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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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Can PR Practitioners Build Positive Journalist Relationships Via Social Media?



Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

1. Background and Context

The digital world has made a huge impact on methods used for communication purposes, within organizations, between organizations and with different publics (Cutlip et al., 2006). Social media, in particular, is empowering people to become new influencers and is forcing PR professionals to recognize and utilize new tools in their communications strategies (Solis & Breakenridge, 2009).

It is also unarguable that the media landscape is changing rapidly with the demise of traditional news media, as people seek out news content via online sources (Ahlers, 2006). That said, it remains that one of the key relationships for the PR practitioner is the journalist, supported by Winchell (2010, 10) who states “journalists are still critical influencers and PR practitioners are adept at … cultivating relationships with them [journalists].”

Bland, Theaker, & Wragg (2004) further emphasize this by claiming that good long-term relationships with journalists are invaluable. Traditionally, it would take time to cultivate the PR practitioner-journalist relationship and often face-to-face meetings were required in order to extract personal information and build rapport (Bland et al., 2004). Howard (2004) further supports this by stating that good media contacts need to be established and like all good relationships need to be built gradually and only by a variety of contacts over time. One-to-ones can possibly be the most effective way to get your message across to journalists says Gurton (2001) and can...

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