A Normative reflection on public relations and or corporate communications practice
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There has been debate among scholars, students and practitioners and in the field of communication management regarding the correct name to describe the practice of public relations and corporate communications. One of the arguments that has stuck is the debate whether these two terminologies may refer to the same practice or are distinct disciplines. Some scholars and practitioners may dismiss such limited focus on nomenclature. On the surface this may appear trivial, but it underscores different theoretical and practical perspectives brought into the field. Such disagreements, while expected in a young field such as this, are not healthy for a discipline at its infancy, fighting for acceptance and respectability in academic and industrial circles. But then, the begging question is if practitioners and academicians seem not to be in agreement whether public relations and corporate communications are one and the same, what about the students and the industry? While there have been views from an American and European perspective leading towards a normative perspective, a consensus on how to describe the discipline has not been arrived at. This paper will attempt to identify, define, describe and interrogate the perspectives that embody the two labels and ultimately state whether the two disciplines are synonymous, through the application of a normative interpretive framework derived from the review of literature.