Weekend readings: The Cultural Tribes of Public Relations

It doesn’t matter how much you planned to read during the weekend; you’ll probably end up reading just 1/10th. Here’s an article deserving to be in that “short list”:

(PDF) The Cultural Tribes of Public Relations – Greg Leichty, Department of Communication, University of Louisville (published in the Journal of Public Relations Research, volume 15, issue 4, pp. 277–304)

This article applies a cultural theory of rhetoric to discourse about public relations. It proposes that 5 distinct cultural voices are recognizable in conversations about public relations. These voices are illustrated in texts that define and critique public relations practice. These competing cultural visions cannot be united into 1 coherent vision. Public relations is a multicultural field that is constituted by this ongoing competitive dialogue.



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  3. I would suppose that most practitioners would be of the hierarchal camp, but those involved in social media would be of the CI group. This is possibly best expressed in this passage:

    “This belief in flux and change appears in how the CI voice constructs the public relations implications of the Internet. Where the hierarchical voice projects that the Internet will be integrated with existing public relations practices (e.g., Greece, 2000), the CI voice declares that public relations needs to be reinvented to fit the world of the Internet.”

    Definately an interesting, though heavy, read. Thanks for sharing.

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