That LinkedIn China and Chitu have prospered in China, where other tech companies have failed, is predicated upon their developing a well-rounded relationship cultivation plan to meet the needs of local stakeholders. Fundamental to this plan is that LinkedIn China and Chitu understand the value of relationship cultivation, and, therefore, implement various strategies conducive to the creation and maintenance of those relationships. This is crucial in cultivating and maintaining business success in China; hence, there are certain precursors that are essential to reviewing the characteristics of relationships, as well as, the general measures required to maintain organization-public relationships, which explain the strategies of LinkedIn China and Chitu.
It is important to understand what relationships mean and how they work. On the determining factors of organizational-public relationships, L. A. Grunig, J.E. Grunig, and Ehling (1992) recommended the dimensions of reciprocity, trust, mutual legitimacy, openness, mutual satisfaction, and mutual understanding. Ledingham and Bruning (1998b) added five relevant and operationalized dimensions: trust (a feeling that those in the relationship can rely on each other), openness (as opposed to closedness), involvement (a balance of relationships), investment (time, energy, feelings, efforts and other resources given to build the relationship), and commitment (involves the decision to continue a relationship). The relationship management theory identifies the effective management that produces mutual understanding and benefit under a focus on shared goals and common interests over time. The end goal of relationship management is mutual understanding and benefit. Identifying, typing, and categorizing publics, certainly, should be an integral part of that process.
It has also been demonstrated that if programs are designed to generate the desired outcome of management of organization-public relationships (mutual understanding and benefits), they would contribute to attainment of an organization’s social, economic, and political goals under the condition that those programs focus on the common wants, needs, and expectations of organizations and interacting publics.
The content above is derived from Chapter 2 of my master's thesis - A Case Study of LinkedIn China and Its Sub-Brand Chitu - with a focus on Public relations and social media strategies. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Li Yingying and www.liyingying.us with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.