- A public relations identity for the 2010s
- Public Relations Inquiry
- Volume | Issue number
- 1 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
New voices are being heard and new questions are being asked within the field of public relations. However, in its present multifaceted state, public relations research is still struggling with recurring questions regarding academic and practical contributions. This position article presents some common starting points for a public relations identity for the 2010s aiming to preserve both consistency and multiplicity. We argue that public relations should be studied as a social activity in its own right and that it must be understood in relation to its societal context. Furthermore, we point to some concepts (trust, legitimacy, understanding and reflection) that are crucial to understanding public relations practice. We also argue that issues of power, behavior, and language have to be dealt with if public relations is to be taken seriously as an academic field. Building on these ideas we make some suggestions for empirical research. Finally, we propose, on a philosophical level, to develop a critical realist framework in order to study public relations scientifically.
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