ABSTRACT

This chapter starts by explicating the relevance of identifying publics in different stages of the strategic management process of public relations programs. Meanwhile, it reviews different approaches to identifying publics, ranging from the cross-situational to situational approach, with different typologies of publics presented. The chapter then draws in the content from previous chapters on the strategic management of public relations and discusses guidelines for identifying publics in different stages. Then it discusses the main issues in identifying publics in intercultural settings, in particular, the challenges in the digital age, the various consequences of public formation, as well as the antecedents of public perceptions and formation. In the antecedents of public formation, we integrate the current literature by following a multilevel approach: micro-level influence, meso-level influence, and macro-level influence. The chapter then reviews literature on how cultural influences play a role in communicating with diverse publics. Finally, the chapter touches on the challenges of pigeonholing, whereby practitioners of specific cultural backgrounds are restricted to working with those perceived as being culturally similar with themselves.