Public Relations

Journal Articles

The first three articles have been provided open access. Some links require journal subscription access which may be available through your university.

Curtin, P.A. (2012), Public relations and philosophy: paring paradigms, Public Relations Inquiry, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 31–47. 

This is a philosophical article on how PR researchers have dealt with the idea of paradigms and inevitably the work of Thomas Kuhn. The author looks at PR not a single entity but one which is a ‘four-paradigm schematic for the PR field’. The author urges PR researchers to accept a diversity of perspectives that come with concomitant research values.


Fawkes, J. (2012), Interpreting ethics: public relations and strong hermeneutics, Public Relations Inquiry, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 117–140

This article suggests that PR inadequately engages with the complexities of ethical theory, and this contributes toward the public’s loss of trust in PR activities. The author argues that communicators could take more responsibility for professional ethics and considers that concepts of professionalism shift and buckle under global economic and social pressures, making the time right to reconsider PR’s ethical outlook.


 Ihlen, O. (2011), On barnyard scrambles: towards a rhetoric of PR, Management Communication Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 455–473.

The author looks to gain a better understanding of PR rhetoric and how organisational rhetoric can help make society a good place. The author expresses the need to go beyond the usual literature on crisis communication and apologia to utilise discourse to help analyse other subfields and types of PR. The article is about how a rhetorical situation can help guide this quest in providing critical discussion around whether organisational rhetoric helps to improve society.


Radford, G.P. (2012), Public relations in a postmodern world, Public Relations Inquiry, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 49–67.

This article discusses the notion that PR is a modernist conception while the idea of the public is postmodern, and that there are implications that stem from this dichotomy for the ways in which PR practice and scholarship are spoken and understood. The author argues that postmodernism can be used to foreground the ways in which PR is talked about.


Roper, J. (2012), Environmental risk, sustainability discourse and public relations, Public Relations Inquiry, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 69–87.

This article is about modern societies and the impact of environmental costs and industrialisation with the traditional voice of economic growth being met by those of ascendant discourses of sustainability. This is about environmental policy in New Zealand and the role of PR professionals in discursive struggle – and the implications for PR and organisations in the longer term.