In public relations theory, the excellence theory has been the most influential and dominant paradigm for nearly 3 decades. A strong focus on community-building, rhetoric and ethical persuasion, and relationship-building were developed by the dominant paradigm in addition to excellence. In 1974, the Public Relations Review was published by Ray Hiebert. It was the longest-running journal of that time. A huge range of subjects and articles in the field was included in this journal, involving quantitative and qualitative work. Later, 3 volumes of empirical and qualitative work were published between 1989 and 1991 as forerunners to the Journal of Public Research. The dominant paradigm was closely linked within these three volumes.
In the early 1980s, public relations theorists focused on the systems theory. According to this theory, the world can be perceived as interacting and living organisms. It is basically an approach through which an understanding of any set of domains or relationships can be achieved. They linked this theory to the ‘Excellence’ project of America, in which the effectiveness of public relations communication was analyzed by researchers of USA. The main objective of this analysis was to analyze the functional advantages of public relations through the use of the system’s framework. This specific project attracted various main United States academics and subsequent texts emerged.
The success of Japan was analyzed by the management of the United States through the perspective of excellence. The main features of excellent Japanese organizations were analyzed. These features were flat structures, simple organizational structures, core business, value-driven, hands-on management, productivity through employees, entrepreneurship, and autonomy, closeness to the customer and activity. Later, Professor James Gruing adapted this specific approach to public relations. It included social responsibility, entrepreneurship, decentralization of strategic planning, empowerment of leadership, symmetrical communication systems and strong cultures. Initially, excellence in management and its influence on the efficiency of the management of communication was focused on public relations with respect to excellence study.