ERIC Number: ED390106
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Apr-28
Reference Count: N/A
Public Relations as Ideology.
Even within the perceived homogeneity of the American hinterlands, a plethora of social issues and concerns threaten contemporary society. Among applied communicators, and especially among public relations practitioners, increasingly complex relationships must be satisfactorily nurtured so that people and institutions can be helped to seek resolution to the challenging problems associated with rapid and dramatic social change. Public relations developed because of the extraordinary complexities of contemporary society, although many scholars note that "public-relations-like" activities have existed throughout the history of humankind. J. Grunig and T. Hunt (1984) pinpoint four ascending models which have evolved in public relations practice: (1) the press agentry model; (2) the public information model; (3) the 2-way asymmetrical model; and (4) the 2-way symmetrical model. Evidence suggests that the 2-way symmetrical model (based on negotiation, compromise, and understanding) is the most effective and most ethical of these. D. Kruckeberg and K. Starck (1988) offer a community model, which also includes a strong ethical and egalitarian component. Regardless of which model practitioners embrace, they generally profess an overriding concern about professional ethics. A democratic culture and government are important to the ideology of public relations, although nothing inherently restricts implementation of public relations practice in nations having noncapitalistic economic systems. When scholars and practitioners proceed in the direction of including a theory of society, they can begin constructive work toward a usable theory of ethical community relationship-building. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Applied Communication; Professional Ethics
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Pittsburgh, PA, April 27-30, 1995).