Public relations in society. A new approach to the difficult relationships between PR and its environment
(Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences in Salzgitter, Germany)
ABSTRACT: In political and philosophical terms public relations and society appear to be at odds with each other. Public relations as the representative of individual interests is opposed to the general well-being of society. The contradictions between PR and society should form the basis for an analysis of the relationship between PR and society from a system theory perspective (Luhmann, 1996). In the course of the examination one can differentiate between three levels of PR and society: (1) PR as part of society: in this regard the question will be what PR does for society. (2) Society in the PR environment: at this level the question will be how organisations regard society and how PR constructs societal models. (3)The entirety of PR sees itself as being apart from society: in a dynamic perspective the question here will be how the reflexive expectations change the relationship between PR and its environment.