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The evolution of public relations research -an overview

Authors:

Abstract

The field of public relations is often misunderstood, due to its hybridity, complexity and competing perspectives within the field of scholarship. This essay, which is based on extensive engagement with literature conducted over decades of teaching and researching the subject, outlines the main schools of thought within the field. These are summarised as a) Excellence; b) Advocacy; c) Dialogue; and d) Critical and Cultural approaches. Each perspective reflects variations in understanding of the role of public relations in theory and practice, ranging from an idealised conceptualisation of the practitioner to a demonised view of the practice. It refers throughout to different attitudes to ethics found within these schools, as approaches to ethics provide insight into understandings of the role of public relations within society. The piece concludes with reflections on the growing engagement with promotional culture and emerging research directions.
ISSN 2386-7876 © 2018 Communication & Society, 31(4 ), 159-171
159
Abstract
Keywords
Excellence, rhetoric, critical theory, promotional culture,
ethics.
1. Introduction
Special issue
C&S 30 anniversary
Johanna Fawkes
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-
9257-695X
jofawkesresearch@gmail.com
University of Huddersfield
Submitted
July 12th, 2018
Approved
August 10th, 2018
© 2018
Communication & Society
ISSN 0214-0039
E ISSN 2386-7876
doi: 10.15581/003.31.4.159-171
www.communication-society.com
2018 Vol. 31(4)
pp. 159-171
How to cite this article:
Fawkes, J. (2018). The evolution of
public relations research an
overview. Communication & Society,
31(4), 159-171.
ISSN 2386-7876 © 2018 Communication & Society, 31(4 ), 159-171
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2. Approaches to public relations
2.1. Excellence
2.1.1. Excellence and ethics
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2.2. Advocacy
2.2.1. Advocacy ethics
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2.3. Dialogue
2.3.1. Dialogic ethics
2.4. Critical and cultural approaches
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2.4.1. Critical ethics
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3. Notions of society
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4. Promotional culture
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5. Reflections and conclusion
References
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