Despite the increased interaction among countries of the world, there is a paucity of systematic research on the way public relations (communication management) is conducted by organizations of different types (corporations, NGOs, government agencies) in different parts of the world. Although this course is titled "Global Corporate Communication," the class shall assess international communication management not just by corporations but by governments and non-profits as well.
Although public relations scholarship started at least in the early part of the 20th century in some of the Western developed nations, and public relations like activities can be traced back to pre-biblical times, it is only in the past few years that public relations practitioners and scholars have begun to emphasize the importance of viewing public relations practice from an international perspective. This has been greatly necessitated by the rapid globalization that has taken place since the final decade of the previous millennium. In the past 15 years or so, a few studies have emanated from different regions of the world focusing attention, among other things, on the inadequacies of an ethnocentric approach to public relations practice and scholarship.
This course seeks to provide students with insights on the generic principles that one can use to understand public relations practice globally. These principles were developed on empirical evidence from practice in the US, UK, and Canada and therefore are deemed normative for the rest of the world until empirical evidence can be gathered from many regions of the world. Even so, they have proven useful in setting global communication strategies for organizations. The cultural differences that influence how these principles are applied in different parts of the world shall be explored in this class. These factors are: the political system, economic system, media system, culture (both societal and organizational) and activism. In so doing, this course seeks to offer students the opportunity to develop research programs for their Master’s theses that would also contribute to building this young body of knowledge. To that end, this course also seeks to encourage critical thinking that will advance pedagogical discussions to advance scholarship in this area.
Note that this course is not a "hands-on" course designed to teach students specific public relations techniques that they can use to practice public relations in a given country. On the contrary, it seeks to introduce students to conceptual factors in an organization´s environment in different countries that affect public relations activities there. Having that knowledge, it is reasoned, should help students in practicing public relations in specific countries.
Sriramesh, K., & Vercic, D. (2009). The Handbook of Global Public Relations. New York: Routledge. http://www.bledcom.com/knowledge/list?type=book&year=10