The Evolution of Public Relations

The idea of Public Relations in the United States is not the same everywhere else, but studies have found that an important common theme exists: social responsibility.

This article on PR Conversations discusses the third edition of the book from the Institute of Public Relations, The Evolution of Public Relations: Case Studies from Countries in Transition. The book contains cases and briefs from authors located in 13 different countries. The idea is that teachers, students and working professionals can learn from case studies developed all over the world, not only in westernized markets. The editor on the Institute’s blog was quoted as saying:

“…we’re seeing a growing understanding of governments, companies and NGOs that public relations is truly a strategic function. That’s a very good sign for the development of public relations as a global profession.”

The book stresses the importance of knowing cultural, social, political and economic differences among countries, and recognizes the field of PR to be one of the world’s fastest growing professions and areas of study, despite global differences in its practice and teaching. Do you agree with the idea that social responsibility is a common theme in Public Relations all over the world? Should it be? Due to the number of cultural differences in personal and professional relationships, what issues do you see that Public Relations professionals working on a global scale need to overcome?

(This post is written on the behalf of Sparkle Media)

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3 Responses to The Evolution of Public Relations

  1. asbrooks04 says:

    I wholeheartedly agree that social responsibilitiy is an important, if not one the most important, aspect of any PR endeavor. Technology and trends in corporate outsourcing have created an increasingly integrated world, however, not all host countries, especially those hosting corporate America, agree with or trust foreign philosophies or intentions. It is more important than ever PR professionals to be sensitive to the differences among foreign countries and to intigrate long-term social philanthropy into communication models.

  2. cate415 says:

    I also agree completely with the notion of social responsibility being an extremely important aspect of public relations. I think that pr companies as a whole need to focus on community and social relations more than they currently do. However, in other countries it becomes even harder for U.S. companies to prove their social responsibility because of the hesitance they have instilled in them.

  3. trentonhorne says:

    This reminds me a lot of a story I heard on NPR yesterday. They were discussing the view of social responsibility in other countries and mostly about how the way other countries view the US. The analyst on the show said that the growing dislike of the US has caused a backlash for many American businesses abroad. He said that there’s a growing trend amongst foreign publics that the US hasn’t been socially responsible and therefore they are less willing to purchase our products or services. I think this will gravely affect PR professionals working around the world because now that have to deal with the image of our country and not just the company they work for. I think understanding other markets will help PR professionals overcome these obstacles, but I think the US itself needs to do some of its own PR to show some social responsibility.

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