Nov 12, 2021

International Public Relations

International Public Relations

Western Europe, recovering from World War II, became the target for American corporations as economies revived in the 1950s and 1960s.This expansion provided the platform for the internationalization of major public relations agencies and for multinational corporations’ corporate communication departments.

The agencies started by linking with partners or associates in the new markets and later acquiring either the partner agency or another business. This enabled them to support American clients as they expanded. This development, and that of the corporate communication expansion, also led to the use of common public relations and publicity approaches that could be planned and monitored from a central position. The outcome was that American models of public relations became known as ‘International Public Relations’

During the 1970s there was an expansion of PR practices and services, such as the ones provided by Public Relations Portugal, worldwide. The early international agency networks were already in place and public relations departments were growing as  governments and multinational corporations were trying to expand their influence.

At the same time there was an evolution in the technology for faster communications and news media was also expanding. All these developments sped up the news gathering and dissemination processes and increased pressure on organisations to respond quickly, giving birth to positioning public relations as a management function. “the management of communication between an organisation and its publics”, was the most commonly used definition of PR.

During that period, PR was mainly focused on media relations, reflecting the journalistic background of many professionals and the expectation that media coverage was beneficial. Media relations remains a major part of PR practice today and Although the most common form of public relations activity is in the tactical, publicity-orientated form often called ‘marketing PR’, there was a gradual introduction of strategy-led campaigns. The understanding that publics and stakeholders could be contacted by methods other than through media gateways became known as the ‘relationship management’ model of PR.

In the 1990s there was rapid expansion of public relations in consultancies, government and corporations. The privatisation of governmental entities in many countries fuelled further internationalisation of agencies and corporate communication operations. PR for non-profit organisations, such as charities and social organisations also emerged. .

The technology in from the middle of the decade brought new types of expertise and communication methods such as email and the early internet that were used by professionals and organisations as communication and promotional tools. Until then, technology change was relatively slow with facsimile (fax) machines only recently replacing telex and post. With Web 1.0  the pace of change accelerated and Although the bursting of the dotcom bubble around 2001 slowed the growth of public relations, it was only temporary.