This paper reports on personal and telephone interviews with seniorlevel corporate managers and executives from fields other than public relations and communications administration, engineering, finance and accounting, human resources, legal, marketing, sales and production in three corporations. This qualitative study n 61 is a followup to the author's earlier quantitative postal questionnaire survey of a similar group of subjects n 423. All interview participants were subjects in the quantitative research. The results add additional evidence to the author's previous findings suggesting that corporate executives from other fields do not understand the corporate communications or public relations functions. As was the case in the quantitative research, subjects interviewed in this qualitative study considered external communications especially media relations to be the most important task that their organisation's public relations professionals were responsible for. Technical public relations skills were considered more necessary than communications management abilities for public relations professionals. The findings also suggest that the public relations function needs to do a better job of being accountable by establishing metrics to measure the effectiveness of communications efforts. Public relations also needs to be managed in such a way that it will help organisations better to achieve business goals, especially those of the new global economy.
Journal of Communication Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 1998
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