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Journalism Studies, Volume 1, Number 2, 2000, pp. 303–321

Public Relations in Strategic Management and
Strategic Management of Public Relations: theory
and evidence from the IABC Excellence project
JAMES E. GRUNIG AND LARISSA A. GRUNIG

University of Maryland, USA

ABSTRACT This article establishes the case for public relations as a critical component of an organization’s strategic management processes and of the subsequent strategic management of public relations in an effective organization. The article begins with an elaboration of a theory of the value of strategic management in public relations. Qualitative and quantitative results of the IABC Research Foundation’s Excellence project, presented next, con rmed the importance of strategic public relations in helping make organizations effective. The involvement of public relations in strategic management consistently was the best predictor of excellent public relations in the 323 organizations studied. Both CEOs and communication managers in organizations with excellent public relations departments believed the function contributes more to organizational effectiveness than did those with less-excellent departments. However, the research also showed that “strategic management” means different things to different practitioners of the eld and that most public relations departments do not practice public relations strategically. Interviewees in effective public relations operations explained the value of their work primarily in building relationships with strategic publics. KEY WORDS: Excellence, Public Relations, Strategic Management

Since 1985, we have been part of a
team of six researchers who have conducted research, funded by the International Association of Business Communicators
(IABC)
Research
Foundation, on the characteristics of
excellent public relations departments
and on how such departments make
their organizations more effective. After
completing an initial literature review,...