 2005: 77–78). During the Muckraker journalism period, companies that harmed public, employees and the environment were exposed in the media. Many companies lost their customers, acquired negative images in the society and faced legal sanctions. This forced companies to use the public information model based on the philosophy of honesty in order to regain the trust of the public. The public information model that reflects examples of the purpose of reconstruction of trust describes the period when journalism-originated public relations practitioners worked in companies. Public relations practitioners aim to provide the media with the right information, regardless of the circumstances, to control the news reports covered in the media (Grunig, 1990: 21).

The bi-directional asymmetrical model is a model of strategic public relations used from 1917 to the present day. The most important distinguishing feature of the model is the use of surveys to measure the perceptions of stakeholders. The aim in measuring the perceptions of stakeholders is the correct coding of manipulation/propaganda messages. Therefore, in this model targeting perception management, there is no ethics. Finally, public relations model that emerged in the 1970s with the concepts of social responsibility and sustainability and can be idealized is the bi-directional symmetrical model. Surveys are also used to measure stakeholder perceptions in the bi-directional symmetrical model. However, in this model, unlike the bi-directional asymmetrical model, the ideas of stakeholders change the politics of organizations. Balance is established between the parties. The bi-directional symmetrical model is defined as a model centered on dialogue and using dispute management strategies (Grunig and Hunt, 1984).

Historical examples of public relations consist of practices in which it is not possible to define public relations as a profession. It is seen that the examples of public relations analyzed up to the 1970s are the practices that have not been professionalized and produced tactical outputs developed for communication needs.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2018 (October)
International Communication International Applications Business Management
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2018. 278 pp., 6 fig. b/w, 4 tables

Biographical notes

Mehmet Umut Tuncer (Volume editor)

M. Umut Tuncer received his PhD from the Public Relations and Publicity Department at Akdeniz University in Turkey. He currently works at the Department of Public Relations and Advertising at Adnan Menderes University in Turkey.


Title: International Public Relations