The paths of public communication in Italy are interwoven according to many different factors: the reform of public administration, the crisis of trust in institutions, the widespread movements for the defence of collective goods, the central role of mainstream media in public life, the diffusion of digital media, the main role of politics in defining the public sphere, the process of europeanization. A factor which has characterized the development of public communication in Italy is the number of regulations which constantly redefines its boundaries and contents. The paper reconstructs these itineraries in four main phases: the experimentation phase, the institutionalization phase, the performance evaluation phase, the model of collaborative administration. The analysis has been conducted in relation to the different meanings that concepts of transparency, image, services, participation and active citizenship assume in different phases.
Keywords: Transparency, corporate image, organizational communication, participation, collaborative administration