The view on public relations scholarship has been rapidly changing over the past few generations. Public relations scholarship in the past focus on the government, public and the communication process. With the social-cultural turn in the society, public relations scholarship has shifted to the study of the relationships between the government and the public. This essay will focus on the discussion of the change in public relations scholarship through a socio-cultural turn.
Previous Public Relations Scholarship
As stated by Grunig&Hunt (1984), public relations is defined as “the management of communications between thegovernment and its publics”. Using this as a ...view middle of the document...
However, as culture starts to evolve, the public gets more educated and starts to have a mind-set of their own, making it harder for the government to manipulate the public with information they choose to present. With the effect of globalisation and advancement in technology, the availability of information for people across the world has been increased widely. The governmentwill now have to understand that public relations is no longer about just itself, but also the public. Thus, the “one-way communication” evolved into a new method called the “two-way communication”. “One way communication” still does exist in some parts of the world, mainly communist state countries where the government have mostly the only say.
The “two-way communication” consists of two models, namely the “two-way asymmetrical communication” and “two-way symmetrical communication”. These two models are based on a two-way communication from the government to the public. “Two way communication” can be seen in democracy society where the government and public try to come to terms on example, proposed laws. “Two-way asymmetrical communication” is a form of public relation which uses social science theory and research about attitudes and behaviours to persuade the public to accept the government’s point of view and to behave in a way that supports the government. “Two-way symmetrical communication” is the other form of public relations which uses mutual understanding between the government and the public as its ultimate goal. This method usually end with a solution which would benefit both the government and the public. The practice of “two-way communication” is being implemented as it allows more audience participation. As the public grows more educated and exposed to other culture, the desire and needs of different groups of people are also being shared and understood by more people. Learning has become more democratic in nature and the government is now more open to feedbacks. By implementing the “two-way communication”, it is now possible for the government to influence the behaviour of the public although it is slower and takes a longer time.
The “two-way communication” between the government and the public was relatively fair, with dialogues in place engaging both parties. However, although the “two-way communication” promotes more mutual respect and understanding for each other, it also faces a lot of challenges as the public is now more and more knowledgeable. Although the ‘two-way communication” is an ideal method of communication, it is realistically unachievable as it does not take into consideration the difference of the powers between the government and the public. This require the government to take up a more complex and integrated approach towards the public.
Current Public Relations Scholarship
New scholarships nowadays has been criticizing the old theories of Grunig& Hunt, due to the globalisation, which affected the change of the social-cultural...