Let’s talk dialogue 💬

I’ve heard countless times that the goal of a campaign was to create conversations but I’ve never thought of what a dialogue really requires.

I worked in PR for several years, even won some prestigious awards without being qualified for the job, as I’ve never even attended a PR 1.01 class.

So when I started PR Research at the FH Joanneum Graz, in the third semester of my MA program I had high expectations that for the first time in my life, I have a chance to learn how things should work (in theory) from an academic perspective.

During the lectures, we were introduced to different approaches of digital PR: dialogue-centric, issue-and crisis-centric, user-centric and data-centric. We had to pick one, and our group chose to dig deeper into the oldest one, the dialogue-centric theory.

The Dialogue-centric approach was used in the 1990s and early 2000s and caused an affirmative debate on a networked public sphere as a place of open and reciprocal dialogue and community building. It sees users as constructive collaborators, digital media as facilitators of interaction and public relations as leading organizational discipline to foster online dialogue and community.

In 2002, Kent and Taylor identified five underlying principles of a dialogic orientation: mutuality, propinquity, empathy, risk and commitment.

Of course, it’s hard to fulfill all these requirements, but while taking a closer look at a famous cosmetic brand’s community page we have found that there are companies that don’t even try. Sometimes they just pretend to encourage dialogues but these conversations are completely one-sided to eliminate risk and real commitment.

Do you know any good example of a dialogue-centric brand?

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