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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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A History of the Future: Concepts for Telling the Story of Online PR


A History of the Future

Concepts for Telling the Story of Online PR

Philip Michael YOUNG

Lund University, Sweden

While it is undeniable that the proliferation of internet channels and platforms has brought many practical changes to the way the discipline of PR is executed, not everyone would agree that today “All Public Relations is online Public Relations”. Some would maintain that the changes are superficial, that the business and purpose of Public Relations is unaltered; those with a media relations focus will have to acknowledge significant changes in the structure of media industries, but might well choose not to recognize shifts in the traditional view that privileges independent (journalistic) platforms as key to the “third party endorsement” model. Certainly there remains a significant section of the academic community that feels no need to radically realign theory to reflect the paradigm shift proclaimed by the “digital evangelists”. No doubt these debates will rumble on, but a strong case can be made for arguing that the emergence of what some term Web 2.0 technology has been mirrored by a shift in the language of Public Relations. Here, the claim is that the discipline is increasingly articulating its purpose and culture through discourse associated with social media.

Concepts such as transparency, authenticity, conversation and engagement are inextricably linked with the mainstreaming of social media practice; although their usage is not unique to social media (and predate much of the opening up of...

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