Sunday, October 16, 2005


I have been asked to explain what I mean by 'Actors'.

There is a case for using the term in the sense of the 'actor network theory' a more human version of the computer model.

I used there term in much the same way as it is used in social network contexts and from the Latin etymology:

  1. one that acts: a doer

  2. one that takes part in a situation

  3. (legal) An advocate or proctor in civil courts or causes.

  4. (legal) One who institutes a suit; plaintiff or complainant.

  5. (policy debate) One who enacts a certain policy action.

Latent publics are important in PR but Actors are not latent. There is knowledge and cognition in the human and social make-up of people that means that there is always a possibility of identifying tokens and values where there can be common ground. But sometimes these can be very difficult to find and the process may be long term to develop mutual values.

Thus there remains a group of actors available in as in Grunig's latent publics.

There is a need for actors to 'hold' tokens and values and thereby be a participant if only because of awareness within a social frame.

Actors are people.