Understanding Public Relations
Theory, Culture and Society
- Lee Edwards - London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
This book argues that public relations is not merely an organizational tool, but a powerful influence on social and political life. From carefully considered communication by multinational corporations, to government campaigns that manage public opinion, to the self-promotion of celebrities via social media, public relations is central to our individual and collective lives.
Understanding Public Relations introduces a socio-cultural approach to public relations as a way of analysing the growing importance of public relations in its social, cultural and political contexts. Encouraging a deeper and more critical understanding of its influence on society, Lee Edwards:
- Explores public relations in relation to contemporary debates around promotional culture, discourse, globalisation, democracy and power
- Considers how public relations frames vital discussions of race, gender, class and ethics
- Brings theory to life with a range of case studies, including YouTube vlogging, the global fair trade movement and the 2016 EU referendum in the UK
Both accessible and provocative, this is an invaluable resource for students and researchers exploring public relations theory, critical public relations, strategic communication and promotional culture.
Understanding Public Relations pushes the genre of the public relations text into new territory. Lee Edwards looks beyond organisational boundaries to vividly illustrate and explore the public relations occupation as a social and cultural practice.
A must-read for any serious PR student or scholar, Edwards’ socio-cultural approach presents an important and timely challenge to the dominance of functionalism in the field of public relations.
Edwards thinks deeply about the world we live in, delivering thoughtful, accessible prose on PR’s role in society. Ideal for PR students, scholars and practitioners.
Lee Edwards’ important book offers a crucial and unique perspective on public relations by emphasizing society and culture as a sense-making context for PR. With chapters exploring the dynamics of public relations within cultural contexts of race, class, feminism, political economy and ethics, Edwards rightly insists we think about the power relations that authorize contemporary forms of promotion.
One of the most comprehensive and coherent explorations of the role of public relations in society to date. A must-read for anyone who is serious about understanding its power and its possibilities.
This has been an excellent read. The book covers all areas of PR from a critical perspective and is hence very suitable for students to engage with wider ideas around PR in society, away from purely campaign ideas. The library did not order it yet, because of budget reasons, but I am strongly suggesting it.
This is a wonderful book that teaches students the importance of practicing ethical public relations in society. Had been searching for such a text for a long time!
Very good and relevant book to see influencingf aspects not only on the organizational scale, but also on societal and political levels. A "must-read" for any student dealing with this topic. Also the book contains very relevant actual case studies to illustrate the topic.
This book perfectly covers current issues and approches in PR theory and research.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter 1: Starting points Defining socio-cultural research