In these recent weeks, and in various encounters with professionals and scholars from around the world, I have stumbled more than once on to the question: ‘what now after Grunig?’… as if the Excellence Project happened to be the most recent development for our body of knowledge.
I very much disagree with this interpretation, as much as I disagree with those late adopters who (on the other side?) tend to believe that nothing had happened between the Big Bang and the Internet for public relations’ body of knowledge.
These seem to me to be both ditsy thoughts (shallow but lovable, as I learned recently from Jon White to whom I am deeply grateful for this wonderful term I had never heard before).
Some of our more passionate visitors might remember a not so recent comment from David Phillips in which he announced the coming of a new edition of the 2001 Online Public Relations book by himself and Philip Young (Kogan Page in the CIPR collection).
David was kind enough to give me a copy when we recently met in Bled and I have now read it and strongly recommend it to all.
It is not an easy book as it mixes information, practical tips and theory; plus two highly different and equally respectable and stimulating authors:
While the information, given the subject, is in part already outdated and the practical tips are indeed very useful, the theoretical is really one bright and enlightened response to the question ‘what now after Grunig’.
In fact, as Jim himself stated in that interview he gave to our collective here a few months ago, the Internet and social media are really only a (dramatic) acceleration of his pre-Internet thoughts.
But the Young/Phillips book is certainly not the only possible answer to that question.
In these recent years many professionals in their day-to-day practice, many educators and scholars (and I provocatively, but of this I am convinced, include both the critical and postmodernist ones..) have covered significant steps towards the consolidation of a new approach to public relations thinking and practice, mostly along the integration of the generic principles and specific applications paradigm with the stakeholder relationship governance one.
Maybe we should begin to collect all these contributions and accompany them with some case studies in professional practice.
What do you say?