Jelen-Sanchez A (2015) President of state in face of mortality: Exploring implications of Drnovšek’s radical shift on media, public relations and relationships between the two. Public Relations Inquiry, 4 (2), pp. 181-200. https://doi.org/10.1177/2046147X15582286
The purpose of this article is to explore the influence a radical transformation of a politician facing mortality has on public relations, media and relationships between the two, focusing on the case of former Slovenian President Janez Drnovšek, who towards the end of his mandate transformed from a conventional, pragmatic politician to a New Age critical spiritual leader. Drawing on grounded theory approach, 12 qualitative interviews with journalists and Drnovšek's political advisers were conducted. The results show that while the opinions and perceptions of Drnovšek's change differed significantly between political advisers and journalists with the former neutralising it and the latter emphasising it, the methods of communication and relationships between them somewhat surprisingly remained the same, indicating their endurance and resistance to a radical political transformation in the process of public dying. What changed were Drnovšek himself and his ‘private' style of communication with the media, and journalistic routines, resulting in amplified media coverage of an unconventional and ‘loopy' President.
Death and dying; Janez Drnovšek; journalism; relationships; president; public relations
Public Relations Inquiry: Volume 4, Issue 2