Backs to the wall: how public relations carries discomfort for organisations
- Document type
- Working Paper
- Campbell, Fiona
- University of Hertfordshire
- Date of publication
- 1 January 2010
- The University of Hertfordshire Business School Working Papers
- Management & leadership: including strategy, public sector management, operations and production
- Business and management
- Material type
Public relations plays a sensitive role in dealing with the discomfort felt within organisations about the ethical implications of their operations. Organisational discomfort seems to be on the increase, and this may be as a result of demands for greater transparency. The purpose of public relations is to tell an organisation's side of the story. This role is mission critical, yet practitioners do not necessarily have the status to enable them to carry it out effectively. The practice appears to take on organisations' discomfort and deal with it by justifying decisions in which it has no part. Blatant attempts to mask the source of discomfort do not work, but they seem to be commonplace. Practitioners often seem to find themselves with their backs to the wall. Blaming the media may make them feel less uncomfortable. Practitioners seem to keep quiet about this aspect of their work, and it may be seen as valuable, especially when the discomfort is the leader's own. Practitioners seem to need to believe completely in what the organisation is doing, otherwise they could not bear the discomfort. It is not acknowledged. It could be a cause of 'essential dissonance' (Berger 2005) within the field. Seen this way, the discomfort in and around public relations appears to be endemic.
Is this the 'Version of Record (VoR)'?
Many different versions of a publication may be available on the web, only some of which might be considered part of the formal scholarly record. Please check whether this paper has been published in a journal by contacting the author, searching journal databases, or checking CrossMark It is the responsibility of publishers to register their publications with CrossMark.
Related to Management & leadership: including strategy, public sector management, operations and production
Downloadable paper looking at the incentive packages of FTSE 350 firms
Downloadable briefing on the voting patterns of shareholders on FTSE 100 CEO pay
Downloadable white paper defining what organsiational purpose is and how it can help drive performance.