PR book On-line Readings in Public Relations by Michael Turney
Further perspective on the mutual satisfaction phase of public relations:
Asymmetric v. symmetric public relations
© 1998 Michael Turney Table of contents Practicing Public Relations home page About the author

The distinction between two-way asymmetric and two-way symmetric approaches to public relations was developed by James Grunig and Todd Hunt in their 1984 book Managing Public Relations and was subsequently promoted in Baskin and Aronoff's Public Relations: The Profession and the Practice and journal articles. However, it did not gain wide-spread attention until Grunig and his colleagues spotlighted it in the IABC Excellence Study in the early 1990s.

Two-way asymmetric public relations ...

Two-way symmetric public relations ...


The preliminary reports of the IABC Excellence Study published in 1992 as Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management edited by James Grunig suggested that virtually all companies which had reputations for excellent communication practices used the two-way symmetric approach. However, the final report which was cited in the 1997 PRSA Accreditation Guidebook includes Grunig's admission that many of today's most effective and most highly regarded public relations practitioners rely on two-way asymmetric techniques much more than symmetric ones.


Table of contents Further reading on
Publicity phase of public relations
Further reading on
Explanatory phase of public relations
Return to
Mutual satisfaction phase
Practicing Public Relations
home page
30 Nov 2010