The 4 Models of Public Relations

2021-11-01 by EPR Staff

Various businesses and organizations are using public relations strategies to get more clients and revenue. However, it’s the use of the best public relations models that will see many of these companies succeed. Read this article to learn more about the four public relations models.

Understanding The 4 Public Relations Models

The four public relations models, which elaborate on different managerial and organizational practices, were developed by Grunig Hunt in 1984. These models help various organizations develop guidelines, tactics, and programs to stay ahead of the competition.

The four models include the press agentry/public model, public information, two-way asymmetric, and two-way symmetric models. Each of the models is explained below.

1.    The Press Agent/Publicity Model

Communication experts mostly use this model to win the hearts and minds of the audience. It is based on propaganda and doesn’t involve any survey or research. The main target of this model is to manipulate how the audience reacts to specific information.

The publicity model is a one-way communication model, as the recipients of this type of communication are not given a chance to respond. Instead, it’s centered on creating a positive image of the company in the minds of prospects.

2.    Public Information Model

Although this model is not manipulative, it doesn’t involve surveys or research to ascertain the effectiveness of the message on the receivers. It is also a one-way communication model, though it tends to relay accurate information about a company.

The public information model focuses on educating the public about a company/organization. Some of the formats used to relay this information include brochures, magazines, press releases, and newsletters. 

Most of the time, public relations experts regularly send this information to various prospects in order to raise brand awareness.

3.    The Two-Way Asymmetrical Model

A two-way asymmetric public relations model entails communication between an organization(sender) and the receiver(prospects/audience). With this model PR experts also research their audience in order to identify their behaviors and attitudes. This  helps in crafting the messages sent to them.

However, this model still incorporates manipulations that are to the organization’s advantage. The audience, in most cases, is swayed to behave in a manner that the organization wants after learning their behaviors. That makes this model imbalanced and not favourable to customers. On the other hand, it’s a model that marketing  and advertising companies prefer ,as it helps widen their profit margins.

4.    The Two-Way Symmetrical Model

This model works differently from the rest as it allows organizations and their audiences to maintain  cordial relationships. However the model does involve thorough research, and according to it any conflict between a company and its consumers must be solved amicably.

The model ensures both an organization and its audience benefit. It gives customers a voice and platform to air their grievances, and it makes companies responsible for  tackling all this the right way in order to avoid tarnishing their name. 

Bottom Line

As an organization, it’s best to understand every prospect’s behavior and attitude before using these public relations models. That is because a wrong model choice will be impractical for a company.