چالش های مفهوم "عمومی" در روابط عمومی : پیامدهای جامعه در معرض خطر برای انضباط
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|5148||2002||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6160 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Public Relations Review, Volume 28, Issue 1, February 2002, Pages 49–62
The notion risk society offers a conceptual framework for understanding the emergence of new communicatively powerful publics. Focusing on the role of the public for the firm, this paper argues that the emergence of the powerful consumer and the critical public is not coincidental but a symptom of the emergence of the risk society. In looking at the consequences of the risk society at the individual, the institutional, and social political levels, the paper argues that new forms of political discourse are emerging which change the “ground rules” of the interaction between the firm and its publics. Linking the growing interest in identity with risk communication, the paper sheds light on the nature of the arenas in which these public operate and the consequences for business. It is argued that the emerging sub-political arena of direct action and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has the capability of catapulting public relations into a central role in organisational sustainability.
The firm faces unprecedented external threats to its legitimacy.1 As a major source of turbulence, firms’ apparent loss of legitimacy2 has been followed by the emergence of powerful publics: so-called political consumers3 and activists.4 These publics emerge around the perception of risk; personal risk and societal risk: be they environmental risks, health risks, risks of exploitation, etc. In many ways, for society in general and for firms in particular, the production (and consumption) of risks has become at least as important as the production and consumption of goods and services.5 Given public relations’ explicit role of reducing environmental risk and uncertainty for the firm, it is remarkable that the discipline has not incorporated ideas of risk communication and deeper sociological consequences of the emergence of the so-called risk society into its scholarship. Through a more critical and reflective approach to the definition of publics and the study of their dynamics, pulling from fields such as sociology, media studies, and marketing, this paper opens up an avenue of research which would aid both the theory and practice of public relations in coping with the complex and uncertain environment. This paper presents the notion of risk society as a basis for building up a framework for reconceptualising our approach to publics. Current conceptualisations of publics within public relations remain remarkably simplistic and reflect the managerial and normative traditions prevalent in the discipline.6 Most notably they tend to impose a rational–managerial logic onto publics. This neglects to consider the internal dynamics of public assuming that they are composed of information processing individuals who react to organisationally defined issues, and fails to incorporate the idea that publics might emerge without organisational action. In this paper, it is noted that communities of publics form in a sub-political arena. These communities are built and sustained through issue-based discourses, which define their identity. The consequences of regarding publics as discourse arenas involved in the exchange of meaning and identity is discussed. The paper rounds off by arguing that a renewed focus on publics and away from organisations, incorporating the notions of risk, identity and discourse presented in this paper, would offer the public relations discipline the opportunity to offer a unique and sustained leadership role in the study of firms’ relationship with their environment.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper sees a renewed focus on publics and communities as the way for the discipline to distinguish itself conceptually from the related field of marketing and contribute both to our understanding of the role of the firm in society and to ways in which the firm interacts with its various stakeholders. This requires, however, more conceptually robust notions of the public, and an openness within the discipline to alternative (and complimentary) approaches to studying public relations. Moreover, it requires that the firm is de-centred from the discipline and greater effort is put in to the study of the dynamics of publics. Whilst this call for de-centring is nothing new, this paper calls for more positive as opposed to normative study of the relationships in public relations. In this way, a theory of publics could provide the basis for the development of a conceptually robust theory of public relations. This paper has provided a framework for the understanding of the emergence of publics: of sub-political arenas, issue and discourse arenas. It is now up to the discipline to take this further.