Saturday, January 23, 2010

Public Relations and Corporate Websites: A Study of the top 30 Bombay Stock Exchange Companies

I recently did a study on the top 30 BSE companies listed to find out how public relations is being practiced on their websites.The paper was presented to

Emerging Trends in Media :
The Rise of Digital Culture and its impact on Information Society
Organised by the Centre for Electronic Media, Pondicherry University,
Puducherry 605014, India (Jan 21-22, 2010)

James Grunig has explained that the two-way symmetrical model of organizational public relations which depends on an honest and open two-way communication and a give-and-take is usually reciprocal, rather than a one-way persuasion, which should be the driving force, for all public relations practices. Cooley and others highlight the strength of the internet’s interactive capabilities to transform public relations practice by enabling symmetric relations with publics. Kent and Taylor highlighted the importance of this concept in their five criteria for a dialogic web site. This study examines these parameters and their applicability in the top BSE 30 Indian corporation websites. The personal influence model of public relations is one where public relations practitioners try to establish personal relationships, friendships, if possible with key individuals in the media, government or political and activist groups. This model is essentially an asymmetrical model and it holds true for the way public relations is practiced in India as further explained by Krishnamurthy Sriramesh. This paper argues that the websites of Indian corporations do not follow a similar trend for practicing public relations through the web but are slowly shifting to the two-way symmetrical model which is being reflected in the way they communicate through their websites.

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