PR- A Persuasive Industry? Spin, Public Relations and the Shaping of the Modern Media

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-10-15
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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Public relations is a big and rapidly growing industry, with annual growth rates of 20-30%. It spans the worlds of business, politics and culture, sport and entertainment. PR is everywhere. And yet, though it is much talked about, it is little analyzed. This book explores the PR industry, including different aspects of the field as well as addresses criticism of the field as a whole.

Author Biography

TREVOR MORRIS is one of the UK's most senior PR practitioners and since 2005 a Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster, UK, where he teaches on a range of postgraduate and undergraduate programs. Formerly Morris was Chief Executive of Chime Communications Public Relations Group, the UK (and Europe)'s largest PR group, with some 250 employees. In nearly a quarter of a century in the industry he successfully built a major PR consultancy, worked for numerous major companies and government bodies and alongside most of the key players in contemporary PR. Morris has made countless TV, radio and newspaper appearances and  maintains a high profile within the industry .

SIMON GOLDSWORTHY is Senior Lecturer in Public Communication at the University of Westminster, UK. He established London's first Master of Arts course in Public Relations and has since added the teaching of Public Relations to the University's well-known undergraduate media studies program. He has lectured to international audiences, including Johns Hopkins University and at the Sorbonne. His civil service career included three years at the Central Office of Information and press office work for a number of Government departments. He has also worked as a PR consultant in the private sector.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. viii
Acknowledgmentsp. xii
The allure of PRp. 1
Girls, gurus, gays, and diversityp. 15
Girlsp. 15
Gurusp. 16
Why are there more women in PR?p. 18
Gaysp. 21
Ethnic mixp. 22
PR and the mediap. 23
Why are there more flacks than hacks?p. 23
Suppressing bad news: PR's dark side of the moonp. 30
The information marketplace: trading news and viewsp. 31
News out of nothingp. 32
Motivating the media: sticks and carrotsp. 35
The importance of timingp. 39
The Beckhams and the "sex-mad PR beauty": the ultimate PR tale for our times?p. 42
The future of an abusive relationshipp. 45
The lying gamep. 49
Lovable roguesp. 51
Double dealersp. 52
The truth debate continuesp. 53
PR ethicsp. 57
Portrait of an industryp. 61
The consultancy sectorp. 62
The emergence of PR conglomeratesp. 64
The persistence of "penny packet" PRp. 67
Are PR firms profitable?p. 68
Specialist PRp. 74
In-house PR and the eunuchs of modern corporate lifep. 79
The tail of the industryp. 86
The people in PRp. 89
PR dilettantesp. 89
Money matters (what do PR people earn?)p. 93
The public voice of PRp. 94
From PR to propagandap. 97
How the industry defines itselfp. 97
The industry's reluctance to admit the obviousp. 100
What we say PR isp. 102
Is propaganda different?p. 106
PR: a symptom of freedomp. 110
Professional, but never a professionp. 113
What is a profession?p. 114
Is PR a profession?p. 115
More problems with definitionsp. 116
The role of trade bodiesp. 117
Not a profession, but trying hardp. 121
PR in the not-for-profit sectorp. 123
PR for the industries of consciencep. 124
NGOs in conflictp. 126
Propaganda of the deedp. 126
Internal communicationsp. 129
Censorshipp. 130
The employer brandp. 132
Hidden persuadersp. 134
PR and academiap. 137
PR and business schoolsp. 139
"Industry" approved degreesp. 140
Industry attitudes to PR degreesp. 141
Where are the text books?p. 143
Lobbying, public affairs, politics, and government PRp. 145
Lobbying's links to PRp. 148
Lobbying issuesp. 148
Lobbying regulationp. 151
Politics and spinp. 152
Why political PR is differentp. 155
Does PR work and is it good for us?p. 161
PR and economicsp. 161
Barriers to evaluationp. 166
Trusting to judgmentp. 167
PR and societyp. 171
The marketplace of ideasp. 172
PR and mediated societyp. 173
PR: a social good?p. 174
The future of PRp. 175
The future for PRp. 178
Areas of growthp. 180
In defence of PRp. 183
Notesp. 187
Some suggested reading and sources of informationp. 195
About the authorsp. 199
Indexp. 201
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