2016 - Vol 1. No. 1

Volume 1, Number 1

Editor's Note

Betteke van Ruler: Public Relations: Too Little Emphasis on Communication

Examining the literature on public relations, the notion emerges that all major public relations approaches recognize communication as a means to “do” public relations; some even use “communication” in the name of their approach. However, as a key concept that needs to be defined and discussed, communication is largely overlooked. After close reading of relevant literature in order to understand what is really understood under “communication”, there is hardly any reference to be found to (recent) communication theories. Is it because most public relations scholars seem to hold a non-communication view of communication?

Dejan Verčič: Why Invest in Strategic Communication? Because It Creates Value

Strategic communication creates value by co-creating the future. The pre-modern society was about the past, the modern about the present, and the post-modern is about the future. Globalization, digitalization and dematerialization are changing the world around us beyond recognition. Emerging market and developing economies have overtaken advanced economies with unimaginable consequences for our, Western way of life: the welfare state is dying. Digitalization is reconfiguring demarcations between public and private domains, political and commercial communication. Our understanding and regulation of rights and responsibilities regarding privacy and freedoms are outdated. Dematerialization is reconfiguring value creation and wealth is migrating from material into immaterial assets. Human, organizational and relational capital are co-created in processes of strategic communication between organizations and stakeholders. This is reflected in increasing investments in strategic communication and transformations of all kinds of organizations into media organizations. We are witnessing the emergence of mediatization of everything.

Darko Tipurić, Radoslav Barišić: Exploring Use of Media Content Analysis in Competitive Dynamics Studies

Media content analysis is commonly used as a tool for data collection in competitive dynamics research. Competitive dynamics give a comprehensive longitudinal view on competitive moves and responses effects which are measured through various models that bring insight on the consequences on performance of observed firms. Research in competitive dynamics deeply reveals competitive behavior of firms, focusing not only on the competitive moves of one competitor but also on detailed interaction of all of them in their “market battle”. The prerequisite for the research is undoubtedly the high-quality data sources and well-designed data analysis. Presented in the paper were a number of issues we faced during the conduct of our recent study in which 2,699 media reports on competitive moves were collected in seventeen firm dyads in Croatia.

Božo Skoko: Perception and Communication Issues Between Croatia and the European Union – From Croatian Independence in 1991 to EU Accession in 2013

In 2013, Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union. However, the road to full membership was quite lengthy and marked by numerous ups and downs in mutual relations and accession negotiations. The paper deals with the communication aspects of the relationship between Croatia and the European Union, that is, their mutual perception in the period from Croatia’s independence in 1991 to full membership 22 years later. The paper demonstrates how the mutual relations and perceptions were, for years, burdened by numerous stereotypes from the past, the consequences of Yugoslavian propaganda, unrealistic expectations, the behavior of European institutions during the breakup of Yugoslavia and traumas from the Homeland Defense War, as well as insufficient and unsatisfactory communication between European and Croatian institutions. All this resulted in the continuous decline in confidence in the EU among Croatian citizens on the one hand, and the delay in membership negotiations on the other. This paper brings together in one place all relevant past findings, places them within the context of interrelations between Croatia and the European Union and brings original research on the perception of the European Union in Croatia just prior to full membership. Furthermore, the paper analyses the historical context of the mutual relations between Croatia and the EU.Zoran Tomić, Ivana Grbavac: Political Public Relations - Media and Information Management

Political public relations, as one of the PR programmes, has slowly created strategies and tactics for communication with the public and the media. Media management and information management are the most important activities of the political public relations. These activities are frequently connected with non-ethical communication, whose aim is media manipulation and manipulation of the public. Media manipulation is well known as communication spin. These activities are created by government and political communication specialists, referred to as spin doctors. The paper analyzes several spin techniques of the government PR. Although there are signs of manipulation, political PR specialists claim that it is “acceptable” communication that is in the “interest” of the organization and the public.

Pero Maldini: Network Society and Democracy: How ICT Mediated Communication and Virtual Socialization Affects Political Participation

The article deals with the issue of political participation in the network society. It examines how new forms of public communication enabled by ICT mediated communication (especially new media), as well as virtual socialization and the resulting new social structures (especially social networks), affect political participation, particularly citizens' influence on the government and the political decision-making processes. An analysis of these relationships shows that the changes brought by ICT, in both the social structure and the area of public communication equally, and the expansion of space of political freedom and political communication, do not increase political participation by themselves. It is determined primarily by technological requirements, and then by sociostructural and sociocultural factors, as endogenous properties of certain societies that substantially determine their overall social and political dynamics. In that sense, the level of development of the virtual sphere, the numbers and diversity of social networks and new media, cannot by themselves be considered to be independent variables, nor can they be considered outside of the specific social context. This is particularly noticeable in transitional societies in which specific (undeveloped) sociostructural and sociocultural factors are the key obstacle to the development of political participation, and hence democracy.

Book Reviews

Ivana Jeleč: Dejan Verčič, Damir Jugo, Lana Ciboci – Reconciling the Traditional and Contemporary: The New Integrated Communication

Maro Alavanja: Zoran Tomić – Odnosi s javnošću - Teorija i praksa (Public Relations – Theory and Practice)

Call for Papers

Instructions for Authors