Four gaps in public relations scholarship and practice: The need for new approaches

Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA)
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Media Democracy and Change: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communications Association Annual Conference, 2010, pp. 1 - 18
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Contemporary scholarship recognises the importance of diversity and open ongoing construction and reconstruction of knowledge to remain current and relevant. However, content analysis of fourteen contemporary public relations prescribed texts and reference books supports claims of a Western, and particularly a North American, dominant paradigm and identifies four problematic gaps in contemporary public relations scholarship. This article argues that these require significant shifts in epistemology as they are limiting the efficacy of practice in the Second Media Age of interactive social media and social networks, the social relevance of the practice, the education of future generations of practitioners, and potentially stifling theory-building. Addressing these four gaps will offer increased potential for public relations to expand its remit, influence, and reputation within organisations and societyalbeit in a reconfigured form responsive to the social, cultural and political environments in which it operates.
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