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Globalization of the public relations agency industry: a country-level analysis of global public relations agencies and environmental factors

Suman Lee (Hussman School of Journalism and Media, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA)
Surin Chung (E. W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA)
Euirang Lee (E. W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 4 January 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

The present study examined the status of globalization of the public relations (PR) agency industry and its environmental factors by analyzing 101 countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were constructed from content analysis and multiple archival sources. Cluster analysis and multiple regressions were used for data analysis.

Findings

The present study identified the four distinctive groups of countries in the number of global PR agencies per country. These groups are (1) globalized top countries, (2) globalized major countries, (3) globalizing countries and (4) peripheral countries. The study also found that the degree of globalization of the PR agency industry in a country was associated with its democracy, economic system (gross domestic product (GDP) and foreign direct investment inflow), legal system (rule of law), cultural system (power distance and long-term orientation) and media system (Internet penetration rate) factors.

Originality/value

The previous studies on the global PR agency industry was limited to investigating a few leading agencies, but this study analyzed 114 global PR agencies and their diffusion in 101 countries and explored the influence of each country's characteristics (i.e. political, economic, legal, cultural and media factors) identified as the global PR environment factors.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The author received no financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article.

Citation

Lee, S., Chung, S. and Lee, E. (2023), "Globalization of the public relations agency industry: a country-level analysis of global public relations agencies and environmental factors", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCOM-06-2022-0067

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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