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“ Quo vadis PR?” (lad. What next for PR?). The beginning of the 21st century: Public Relations and Organisational communication at the crossroads. Kaja Tampere, PhD. Complications with theoretical foundations.

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The beginning of the 21st century: Public Relations and Organisational communication at the crossroads

Kaja Tampere, PhD

complications with theoretical foundations
Complications with theoretical foundations
  • No classical PR theory. Grunig’s Excellence theory four model approach is only one, which describes professional practice. Lot of critics because of idealistic nature.
  • Deeply inter-disciplinary approach: Public relations is an applied social science, a branch of organisational sociology which derives substantial conceptual contributions from system theory, organisational theory, communication, psychology, social psychology, game theory, and other areas of social inquiry’ (Dozier 1993).
the essence of public relations and organizational communication
The essence of public relations and organizational communication


Communicationflowandresult: relations

Public relations officers

Main questions: If communication flow is always full, who fills this flow? And who’s messages are dominant? And – who designs relations?

historical heritage paradigmatic changes in the pr field in the 20 th century
Historical heritage: Paradigmatic changes in the PR field in the 20th century
  • Roots: PR as profession, principle, code of ethics
  • Relations with propaganda, conflict between different ideologies
  • Internal communication as part of PR, blossoming of capitalism
  • Opening period and collapse of Soviet Union, planned economy in crisis
  • Postmodernist PR, blossoming of consumption, Market economy in crisis
  • Network PR, computer-mediated communication and relations
what is the situation in practice today
What is the situation in practice today?
  • Balance is lost, new balance is needed
      • Consumer oriented PR based on buying-selling ideology is the bad joke today in the economical crisis situation...
      • PR is in the service of special interests ...theories are telling something else
  • PR profession in crisis, research results:
      • Manager, Finn, in Estonia: “I need Public relations but I really do not need a public relations officer!”
      • Manager, Estonian, in Finland: “I can’t see the profitability of PR. I really don’t need a secretary with a university degree...
  • Old strategies and tactics are not effective anymore, new ones are not ready yet
      • PR in Facebook, Obama-team: to one of my Estonian friend: "Urmas, I need your voice on health care. Join my call: Ask Congress to pass real health care reform in 2009.”
quo vadis pr
Quo vadis PR?

Everything new has been forgotten a long time ago!

The best experiences come from history: The Keeper of the Royal Conscience

The value of theories: theoretical practice and practical theory...

Take a look at macro level and develop the mission! What it MEANS to practice PR at macro level? Role of PR from system-theoretical point of view: To keep a system alive...

New professional quality: 4E concept - educated, ethical, effective, economic...