The term public opinion stands for a large number of concepts, theories, and phenomena. Some of them are not related to one another at all and only share the denomination. Thus, there are a plethora of definitions of public opinion. However, most definitions and concepts of public opinion fall into one of three categories: (1) public opinion is identical with the results of survey research; (2) public opinion results from rational, informed, public discourse; and (3) public opinion is a subliminal form of social control. All three concepts of public opinion are important for corporate reputation management, because all three are directly linked to reputation. This entry explains the three types of public opinion and their particular understanding of the term public, as well as ...

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