ERIC Number: ED339046
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
Some Influences on the Autonomy of Corporate Public Relations Professionals: A Case Study.
Serini, Shirley A.
A case study examined the process of preparing information for publication in an in-house newsletter for a large organization, focusing on the factors determining the amount of autonomy of public relations practitioners as professionals in organizations. The subject of the case study was a communication and advertising department of a "mixed type" organization (large-scale, high complexity operation employing many people). Data were gathered during 8 weeks of participant observation, 2 weeks of observation, and 2 months of interviews and Q sorts at the site. The 18 employees of the organization who were interviewed were selected because they interacted frequently in the process of shaping information about the organization for publication in the monthly newsletter. An overview discussion of controlled media, a brief introduction to the monthly newsletter in question, and a discussion of the negotiation process from the perspectives of writing and managing the news shed light on the delicate balance between control and consensus in the process of negotiating the content of the newsletter. Four vignettes illustrate the process of how autonomy was negotiated in the daily process of producing the newsletter. Findings suggest a number of factors that may contribute to understanding the autonomy of public relations practitioners: (1) time, the primary influence; (2) corporate philosophy, used as a weapon in battles with management for control and distribution of information; (3) concern for credibility; and (4) the availability of resources. This case study supplies some practical information for public relations students and beginning practitioners in the field. (Twelve references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Organizational Culture
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (41st, Chicago, IL, May 23-27, 1991).