People, power and public relations
journal contributionposted on 2001-01-01, 00:00 authored by Kristin DemetriousKristin Demetrious
Public relations is conventionally viewed from a corporate perspective. However, recent events in Victoria have illustrated the fact that grassroots activism holds an increasing share of public relations expertise. In contemporary Victoria civil activism has advanced a long way from traditional adversarial NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) campaigns and has succeeded in generating both social and cultural change. How does a civil activist approach the complex problem of public relations? How do they convince publics their arguments are in the interest of the whole community? Is it is a question of mimicking corporate techniques or has a new style of public relations evolved specific to their needs? This paper examines a case study in which an outer- suburban grassroots activist group effected significant change in state government and corporate policy. The results challenge the view that public relations is the exclusive tool of large corporations and governments and calls for a redefinition of ‘what is public relations’?