Department of Economic Journalism and Public Relations
Poznan University of Economics
The paper is confronting the main paradigms of the Western, mainly American, public relations theoretical literature with its practical application in the economies and societies of the countries in transition – former socialist/communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Soviet Union.
The first part of the paper explains the background and reasons of the evolution of the attitudes toward western theoretical literature; from admiration and multiplication, through slowly growing scepticism and finally – the first effort of original and critical research. The reasons for such rather slow evolution are in the author’s opinion following: economic barriers, technological barrier, strong pro-American sentiments in Poland and efficiency of the western PR for mainstream PR.
In the second part, the author reveals the sources of inspiration for his transitional public relations concept – the successful German campaign for introduction of social market economy (Die WAAGE”) described by Kunczik, and later on also the Peru’s Fujimori campaign “..to sell the administrations neoliberal policies”, presented by Freitag.
The third part contains the confrontation of the basic assumptions and paradigms of the mainstream theories with the specific realities of societies and economies in transition. Such issues as : the assumption of equal partners versus two-ways model of symmetrical communication, the dominant coalition, the role of ethics in PR , the assumption that today all public relations is already global, are confronted e.g. with the asymmetry of power and information, with to many examples of ignorance and arrogance and unethical practice of Western PR agencies, counsels, advisors and theoreticians. The conclusion: you should better practice what you preach