Beyond professionalism: a government relations model

Paul Elmer (Paul Elmer is based at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Publication date: 1 December 2000


This case study explored the nature of professionalism in UK Government public relations. In addition to using established functional models of professionalism, the study tested a market‐based model of professional value, first conceived by sociologist Thomas Brante, and sought to examine the concept of professionalism as one negotiated between the buyer and provider of a service. This is the first time that Brante’s relational model has been applied to a public relations context. The subject population was buyers and providers of public relations services within the UK Ministry of Defence. The study exposed imbalances of both power and knowledge. Public relations practitioners were found not to have a consistent level of functional professionalism, while their more powerful clients neither expected nor valued functional, strategic or ethical performance from their public relations practitioners.



Elmer, P. (2000), "Beyond professionalism: a government relations model", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 190-197.

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Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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