Since the rise of companies like Uber, Yelp, and AirBnB there has been a debate about the ‘sharing economy’: new forms of doing business based on the disintermediation of organizations and their stakeholders. What happens to public relations in such post-traditional businesses? Is PR still a boundary-spanning function when boundaries themselves become fluid? The ‘sharing economy’ calls for a reconceptualization of public relations in practice and theory.
We use the ‘Strategy as Practice’ framework to suggest such a reconceptualization of PR in the ‘sharing economy’ and suspect that it could also help overcome the standoff between functionalist and co-creational approaches in scholarly debate.
Gregor Halff is professor of Corporate Communication Practice at Singapore Management University and Visiting Faculty at the European School of Management and Technology (Berlin, Germany). Halff founded Asia-Pacific’s first MSc in Communication Management Program at SMU and was a Visiting Professor at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.
He is currently Chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management and this year’s Co-Chair of the 2016 World Public Relations Forum.
Prior to joining academia, Halff was managing partner at Publicis, where he co-founded Publicis Public Relations. Before that, he worked in corporate communication at Siemens (Munich and Mumbai, and others).
Anne Gregory is Professor of Corporate Communication at the University of Huddersfield, and former Director, Centre of Public Relations Studies, Leeds Beckett University. Gregory heads specialist research and consultancy programmes for public and private sector clients. She is an advisor to the UK Government, currently holding two contracts with the Cabinet Office developing capability in the Government Communication Service.
Gregory is Immediate Past Chair of the Global Alliance, and formerly President of the CIPR, where she led it to Chartered status. She was awarded the Sir Stephen Tallents Medal in 2010 for her outstanding contribution to the profession, and made an Honorary Fellow of the CIPR in 2015.