Understanding public relations in the 'sharing economy'

Anne Gregory, Gregor Halff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


In spite of the macro-economic impact of the so-called 'sharing economy' there is a nearly complete dearth of contributions from the communication academy to its discourse. More attention is overdue, particularly for the conceptual pressure the 'sharing economy' is exerting on the public relations function. The authors propose a reconceptualization of public relations by identifying the constitutive aspects of the sharing economy and bringing together the explanatory concepts 'circuits of commerce' and 'viable matches' from economic sociology and communicative constitution of organizations theory to develop the notions of 'deliberate disintermediation' and 'circuits of communication' in public relations. The contention is that by doing this, communicative acts not only contribute meaning in the sharing economy, but have economic value. Furthermore, the sharing economy poses challenges to the traditional forms of organizing public relations functions, but offers opportunities to realize different potential when public relations facilitates circuits of communication and becomes a meta-communicative competence embedded within the organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-13
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number1
Early online date12 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


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