Symmetrical Communication Essay

Symmetrical Communication Essay

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This essay will argue for an extended role for dialogue and relational communication in public relations practice. The rhetorical turn that public relations has taken over the last ten years as well as the expanded role that public relations practitioners need to play as organizational counsellors is discussed. Several case studies are examined and used to support the arguments for an expanded role of public relations advocacy and management.
Effective definition of symmetrical communication
Grunig and Hunt (1984) defined symmetrical communication as” the management of communication between organizations and its publics” (p. 6). Symmetrical communication is interactive behaviour in which two or more systems construct thoughts and attitudes together so that they behave in ways that are either “collaborative or symbiotic” (Grunig, 1989. P. 13).

Explanation of symmetrical communication

The symmetrical communication is important because it concerns the degree to which the organization adapts to or cooperates with its environment (Grunig 1984). The purpose of symmetrical communication is to adjust the relationship between the organization and its environment. With symmetrical communication publics can change organization and organization can change publics. This form of external communication can form and improve relationships because it involves “creating a sense of openness, trust, and understanding between the organization and the key public, as well as a willingness to negotiate, collaborate, and mediate solutions to issues of concern to both the organization and critical publics” (Bruning &Ledingam 1999: 158).
Symmetrical communication serves as a tool for negotiation and compromise, a...

... middle of paper ...

...s, 1990).
The communication style of organizational members (such as grocery store cashiers) can affect the attitudes of persons outside of the organization. If the effect is positive, those persons become more willing to tell others about the service, such as recommending a grocery store. Even though the service is courteous, however, customers are not significantly more likely to do other favours, such as purchase more products (Ford, 1995).
In remember that organizations attempt to assimilate into the values, institutions, and expectations of society at large. Organizations attempt to get people who are not its members to support its goals, whether to buy products, donate funds, support public education, or whatever. Organizations are not likely to last long if they attempt to stand alone and are ignorant of or unresponsive to their environment.

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