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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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Perspectives on Citizens’ Crisis Communication Competence in Co-Producing Safety



Department of Communication, University of Jyväskylä, Finland


Nowadays crises are complex and fast-developing. Thus, they require the co-operation of many organizations within the response network as well as between response organizations and various citizen groups. As response organizations cannot solve all the problems created by crises alone, this paper calls for a community approach to crisis management (e.g., Helsloot & Ruitenberg, 2004; Norris et al., 2008), where citizen groups are not seen merely as target groups but instead as active actors in co-producing safety. To enhance community resilience and citizen response in crisis situations, it is vital for response organizations to understand crisis situations from the standpoint of citizen groups. This requires a better understanding of citizens’ competence in interpersonal communication and social interaction that can be enhanced for their part by response organizations.

Interpersonal communication competence refers to knowledge, skills, and motivation that can be perceived as effective and appropriate in social interaction (Rubin, 1990; Spitzberg & Cupach, 2002). Although considerable research interest has been shown in interpersonal communication competence as a whole within various relational, institutional, and cultural contexts (e.g., Greene & Burleson, 2003), and, according to many studies, interpersonal communication competence is a core competence in contemporary society in general (e.g., Morreale & Pearson, 2008), research has not often approached crises from the viewpoint of interpersonal communication competence.

In this paper, interpersonal communication competence is...

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