International Public Relations: A Comparative Analysis

International Public Relations: A Comparative Analysis

International Public Relations: A Comparative Analysis

International Public Relations: A Comparative Analysis


As a formal occupation, public relations grew primarily in the United States through much of the twentieth century. In recent years, however, it has spread rapidly throughout the world. Broad outlines on how public relations practices differ from country to country have only recently begun to take shape in scholarly writing about the field. The existing literature on international public relations tends to focus on how those working for western organizations --particularly multi-national corporations--can best practice abroad. Although useful, such writings tend to focus on adaptation of western approaches, not on development of new ones designed specifically for varied sociocultural settings around the world. The editors have produced this book for a number of reasons. There has been tremendous growth in the teaching of public relations around the world--enhancing practice in many countries outside North America. There has also been rapid growth in the number of professors who demand theoretical perspectives which might facilitate a unified comparative analysis across countries and regions. Only a few U. S. universities--six documented in this book--now teach courses formerly called "International Public Relations." However, many professors are going abroad to teach and do research. This suggests increased interest in and a need for courses dealing with international public relations. Furthermore, there is a dearth of literature dealing in depth with international PR, an important component of international communication. This appears to be the first book-length comparative analysis of public relations as practiced in various countries and regions around the world. Although existing books on international PR focus largely on ways in which western practitioners, employers, and clients can operate effectively in other countries, this volume views public relations in each country or region covered from the perspective of practitioners in that country. It contains six chapters designed to provide a theoretical anchor for the 14 country and region analyses. Given the intense interest in public relations education as a factor in professional enhancement, it also discusses issues and practices relating to education.


Relations among publics have become more complex, fragile, and often hostile in recent years due to varied factors ranging from weapons of mass destruction to regional alliances, nationalism, and the Internet. The world has become smaller thanks to many of the same factors. And the need for understanding among people of different cultures has grown.

Public relations, as a formal occupation, has spread rapidly throughout the world in the wake of such changes. However, the literature on international public relations tends to focus on how those working for western organizations-- particularly multinational corporations--can best practice abroad. This volume views public relations in 14 countries and regions from the perspective of practitioners and educators in each area covered.

The first six chapters provide varied theoretical bases for comparing public relations from country to country. Then, 14 chapters analyze different regions and nations. A third section discusses education as a tool for professional enhancement.

The Introduction summarizes evidence for five themes which underlie the country and region chapters. We highlight three of these themes here.

First, a nation's political system and culture do help shape its practice of public relations. Related factors include social stratification, the nature of personal relationships, media credibility, economic development, stage of nation building, emphasis on personal loyalty and harmony, and the presence or absence of elites created in part by colonial rulers.

Second, there appears to be movement throughout the world from one-way to two-way communication--and from emphasizing knowledge and persuasion to relationship building. However, the latter of these changes, in particular, appears . . .

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