This research attempts to illustrate the perception of Public Relations (PR) profession in Indonesia. Adapting past research from Sterne in 2010 which research described media perception in New Zealand, this particular research explore the perceptions not from the media, but from government officials. Information was extracted from representative of government officials since they represent the various types general public. In Indonesia, it is compulsory for every government office belonging to a department (headed by a state minister) to have a PR officer. Government officials with various backgrounds represent the variety of government department in Indonesia. The informants were carefully selected, choosing only individuals not directly involved or associated with any PR institutions and/or activities. Several notions emerge that shape the embodiment of perception of PR profession in Indonesia, based from the government officials. The most dominant notion is gender stereotyping, where PR is considered as area of work suitable for female professionals. Other notion is the misconception of PR work as spin-doctors rather than actual PR with sets of rules and ethics. Previous two notions and other findings of government officials' perception are classified into three categories: relationship-related; job-description; and social status. Irony arises, where government offices' are obligated to have a PR officer by state-law, yet this study's findings indicated their lacking of knowledge for ideal/actual PR work. The research propose further research based from a model developed from this research to allow a more thorough understanding to the general public's perception of PR Profession in Indonesia.
Syauqy Lukman, Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia
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