Public Relations, Democracy and the Establishment of Effective Organizational Transparency
Organizational achievement of two-way symmetric communications offers the ideal societal mechanism for achieving corporate accountability, organizational transparency and reflexive conceptualization of organizational affect. Assessment of communication practices at the micro-level reveals structural flaws that compromise societal discourse regarding legislative reform and maintenance of good corporate governance. These structural deficiencies arising out of flawed communication structures make societal realization of an informed citizenry an unachievable goal. Flawed communication perpetuates misunderstanding. that undermines accountability measures as well as risk assessment (e.g. financial security, institutional integrity, as well as public safety). The field of public relations offers conceptual and tactical approaches to communication capable of reversing these troubling trends that continue to undermine the credibility of democratic societies' key institutions. However, outsiders too often define public relations in terms that undermine the structural capabilities of public relations practitioners. Clearly defined and enforced professional standards along with accurate and comprehensive definitions of the role public relations serves must be achieved for public relations practitioners to realize true societal understanding of their professional role. The reflexive public relations practitioner seeks to provide organizations with the infrastructure that satisfies democratic societies' demand for transparency through accurate and comprehensive communication. Reflexive public relations structures capable of combating disinformation efforts will further advance democracies' demand for transparency. At the macro-level, the profession of public relations now has the opportunity to redefine its societal role in the future of the twenty-first century and invigorate the now declining civic virtue decimated by misinformation campaigns and structurally flawed communication practices that undermine informed societal discourse.
Keywords: Public Relations, Reflexivity, Transparency
Mr. Lawrence P. Lhulier
Editorial/Marketing Specialist, National School Public Relations Association
Dr. DeMond S. Miller
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and The Liberal Arts and Sciences Institute, Rowan University