An inside-out exploration of contemporary Chinese public relations education

Ai Zhang, Yi Luo, Hua Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This study provides an inside-out examination of contemporary Chinese public relations education. Particularly, it seeks to explore (1) how Chinese public relations educators make meaning of the imported U.S. body of knowledge of public relations; (2) how Chinese educators conceptualize Chinese public relations; and (3) the connection and disconnection between academia and industry. We conducted 49 face-to-face in-depth interviews and performed content analysis of 22 Web sites of Chinese universities with public relations programs. Research findings reflected the movement of Chinese PR from a merely technical function to a more strategic function centering on relationship building, reputation, social responsibility, and organizational identity. The findings also suggested significant influence of the U.S. PR education on the development of Chinese public relations education manifested through textbook adoption and core curricular design. However, the study has also shown that educators have undertaken substantial effort to localize the imported knowledge in accordance with China's unique cultural, economic, and political systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-521
Number of pages9
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Adoption and adaptation
  • Chinese public relations education
  • Conceptualization of Chinese public relations
  • Curricular development
  • Localization of public relations education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing


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