n Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa - Editorial

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0259-0069



In the past, much reference has been made to the fundamental difficulties that underlie the practice of public relations or communication management, as it has been referred to more recently. The practice of public relations has fundamental difficulties that are not being ameliorated by the tremendous growth of the profession and its extension into new areas as a result of growing internationalization through globalization. There are both obvious and underlying problems that characterize the study and practice of the field. Underlying problems include the lack of agreement on the fundamental purpose and scope of the function itself. More obvious problems include its lack of scientific status and professionalism, as well as a lack of recognition within the industry. There seems to be general agreement that public relations must achieve professional status before its social role will be broadly accepted as valuable to society and organizational clients will value the counsel of public relations professionals. Currently it would appear as though the closest claim public relations professionals can make to professionalism is being able to influence the choice of the public relations model the organization adopts by becoming part of the dominant organizational coalition.

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