Communication and Engagement
Edited By Guy J. Golan, Sung-Un Yang and Dennis F. Kinsey
The Functions of International Public Relations and Public Diplomacy
6. Application of Relationship Management to Public Diplomacy eyun-JunG Ki The advancement of communication technologies has helped the world be- come more united than ever before. Today, approximately one third of or- ganizations in the United States deal with global stakeholders (Wilcox & Cameron, 2012). About one third of the public relations fees billed by large public relations firms in the US are collected from other countries (Wilcox & Cameron, 2012). Thanks to communication technologies, global publics participate more actively in communication with organizations as well as for- eign governments. This global village fostered by communication technologies has inspired the need to build and cultivate relationships between organizations or gov- ernments and their respective publics. For instance, the Obama administra- tion stated that currently, it is vital that America pursues a public diplomacy policy “that connects with, listens to, and builds upon long-term relation- ships with key stakeholders” (Biden, 2009, p. 4). This goal represents the crossroads of public relations, in particular where relationship management and public diplomacy meet. Anticipating the benefits of overlaps between public relations and public diplomacy, several scholars have proposed the idea of convergence of these two domains. For example, Signitzer and Coombs (1992) encouraged pub- lic relations scholars to undertake empirical research on public diplomacy, drawing upon public relations theories. Similarly, L’Etang (2008) specified that public relations is an area of diplomacy responsible for managing interna- tional communications and media relations in order to improve relationships between a nation-state and its foreign publics. He further noted that...
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