The real people speak: public relations practices of Alaska native corporations
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The overall goal of this study was the exploration of the development and use of public relations techniques by Alaska Native corporations, which are unique for-profit companies owned by Alaska Native shareholders located in the State of Alaska. The study adds to the meager repertoire of strategic communication research examining public relations and communications by Native American and Alaska Native entities in the United States. Discussions with 12 public relations practitioners and corporation leaders indicated a tension between the basic tenants of public relations and the Alaska Native culture; each corporation offered its own experience of negotiating a path forward to achieve corporate goals and honor traditional cultural values. The study offered support for contingency theory proposed by Cancel, Cameron, Sallot and Mitrook (1997) that best practice in public relations depends on a wide variety of external and internal factors. Of these, Alaska Native culture appeared as a hyper factor, influencing the degree of adoption and use of public relations. A normative model for public relations practice among Alaska Native public relations practitioners did not emerge. Instead, discursive solutions appeared to be more in keeping with a Native context.
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