Engaging, enraging public relations and the role of the other

Lane, Anne B. (2006) Engaging, enraging public relations and the role of the other. In Australian Communicators' Collaborative Conference, 3-5 September 2006 , Melbourne.


The intention of this paper is to further the discussion around the development of theories of public relations by introducing to the mix the concept of the Other from the field of cultural studies. The development of discipline-specific theories as part of a “scholarly body of knowledge” (Wylie, 1994, p.2) – or at least a “unique” knowledge base (Parkinson, 2001) – has been suggested as one of the defining characteristics of a true profession. In the case of public relations, this is a development that has occurred relatively recently. Since public relations first began to emerge as a distinct practice in the early part of the 20th century, there has been a tendency to appropriate theories from other areas (such as organisational and media studies) to create a relevant theory base to explore, describe and predict public relations activities. However, these theories were often rarely more than a ‘best fit’ solution, and resulting areas of discrepancy led to much confusion surrounding the form and function of public relations. It could be argued therefore that the development of dedicated public relations theory – ideas that encompass the creation, maintenance and enhancement of relationships between organisations and publics as primary motivations – only began in the latter half of the 20th century with the work of people such as Grunig and Hunt, and latterly Ledingham and Bruning among others.

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ID Code: 27610
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Public Relations, Otherness, Engaging
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > MARKETING (150500) > Marketing Communications (150502)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 29 Sep 2009 22:10
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:53

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