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Implications of mass communication theory for asymmetric public relations evaluation

McCoy, Mairead and Hargie, Owen (2003) Implications of mass communication theory for asymmetric public relations evaluation. Journal of Communication Management, 7 (4). pp. 304-316. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1108/13632540310807449


This paper considers the implications of mass communications theory on public relations (PR) evaluation and briefly reviews mass communication effects, persuasion, and cognition, attitude and behaviour change theories. The implications for evaluation are then examined. Reliance on domino models is shown to be too simplistic. It is suggested that claims of PR behavioural effects may be unrealistic and it is argued that more moderate and/or alternative goals are needed if preordained failure is to be avoided. Evaluation results must be interpreted cautiously so that further significance that is not supported by theory is not assumed. This paper shows how the concept of PR evaluation could be widened to include formative evaluation and broad environmental monitoring, which are especially important in identifying and understanding why and how communication works, what its effects are, what factors restrict or facilitate effectiveness and under what conditions success can be maximised.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Communication
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Communication
Psychology Research Institute > Peace, Conflict and Equality
Institute for Research in Social Sciences
ID Code:6925
Deposited By: Professor Owen Hargie
Deposited On:19 Jan 2010 10:11
Last Modified:15 Jun 2011 09:56

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