2009 BledCom Special Prize Winner
Holger Sievert and Stefan Porter
At the BledCom 2009 Symposium, July 3-4 at Lake Bled, Slovenia, the Institute for Public Relations and its Commission on Global Public Relations Research presented a €500 Special Prize recognizing the best new research to help practitioners understand how and why the culture of a country or region is an essential variable influencing how public relations is practiced there.
Winning paper: An Expanded View from the Corner Office – Further Discussions and Research on the Global Navigation of International Corporate Communications
The significance of international corporate communications is growing rapidly, and the complexity associated with it is increasing almost exponentially. But systematic understanding of international corporate communications, even in the corner offices of the PR industry’s top management, is not well developed.
There is no comprehensive interlinking of PR knowledge with relevant expertise derived from other disciplines. Anyone who wants to position specific content through specific institutions by means of specific people in specific media in a specific country needs expertise on all those levels. Similarly, anyone who tries to do this on the internet cannot simply rely on English as the “lingua franca”, but must likewise consider many communicative specifics of individual target countries.
This essay will illustrate the status quo in this area through examples and propose a heuristic analytical grid, along with its interdisciplinary application using the example of media relations. It will conclude with a few basic considerations about the future of cross-border corporate communications and a resolution of the scenarios depicted in the introduction.
Cultural Diplomacy as a Form of International Communication
By Marta Ryniejska – Kiełdanowicz
This paper presents the term of Cultural Diplomacy, which is quite new in the domain of Polish foreign policy and in the field of international public relations. Although this term is used increasingly by political scientists, communications experts as well as politicians, it is relatively little known. The concepts of public and cultural diplomacy are intertwined with the concept of “branding” or to put it simply brand management. It may be assumed that the basic principles in building the brand of a country are the same as in the commercial sphere of identity building. Art and culture are in the forefront of many countries’ promotional efforts. These countries recognize that showing their cultural heritage provides them with an opportunity of showing who they are, creating a positive image, thus helping to achieve their political aims.
Transcending Boundaries: The Public Relations Practitioner as Cultural Mediator
By Michèle Schoenberger-Orgad
This paper takes the circuit of culture model as the basis for a discussion of the public relations practitioner as cultural intermediary, transcending national and geographic boundaries by drawing on the cultural values of diverse audiences. It discusses the public relations strategies used by NATO in its successful campaign in Kosovo in 1999, with particular attention on the role of the NATO spokesman in the execution of public relations strategies, in terms of the “moments” of production and representation during the campaign. In analysing NATO’s communication strategies during the Kosovo Campaign, the paper examines the organization negotiated culture, identity and power in relation to diverse cultural and national audiences. It contends that the NATO spokesman’s public relations strategy attempted to create a transnational and European cultural framework. It argues that NATO achieved this through discursive positioning of the organization as a humanitarian military powerhouse, and so, at the same time, legitimized its own continuation as a viable supranational organization for the 21st century.