Recurring crisis of credibility? The state of public relations in South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    This article is based on the notion that Prisa's approaching 55th anniversary presents an opportunity to reflect on the current state of public relations in South Africa – a state of affairs brought into sharper focus by the substantive change in the country subsequent to 1994's new political dispensation. This qualitative field survey asked the following research question: How do the presidents of Prisa who have served terms of office since 1994 view the current state of public relations in this country? The purposive sample resulted in ten respondents and an interview strategy was utilised to elicit responses in terms of an interview schedule. The thematic analysis brought about a two-fold picture: there appears to be increasing pressure on the public relations industry from the outside, with a commensurate collapse from within the industry itself. The article concludes that in many respects this study underscores the fact that not much has changed in the public relations industry; therefore, one could argue that the findings point to a recurring crisis of credibility in the South African public relations industry.