Title

The role of public relations in foreign policy planning and execution

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Baiba Petersone, Zayed University

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

Journal of Communication Management

Publication Date

12-9-2013

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand the role of public relations, conceptualized as a strategic management function, in foreign policy making, and implementation. This research study emphasizes the relational perspective and seeks to examine its applicability to the practice of public relations in foreign policy settings. Design/methodology/approach: This qualitative research study was based on in-depth interviews with nine individuals who were in charge of public relations aspects of a particular foreign policy issue in Latvian government institutions. The examined foreign policy issue was development cooperation. Findings: The research findings revealed that public relations contributed to the strategic management of the foreign policy process to a certain extent. Public relations built and cultivated relationships, researched and scanned environments, built communities around a foreign policy issue, facilitated dialogic encounters and socialized foreign policies. However, the public relations function was not involved in the entire strategic management process: analysis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Although the relational perspective may be applicable to foreign policy settings and relationships that are cultivated by public relations practitioners in these settings bring outcomes on three different levels - national, organizational, and personal - this study found that public relations is not the only function that deals with relationships between an organization and its key publics. Originality/value: This research study investigated two areas that are little explored in the public relations research literature: the strategic management role of public relations in government institutions and public relations contributions to policy, especially foreign, making. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

ISSN

1363-254X

Publisher

Emerald

Volume

17

Issue

4

First Page

308

Last Page

323

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Keywords

Development, Foreign policy, Government, Public relations, Relationship management, Strategic management

Scopus ID

84888999150

Indexed in Scopus

yes

Open Access

no

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