Dr. James E. Grunig (Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication, University of Maryland) will be speaking in this biannual distinguished lecture series named in honor of Dr. Melvin L. DeFleur. In the minds of most people, public relations has become institutionalized as what James E. Grunig calls the symbolic interpretive paradigm—the idea that public relations consists of disseminating messages to influence how people interpret the behaviors of organizations. Grunig has devoted his career to developing an alternative paradigm, which he calls the strategic management paradigm—the idea that public relations is an essential part of management that gives a voice to publics in management decisions and helps shape the behaviors of organizations rather than just the meanings that publics assign to those behaviors. In his presentation, Grunig will discuss the development of his research from the nature of publics to models that describe how organizations practice public relations, the evaluation of public relations, and the merging of these theories into the Excellence theory of how the most successful organizations practice public relations. He concludes that public relations provides value to organizations, publics, and society by cultivating organization-public relationships and helping organizations to behave in responsible and sustainable ways. Join us for the lecture at 4 p.m. and for a reception afterward!