Relevance of Grunig and Hunt to Public Relations in New Media Research

One of the popular models of public relations is one by two scholars Grunig and Hunt and the model is called Grunig and Hunt Model. In this post,  I am going to show you how this model can be related or used to explain public relations and social media usage in this era. i.e how Grunig and Hunt model is applicable to the place of Public relations in this era of New Media, it will also show how  be used for other public relations communication research especially when laying emphasis on Two way communication as justified by the Two-Way Symmetric Model. 

  1. Press Agentry /publicity Model: This model believes that complete truth is neither necessary nor helpful. Therefore, half truths should be told and information could be distorted. The public relations officer can disseminate incomplete and distorted information in presenting the views of his organization, government or institutions. The feedback process is considered a waste of time as communication is intended to tell and not to listen to receiver of the message. The communication is one way.
  2. Public Information Model: This model believes that there is need for complete truth in the information to be presented to the public. Therefore, the public relations practitioners should give objective information about the activities of his organization. However, communication is still one-way under this model as the feedback process is still seen as not essential. The public relations practitioners here give objective information about his organization but he does not bother to receive any feedback as it is seen as necessary.
  3. Two Way Asymmetric Model: This model says that the objective of the public relations officer is to scientifically persuade the receiver of his information or message. Although truth is essential, the feedback system is cosmetic as it is not intended to affect or change the activities of the organization. The feedback system is there to create a false impression that the organisation is a listening one. Therefore, Communication here is two way with unbalance effects because it is intended to influence and change behavior of the publics and not the organization.
  4. Two Way Symmetric Model: Under this model, the communication objective is to achieve a true mutual understanding and satisfying the mutual interests of both the organisation and its publics. This model embraces dialogue rather than monologue in its communication approach. It holds that truth is essential and the feedback system must be genuine and objective so that mutual understanding and benefits can be achieved.

Relevance of Grunig and Hunt to Public Relations in New Media Research

From the model above, it is clear that “Two Way Symmetric Model appears more effective and accurate especially with the use of social media which is online communication platform in fostering and building interactive communication between an organisation and its Publics. Sometimes, Organisation updates its website and share the latest look to its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social network platforms for its Publics to access and interact and react. In another way round, latest development is shared via social platform, it also serve as a source of generating effective feedback, comments, criticism, and other valuable contributions that will improve the organization efficacy.     

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