Grunigs Discuss Global Communication Challenges [National Conference Session Recap]

Courtesy of PRSSA National

Session: Listen: Global Communication Challenges

Presenter: Toni Muzi Falconi, Methodos Spa; James E. Grunig, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland; Larissa A. Grunig, Professor Emerita, University of Maryland


There are five generic principles of global communications:

  • embedding specific applications
  • realizing the value of stakeholder relationships
  • enabling different operational management and strategic roles
  • valuing diversity
  • and defining unique characteristics.

According to Toni Muzi Falconi, the “one message, one voice” outlook is no longer applicable. The value of an organization is 70 percent intangible and 30 percent material, he said.

When it comes to facing challenges with stakeholders, Falconi painted a scenario and suggested that we step away from ourselves to better assess the relationship and communicative dynamic. Then, we should re-enter the situation to interpret the impact on the issue and act on it.

“We learn how to speak and write, but we don’t know how to listen,” Falconi said.

Listening is an ongoing process that represents more than 50 percent of the communicative equation. Although you might be resistant to take research classes because you don’t like numbers, the skills learned will come in handy when consulting with your key stakeholders. Instead, think of numbers and research as listening, he said.


  • Learn to listen to your stakeholders and understand their expectations.
  • Don’t fear numbers. As a communicator, you need to use math in analytics and research.
  • An organization’s value today is more intangible than ever before.


Gemrick Curtom is the Chapter president of PRSSA at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. He is a public relations senior and hopes to work in the publicity entertainment industry after graduation. Follow him @Gemrick or connect on LinkedIn.

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