Public relations and trust in contemporary global society: A Luhmannian perspective of the role of public relations in enhancing trust among social systems
Chiara Valentini (Aarhus University, Denmark),
Dean Kruckeberg (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)
ABSTRACT: This article provides a theoretical conceptualization of the role of public relations in society based on the “organic theory” of public relations and on Luhmann’s systems theory as well as on the concept of trust. In a postmodern, hypercomplex society, we claim that the main role of public relations is to strengthen system interactions through the creation of trust among systems. To enhance, maintain and ensure trust, public relations practitioners must think, not only strategically, but “metastrategically,” beginning with a normative theory of society that is built on the foundation of existing social theory, e.g. Luhmann, but also on contemporary social theory that must be built within a framework of communication technology.