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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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Talking with or at Stakeholders? An Empirical Investigation of Architectures of Listening and Structures for Dialogue in the Social Web Build up by Organizations

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Talking with or at Stakeholders?

An Empirical Investigation of Architectures of Listening and Structures for Dialogue in the Social Web Build up by Organizations

Anne LINKE

University of Leipzig, Germany

1. Introduction

The “Digital Evolution” from the World Wide Web to the so called Web 2.0 changes the conditions for Public Relations (PR) practice and theory (see e.g. Argenti & Barnes, 2009; Kent, 2010; Pavlik, 2007; Solis, 2012). Accordingly, 46 percent of European communication professionals believe that coping with the digital evolution is currently the most important strategic issue and, will remain so for the next three years (Zerfass et al., 2012, p. 53-55). Coping with it means adapting practices and structures and hardly any choice for organizations, according to some scholars: “If you don’t embrace PR 2.0 or you don’t act with urgency, your lack of engagement is a disservice to your brand … The public wants Social Media. They don’t accept anything less. Your job is to know and deliver the needed communication” (Breakenridge, 2008, p. 187). But, this communication takes place under conditions that mean many challenges for organizations. In a “communication and network society” (Castells, 2000), stakeholders are empowered and organizations need to answer their demands for participation. Sheldrake (2011, p. 19) explains in “The Business of Influence”, that their influence flows among each other (“Our stakeholders‘ influence with each other in respect to us”) are more important nowadays than any influence organizations can impose on their...

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