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It's Not Just PR: Public Relations in Society / Edition 1

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In the second edition of their award-winning book, W. Timothy Coombs and Sherry J. Holladay provide a broad and thorough look at the field of public relations in the world today and assess its positive and negative impact on society’s values, knowledge, and perceptions.

  • Uses a range of global, contemporary examples, from multi-national corporations through to the non-profit sector
  • Updated to include discussion of new issues, such as the role and limitations of social media; the emergence of Issues Management; how private politics is shaping corporate behavior; and the rise of global activism and the complications of working in a global world
  • Covers the search within the profession for a definition of PR, including the Melbourne Mandate and Barcelona Principles
  • Balanced, well organized, and clearly written by two leading scholars
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Coombs and Holladay have provided a powerful and refreshing perspective on the 'good' and 'bad' in public relations practice. By showing us an alternative to a corporate-centric approach, they shine a light on the possibilities for ethical and effective public relations."
—Debra Worley, Department of Communication, Indiana State University

"Shining a light of a different hue on PR practice, It’s Not Just PR will help you explain PR’s value to your boss or any critic of the PR industry."
—Doug Newsom, Schieffer School of Journalism, Texas Christian University

"This well-argued defense of the field and practice of public relations is in itself as good public relations job, in the best sense of that often-maligned term...the authors make a compelling case that public relations plays a valuable role in society." (Choice)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405144056
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/25/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 156
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.49 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction     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
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
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 1960s     68
Public relations aspect     70
Internet Activism     70
Public relations aspect     73
Labor Unions and Public Relations     73
Public relations aspect     75
Conclusion     75
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 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
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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