Special edition of PRism: Exploring power and public relations Editors James Mahoney, Senior Lecturer, Public Relations, Convenor, Master of Strategic Communication, University of Canberra Dr Marianne Sison, Deputy Dean (International), School of Media and Communication, RMIT University Dr Joyleen Chia, Public Relations Academic Director, School of Communication, University of South Australia.
Call for papers
Some scholars debate the power relationships inherent in the theoretical models we use to explain how the business works and why it works. Others seek to explain the role of public relations in democratic societies, especially the ethical issues associated with transparency, dialogue and consultation within political arena.
Contributors to this special edition of PRism are invited to critically explore the theme “Power and Public Relations.” The editors are especially interested in research that examines and theorises public relations that goes beyond its application in the interests of society’s so-called power elite.
These themes might be explored through, but need not be limited to, the following possible topics:
* What is the nature of power in public relations? How is it exercised?
Is it transparent or covert?
* Is there a difference between “power” and “influence”?
* Who exercises power in public relations? Where? How? Who legitimises that power?
* Is public discourse a consequence of the power of public relations?
* For whom is the power of public relations exercised? Against whom? Can the power of public relations be accessed by everyone in society or is it only the privilege of the wealthy?
* How does the power of public relations work for marginalised members of society? Does public relations empower them? Does their use of public relations bring them to the mainstream?
* How do social media empower and give voice to marginalised publics?
* How do NGOs, community groups and other grassroots organisations acces?
s the power of public relations? How do public relations practitioners ensure that all voices are included and heard in public discourses?
* Do power and public relations have cultural dimensions? How does power play out in global public relations practice? How is power perceived and enacted in different cultural settings? Are practitioners “power brokers” – especially in politics? Are practitioners simply ciphers for powerful dominant coalitions?
* Is there a conflict between public relations power and corporate social responsibility values? Can public relations’ power be used for the common good? Are public relations power and ethics compatible?
* How do public relations curricula approach issues of power? Do existing curricula focus on public relations’ role in pursuing the interests of crporate dominant coalitions at the expense of other groups in society?
* Revised submission deadline: 13 January 2012
* Anticipated publication date: June 2012