Editor’s Note

Božo Skoko – The Role of Communication Competences and Intercultural Intelligence in Contemporary Diplomacy  

The paper deals with changes in the manner modern diplomacy functions, in which the communication competence of diplomats, knowledge of public relations and skills of building relationships with key publics in the receiving country are increasingly coming to the fore. In this context, new circumstances in which modern diplomatic processes take place are analyzed, as well as the desirable profile and competences of the modern diplomat. Since the entire world is becoming increasingly networked due to the impact of globalisation, and countries more dependent and reliant on each other, the degree of communication activities and relations between countries at all levels has increased, despite their cultural differences. All this requires better mutual knowledge and adaptation, i.e. enhancing the intercultural intelligence of diplomats who represent them. Therefore, a special aspect of the paper relates to the importance of the intercultural competence of modern diplomats. The author concludes that, in addition to nurturing the reputation of their own country and building bridges to others and those different than them, modern diplomats are forced to manage their personal image, which requires communication competences, knowledge of public relations strategies and techniques and intercultural intelligence, which are the key characteristics of modern diplomatic competences.       

Josipa Milas, Gordana Lesinger – The relationship between the perception of advertising, FOMO, social network fatigue and privacy concerns among social network users

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between factors of social network advertising, attitudes towards social networks, social network advertising, brands and perception of intrusiveness of social network advertising, and factors of social networks user behaviour (FOMO and privacy concerns). The research was conducted online on a sample of 212 respondents, who are digital natives aged 18 to 45. For the purpose of examining these variables the following was used in the research: a semantic differential scale taken from Elliott and Speck (1998) to measure the attitude towards advertising, an adjusted Facebook Intensity Scale (FBI scale) (Ellison et al., 2007), a questionnaire on attitudes towards brands (Bearden et al., 2011), an adjusted media intrusion scale (Li et al., 2002), the Gartner Inc. (2011) version of the social network privacy questionnaire, the Croatian version of the Fear of Missing Out Scale – FoMOs (Omajec and Čorkalo Biruški, 2020), and the Gartner Inc. (2011) version of the social media fatigue scale. The results indicate that positive attitudes towards advertising, higher levels of privacy concerns and FOMO are predictors of higher levels of social network fatigue, while attitudes towards social networks and perceptions of intrusiveness did not prove to be significant predictors of social network fatigue. The implementation of hierarchical regression analysis revealed the mediating effect of FOMO on the relationship between the attitude towards social network advertising, the attitude towards brands and social network fatigue, while the significance of mediation was verified by the Sobel test. The paper describes the findings, research limitations and offers suggestions for future research.

Vlatka Šelimber, Sanja Milković Šipek – Burnout Syndrome in Public Relations Employees in Croatia

This paper explores the occurrence of burnout syndrome in public relations employees and the correlation of its occurrence with working conditions, feeling of subjective well-being, conflict of work and family role and experience of changes in work organisation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showed that almost half of the respondents showed a certain level of burnout at work, with a a high degree of burnout detected in 16.3%. Employees who experience a higher level of total burnout show less satisfaction with salary and organisation of work, more negatively assess the working atmosphere, report more often on the pressure of deadlines, more often feel burdened by work, and assess the definition of work tasks as insufficient. Total burnout is negatively associated with all aspects of subjective well-being, and in terms of the feeling of conflict between the work and family role, a trend of higher results was observed in the group of respondents without children. Respondents assessed changes in work organisation during the COVID-19 pandemic as more positive for the most part.

Karlo Kanajet – Lobbying as a Branch of Public Relations

Lobbying is the widespread practice of advocating interests among decision-makers. In spite of this, it is insufficiently theoretically addressed. This paper takes the approach that lobbying can be most accurately understood as a branch of public relations. Therefore, terminology important for lobbying is compared with terminology from public relations theory. It has been demonstrated that, within the framework of the issue of regulation, the topic of transparency is essential for both areas. Influence as an important determinant of lobbying, given the difficulty of defining, can be compared with publicity. It was found that this term also overlaps with the categories of persuasion and “soft power”. Another overlapping area was shown on the example of comparison of interest groups and stakeholders, in which the principle of organisation is essential both in lobbying and in public relations. The last argument in favour of defining lobbying as a branch of public relations is highlighted in the use of identical techniques and tools, primarily discussions.

Ivan Jurković, Krešimir Dabo – Analysis of Readers’ Attitudes about Fake News in Electronic Publications during the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the advent of the pandemic, a significant number of fake news items appears in the media space, which is the research problem of this paper. The aim of the paper is to check whether readers of electronic publications are informed about the concept of fake news and can recognize it. The research method used in the paper is a questionnaire on a non-probability, convenience sample of respondents, which provides data on the informedness of respondents about the concept of fake news, the trust of respondents towards news from Internet sources, and the informadness of respondents about how they can contribute to preventing the spread of fake news. The results showed a high level of recognition of fake news in electronic publications, however, without the reaction of reporting them. This step is precisely a part of the solution, because the individual reader, who is part of the communication process, today has the possibility of two-way communication with the media. By educating readers about their options, an individual can become an active participant in preventing the spread of fake news. Therefore, the results of this research can open space for further analysis on the possibilities of implementing more advanced solutions at the level of the state, i.e. legal frameworks, educational institutions, and at the level of the journalistic profession for strengthening media literacy.

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The Edward Bernays University College is the first in Croatia to carry out comprehensive specialised education in communication management and public relations.

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