Strategic use of media in public relations: Relationships between media coverage, public relations and organizational strategy

Bartlett, Jennifer L. (2005) Strategic use of media in public relations: Relationships between media coverage, public relations and organizational strategy. In Public Relations Division of International Communication Association, 27-30 May 2005, New York.

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A central claim of public relations is its strategic role in understanding the environment and advising management on adjustment and adaptation initiatives to achieve best fit between organization and environment. The resulting legitimacy or social acceptance of the organization therefore is a critical outcome for the public relations function and relies on careful understanding of both social expectations and appropriate strategies to achieve acceptance. This paper explores public relations’ conceptualisation of this function and explains why public relations scholars should reconsider the use of the mass media in a strategic function. The limitations of resource dependency theories that underpin adjustment and adaptation approaches can be addressed through concepts in ecological and institutional theory about environmental pressures on organizational structure, strategy and practices. Within this perspective the mass media are an environmental actor that confers legitimacy. Mass media are also active in depicting opinions of those social actors who have the power and ability to influence organizations. I argue that opinions about legitimacy depicted in mass media are a source of intelligence that can drive strategic organizational action.

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ID Code: 3479
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Public Relations
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
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 07 Feb 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:26

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