DOI: 10.5176/2301-3710_JMComm14.04

Authors: Dr. Dan Eller and Dr. Kirk Sturm


Dozier, Grunig, & Grunig (1995) describe four communication models for public relations practitioners. The two-way asymmetrical communications model may create ethical issues for public sector managers because they may be seeking to achieve their goals by framing public relations messages in ways that are more likely to be accepted by their publics. The role of the public relations practitioner in a public sector position requires influencing communications to internal and external publics. This study used a case study to describe how a public sector manager used two-way asymmetrical communications approach to “declare victory” with local businesses regarding changes in attendance data. In declaring victory, the city manager brushes up against ethical issues and chooses not to implement a more collaborative two-way symmetrical model. The study concludes by making theory and practice recommendations and noting the limitations of the study.

Keywords: public relations theory, ethics, public entities, one-way asymmetrical, two-way symmetrical


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