The strategic role of public relations is strategic reflection: a South African research stream

17 Sep 2015

This article introduces a South African (SA) research stream on the strategic role of public relations (PR). (a) The PR strategist role is conceptualized and verified in SA, together with the (redefined) PR manager and technician roles. (b) A comparative analysis of these roles and three of the four European Body of Knowledge (EBOK) roles (reflective, managerial, and operational) indicates conceptual similarity. (c) The PR strategist role index is broadened to incorporate the EBOK reflective role, and the new EBOK role (PR educationist) is conceptualized and operationalized as an educational and counseling role. All four EBOK roles are measured and verified in Company X in SA. (d) The refined instrument is used in another study to measure the roles of PR strategist, manager, and technician in South and East Africa. Two roles are verified, the PR strategist (including a reflective dimension) and a combined manager/ technician role. Based on the findings of these studies, the PR strategist is relabeled reflective strategist, an important new role in South (and East) Africa that is centered on strategic reflection.