Strategic public relations management in China

Cen Yue, Purdue University


The purpose of this study was to explore the current status of the strategic public relations management in China. This study is the first to apply the generic principles of excellent public relations in China. Surveys and in-depth interviews were used to address five research questions: (1) practitioners’ strategic public relations practice, (2) their relationship with the dominant coalition, (3) communication models in use, (4) proficiency in practicing the managerial and technical roles, and (5) the challenges facing public relations industry were explored as research questions. The study results suggested that public relations was hardly managed in a strategic manner in China. We found that public relations (1) was mostly involved in the technician role and not in organizational policy making, (2) was not a member of the dominant coalitions, did it have convenient reporting lines to senior management, and was considered less valuable than marketing and public affairs by senior management (3) the press agentry model was used the most prominently in China—in agreement with previous literature—whereas two-way symmetrical communications was not practiced frequently, and (5) that the current knowledge in how to manage seems insufficient and the profession may benefit from professional training and formal education.




Sriramesh, Purdue University.

Subject Area


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