The management of organisation and community resources through public policy process to advance organisational interest and rights by striking a mutual balance with those of stakeholders .
It supports strategic business planning and management by understanding public policy, by meeting standards of corporate responsibility expected by key stakeholders, and by using two-way communication to foster understanding and minimise conflict .
In the 1970s consumer and other advocacy and activist groups, government legislators and major stakeholders in company concerns began to demand more accountability from corporations and from government.
This was a direct result of the information revolution
More than ever publics had access to media and information that brought new knowledge
Originally issues management was about changing attitudes - usually of the corporate critics such as advocacy and activist groups.
Largely one way asymmetrical or possibly two way asymmetrical (scientific persuasion);
Advocacy advertising was the tool with which issues were addressed (Heath & Cousino, 1990)
“ Issues management is a product of activism and the increasing intra and inter-industry pressures by corporations to define and implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) - as well as debate in public what the standards of CSR should be.”
The functions are interrelated - environmental scanning in particular.
Issues management is a comprehensive activity which consists of specific functions, some of which require the expertise of public relations practitioners, and the performance of which can strengthen the rationale for including public relations in the dominant coalition of corporations.
“ No uniform view of issues management appears in public relations texts, the basis by which a discipline codifies itself. Most texts which discuss issues management treat it as a communication tool. A few emphasize its issue monitoring functions. What is largely ignored is its role in strategic planning and corporate social responsibility”.
(Heath and Cousino, 1990)
“ It is becoming more important to assess what is good for the corporation in a more holistic setting.”