Local Development Needs PR

13 years, 2 months ago

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Rosa María Torres Valdés has conducted research and analysis on public relations procedures at local development networks.



The traditional forms of government of hierarchic type, bureaucratic and far from the public, are evolving towards forms of closer and relational government, that is characterised by the great importance which they grant to the work in participant networks, of horizontal type or multilevel, to obtain development and innovation goals.

With this scenery, it is perceived that Public Relations could be a vector that could help consolidation of participative networks on socio-economic council development. This is clearly seen by the social function that Public Relations carries out, especially nowadays, that the both forms of Government mentioned above, coexist within the Public Administration.

The recommendations on convergence and development of the European guidelines, touch deeply, among others, areas such as Social Responsibility, Cooperation, Social Quality, Communication, etc., being all of them integrated in the Public Relations activity.

This context is sufficient to raise some research into both scopes, Public Relations and Local Development, to determine the presence or not of similar and convergent topics from a theoretical point of view. Also to state, in affirmative case if this correspondence takes place in praxis.

Methodology

The methodology used in the research has consisted of:

Qualitative analysis, using techniques of descriptive “approach ex-post action” and techniques of documentary theoretical exploration.

• The tools to which it has resorted are: Bibliographical files of mixed type, with evaluation of levels of occurrence of topics in references recognised in each subject, all after a bibliographical exploration and revision of the state of the art, level of development and potential possibilities.

• In order to make the differential analysis of the occurrence of shared items in the bibliographical references in Public Relations and Local Development, the specific differences for each indicator were detailed, through a comparison of the residual results in contingency tables. The aim was to find the total weighed difference of the items (high, medium and lower) for each indicator. Therefore, it is possible to interpret the percentage in which Public Relations and Local Development can be distinguished in relation with each one of the indicated items for the research. In the end, what was performed was a quantitative evaluation of the differences appearing at each level of indicator.

• I also used Semi-structured interviews to participants of participative networks, for exploration and characterisation, in its case, of strategies and techniques of used Public Relations in this network.

As a result of the comparative analysis five convergent topics were overdraft. Following, all five points are listed from more to less degree of correspondence:



The interviews showed that the local development agents were using some Public Relations techniques by intuition.

As a conclusion of this research and analysis on Public Relations procedures at local development networks, it is possible to asseverate that the professional activity of Public Relations in the field of Local Development is pertinent.

Local Development needs to create strategic relationships in order to reach its goals of sustainable development. On the other hand, Public Relations provides strategies, tactics, techniques, and tools for achieving those strategic and sustainable relationship.

Public Relations strategy in Local Development strategy is a real opportunity for Public Relations practitioners.


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The Author

Rosa María Torres Valdés

Rosa María Torres Valdés, University of Alicante, Department of Communication and Social Psychology (Professor). General Foundation of the University of Alicante. (Carrier office manager, and Public Relations Manager).

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