Reframing public relations: new directions for theory and practice
In this article we deconstruct the central concepts of public relations theory: 'publics', 'relations', and 'organisations'. In offering a revised version of these concepts as a framework within which to reconstruct theory, we argue that the most seriously inadequate and undertheorised of these concepts is 'publics'. As Moffitt (1994) and Karlberg (1996) contend, the organisational perspective has tended to overwhelm and marginalise 'publics' within public relations theory. Thus the dominant focus on 'relations' has been conceptualised in the absence of a developed concept of 'publics'. As a result, public relations theory has been unable to come to terms with the power differentials between discourse participants.