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Introducing Public Relations

Introducing Public Relations
Theory and Practice

February 2011 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Introducing Public Relations is your guide to the basics of public relations: where it came from, what it means and what issues the industry faces today. It takes readers from the origins of PR all the way to the newest theoretical debates, explaining along the way the changes and development of the role of the PR practitioner. With interviews and 'day in the life' examples from a wide range of professionals in the industry, students will learn what PR practitioners do, what they think, and how the industry really works. Putting the student first, this book:

  • Gives grounded, critical coverage of the history and theory of public relations, so students understand not just the what but the how and why
  • Covers all aspects of public relations in practice, from in-house and consultancies to government, sport, NGO and corporate PR
  • Packs each chapter packed with case studies, anecdotes from the field, and career advice from expert PR professionals
  • Helps easy revision with exercises, summaries, and checklists

Highly accessible and engaging, there is no better headstart to understanding what PR is all about. It is the perfect text for any students encountering public relations theory and practice for the first time.

Introducing the Theory
Chapter 1: The Origins of Public Relations
Public Relations: One or Many Definitions?  
Where PR Comes From and Why History Matters  
The Early Years: Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays  
International Growth  
The History of PR in the UK  
Theory: Why Some Campaigns Work and Some Don't  
Communication Theory  
Laswell's Communication Model  
Linear Model  
Two-Step Communication Model  
Mass Audience  
Target Audience  
The Four Models of Grunig and Hunt  
The Press Agentry/Publicity Model  
The Public Information Model  
The Two-Way Asymmetric Model  
The Two-Way Symmetric Model  
The Excellence Project  
Chapter 2: Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations - Similarities and Differences Explored and Explained
Why Marketing Matters  
Market-Led Companies  
Product-Led Companies  
The Marketing Mix  
Social Marketing  
New Forms of Marketing  
Advertising: Good or Evil?  
How is PR Different to Advertising?  
Advertising Agents and PR Consultants  
Marketing PR  
Chapter 3: Reputation Management
What is a Good Reputation?  
The Relationship between PR and Reputation  
Advocating Reputation Management  
Acquiring a Good Reputation  
Factors Involved in Developing Good Reputation  
Online Reputation Management  
Against Reputation Management  
A 'Wrong' Industry: How an Industry's Reputation Affects Businesses  
Chapter 4: Crisis Management - Public Relations Centre Stage
What Is a Crisis?  
The Crisis Communication Plan  
The Plan  
The Management Team  
The Communication Process  
The Post-Crisis Evaluation  
Handling a Crisis  
The 2005 London Bombings  
The Buncefield Fire  
Issues Management  
Chapter 5: Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics
Front Organisations  
Why Ethics is Becoming More Important to PR  
Advocacy and the Adviser-Client Relationship  
Does PR Corrupt the Media?  
The Ethics of Individuals  
Codes and Conducts  
The Ethics of Businesses  
Four Traditions  
Moral Evaluations  
Ethics and the Multinational Company  
Business is Business: Is CSR Welcome at All?  
Business is Business: Is it Worth the Hype?  
Social Corporate Responsibility  
Environmental Corporate Responsibility  
Sustainable Objectives  
Is Corporate Social Responsibility Just PR in Disguise?  
Delivering CSR  
Chapter 6: Introducing the Practice
Public Relations Practice in the UK  
The Business of PR  
The People in PR  
Recruiting and Keeping Staff  
Chapter 7: Public Relations In-House
Who Does What?  
The PR Practitioner as Gatekeeper  
Comparing In-House and External Consultants  
Internal Communications  
Organizational Culture: Who Are 'the Company'?  
Channels of Communication  
Measuring the Effect of Communications  
Chapter 8: Public Relations Consultancies
Types of Consultancy  
Categories of Consultancy  
'Agency' or 'Consultancy': Does it Matter?  
Professionalisation of the Industry  
Services Offered by Consultancies  
Winning New Business  
The Brief  
The Pitch  
Managing the Account: Who Does What?  
Client Satisfaction  
Chapter 9: Strategy, Research, Measurement and Evaluation
Structuring a PR Programme  
Defining PR Problems and Issues  
SWOT and PEST Analyses  
Measurement and Evaluation  
Opportunities to See (OTS)  
Advertising Value Equivalence (AVE)  
Payment by Results (PBR)  
Electronic Evaluation  
Chapter 10: Putting Effective PR Campaigns into Practice
Tactics: The Building Blocks of PR Campaigns  
Journalists and Public Relations: Hacks and Flacks  
Media Relations in the PR Campaign  
Writing the News Release  
Distributing the News Release  
Targeting the Right People  
Managing the Data  
Ensuring Media Coverage  
Dealing with the Media  
The Features List  
Media Training  
Press Conferences  
Electronic Channels of Communication  
Online Media  
Blogs: Are They the Future of PR?  
Chapter 11: Corporate Communications and Financial PR
What Is Corporate Communications?  
The History of Financial PR  
Financial PR Consultancies  
Financial Calendar Work  
Profit Warnings and the Unexpected  
Investor Relations  
Initial Public Offerings  
Financial Audiences  
The Financial Media  
Chapter 12: Government and the Public Sector
Social Marketing  
Government Communications  
Local Government  
Restricting or Helping? Public Sector PR as Gatekeeper  
Central Government Communication  
How Political Parties are Changing Political Communication  
Political Lobbying  
The Origins of Lobbying  
Lobbying Companies  
Is Lobbying Effective?  
Is Lobbying Ethical?  
Chapter 13: From Charities to Celebrities - The Variety and Diversity of PR Practice
Charities and Campaigning Organisations  
How Charities Campaign  
Media Relations in Sport  
Channels of Communication  
Community Relations in Sport  
Chapter 14: Where PR (and You) Can Go Next
The Changing PR Landscape  
Industry Challenges and Opportunities  
Getting Started in PR  

