Public relations in society. A new approach to the difficult relationships between PR and its environment
In political and philosophical terms public relations and society appear to be at odds with each other. Public relations as the representative of individual interests is opposed to the general wellbeing of society. The contradictions between PR and society should form the basis for an analysis of the relationship between PR and society from a system theory perspective (Luhmann, 1996). In the course of the examination one can differentiate between three levels of PR and society: (1) PR as part of society: in this regard the question will be what PR does for society. (2) Society in the PR environment: at this level the question will be how organisations regard society and how PR constructs societal models. (3) The entirety of PR sees itself as being apart from society: in a dynamic perspective the question here will be how the reflexive expectations change the relationship between PR and its environment.