9781405144063

It's Not Just PR : Public Relations in Society

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  • ISBN13:

    9781405144063

  • ISBN10:

    1405144068

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-12-15
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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Summary

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.

Author Biography

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Does Society Need Public Relations? 5
Media Use and the Term "PR"
6
Criticisms of Public Relations
8
Popular press attacks on public relations
9
Common themes in critiques of public relations
14
Popular Press Books Describing the Importance of Public Relations
17
Professional and Academic Defense of Public Relations
21
The profession: The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
21
Academics defend the practice
21
Public Relations and the Marketplace of Ideas
23
Re-focusing Public Relations
24
Conclusion
27
2 Ethical Implications of Public Relations 28
What is Public Communication?
29
Ethical Responsibilities of PR as a Form of Public Communication
30
Ethical Perspectives
31
Professional Associations and Ethics
33
The Boundary-spanning Role of the PR Professional
35
Tensions for PR Practitioners
39
Power Relationships
40
The Power of PR Professionals in the Corporation
43
A Postmodern Perspective on PR
44
Conclusion
48
3 Who Practices Public Relations? 49
Corporate-centric Histories of Public Relations
50
Antagonistic Views of Corporations and Activists
52
Power and Marginalization
53
First Reform Era: Abolitionism and Temperance
62
Public relations aspect
65
Second Reform Era: The Muckrakers
65
Public relations aspect
68
Saul Alinsky: Activism in the 1960's
68
Public relations aspect
70
Internet Activism
70
Public relations aspect
73
Labor Unions and Public Relations
73
Public relations aspect
75
Conclusion
75
4 Public Relations Influences Society 76
Marketplace of Ideas
76
Issues Management: A Framework of Effects on Public Policy
80
EPA bans Alar under pressure
84
AMA's objection to national health insurance
86
Local battles: retailing and health care
89
Shaping Public Behavior
91
Keep America Beautiful
93
Online sexual exploitation
94
Ready.gov: preparing for disasters
96
Germany and social change
97
Nazi anti-Semitic communication
97
Nazi anti-tobacco campaign
98
Mixing Social and Policy Changes: Direct-to-Consumer Advertising and Big Pharm
98
Conclusion
103
5 Global Effects of Public Relations 104
Public Diplomacy: Government Public Relations Goes Global
105
Private Voluntary Organizations: Activism Goes Global
109
Corporations: Increased Demands from a Global Network of Relationships
111
Expectation gap complications
122
Conclusion
125
Where We Have Been
126
References 129
Index 139

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