Public Relations and Communication Management in Europe: A Nation-by-Nation Introduction to Public Relations Theory and Practice

Public Relations and Communication Management in Europe: A Nation-by-Nation Introduction to Public Relations Theory and Practice

Public Relations and Communication Management in Europe: A Nation-by-Nation Introduction to Public Relations Theory and Practice

Public Relations and Communication Management in Europe: A Nation-by-Nation Introduction to Public Relations Theory and Practice

Synopsis

The book challenges the notion that public relations in Europe is no more than a copy of the Anglo-American approach. It presents a nation-by-nation introduction to historical public relations developments and current topics in European countries, written by noted national experts in public relations research and well-known professionals who are able to oversee the situation in their own countries. The contributions are written from an "inside view" and combine researched facts and figures with qualitative observations and personal reviews. In addition, the book provides conceptual statements that offer an insight into theoretical approaches.

Excerpt

This text reflects broad interests, not only in public relations but also in how that critical organisational function varies across countries in Europe. Taken together, the chapters expose the extraordinary pace of the development of public relations in Europe. Individual authors show how public relations is being reshaped - some would argue transformed - by such factors as education in the field, escalating management expectations, professional societies, economic privatisation and concomitant consumer demand, grassroots activism and increasingly powerful NGOs and communication technologies.

Such forces, we believe, are likely to continue to have profound, rapid, and “lumpy” effects on the study and practice of public relations. That is, we cannot trace a clear trajectory from where public relations begins in a given state to where it inevitably ends up. Instead, as these chapters illustrate, the development of the field tends to happen in fits and starts, with moments of glory and others that dismay its detractors and supporters alike.

Make no mistake, though: the profiles of public relations in the countries included in this book establish that development has changed how the function is organised, funded and appreciated by the dominant coalitions of the organisations it serves. We are convinced by the authors brought together on this momentous project that public relations will continue to evolve for the foreseeable future to the point where - if not already - it will have profound effects on organisations, their publics, and even the societies in which they co-exist.

The inevitable outcome of this development, in our view, is that public relations research, education, and practice will become increasingly central to organisational and societal life throughout Europe. Of course, the European context is changing as well. The public relations described in several chapters here suggests that communication managers not only can help their organisations anticipate that societal transformation but actually lead it. Having a significant impact on the continent, however, also seems to require a commonality of understanding of what public relations is - its contributions to organisational effectiveness, its role as social con-

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