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Issue № 54. February 2016

“Event” in Narratology and Public Relations

Ludmila K. Salieva

Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Public Administration, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Public Relations is a multidisciplinary sphere of activity and knowledge. The main tool of PR is a message which is mostly of narrative nature. Various PR narratives are transmitted through different kinds of communication channels and used to influence public opinion and public consciousness. Though there is a burgeoning literature on Public Relations there are few narratological researches in this field. The purpose of this article is to substantiate applicability of the term “event” used in the narratological sence to PR practice and theory. Firstly drawing on the extensive narratological literature the author states that “event” differs from “fact” due to the interpretation of the latter by the human mind. Then the author identifies fourteen features of “event”, defined by its interpretation characteristic compared to a “fact”. The transformation of a fact into an event in narration changes the nature of discourse, the latter turns from factual to fictional. Secondly, strategic positioning can be considered as creating a series (soap opera) with each separate message being an episode of the series and with the purpose of positioning being the production of an image-making story in the audience’s mind. The author claims that audience oriented approach makes it reasonable to apply the term “event” to each message / episode of the whole story about the organization, personality, good etc. promoted. Use of narratological approach in the choosing and interpretation of newsworthy occurrences can enhance the effectiveness of both PR practice and theory. 


Public Relations, narratology, event, social consciousness, strategic communications, media literacy, critical thinking.

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