Tactical publicity or strategic relationship management? An exploratory investigation of the role of public relations in the UK retail sector

Danny Moss (The Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Gary Warnaby (The Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Louise Thame (The Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 1 December 1996

Abstract

Examines the role of public relations within the UK retail sector and seeks to determine whether retailers use public relations strategically ‐ as a means of managing their relationships with key stakeholder publics ‐ or simply as a tactical publicity function. Identifies, in an exploratory study conducted in four major UK retail organizations indicative of the different types of retail institutions within the UK, the main characteristics of the public relations functions and compares these with those associated with each of the four models of public relations identified by Grunig and Hunt (1984). Looks at the relationship between the marketing and public relations functions, analysing whether public relations operates as an independent function free of control from marketing or whether it operates simply as a sub‐function of marketing. Considers to what extent public relations can be said to play a strategically important role within the UK retail sector. Highlights the considerable diversity in the way in which public relations is practised within the retail organizations studied, and suggests the need for more extensive research to identify the reasons for this diversity in the way the public relations function operates within the UK retail sector.

Keywords

Citation

Moss, D., Warnaby, G. and Thame, L. (1996), "Tactical publicity or strategic relationship management? An exploratory investigation of the role of public relations in the UK retail sector", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 12, pp. 69-84. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090569610153318

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Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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