Bârika Göncü

Bârika Göncü (2017 BİLGİ Communication PhD graduate) graduated with a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Boğaziçi University, and went on to  to Istanbul Bilgi University, where she earned an M.A. in Comparative Literature.

Following a range of corporate communications positions, she established her own public relations consultancy business in 1997, acting as the Agency President until 2011. During the same period, she sat on the boards of Communication Consultancies Association of Turkey (IDA) and Turkish Public Relations Association (TUHID). She is currently a member of IDA’s Board of Inspection and of the Media and Communication Council of Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).

Goncu lectured as a part-time instructor in the undergarduate Public Relations Program of Istanbul Bilgi University between the dates of 1999 and 2011. Since 2011, she is a full-time lecturer at the same program, also lecturing in the Public Relations and Corporate Communication Graduate Program (PRCC) of Bilgi University. She specializes in reputation management, public relations ethics, crisis management and communication, and issues management.

Research interests: public relations, external communication consulting, issues management, activist PR, public relations ethics, crisis management and communication.

Ph.D. thesis title:  Construction and Presentation of Communication Consultancy Expertise in Turkey

Abstract: This study is concerned with the professional expertise of public relations consultants – or the  communication consultants as it is often referred to- in the public relations and/or communication consultancy agencies in Turkey. The objective of the study is to provide a detailed description of how these consultants construct and present their expertise. The research examines the activities of these consultants within the backdrop of the dramaturgical metaphor developed by Erving Goffman in The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959), through a focus on one of the core features of the communication consultancy work, namely the creation and maintenance of a series of impressions to persuade clients of the quality and value of this service.

While incorporating Goffman’s dramaturgy in the detailed examination of external communication consultancy services, the study is also inspired by scholarly work on the similar nature of management consulting services, as well as international and Turkish scholarly literature on the various aspects of services provided by public relations and/or communication consultancy agencies. Furthermore, with the objective of providing a full picture, the study also refers to up-to-date international and Turkish public relations industry literature. By focusing on the public relations/communication consultancy agency as the research site; the study offers a rich description of the the construction and presentation of communication consultancy expertise in the Turkish context, through the accounts of the most prominent and credible consultants of the industry.

The study adopts qualitative methodology in exploring the research question of the study, employing the method of in-depth interviewing. 30 participants of the study are the leading Turkish communication consultants, most of whom are also the founders and the owners of the credible consultancy agencies in Turkey. Responding to the need for more research on the role and contribution of the external communication consulting, the study has revealed that although the intellectual capabilities of the Turkish communication consultants are highly developed, the industry has to enhance its professional capacity by developing  diverse and specialized services, by improving its human resources management, and by claiming authority through informed translation of the external world into the realm of communications.

Keywords: public relations, PR consultancy, communication consultancy, Erving Goffman.

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