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Public Relations in Lebanon
This study described and analyzed the perceptions and practices of public relations in Lebanon. It focused specifically on media relations and was based on Grunig's (1984) theoretical framework of four models of public relations: press agentry, public information, two-way asymmetrical, and two-way symmetrical.
A review of the literature was conducted that revealed a debate about whether public relations can be practiced the same way all over the world (Gruban, 1995) or if certain localized practices should be considered for each nation (Sharpe, 1992).
The research design was a triangulated method. Data were collected using a written survey questionnaire and telephone interviews with Lebanese public relations practitioners. The results showed that all four of the Grunig models were practiced in Lebanon, with the two-way symmetrical model the most popular. Evidence collected from this research supported the hypothesis of this study that public relations can be globalized despite cultural differences.
LIST OF FIGURES
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
Background of the Problem
Lebanon: General Overview
Communication Styles and Cultural Differences
Scope of the Study
Definition of Terms
Organization of the Remainder of the Study
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
Globalization vs. Localization
Advocates for Globalization
Advocates for Localization
CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY
Qualitative Data Analysis
CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS OF THE STUDY
Answers to Research Questions
CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION 4
Public Relations Principles
Suggestions for Further Research
APPENDIX A: MODEL STATEMENT FREQUENCY CHARTS 51
APPENDIX B: QUESTIONNAIRE COVER LETTER 59
APPENDIX C: QUESTIONNAIRE 60
Practice of the Two-way Symmetrical Model
Practice of the Two-way Asymmetrical Model
Practice of the Public Information Model
Practice of the Press Agentry Model
Ranking of the Top Five Survey Statements
LIST OF FIGURES
1. Average Survey Statement Scores by Individual Gruning Models
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
Mucchielli, Buckley, and Cordell (1998) observed that people around the globe are more connected to each other than ever before. Information and money flow more quickly than ever. Goods and services produced in one part of the world are increasingly available in all parts of the world. International travel is more frequent. International communication is commonplace. This phenomenon has been titled "globalization."
According to Rao (1998), globalization, privatization and liberalization have become dominant forces shaping societies and economies the world over. Communication technologies have played a pivotal role in hastening the globalization process. Communication technologies like satellite broadcasting have made it possible for a tiny incident that took place in any part of the world to reach the entire world instantly and at the same time. The concept of "local news" no longer exists (McDowell, 1997; Rao, 1998).
As the world has grown smaller, the field of public relations has grown larger. More than 60 national and regional public relations associations emerged before 1989 (Kruckeberg, 1995). In the United States alone in 1989, there were 600 university departments offering graduate and undergraduate courses in public relations (Neff, 1989). In a telephone survey conducted by the Delahaye Group in 1996 of 100 randomly selected United States public relations executives, 87% of the respondents thought that international public relations would be most important during the next three to five years (Paine, 1996). Turk and Scanlon (1999) noted that "Public relations in one country is not necessarily public relations in another" (p. 7) and presented 15 case studies that illustrate the evolution of public relations in different countries and describes how public relations can be practiced in other social, political, and economic systems.
At the end of 2001, membership in the International Public Relations Association was over 900 members in more than 90 countries, representing a 20% growth from the previous year, according to IPRA President Jacques Dinan (2001 a year of sustained growth for IPRA, 2003).
Because of the increasing prominence of globalization and public relations in contemporary life, public relations practitioners and researchers are debating whether public relations can be practiced the same way allover the world (D'Jaen, 1998; Gruban, 1995; Grunig, Sriramesh, Huang, & Lyra, 1995; Hiebert, 1992; Hirsch, 1992; McCluhan & Powers, 1989; Murphy, 1996; Roth, Hunt, Stavropoulos, & Babik, 1996; Sharpe, 1992; Wilson, 1990) or…[continue]
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