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Probable applications of complex networks in public relations practices: A scenario-based approach

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Author(s): Burcu Selin Yilmaz | Ozgur Devrim Gunel

Journal: PRism Online PR Journal
ISSN 1448-4404

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: public relations | complex networks theory | managing relationships | stakeholders | media relations

ABSTRACT
This paper examines the feasibility of using complex networks theory in order to achieve more effective results when establishing and managing relationships. It focuses on the example of relationships with the media, as one of the stakeholders of any organisation, but argues that other relationships managed by public relations will also be able to benefit from the application of complex networks theory. The present study consists of four parts, starting with brief coverage of the importance of public relations for organisations, continuing with complex networks theory and its probable applications in public relations practice, and ending with a hypothetical scenario demonstrating use of complex networks in a media relations situation. The scenario is structured on the results of interviews with managers of small and medium sized accommodation establishments. The article concludes that complex network theory is an area of high relevance to theory building in public relations, and that more work should be done to incorporate it into the discipline’s range of theoretical and applied approaches.
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