In 1999, the wide acceptance of the four models was challenged by Hutton. He argued that the theoretical requirements were not effectively met by these models and they also failed the test of empirical confirmation. Following this, the normative fourth model of two-way symmetry was challenged by Holtzhausen in 2000. Criticisms were also forwarded by Lauzen and Dozier in the same year. The power inequality of the symmetrical model was their main concern. The irreconcilable differences between the powerless publics and organizations and the separate issues of powerless publics were not completely addressed by the excellence model.
Then in 2001, the rigid nature of the excellence theory was challenged by Neilson and Leitch. Instead of focusing on the underlying objectives and structures from the perspective of the broader socio-cultural context, only the main features have been considered while studying these approaches. Later in 2003, the four models under the symmetry and excellence approach were also criticized by Bardhan. According to him, these models are not as effective as communication in every culture is different and not universal.
Critical PR can be categorized easily as “fringe PR”. It departs from the dominant paradigm of excellence theory significantly. The two-way symmetrical communication model of Grunig was presaged by Habermans in 1984. Mckie proposed that the dominance and symbolic capital of excellence based theory of the US can be eroded as there has been an increasing number of publication outlets outside the United States. In addition to this, critiques also perceived the dominant paradigm as similar to other phrases such as activism, advocacy, persuasion, and power.
Scholars of PR have not kept themselves updated with the new changes. Due to the result of the excellence theory considered as dominant in PR since 20 years, shifting paradigms have become impossible to be accepted by professionals. It is high time that academics must free themselves from the iron cage of the excellence theory and further expansion within the theoretical approaches must be considered. Also, in 2009 the four models were criticized by Laskin. According to him, the significant perspectives in PR were failed to be recognized by these models. These models must be revised according to the daily practice of PR.