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Just public relations or an attempt at interaction? British MPs in the press, on the web and ‘In Your Face’.

Jackson, N. and Lilleker, D., 2004. Just public relations or an attempt at interaction? British MPs in the press, on the web and ‘In Your Face’. European Journal of Communication, 19 (4), 507-533.

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DOI: 10.1177/0267323104047671


It is no longer sufficient for a British Member of Parliament to represent a particular party and be in a safe seat to guarantee re-election. Arguably the MP has to prove that they not only represent the party but also the constituency, and increasingly they feel under pressure to prove they take the latter aspect of the job very seriously. Therefore we find them engaging in various activities which can be described as profile building or public relations, activities which we recognize as being more consistent with the PR activities of charities and/or pressure groups. They act as campaigners, building themselves a profile through the local media, they are also increasingly using the Internet to promote themselves, their activities and a number of causes important to the MP and a section of the constituency. PR theory, especially Grunig and Hunt’s continuum and Ferguson’s relationship management theories, help explain the possible motivations for MPs using these various strategies. The question this article asks is whether this is just PR or is there a less cynical motive for this activity. In other words is it simply about vote winning, which clearly is a key aspect, or is there also a desire to increase interaction between the local electorate and their parliamentary representative.

Item Type:Article
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:12925
Deposited By: Dr Darren Lilleker
Deposited On:14 Feb 2010 12:43
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:28

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