Q1. Grunig and Repper (1992) proposed a model of strategic management of public relations. Sung (2004) commented that the model emphasizes Public relations has a significant role in the process of an organization’s strategic management by identifying stakeholders, publics, and issues around the consequences facing the organization.
Sung (2004) summarized the model can be divided into a three-stage process: the stakeholder stage, public stage, and issues stage. The first stage focuses on building and maintaining a good relationship between an organization and stakeholders, and followed by identifying and segmenting the public in managing conflicts at public stage. The last stage emphasizes the importance of issue management including the anticipation of issue and the response to issues from organizational perspective.
In the evaluation of strategic management of public relations, both concepts of risk communication and situational theory can be integrated into the above-mentioned model. Risk communication is an ongoing process that builds the foundation for crisis communication. Particularly, the risk analysis process consists of hazard identification, risk assessment, significance of risks and communicating risk information.
Case study: Vitasoy Lemon Tea product
Basically, the concepts of risk communication are partially aligned with the ideology of three-stage process of the model in terms of crisis communication and issue management. For instance, a Hong Kong famous beverages manufacturer, VITASOY, has raised public concerns of the taste deviation of Lemon Tea product in February 2014. In response to this crisis, VITASOY has published a media statement to the key stakeholders including customers, media and the retailers. In the statement, VITASOY (2014) first acknowledged the issue of lemon tea taste deviation and claimed the issue has no harm to human health. Taking the stakeholders’ interests into consideration, the company re-examined the product and provided the details of production information and reasons for the taste deviation. Finally, the management decided to proactively perform voluntary withdrawal of all affected products and offered the details of refund procedures for customers. To rebuild the relationship with key stakeholders, the company emphasizes product quality is always the priority concern.
To sum up, the case revealed the risk communication process is interrelated to the three-stage process of the model. The organization in the case has notably put attention on stakeholder relationship management as part of the public relations works. The remedial actions taken also reflected the company’s assessment of risk involved in the crisis and the stakeholder perceptions such as the impact of human health. The online media statement also revealed a kind of responsive communication strategy to show concerns and provide credible information to stakeholders.
Situational theory of public (Grunig & Hunt, 1984) refers to...