Open system model of public relations


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Open system model of public relations

  2. 2. Public relations concerns building and maintaining the relationships organisations have with various internal and external publics. PR acts as a spokesperson for the organisation. This role will vary in substance between organisations, depending on the nature and size of the business, and the organisational culture.  Tench and Yeomans (2006) identify that organisations are affected by, and in turn affect, the environment in which they operate.
  3. 3. SYSTEMS THEORY This theory describes organisations as a set of subsystems that affect each other and simultaneously interact with the external environment. The external environment is always changing, in turn the organisation must adapt and evolve. Organisations form part of a social system that consists of individuals or groups (publics). Organisations exist by accepting inputs from these publics, and transforming them into outputs. It then receives feedback on those outputs and adjusts accordingly, thus developing a positive feedback loop.
  4. 4.  It is this feedback function that illustrates the relevance of systems theory to public relations in practice. PR undertakes this role of strengthening relations between an organisation and its subsystems, whether internal or external.
  5. 5. Mechanistic systems, referred to as ‘closed’ systems, operate within set parameters to meet pre-determined goals whilst maintaining equilibrium. Not adaptable to change, they focus on managing a unit with limited considerations of relationships with other units or the external environment. OPEN AND CLOSED SYSTEMS Organismic systems, referred to as ‘open’ systems, are responsive to environmental change and continual adjustments occur in order to maintain balance and survive. The units involved are affected by and affect each other.
  6. 6.  Impermeable Boundary  Doesn’t adapt to external change  Static  Eventually disintegrates  Active only when disturbed, reacting to crisis, problems  Interdependence:  Interconnection: (i.e. domino effect)  Adaptation:  Continual Interaction with feedback (positive or negative)  Permeable Boundaries CHARACTERISTICS CLOSED SYSTEM OPEN SYSTEM
  7. 7. Systems theory as applied to public relations practice seeks to explain how organisations interact with the external and internal environment and how those interactions are managed PR in an open & living system is proactive and anticipates, scans and monitors, detects, adjusts for and initiates corrective changes. Proactive PR keeps an organization sensitive to environmental changes.
  8. 8. CONCLUSION Organisations should aim to work within an organismic system; responding and adapting to environmental change will enable them to meet their publics’ needs. However, when referring to a social system, no system is completely open or closed. In terms of public relations, the degree of openness or closeness determines an organisation’s sensitivity to its environment and relevant publics.
  9. 9. THANK YOU!