Monday, September 22, 2008


Types of Publics

James Grunig defines four sorts of publics:
1 Non-publics - groups that neither are affected by nor affect the organization and can be ignored
2 Latent publics - groups that face problem as a result of an organisation’s actions, but fail to recognise it.
3 Aware publics – groups that recognise that a problem exists
4 Active publics – groups that do something about the problem

Active Publics

- Can be broke down into three categories:
All-issue publics – active on all issues affecting an organisation
Single-issue publics – active on one issue or a small set of issues
Hot-issue publics – those involved in an issue that has broad public support and usually gets extensive media coverage.

* There are also what Grunig calls: (NOT IN THE FOUR CATEGORY ABOVE)

Apathetic publics – which are basically unconcerned by all problems and are effectively not a public at all

Grunig’s Situational Theory

3 factors that move latent publics to become active publics:

Problem recognition – people won’t think about a situation unless they believe that something needs to be done about it, ie they have problem

Constraint recognition – people perceive that there are constraints on their ability to act in the way they want.

Level of involvement – people see themselves being involved and affected by a situation, thus the more likely they will communicate to others

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