The Low-Flying Communicator: Understanding public relations in a regional context

Jochen Hoffmann, James A. Lingwall

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Abstract

Most research on public relations (PR) roles takes the starting point of PR as an indispensable boundary-spanning function. Context may explain how PR is performed and which skills are important, but not the degree to which PR is necessary. In this article, we tackle the latter question by identifying and discussing the role of the low-flying communicator in the Danish region of North Jutland. The study is based on individual and focus group interviews with communication practitioners and students. The results show that many regional companies have established a communicative comfort zone “under the radar” of public attention. This leads to recruitment problems. Companies are less visible in the labour market and depend on graduates who stay in the region for personal reasons. A certain unwillingness to cross boundaries of social and public spaces feeds into sense-making but also contestable role understandings of PR practice and education in regional contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordicom Review
Volume41
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)85-99
Number of pages15
ISSN1403-1108
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • public relations education
  • public relations encroachment
  • public relations recruitment
  • public relations roles
  • regional public relations

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