The purpose of this paper is to examine how organizations enact positivity, openness, access, sharing of tasks, and networking through their web sites. The paper also aims to investigate whether, different types of industries display different levels of relationship strategy.
A content analysis of 286 web sites was conducted to determine how corporations use their site as a communication medium for building and nurturing relationships with publics. Company web sites were selected from the Fortune 500 list according to industry type. The sites were analyzed for the presence and quality of variables identified in the public relations literature as measures of relationship maintenance strategies.
The study's first research question addressed how the sampled organizations display use of relationship maintenance strategies through their web sites. The results revealed that openness was the strategy used most frequently. The quality of the openness dimension also was rated more highly than it was for any of the other strategies. The second research question explored whether industry type made a difference in organizations' use of the relationship maintenance strategies. A statistically significant difference among industry type was found for three of the strategies – positivity, openness, and access.
This study gives guidelines as to how companies can use their web sites more proactively to build and maintain relationships with their publics. The study also provides some insights into why some types of organizations might be more likely than others to use web sites for relationship maintenance. This study's primary contribution to public relations theory is its original focus on strategies for organization‐public relationship maintenance and this study also sought to identify and measure the quality of maintenance strategies.
Ki, E. and Childers Hon, L. (2006), "Relationship maintenance strategies on
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