At no other time in its modern history has public relations lived up to the true meaning of the term.
The ‘public’s voice’ is now heard in every part of political and business activity. And ‘relations’ has become the mantra for all political (government) and corporate initiatives with stakeholders.
‘Stakeholder engagement’, ‘community relations’, ‘social licence to operate’, ‘community’s trust and confidence’ are all derivatives of the practice of public relations.
We are now living in a period where the public’s voice is dictating political policy at an unprecedented rate. This has been reflected in the US election of Donald Trump as President elect, the resignation of the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, the potential overthrow of the South Korean President Park Geun-hye and the UK’s decision to exit the European Common Market.
What is giving public relations an even greater role with the news media and the community is mobile communication technologies. These are challenging not only public relations practitioners to expand their thinking and practice, but also governments and corporations in how they engage with stakeholders and also respond to crises and emergencies.
As Massey University lecturer Chris Galloway has highlighted: “Liberating electronic communication from fixed devices means that familiar PR approaches designed to reach audiences through such equipment are insufficient in themselves. They need to be complemented by new strategies, including those based on conceptualising cyber-PR as dynamic communicative ‘touch’.”
We are now in an era where today’s communities need a ‘continuous personalised dialog’. The sooner community thinking is understood through qualitative and quantitative research, the more effective will be public relations strategies which utilise electronic communication to promote government and corporate policies and initiatives.
This wider thinking about ‘relating’ to the public – one that recognises the mobile communicators, or ‘global knowledge nomads’ – must be part of every public relations strategy today because ‘consuming content and managing relationships’ is now ‘the dictator’ of government and corporate messaging.
This new era of public relations calls for innovative strategic communication thinking and the greater use of technology in managing messages, delivering timely information and understanding the stakeholder (publics).
RMK+Associates is at the forefront of this change.
Its specifically designed software – Stakeholder Matrix – for centralising communication for accurate and timely information and stakeholder engagement, and its strong history in understanding the latest shifts in public relations strategies makes it ideally placed to assist governments, corporations and the not-for-profit sector understand the true value and effectiveness of public relations today.
 Lindgren,Jedbratt & Svensson, 2002
 Lindgren et al 2002