There is a theory for everything. No, really. It is possible to take a communication situation or problem and utilize a variety of theories to help explain or resolve the issue. Communication theories can help public relation managers to successfully handle organizational and consumer crisis or they can be used to help better frame difficult situations, and they can help researchers better understand how and why individuals communicate.
My favorite theories that I have studied so far are Kenneth Burke’s equipment for living theory, which helps to explain how literature and performing arts can be used to teach individuals how to behave. Additionally, I also found that I very much enjoyed learning about different leadership theories. The various concepts that have been developed to explain how and why certain individuals become leaders, or what constitutes a leader, are fascinating.
Most importantly, learning about the vast array of communication theories have led me to understand that individuals understand and view the world in different ways, and they develop their own ways to explain what they believe. While one individual may view crisis management from an organizational perspective to be the best strategy, another may believe that customers need to be at the forefront of thought when handling a crisis. Theories truly are in the eye of the beholder.
Here is one example of Burke’s equipment for living theory and the film, Hairspray.