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Communities and public relations

Fitch, K. (2009) Communities and public relations. In: Johnston, J. and Zawawi, C., (eds.) Public relations: theory and practice. Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, N.S.W, pp. 361-388.


In an earlier edition of this book, Marianne Sison argued that increasing individualism, changing social structures and concerns with business ethics had led to a need for corporations to develop stronger relationships with local communities. Community relations came about partly because organisations began to recognise the importance of two-way communication with publics. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge that publics also have higher expectations of consultation and partnership with governments and corporations.

Some public relations theorists (Karlberg 1996; Moffitt 1992; Comrie 2000) recognise the early focus of public relations theory on business and organisational Concerns at the expense of considering the role and conception of publics, and the social implications of public relations activity. The interest in communities and community relations in the last decade demonstrates an important shift in the focus of public relations and a new interest in the social, cultural and political contexts of public relations.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Media, Communication and Culture
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
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