The Global Public Relations Handbook: Theory, Research, and Practice

The Global Public Relations Handbook: Theory, Research, and Practice

The Global Public Relations Handbook: Theory, Research, and Practice

The Global Public Relations Handbook: Theory, Research, and Practice

Synopsis

This handbook provides a comprehensive theoretical framework for studying and practicing public relations around the world. Organized by continent, chapters provide the history, development, and current status of the public relations industry. Contributors use the theoretical framework to present information on the public relations industry in their countries and regions. They also focus on such factors as the status of public relations education in their respective countries and professionalism and ethics. In addition, each chapter considers the public relations profession in relation to factors, such as a country's political environment, level of economic development, societal and corporate culture, media environment, and activism. Each country-specific chapter also includes a case study typifying public relations practice in that country. This volume sets itself apart from other volumes in international public relations with the inclusion of: coverage on the status of the public relations profession in 18 countries, covering Asia and Australasia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas; consideration of public relations practice in a global setting; coverage of public relations practices in economies in transition from socialistic economies to market-oriented ones in Eastern Europe and Asia; descriptions and analyses of public relations operations of multinational corporations, multinational public relations agencies and NGOs; and a contribution on the public communication efforts of the UNESCO. Additional highlights of the book include: a foreword by the Director-General of the UNESCO; contributions from 35 leading scholars and professionals with first-hand knowledge about the status of the public relations industry in their region; and a thorough discussion on the transnational public relations activities of governments and NGOs. With its global contributors and broad focus, this handbook offers invaluable insights on global public relations practice, enabling scholars and researchers to understand the nature of public relations as it is practiced around the world, the communication tactics unique to a nation or culture, and the linkage between such practice and the environment in which it takes place. The information contained in this handbook will also prove helpful to public relations professionals by introducing them to the unique environments they will face in the different regions of an increasingly globalizing world.

Excerpt

The scholarly body of knowledge of public relations has grown significantly in the last 25 years and continues to evolve toward establishing itself as a strong discipline. Although this is an encouraging development, the growth of this knowledge has been very lopsided because the focus of theory building has been confined predominantly to the United States and a few Western European countries. The descriptions of public relations practices from other countries outside of the United States are limited to a few countries of Western Europe and Asia. Consequently, there is a scarcity of empirical evidence about public relations practices in other regions of the world. Until recently, editors of scholarly journals welcomed manuscripts that described how public relations was practiced in a particular country for their “international perspective. ” But increasingly, editors and reviewers of the few journals that publish public relations research have begun to reject manuscripts about public relations in other countries that are “merely descriptive. ” This also has contributed to the low number of published studies about public relations practices in other regions of the world, further stifling the growth of the body of knowledge in this domain. Finally, much of the literature on public relations from Latin America is not published in English and therefore has not received wider circulation. The result is that the existing body of knowledge of public relations is either completely silent or makes only cursory references to current public relations practices and the potential for future public relations initiatives in regions such as Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe.

It is difficult to overstate the importance of a global perspective of public relations practice and scholarship, because this profession has truly become a global enterprise. I question whether there is such a thing as domestic public relations anymore because of the international outreach of organizations of all sizes and types as a result of the recent spurt in globalization. I believe that in the new millennium, every public relations professional must have a multicultural and global perspective in order to be effective, and such an outlook should not be considered the domain only of international public relations specialists anymore. It is apparent from the chapters in this book that several factors have contributed significantly to increasing the transnational activities of organizations around the world, thereby globalizing public relations practice as well.

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