PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


From science PR to corporate science communication
Within the CSR context of Japanese manufactures

Emiko Tayanagi  

This research aims to clarify how and why the modern manufacturing companies, called "professional organizations" by Tofflar (1970) and Mintzberg (1974), have been changing their communication strategies with the public within the context of transition from the science PR to the new trend of corporate "science" communication. In Japan science PR by private companies emerged and evolved with rapid economic growth since 1950's. As same as the other advanced countries, science PR activities in Japan followed the communication model of one way/asymmetry (Grunig and Hunt, 1984), delivering news sources to the press, publishing science PR magazines for opinion leaders and general public and advertising and branding their scientific corporate images through mass media as well as their high tech products and services. However such activities especially targeted to general public started to decline since 1990's because of maturity of industrial science, while alternative science communication activities such as hands-on science programs for kids and school students voluntarily conducted by industrial researchers and engineers started to emerge and diffuse in the 2000's. Besides, stakeholder dialogues, direct conversations and discussions with small group of citizens, also started to be promoted under the pressure of corporate disclosure of risk information. We conduct a survey and also observatory fieldworks including interviews to key persons for a few representative cases. As a result the study tried to redefine the new trend of science communication by industries not only as voluntary actions by individuals but also as corporate "science" communication. We analyze and figure a transition model from the science PR to the corporate "science" communication from the viewpoint of multi-stakeholder CSR. Our model argues that the corporate "science" communication should be a touchstone to enhance attitudes of professional organizations to build a new PCST sphere toward social inclusion.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.