Media   |   Research & Advisory

Islamic Public Relations & Muslim Consumers

Jonathan A. J. Wilson | May 17, 2011 | 0 Comments
Do you like this?

This month on the 17th, it’s National Public Relations Day, in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Tehran-based Arman Public Relations Institute, who are also media partners to IPRA (International Public Relations Association have organised some events to commemorate this occasion and produced a special issue journal. They asked me to write a paper on developing a model for Islamic Public Relations, which was translated into Farsi. I would also argue that the model is equally applicable to analysing Muslim Consumer Behavior. Here’s an abridged extract from one section:

Islamic Public Relations spatial process model

Within this paradigm, attempts are made to harmonise traditional Islamic approaches to making judgements, with more contemporary business and management perspective – which are represented in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Islamic Public Relations model – The 8 C’s

Eight-step cultural model – The 8 C’s:

  1. Content gathering
  2. Context mapping
  3. Classical convention
  4. Contemporary convention
  5. Consensus evaluation
  6. Contention identification
  7. Classification refinement
  8. Communication contributions

The model draws from traditional approaches to Islamic jurisprudence – with concepts in Arabic and in no order, such as:

  • ijma’ (consensus)
  • ikhtilaf (difference of opinion),
  • qiyas (deductive analogy)
  • ijtihad (independent judgement resulting from wrestling with legal sources)
  • ‘aql (intellect)
  • urf (local knowledge and customs)

being embraced. Building on these and in contrast to more traditional Islamic texts, the model impresses the importance of cyclical harmonisation; which is a more commonly present concept in business models.  Where possible, the following elements should be brought closer together and fused:

  • Cultures
  • Classical and Contemporary norms and values
  • Contention and Consensus
  • Collaborative communications and contributions

The means by which these can be achieved, are through a deeper understanding of the fact that everything has a context, and for that context to remain of relevance, this necessitates constant situation-specific re-evaluation. Findings suggest that more traditional Islamic approaches favor a linear unidirectional pathway.

An example of this new approach could be to analyse problems, such as:

  • Can Social Networking, Peer-to-Peer and other emergent technological trends be used by PR practitioners – to disseminate religious instructions?
  • Furthermore, can they legitimately allow for consumer-collaborative religious verdicts, based upon knowledge sharing?
  • In addition, how should laws of copyright and competition operate internationally on matters of religious faith?

The short answer to these would be: as long as a cyclical step-wise process is followed, the opportunity and propensity to experiment, remains relatively low-risk – and therefore desirable. And so, more traditional methods of passive listening and acceptance, can be supported by: cost-effective, interactive, reciprocal and instantaneous ones.


Do you like this?

Comments (0)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

There are no comments yet. Why not be the first to speak your mind.

Leave a Reply