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Intercultural Pr Studies Essay

1401 words - 6 pages

Intercultural Public Relations"If we are to attempt to understand the world in the new century, we cannot but come to grips with the concept of globalization."(Appelbaum & Robinson, 2005, p. xi)Culture is central to public relations as a communications profession, and to quote Edward Hall's (1959) often cited statement: "Culture is communication and Communication is culture". Culture is not something that is exotic or "out there" but is a part of everyday life and social interaction, and a public relations practitioner does not have to be practicing across national borders to encounter cultural differences and diversity (Sha, 2006).Practitioners communicate with publics that belong to ...view middle of the document...

As globalization and new communication technologies bring the world closer together, there is a greater need for public relations practitioners to help organizations navigate cultural terrains. Communication in the 21st century will be marked by efforts to reduce ambiguity and uncertainty in an even smaller, yet more tightly networked world. It is this ambiguity and uncertainty that has allowed the practice of public relations to emerge as a valuable organizational communication function. Globalization and new communication technologies have brought individuals, groups, and organizations closer together. What happens in one country now can have an immediate effect on people, organizations and relationships in many other countries.A central part of many public relations professionals jobs is to communicate with multiple stakeholders and stateseekers. Communicating with diverse publics is a difficult enough task in a nation or region when the public relations practioners shares the same overarching cultural background with the public. Communication becomes an even more complex task when organizations seek to engage in relationships with global publics that live and work across many real and perceived boundaries. Relationships are a central goal of Public Relations communication, and many factors influence an organization's relationships with its publics. Organization- PR are influenced by organizational actions, existing and evolving reputations. Public relations professionals also need to consider that culture, as a fluid phenomenon, influences how organizations enact relationships with domestic and international publics. Central to intercultural competence is understanding that, like interpersonal relationships with our friends and family, effective intercultural communications is based on the shared patterns of experience and interaction as well as general and a specific understanding of individual cultures.In the past, some public relations scholars have argued that a single theory might be able to account for understanding international practices of public relations (J. Grunig, 1992). Just as our relationships with our friends, family and coworkers, teachers, mentors are different, cultures are also different.Intercultural communication is an interpretative activity. Over the years, public relations scholars have drawn upon only a limited number of cultural theories and concepts and have constructed even fewer intercultural public relations theories. When one thinks of culture and public relations, the work of Geert Hofstede comes to mind. Hofstede identified five cultural variables that influence communication and relationships in organizational settings: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity/femininity, individualism/collectivism and Confucianism. Hofstede's work has been considered a good start for understanding the dynamics of international and organizational communication, and public relations.The personal influence model of...

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