Post-Truth Public Relations: Communication in an Era of Digital Disinformation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Post-Truth Public Relations

Communication in an Era of Digital Disinformation, 1st Edition

By Gareth Thompson


184 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138368606
pub: 2020-03-03
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This book explores the purpose, practice and effects of public relations (PR) at a time that has been variously described as an era of populism, post-truth and fake news. It considers how public relations processes have contributed to the current social condition of post-truth and what constitutes public relations work in this environment.

Post-Truth Public Relations: Communication in an Era of Digital Disinformation proposes that while we can now look back upon the last 80-100 years as a period of classical public relations, that style is being supplemented by the emergence of a post-classical form of public relations that has emerged in response to the post-truth era. This new style of PR consists of a mixed repertoire of communicative work that matches the new geometry of digital media and delivers a mix of online engagement and persuasion, in order to meet the needs of increasingly partisan audiences. Using contemporary case studies and original interviews with PR practitioners in several countries, including China and the Philippines, the book investigates how public relations workers have reconciled their role as communicative intermediaries with the post-truth era of digital disinformation.

This thought provoking book will be of great interest to researchers and advanced students interested in the changing nature of public relations and its practice.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 2 Classical public relations 3 Post classical public relations: A new style of PR work for the post-truth era 4 A mixed PR repertoire for the age of disruption 5 The rhetoric of certainty and division 6 Facts don’t matter: Truthiness and fake news 7 Performativity and public communication 8 The digital mixology of online engagement 9 Conclusion

About the Author

Gareth Thompson is a Senior Lecturer at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. He has worked in public relations in the corporate, finance and technology sectors for over 20 years, as well as teaching the subject in London and at the French business school, ESCEM, in Poitiers.

About the Series

Routledge New Directions in PR & Communication Research

Current academic thinking about public relations (PR) and related communication is a lively, expanding marketplace of ideas and many scholars believe that it’s time for its radical approach to be deepened. Routledge New Directions in PR & Communication Research is the forum of choice for this new thinking. Its key strength is its remit, publishing critical and challenging responses to continuities and fractures in contemporary PR thinking and practice, tracking its spread into new geographies and political economies. It questions its contested role in market-orientated, capitalist, liberal democracies around the world, and examines its invasion of all media spaces, old, new, and as yet unenvisaged.

The New Directions series has already published and commissioned diverse original work on topics such as:

  • PR’s influence on Israeli and Palestinian nation-building
  • PR's origins in the history of ideas
  • a Jungian approach to PR ethics and professionalism
  • global perspectives on PR professional practice;
  • PR as an everyday language for everyone
  • PR as emotional labour
  • PR as communication in conflicted societies, and
  • PR's relationships to cooperation, justice and paradox.

We actively invite new contributions and offer academics a welcoming place for the publication of their analyses of a universal, persuasive mindset that lives comfortably in old and new media around the world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Public Relations
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Media & Internet