Title

Understanding Public Relations in the 'Sharing Economy'

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2-2017

Abstract

In spite of the macro-economic impact of the so-called ‘sharing economy’ there is a nearly complete dearth of contributions from the communication academy to its discourse. More attention is overdue, particularly for the conceptual pressure the ‘sharing economy’ is exerting on the public relations function. The authors propose a reconceptualization of public relations by identifying the constitutive aspects of the sharing economy and bringing together the explanatory concepts ‘circuits of commerce’ and ‘viable matches’ from economic sociology and communicative constitution of organizations theory to develop the notions of ‘deliberate disintermediation’ and ‘circuits of communication’ in public relations. The contention is that by doing this, communicative acts not only contribute meaning in the sharing economy, but have economic value. Furthermore, the sharing economy poses challenges to the traditional forms of organizing public relations functions, but offers opportunities to realize different potential when public relations facilitates circuits of communication and becomes a meta-communicative competence embedded within the organization.

Keywords

Sharing economy, Public relations, Communicative constitution of organizations, Economic sociology, Organization

Discipline

Business and Corporate Communications | Public Relations and Advertising

Research Areas

Corporate Communication

Publication

Public Relations Review

ISSN

0363-8111

Identifier

10.1016/j.pubrev.2016.10.008

Publisher

Elsevier

Additional URL

http://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2016.10.008

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