n Communicatio : South African Journal of Communication Theory and Research - A justice philosophy of public relations management

Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0250-0167



From a justice perspective, strategic publics may be viewed as victims who have been harmed by the organisation and now seek reparation. Long-term relationships are only formed with organisations that treat strategic publics fairly. For public relations to be viewed as just, it must incorporate all three dimensions of justice theory, viz : distributive, procedural, and interactional justice. When all three dimensions are incorporated, public relations stands a better chance of the organisation being viewed as just and trustworthy by strategic publics. Only when strategic publics experience the relationship with the organisation as trusting and dignifying will they be able to feel committed to the organisation and its decisions; feel attached to the long-term relationship; and be less hostile when outcomes of strategic decisions are unfavourable. Justice theory provides public relations with a philosophy of how to conduct themselves with strategic publics that influence the goal attainment of organisations.

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