Public relations shapes and spins our news, influencing society's values, knowledge, and perceptions. Despite this, it often goes unnoticed. It's Not Just "PR" takes a balanced approach in assessing its impact, drawing on a diverse range of contemporary examples from global corporations through to the power of PR in the non-profit sector. * Investigates a broad range of examples, from Coca-Cola and corporate pharmaceutical companies, to the non-profit sector and reform labour practices in Latin America * Charts new territory by focusing on the effects and influence of public relations, both intended and unintended, in a discipline that has all too often concentrated on skills with little or no reflection on societal impact * Helps reveal why public relations is useful to society and how it has developed a negative public reputation * Includes practical debate about power issues in public relations theory and practice * Winner of the 2007 PRIDE award given by the PR Division of the National Communication Association
Table of Contents
Introduction. 1. Does Society Need Public Relations?. Media Use and the Term "PR". Criticisms of Public Relations. Popular Press Books Describing the Importance of Public Relations. Professional and Academic Defense of Public Relations. Public Relations and the Marketplace of Ideas. Re-focusing Public Relations. Conclusion. 2. Ethical Implications of Public Relations. What is Public Communication?. Ethical Responsibilities of PR as a Form of Public Communication. Ethical Perspectives. Professional Associations and Ethics. The Boundary-spanning Role of the PR Professional. Tensions for PR Practitioners. Power Relationships. The Power of PR Professionals in the Corporation. A Postmodern Perspective on PR. Conclusion. 3. Who Practices Public Relations?. Corporate-centric Histories of Public Relations. Antagonistic Views of Corporations and Activists. Power and Marginalization. First Reform Era: Abolitionism and Temperance. Second Reform Era: The Muckrakers. Saul Alinsky: Activism in the 1960s. Internet Activism. Labor Unions and Public Relations. Conclusion. 4. Public Relations Influences Society. Marketplace of Ideas. Issues Management: A Framework of Effects on Public Policy. Shaping Public Behavior. Mixing Social and Policy Changes: Direct-to-Consumer Advertising and Big Pharm. Conclusion. 5. Global Effects of Public Relations. Public Diplomacy: Government Public Relations Goes Global. Private Voluntary Organizations: Activism Goes Global. Corporations: Increased Demands from a Global Network of Relationships. Conclusion. Where We Have Been. References. Index.
W. Timothy Coombs is Associate Professor of Corporate Communication at Eastern Illinois University. He is the author of Ongoing Crisis Communication, Today's Public Relations (co-authored with Robert Heath), and Code Red in the Boardroom. Sherry J. Holladay is Associate Professor of Corporate Communication at Eastern Illinois University. She and Professor Coombs have co-authored three book chapters and six journal articles together.