The Social Theory on PR: The Communication on the Organizations

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In the beginning of mankind history communications were interpersonal. Then they transformed into public communications in Antiquity and Middle Ages. The next step was functional PR - the communications of the organisations. In 19th century PR became an occupation. Nowadays PR is a social system. So that we can analyse it from a position of a social phenomenon. The media sphere changes every day, mainly because of the dependence on technologies that develop extremely fast. And it means the new concepts and theories in PR get renewed nearly on a daily basis. However, the principles remain the same, and some great, basic concepts still can be applied to the modern age. In my opinion, modern theories (starting from 1980s from Grunig and Hunt) mostly give practical advice and sometimes are not that deep, fundamental. The theoretical basement is rooted to both 19th and 20th century concepts. All of them should be learned by the PR practitioners. That is why my essay is focused on the late XIX - early ХХ century social concepts, so that we can can look at PR from the original social theory point of view. I would like to go through some ideas of such modern social theoreticians as Marx, Durkheim, Weber (till 1920) and apply them to different the different topics, which are relevant nowadays and are connected with the debates about democracy. All of these philosophers chosen have changed the world with their ideas. We will try to understand how these basic concepts can work for PR. One of the Marx's concepts is entitled False Consciousness. It was actually a phrase of Engels in a letter to Franz Mehring in 1893 (Ken Morrison, Formations of Modern Social Thought: 314). Marx later used it in his Capital. This idea means that the l... ... middle of paper ... ...d. A factory closure, product recall, environmental damage or even industrial accident, can be handled in such a way as to present the corporate as being fully accountable, open to criticism, understandably fallible, and above all, able to identify a problem and provide a solution. In summary, stakeholders are more likely to trust a corporate brand if they see those human qualities than if they see a wall of authority. In conclusion, the great thinkers and commentators of the last 150 years have in any ways anticipated the current new media age, which has democratized the media channels, turning consumers into editors and publishers. Interestingly, large organisations including companies that have been very slow to respond to the challenges of this new landscape have been caught, like rabbits headlights, by the publics, whom they have traditionally controlled.
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