The global society and its impact on public relations theorizing: Reflections on major macro trends


  • Chiara Valentini Aarhus University
  • Dean Kruckeberg University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Kenneth Starck University of Iowa



public relations, global society, social change, communication technologies, marketization, community


This article contributes to the discussion on societal changes and their impact on communication disciplines by focusing on public relations and its role in contemporary global society. The thesis is that the public relations profession has been affected by contemporary societal changes that challenge the existing body of knowledge and its underpinning theories. To understand the role of public relations in 21st century global societies and pursuing future public relations theorizing, the authors argue it is paramount to comprehend which factors at macro, meso, and micro levels lie beneath the substantial changes in today’s global society. The article presents and reflects on four major macro trends of contemporary global society and concludes with suggestions for future directions for public relations scholarship and practice that are rooted in the concept of community and the idea of being part of and at the service of a community.

Author Biographies

Chiara Valentini, Aarhus University

Chiara Valentini, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark. Her research interests are on public relations, corporate communication, crisis communication, political communication, and social media. Her work has appeared in international peer-reviewed journals, international handbooks and volume contributions. She is currently chair of the Public Relations Division, International Communication Association, and serves as a reviewer of several international peer-review journals and is an active member of several international editorial boards.

Dean Kruckeberg, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Dean Kruckeberg, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is co-author of the textbook, Th is Is PR: The Realities of Public Relations. His honors include the PRSA Atlas Award for Lifetime Achievement in International Public Relations, the PRSA Outstanding Educator Award, the Pathfinder Award of the Institute for Public Relations and the Jackson Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Research Prize. He has lectured and performed research worldwide.

Kenneth Starck, University of Iowa

Kenneth Starck, Ph.D., is professor-emeritus at the University of Iowa where he was professor and director for 17 years of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. More recently he served as Dean of the Zayed University College of Communication and Media Sciences in the United Arab Emirates. His scholarly interests center on intercultural journalism and the role of media in society.




How to Cite

Valentini, C., Kruckeberg, D., & Starck, K. . (2016). The global society and its impact on public relations theorizing: Reflections on major macro trends . Central European Journal of Communication, 9(2(17), 229-246.



Scientific Papers