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Pieczka, M. (2017) Editorial. Public Relations Inquiry, 6 (1), pp. 3-4.
The first issue of 2016, our sixth volume, opens with an essay on the public interest, a topic that is more than ever urgent not only for us as public relations and communication specialists but also for us as citizens living in the world that has rapidly grown more turbulent, uncertain and divided. Johnston's essay, 'The public interest: a new way of thinking for public relations?' calls for a renewed and substantive engagement with this idea in the field of public relations. The article offers a review of what could be described as episodic and modest efforts to connect public interest with public relations, as well as an overview of the way in which the concept has been developed in a range of disciplines and related practices such as law, journalism, policy and planning. This provides a platform from which to argue that public relations may benefit in two ways from incorporating existing bodies of knowledge about public interest: this may facilitate the development of interdisciplinary capabilities, both theoretically and across applied contexts where practitioners work, and contribute to the professional project through learning from how others navigate the tensions between conflicting interests, a problem fundamental to public relations practice.