Toward Understanding the (Lack of?) Significance of Dialogue to the Practice of Public Relations

Anne Lane


The public relations literature has tended to present dialogue as an idealised
concept, with a focus on how it should, could, or ought to be carried out in public
relations practice. There is little in extant literature that considers the significance of dialogue to the actual practice of public relations. This paper presents the findings of a qualitative study of public relations practitioners’ day-to-day work. It concludes that dialogue does not – and arguably, cannot – occur in public relations practice and instead articulates an empirically-based practitioner perspective on two-way communication, which displays pragmatic characteristics that significantly
distinguish it from dialogue.


public relations, dialogue, normative, practitioner, pragmatic

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The University of Newcastle
ISSN - 1839-8227