Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2021

17 Personal influence in public relations

From the book Public Relations
Krishnamurthy Sriramesh and Jolene Fisher

Abstract

This essay seeks to dispel the popular assumption that public relations is conducted mostly through mass-mediated communication and to highlight the importance of personal influence to the practice. In doing so, it reviews the definition of the term “personal influence,” describes its use in public relations practice, and reviews the sparse attention it has received from public relations scholars. In an attempt to dispel another erroneous assumption - that personal influence is only seen in the developing world, such as in Asia - a review of literature is presented chronicling research on this term from various parts of the world. It posits that other disciplines such as mass communication, marketing, and consumer behavior have much more robust scholarship on the use of personal influence. It concludes by offering thoughts on the importance of personal influence to the field and offers avenues for further research.

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