A very well written book with great examples from the industry (mostly UK-based), including interviews with industry specialists. The author connects theory and practice very well and makes the PR job sound interesting and diverse.
This book is simple enough to be understood by 2nd year BA students. However, because it has many case studies from the UK, it is not 100% relevant to the PR industry of mainland Europe. (For example a case study on Cadbury's chocolate is difficult to follow, as this chocolate is not sold in Germany). I will hence put this book on the list of recommended supplemental reading.

Ms Olga Mitterfellner
Mode Management, Mediadesign Hochschule
June 26, 2015

This is an introductory book that assists students who are new to the field of public relations. By intertwining theory, concepts and models with case studies and practitioner quotations, first year students are encouraged to not only understand what public relations is but why and how the tools and tactics of public relations should be utilized.

Mrs Stephanie Goodwin
Communication, Marketing and Public Relations, University of Central Lancashire
April 2, 2014

Will be considered for next year as obligatory reading.

Mrs Camilla Nothhaft
Department of Strategic Communication, Lund University
June 20, 2013

The book was adopted as main textbook last academic year. However, the content was found to be less organized and over simplified when compared to other textbook.

Miss Olivine Lo
School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
May 31, 2013

Strong industry contributions. Student friendly text makes PR and wider communication concepts easy to understand.

Mr Paul Simpson
Business School, Greenwich University
May 30, 2013

Lacked sufficient academic referencing/evidence base - largely practice orientated. Might suit Year 1 students.

Mr Grant Thoms
School of Arts & Creative Industries, Edinburgh Napier University
August 9, 2012

A refreshing new approach for an introductory text to public relations theory and practice.

Mr Grant Thoms
School of Arts & Creative Industries, Edinburgh Napier University
August 9, 2012

Accessible and engaging introduction.

Dr Gauti Sigthorsson
Communication and Creative Arts, Greenwich University
May 8, 2012

This book is useful to provide a basic and practically oriented overview of the field at the undergraduate level.

Dr Mafalda Stasi
Department of Media and Communication, Coventry University
April 15, 2012

For a quick readable overview of the field, this new book is hard to beat.

Dr Catherine Sweet
Communications , Southampton Solent University
December 20, 2011

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