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Share This Too: More Social Media Solutions for PR Professionals by Stephen Waddington, Rob Brown, Chartered Institute of Public Relations

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Chapter 29

The Six Influence Flows

Philip Sheldrake

The world has changed since the dominant “Excellence model” of public relations emerged more than two decades ago. Does our use of social media and related information technologies require a new model?

A model is a thing used as an example to follow or imitate, a simplified description of a system or process. At least that's how the Oxford English Dictionary describes it.

I want to describe a new way of looking at the world of public relations, and practising it; a new model prompted by the continuing developments in social media and related technologies, and their widespread adoption.

In “Real-time Public Relations”, Chapter 17 of this book's predecessor, Share This, I concluded that “the real-time social Web leads us, then, to the Excellence model of public relations: Grunig's fourth model of two-way, symmetrical communication fostering mutually beneficial relationships between an organisation and its publics”.256

So is that it? Is the fourth model sufficient? I think not, but a chapter on real-time PR wasn't the place to go on to debate the merits of a new model. This chapter is.

Grunig's 4th

The two-way symmetrical model of PR, James Grunig's fourth model, “uses communication to negotiate with the public, resolve conflict and promote mutual understanding and respect between the organisation and its stakeholders”.257

This description shares much in common with my definition of PR: the planned and sustained effort to influence ...

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