Applying power relations theory to understand the relationship between public relations practitioners and in-house counsel during a crisis
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The research examines the amount of influence and the relationship between the legal and PR departments during the three stages of crises: pre-crisis, crisis and post-crisis evaluation. The research shows that practitioners do not follow the exact model of gaining influence outlined by the power relations theory. Practitioners use individual influence resources to gain influence instead of relational influence resources. The research finds that public relations practitioners do have a significant amount of influence, yet their influence did depend largely on the specific crisis situation. More often than not, crisis management is not handled entirely by legal or PR, but rather it is a collaborative effort.