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International Public Relations

International Public Relations
Negotiating Culture, Identity, and Power

January 2007 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

International Public Relations: Negotiating Culture, Identity, and Power offers the first critical-cultural approach to international public relations theory and practice. Authors Patricia A. Curtin and T. Kenn Gaither introduce students to a cultural-economic model and to the accompanying practice matrix to explain public relations techniques and practices in a variety of regulatory, political, and cultural climates.

Key Features:

  • Illustrates how theory informs practice: The cultural-economic model is built around the circuit-of-culture theory, and the associated practice matrix shows students how to apply this theory to any particular problem or issue.
  • Offers a truly international scope: Going beyond the Western, democratic, corporate perspective, this book critically examines the global diversity of public relations practice with examples from countries around the world.
  • Represents a paradigm shift in international public relations scholarship: Extending well beyond regional and case study approaches, the integrated critical-cultural technique of this book extends current theory.
  • Emphasizes values and ethics: Guidelines for ethical practice are provided to more effectively negotiate the international terrain.

Intended Audience:

This text is designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in International Public Relations. In addition, it is an excellent supplemental text for courses such as Public Relations Theory, Public Relations Campaigns, Public Relations Planning and Management, and Public Relations Case Studies.


1. The Challenges of International Public Relations
In Search of an Identity: Defining Public Relations

Myriad Forms of Public Relations

Cultural Relationship Constructs

International Public Relations Today

Chapter Summary

2. Opening Global Gateways
Multinational Corporations: Global Opportunities and Problems

National Image Cultivation

Travel and Tourism

Sports and International Goodwill

Nonprofits and International NGOs

Trade Associations

Keys to Opening Global Gateways

Chapter Summary

3. Global Public Relations and the Circuit of Culture
Language, Meaning, and Culture

The Circuit of Culture Model

Applying the Circuit of Culture to Practice

Chapter Summary

4. The Regulatory Environments of Global Public Relations Practice
Notions of Regulation

Shifting Politics, Evolving Public Relations

The Agents of Blurring Boundaries

Cultural Norms: The Hidden Regulators

Regulating Global Public Relations Practice

Chapter Summary

Case Study: Smallpox Eradication Campaign

International Power and Politics

Bucking the Bureaucracy

Adapting to Local Norms and Cultures

Implications for International Practice

5. The Face and Shape of Global Public Relations Campaigns Materials
Representing Representation

New Discourses Through Technology and Trade Shows

The Representation of a Fast Food Superpower in Asia

Paradise Found in the Galápagos Islands

Of Representation and New Understandings

Chapter Summary

Case Study: Smallpox Eradication Campaign

Government Relations

Employee Relations: Creating a Global Army

Movilizing Public Support for Eradication

Media Relations

Implications for International Practice

6. Practicing Public Relations in a Global Environment
Global Dimensions of Public Relations

The Globalization of Public Relations and the Circuit of Culture

The Internal-External Paradox Meets the Global-Local Nexus

Negotiating Asymmetry

Chapter Summary

Case Study: Smallpox Eradication Campaign

Technology and Production

Campaign Strategies

Managing a Global Workforce

Implications for International Practice

7. Consumption: Rethinking Publics and Practice
The Moment of Consumption

Public Relations Practice and Consumption

The Challenges and Ambiguities of New Technology and Globalization

Chapter Summary

Case Study: Smallpox Eradication Campaign

Smallpox Deified

Cultural Factors Leading to Preferred or Negotiated Readings

Cultural Factors Leading to Oppositional Readings

Implications for International Practice

8. Contested Identities, Shifting Publics in a Globalized World
Constructing Identities

Organizational Identities

Defining National Identities

Chapter Summary

Case Study: Smallpox Eradication Campaign

Negotiating National Versus International Identities

First World Versus Third World Values

Holy Warriors Versus the Enemy

Creating Campaign Icons

Implications for International Practice

9. Capturing the Synergy of the Circuit: The Cultural-Economic Model
Lessons From the Smallpox Eradication Campaign

Needed: A New Model of International Public Relations Practice

The Cultural-Economic Model of International Public Relations Practice

Chapter Summary

10. Circuiting the Globe: A Practice Matrix
Assumptions of International Public Relations

A Practice Matrix for International Public Relations

Applying the Matrix

Contributions of the Matrix

Chapter Summary

11. Ethical Considerations in Global Practice
The Problem of Cultural Relativism

Globalization and the Shift of Power

Common Approaches to Public Relations Ethics

New Ethical Approaches and Practitioners' Roles

Chapter Summary

12. The Future of International Public Relations Practice
Implications for Practitioners Embracing the Cultural-Economic Model

Where Do We Go From Here?

Chapter Summary

About the Authors

International Public Relations is one of the growing fields both professionally and academically. This book not only encourages the reader to understand the impact of economic and cultural models in the practice of public relations, but also provides an exclusive insight into the international practice of public relations. The book pragmatically examines the challenges of international public relations, investigates the impact of culture, identity on public relations globally by adopting a case study approach which is extremely beneficial for the undergraduates. The course at DMU includes an assignment on International Public Relations which requires researching international public relation practices. Hence this book can guide the learning that is required for conducting the research.

Dr Indrani Lahiri
Communications , De Montfort University
March 31, 2016

Individual chapters will be used in class.

Miss Barbara Czarnecka
Department of Marketing, Bedfordshire University
July 13, 2010

For instructors

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