Changing roles for changing times? How listed companies interpret their role as communicator
Xavier, Robina J. (1999) Changing roles for changing times? How listed companies interpret their role as communicator. Australian Journal of Communication, 26(3), pp. 49-65.
In recent times, there has been a strong call for a greater focus on the ‘relationship management’ function of public relations. This exploratory study seeks to contribute to this movement within public relations scholars and professionals by exploring the relationship management aspects of financial public relations. Still a relatively new discipline, financial public relations faces many challenges in both the planning and implementation of communication programs for shareholders. The increasingly competitive nature of the world’s financial markets and the changing profile of the traditional shareholder are raising important issues for financial public relations professionals. This study explores the ways listed companies understand their relationships with their shareholders and the way such understanding influences the communicative practice of the listed companies. Data were collected from seven Australian publicly listed companies via interviews. A conceptualisation of four major roles played by a listed company in building and maintaining its relationship with its shareholders is provided. Two roles that the listed company believes the shareholder plays in maintaining the relationship are also identified. Challenges to the roles are identified, including the changing profile of the Australian shareholder, the influence of new technology, and growing shareholder activism.
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