The purpose of this paper is to suggest that corporate communications is becoming less predictable as interaction with stakeholders is moving from organizational control toward “issue arenas”, places of interaction where an issue is discussed by stakeholders and organizations both online and within the traditional media. The role of corporate communications and public relations (PR) is broadening beyond the traditional relationship management to issue arena monitoring.
The paper takes a theoretical approach with six axioms suggested.
Several central theories of corporate communications are combined with issues management and stakeholder theory to argue for a multiplicity of new “issue arenas”, which require an increased amount of monitoring. Six axioms are suggested for future research on corporate communications, and a mosaic of multiple strategies for multiple publics moved by multiple issues is recommended.
The axioms suggested require empirical testing with different arenas across contexts and cultures, and the axioms may change over time as the virtual arenas expand. Future studies should focus on the process of arena formation as well as the division of voice on the arenas.
Monitoring becomes central as corporate communication is less controllable. Corporate communication and PR will play a key role in organizational survival in the future through the processes of finding the right issues and “issue arenas” for interaction, facilitating the organization‐public debate and through this managing organizational reputation. A change in thinking is required, as identifying issues should precede identifying stakeholders.
The paper argues that organizational survival depends not only on communicating with the right stakeholders, but also on finding the relevant issue arenas in which organizations should participate in discussion.
Luoma‐aho, V. and Vos, M. (2010), "Towards a more dynamic stakeholder model: acknowledging multiple issue arenas", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 315-331. https://doi.org/10.1108/13563281011068159Download as .RIS
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