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Four Basic Communication Strategies, Beyond the Borders of Traditional Public Relations Practice
Unformatted Document Text:  8 to the audience, while to the communicator is generally attributed considerable latitude and power to do what he pleases to the audience”. Bauer called his second model “the scientific model of communication as a transactional process in which two parties each expect to give and take from the exchange approximately equitable values”. Although this scientific model allows for influence, this does not follow a linear causal model. Bauer stated that, while research shows that the scientific model is by far the more adequate of the two, it is the social model that is dominant in practice. Bauer’s social model of one-way influence is equivalent to J. Grunig’s asymmetrical models, including the two-way asymmetrical one, while the two-way symmetrical model reflects Bauer’s scientific model. Bauer, however, talks about one-way influence in his social model, because of the presumed linear causality. It is questionable whether we can use the concept of “two-way” to describe the social model, as the receiver is seen as object who is only able to receive or, possibly, to answer the sender’s questions. The receiver is not as a full participant in the two-way process, and the same is true of the two-way asymmetrical model. That is why I prefer to describe J. Grunig’s two-way asymmetrical model as “controlled one-way” communication. That means that we can differentiate between communication as emission, as controlled one-way process and as two-way process. However, this leaves the concept of influence still undiscussed. Communication can be said to be about the process of meaning creation (Rosengren, 2000). Meaning involves questions such as how people create meaning psychologically, socially and culturally, how messages are understood mentally, how ambiguity arises and how it is resolved. “Communication does not happen without meaning, and people create and use meaning in interpreting events” (Littlejohn, 1992:378). The crucial question, however, is what kind of meaning of whom is created by whom and what implications does this have in terms of interpreting the world (see for an overview Littlejohn, 1983:95- 113). Meaning can be explained as the “whole way in which we understand, explain, feel about and react towards a given phenomenon” (Rosengren, 2000:59). According to Langer (1967), the concept of meaning has two dimensions: a denotative and a connotative one. A denotative meaning of a

Authors: Van Ruler, A. A. Betteke.
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8
to the audience, while to the communicator is generally attributed considerable latitude and power to
do what he pleases to the audience”. Bauer called his second model “the scientific model of
communication as a transactional process in which two parties each expect to give and take from the
exchange approximately equitable values”. Although this scientific model allows for influence, this
does not follow a linear causal model. Bauer stated that, while research shows that the scientific model
is by far the more adequate of the two, it is the social model that is dominant in practice.
Bauer’s social model of one-way influence is equivalent to J. Grunig’s asymmetrical models,
including the two-way asymmetrical one, while the two-way symmetrical model reflects Bauer’s
scientific model. Bauer, however, talks about one-way influence in his social model, because of the
presumed linear causality. It is questionable whether we can use the concept of “two-way” to describe
the social model, as the receiver is seen as object who is only able to receive or, possibly, to answer
the sender’s questions. The receiver is not as a full participant in the two-way process, and the same is
true of the two-way asymmetrical model. That is why I prefer to describe J. Grunig’s two-way
asymmetrical model as “controlled one-way” communication.
That means that we can differentiate between communication as emission, as controlled one-way
process and as two-way process.
However, this leaves the concept of influence still undiscussed. Communication can be said to be
about the process of meaning creation (Rosengren, 2000). Meaning involves questions such as how
people create meaning psychologically, socially and culturally, how messages are understood
mentally, how ambiguity arises and how it is resolved. “Communication does not happen without
meaning, and people create and use meaning in interpreting events” (Littlejohn, 1992:378). The
crucial question, however, is what kind of meaning of whom is created by whom and what
implications does this have in terms of interpreting the world (see for an overview Littlejohn, 1983:95-
113).
Meaning can be explained as the “whole way in which we understand, explain, feel about and react
towards a given phenomenon” (Rosengren, 2000:59). According to Langer (1967), the concept of
meaning has two dimensions: a denotative and a connotative one. A denotative meaning of a


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