Hallahan, Holtzhausen, vanRuler, Vercic & Sriramesh (2007) explored the significance of strategic communication in fulfilling the mission of an organization. The authors indicated that communication directly affects all aspects of an organization including management, public relations, marketing, political communication, technical communication, and social marketing or information campaigns. Grunig (1990), on the other hand, focused on the theme of public relations and its impact on the performance of organizations. The author also touched on the relationship between media and public relations. According to Grunig, the relationship stems from the fact that PR previously was a subject under journalism and that businesses used conventional media to build their PR in order to position their brands and offerings in the market.
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Moncur (2006) explored the importance of public relations in strategic management of businesses. Most importantly, the public relations theory, in this case, helps in understanding the relationship between a business and its stakeholders. Grunig (1997), on the other hand, explored the ways through which public relations contribute to the effectiveness of an organization. The overall theme echoed in this article is that excellent public relations can lead to effective and successful organizations.
Significance and implication to strategic communications
The theme that resonates from the four articles is “the significance of public relations for organizations”. The authors defined public relations as a process of strategic communication that creates mutually beneficial linkages between an organization and the society. As a tool of communication, PR is considered strategic and mutually beneficial in nature. It benefits the business and the society at large. Supporting this, Hallahan et al. (2007) understood public relations as a function that can be used by the management to evoke or communicate ideas to the company employees or stakeholders. Grunig (1990), on the other hand, indicated that public relation is basically used by the management to bring together their organization, key stakeholders and their publics.
As a management function, Grunig (1997) indicated that public relations also relate to anticipating, analyzing as well as interpreting public issues, opinion, attitudes that might directly or indirectly impact the processes of an operations in an organization. What emerges from Moncur (2006) is the aspect of counseling management. This is a public relations aspect that is inculcated at all organization levels and touches on the way policy decisions and courses of action are actually communicated within an organization.
Strengths and weaknesses
Moncur (2006) wrote about the importance of PR theory in real life practice. The article is written for the purposes of academic use. Therefore, it must be academic in all perspectives. It was written by a professional and a scholar, this makes the information credible. The only weakness is that one of the sources used by the author is very old. The problem of using older sources is that information keeps changing, and such information may have been overtaken by events.
Grunig (1990) delved into the relationship of the organization, publics and stakeholders, which rarely features many discussions. However, the article did not follow the rules of professional article writing and research. First, it lacks an abstract, credentials of the author were not provided and above all is an old study. It may have been overtaken by events. For instance, it talks about the importance of media (conventional media) in business, but today the media includes online platform, which hardly existed at that time.
The article by Grunig (1997) captures the information about public relations in any organization. That is, organizations do not just need PR, but the PR adopted must be excellent. In most cases, PR in an organization can work to undermine the performance of an organization and can also work to promote effectiveness of an organization. Therefore, for an organization to benefit fully, PR must be highly regarded.
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Hallahan et al. (2007) explored the concept of strategic communication. The article is well-researched and contains real life examples. The examples used range from nongovernmental to governmental organizations. It also focused on the importance of communication in an organization. The credentials of authors have been mentioned, which makes the article credible. The major weakness of the article is the over-reliance on sources that are old. Old sources may contain good information, but may not be up-to-date.
Agreements and Disagreements
The four articles agree about one thing: the significance of public relations in the success of organizations. As the authors indicated, public relations functions as a strategic communicator between the organization, its stakeholders and the public. The only point of divergence comes when Grunig (1997) emphasized the excellence of public relations as opposed to public relations in general. Also, Hallahan et al. (2007) talked about strategic communication as opposed to directly exploring the importance of public relations in communicating the strategy of an organization. In conclusion, the four articles capture the course readings and mostly emphasize the significance of public relations, strategic communication, and their relationship towards the delivery of effectiveness and success within the organization.
Hallahan, K., Holtzhausen, D., vanRuler, B., Vercic, D., & Sriramesh, K. (2007). Defines Strategic Communication. International Journal Of Strategic Communication, 1 (1), 3–35.
Grunig, J. (1990). Theory and Practice of an interactive Media Relations. Public Relations Quarterly, 35 (3), 18-24.
Grunig, L. (1997). Excellence in Public Relations. In Caywood, C (Ed), The Handbook of Strategic Relations and Integrated Communications (pp. 286-301). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Moncur, C. (2006). Embracing the PR theory: an opportunity for practitioners? Journal of Communication Management, 10 (1), 95-101.