Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
Public Relations Review 33 (2007) 437–439
Maximizing public relations with the organization–public
relationship scale: Measuring a public’s
perception of an art museum
Stephen A. Banning
, Mary Schoen
Bradley University, Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts, 1501 West Bradley Avenue,
Peoria, IL 61625, United States
This study employed the organization–public relationship scale to measure member perceptions of an art museum. Analysis shows
member perceptions of the museum–public relationship differentiated members likely to continue their membership from those
likely to discontinue their membership with the museum. This study conﬁrms the appropriateness of using the organization–public
relationship scale with museums.
© 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Organization–public relationship; Museum public relations; Nonproﬁt public relations
An emerging paradigm within strategic management centers on relationship management as a public relations theory
(Ledingham, 2003). According to Ehling (1992), the shift from changing publics’ beliefs to building and maintaining
relationships indicates a change in the mission of public relations. Broom, Casey, and Ritchey (1997) suggested that
with this change comes a perceived change in deﬁnitions. Ledingham and Bruning (1998) responded by deﬁning a
relationship as “the state which exists between an organization and its key publics, in which the actions of either can
impact the economic, social, cultural or political well being of the other” (p. 62).
Another important advance in relationship management theory was the development of relationship measurement
strategies. According to Ledingham (2003), “organization–public relationships mimic the 10 phases of the coming
together and the coming apart of interpersonal relationships” (p. 10). Ledingham and Bruning (1998) created a scale
that consists of three components: personal relationship, community relationship, and professional relationship. The
scale’s three components are measured by a bank of 15 items that revolve around the public relations issues of
reciprocity, mutual legitimacy, and mutual understanding (Bruning & Galloway, 2002). This study employed the
organization–public relationship scale to measure member perceptions of an art museum.
Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 309 677 2362; fax: +1 309 444 3852.
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (S.A. Banning).
0363-8111/$ – see front matter © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.