Organizational Public Relations: A Political Perspective

By Christopher Spicer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
Organizational Environments: Uncertainty Abounds
The everyday life and work of the typical organizational public relations practitioner is filled with time spent linking the organization with its larger environment. This is done under a variety of rubrics including:
1. media relations, which link the organization to general and trade media in the organization's symbolic environment,
2. community relations, which anchor the organization in its immediate physical environment,
3. investor relations, which link the organization with important players in the organization's institutional environment,
4. issues management, which monitor the social, competitive, regulatory environment for opportunities and threats,
5. marketing communications, which enhance the connections between the organization's products or services and the stakeholder groups known as clients or prospective clients.

Each of these activities is part of a larger organizational role, one subsumed under the concept of boundary spanning. Organizational public relations practitioners fulfill (or should be fulfilling) the organizational role of boundary spanner in those instances in which communication with some portion of the larger environment is necessary.

The boundary-spanning concept comes directly from the application of open systems theory to organizational theory ( At-Twaijri & Montanari

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