Global movements and protests from the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movement have been attributed to growing access to social media, while without it, local causes like #bringbackourgirls and the ice bucket challenge may have otherwise remained unheard and unseen.
Regardless of their nature – advocacy, activism, protest or dissent – and beyond the technological ability of digital and social media to connect support, these major events have all been the results of excellent communication and public relations. But PR remains seen only as the defender of corporate and capitalist interests, and therefore resistant to outside voices such as activists, NGOs, union members, protesters and whistle-blowers.
Drawing on contributions from around the world to examine the concepts and practice of "activist," "protest" and "dissent" public relations, this book challenges this view. Using a range of international examples, it explores the changing nature of protest and its relationship with PR and provides a radical analysis of the communication strategies and tactics of social movements and activist groups and their campaigns. This thought-provoking collection will be of interest to researchers and advanced students of public relations, strategic communication, political science, politics, journalism, marketing, and advertising, and also to PR professionals in think tanks and NGOs.
Table of Contents
1 The slow conflation of public relations and activism: Understanding trajectories in public relations theorising C. Kay Weaver 2 Activist Nation: Australia and the 1916 Conscription Referendum Emily Robertson and Robert Crawford 3 Protest PR as pioneers: historical frameworks and the suffragettes movement Michaela O'Brien 4 Second-wave feminist movement in Turkey through an activist PR perspective A. Banu Bıçakçı and Pelin Hürmeriç 5 Public Relations for social change: shock tactics in feminist activism in Eastern Europe Oleksandra Gudkova and Katharine Sarikakis 6. Protesting the Homeland: Diaspora Dissent Public Relations Efforts to Oppose the Dominican Republic’s Citizenship Policies Maria De Moya 7 Activists’ Communication and Mobilization Tactics to Find Ayotzinapa's 43 Disappeared Students Luis Ruben Diaz-Cepeda, Ernesto Castañeda, and Kara Andrade 8 Reading Gezi Park Protests through the Lens of Protest PR Barika Göncü, Erkan Saka and Anıl Sayan 9 Archiving Activism and/as Activist PR: Occupy Wall Street and the Politics of Influence Kylie Message 10 Romania’s Protest: From Stakeholders in Waiting to Activists’ Becoming PR Practitioners Camelia Crisan 11 Activist PR in Vietnam: Public participation via Facebook to save 6,700 trees Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen and Nguyen Hoang Anh 12 The Beginning of the End: Telling the story of Occupy Wall Street’s eviction on Twitter Photini Vrikki 13 Activist Public Relations: Moving from Frames as Objects to Framing as a Dynamic Process Adam Howe and Rima Wilkes 14 Digital Media, Journalism, PR, and Grassroots Power: Theoretical Perspectives Marina Vujnovic and Dean Kruckeber 15 The Activist Reformation of PR in the Attention Economy Thomas Stoeckle
Ana Adi is a Professor of Public Relations/Corporate Communications at Quadriga University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. When not analysing public relations from a critical perspective, Dr Adi’s research, teaching and consultancy focuses on the strategic uses of digital and social media in a variety of communication fields. You can find more about her work on www.anaadi.net.
Today, now, this minute – change is in motion. Students and researchers of communication seeking to understand how this dynamic is propelled, disrupted, restrained or transformed will be intrigued by this volume. Ana Adi offers a rich and varied collection for readers showing how people and groups on the margins struggle to change one reality for another in many diverse parts of the globe, and at different times in history. Drawing on important theoretical discussions, this book underscores the need for new ways of speaking about activism and public relations – and in doing both extends and entrenches the critical space to interrogate politics, power and communicative action and inaction. Bravo! This book should be on everyone’s reading list.
Kristin Demetrious, Associate Professor of Communication, Deakin University, Australia
This book provides a valuable addition to the literature on the rise of social movements, which are a characteristic of contemporary democracies and emerging democracies. It builds on the previous Routledge text Public Relations, Activism, and Social Change by Kristin Demetrious, with a particular feature being the breadth of international case studies examined by a range of expert authors. While it can be argued that activist groups and social movements are opponents of public relations, which is traditionally associated with power elites, this volume brings an expanded view of public relations as well as contemporary political communication.
Jim Macnamara, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Public Communication, University of Technology Sydney, Australia