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Buddhist Public Relations Model for Thai Community Development: Theoretical and Practical Implications
Unformatted Document Text:  Buddhist Public Relations - ICA-15-11634 22 training development process, including encouraging proper behavior or speech, developing mental training, and fostering spiritual awakening. The reintegrated model suggests two integral approaches, which are the “hard approach” and the “soft approach” (Barret, 1998). The hard approach represents the primary needs (or the physical well-beings) of the organization. The model illustrates that the physical well-beings are determined by health and safety (i.e., productivity, quality, and efficiency), economic status (i.e., finance, profits, funding, sales, service, and product excellence), and good environmental conditions (i.e., air, water, food, and earth). The “soft approach” represents the mental well-beings (i.e., interaction, mutual learning process, participation, involvement, communicative innovation, corporate culture and values, vision and mission, and employee fulfillment) and the spiritual well-beings (i.e., co-operation, collaborative alliances, partnership, social responsibility, and social accountability) of the organizations. As the “hard approach” is mainly practiced by marketers and those from hard- cored functions, the “soft approach” is more related to social practitioners, such as public relations and communication practitioners (P. Hanpongpandh, 2000a). Traditionally, the modernist scholars and professionals, especially those who work for big businesses, have attempted to associate public relations roles to the hard approach. Therefore, many Thais think of public relations as an organizational tool to help achieve the organization’s self-interest and physical well-beings. Some people even see public relations as a “dirty business,” serving mainly to fulfill organizational economic goals. When such a perspective is applied to the community building context, it usually represents the downfall of spirituality, or a lack of the moral dimension (Buddhadasa, 1989).

Authors: Hanpongpandh, Peeraya.
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Buddhist Public Relations - ICA-15-11634
22
training development process, including encouraging proper behavior or speech,
developing mental training, and fostering spiritual awakening.
The reintegrated model suggests two integral approaches, which are the “hard
approach” and the “soft approach” (Barret, 1998). The hard approach represents the
primary needs (or the physical well-beings) of the organization. The model illustrates
that the physical well-beings are determined by health and safety (i.e., productivity,
quality, and efficiency), economic status (i.e., finance, profits, funding, sales, service,
and product excellence), and good environmental conditions (i.e., air, water, food, and
earth). The “soft approach” represents the mental well-beings (i.e., interaction,
mutual learning process, participation, involvement, communicative innovation,
corporate culture and values, vision and mission, and employee fulfillment) and the
spiritual well-beings (i.e., co-operation, collaborative alliances, partnership, social
responsibility, and social accountability) of the organizations.
As the “hard approach” is mainly practiced by marketers and those from hard-
cored functions, the “soft approach” is more related to social practitioners, such as
public relations and communication practitioners (P. Hanpongpandh, 2000a).
Traditionally, the modernist scholars and professionals, especially those who work for
big businesses, have attempted to associate public relations roles to the hard approach.
Therefore, many Thais think of public relations as an organizational tool to help
achieve the organization’s self-interest and physical well-beings. Some people even
see public relations as a “dirty business,” serving mainly to fulfill organizational
economic goals. When such a perspective is applied to the community building
context, it usually represents the downfall of spirituality, or a lack of the moral
dimension (Buddhadasa, 1989).


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