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Public Relations, Values and Cultural Identity

Edited By Enric Ordeix, Valérie Carayol and Ralph Tench

As organisations seek legitimacy in a fast-moving, interconnected and changing world, how do public relations help them to manage their identity, responsibilities and impact on society? In a more interactive society, organisations need to align their actions with social demands and values. If the main role of public relations is to build trust and influence opinionmakers, media, the public and the political agenda, what are the constraints and limitations at play here, and what is the impact on ethical principles?
The published research shows the profession is facing crucial changes: the existence of new organisational structures better aligned with social demands; the emergence of new techniques for interacting with organisations in a more trustworthy manner; and growing pressure by social groups acting both for and against particular social values, ideas and identities.
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Social Media and Juridical Constraints: Possibilities and Limitations of Digitized Governmental PR in Germany


Social Media and Juridical Constraints

Possibilities and Limitations of Digitized Governmental PR in Germany

Jan Niklas KOCKS and Juliana RAUPP

Institute for Media and Communication Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

1. Introduction

Governmental Public Relations, the tax-funded political communication by administrative bodies in Germany, are a form of communication that can very well be described as a constant area of conflict. State actors are obliged by law to communicate their policies and actions to the electorate; journalists are entitled to demand information and governmental bodies generally have to provide true and comprehensive answers. Communicational abstention simply is not a legal option here. On the other hand there have been major juridical debates regarding the limitations of this form of communication. Oppositional parties and candidates have often lamented infringements of their fundamental democratic rights by measures of governmental Public Relations and subsequent court rulings have not only forbidden certain communicative measures but sometimes even went as far as to invalidate elections.

The issue was salient when it came up almost 40 years ago and it still is today, maybe even more. Digitization, the process of the proliferation of ICTs, has given new momentum to political Public Relations, new communicative possibilities have emerged and simultaneously there have been increasing demands for forms of governmental communication that are more accessible, more dialogic, more modern. This has also led to an increase in possible infringements of democratic rights through governmental Public...

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