Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

The Public Relations Institute of Ireland, (PRII) Online Journal, (1), 1-12.


The Reflective Practitioner: Critical Theory and the Professionalisation of PR Abstract The purpose of this article is to outline the relevance that critical theory has for the practice of public relations and the professional formation of its practitioners. The article provides an overview of one of the key theoretical perspectives articulated in the political economy approach to communication - that of the relationship between powerful elites in society and media professionals. The author seeks to explore the hypothesised relationships said to exist between power brokers in society and the 'organs of cultural production' - with particular emphasis on media relations. The author examines this dynamic as articulated in the literature and explores its relevance to public relations practitioners. Arising from some of the issues raised by the political economy analysis of public communication, the author will reflect on some of the ethical challenges that face the Public Relations industry with specific reference to media relations. In this context, the author will propose a professional orientation for public relations practice that is informed by theory and characterised by research and reflective practice. In summary, the author seeks to describe a model for the professionalisation of public relations practice consistent with a research process leading to credentialism and formal professional accreditation.



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