Public Relations, Branding and Authenticity: Brand Communications in the Digital Age, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Public Relations, Branding and Authenticity

Brand Communications in the Digital Age, 1st Edition

By Sian Rees


184 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367077655
pub: 2020-03-10
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Public Relations, Branding and Authenticity: Brand Communications in the Digital Age explores the role of PR and branding in society by considering the notion of authentic communications within the context of an emerging digital media environment.

This qualitative analysis explores the challenge of developing authentic brand narratives in the digital age, whilst questioning the problematic nature of authenticity itself. Case studies of public relations activity of successful brands, and those in crisis, are supplemented by interviews with senior public relations and branding practitioners. The book lays out three specific arguments. Firstly, a repositioning of the relationship between public relations and brand practice is explored. It is argued that public relations practitioners are well placed to facilitate brands in the digital age, because of the inherent acceptance of the value of relationship building, adaptation and boundary spanning embedded in PR practice and best practice theory. Secondly, the book introduces a new concept of riparian brands. Such brands are based on solid core values, but have an ability to atune, adjust and naturalise to the prevailing social, cultural and economic environment. Thirdly, the book presents an ontology of the riparian brand in the form of an authentic brand wheel and 15 real-time interaction success factors.

Aimed at both academics and practitioners interested in the theoretical development of PR and its emerging relationship with branding, it will also be of interest to scholars of corporate communications, corporate reputation and branding.

Table of Contents

1: Introduction – Public Relations, Branding and Authenticity 2: Public Relations History Re-Imagined – Aligning Corporate and Activist Perspectives 3: The Digital Public Relations Turn – Understanding how Digital Media is Changing Public Relations Practice 4: Communicating the Projective Organisation – Public Relations and Digital Organisational Forms 5: The Riparian Brand – Exploring Polyphonic Corporate Brand Identity and Public Relations 6: Justification and Corporate Social Responsibility - Exploring Oganizational Legitimization Processes 7: Public Relations for Digital Media Brands – Authentic Brand Narratives in a Digital Age 8: Crisis Management in the Digital AgeHarnessing the Reputational Influence of Social Media 9: Public Relations Industry Perceptions – The Impact of Digital Media on Reputation Management Practices 10: The Authentic Brand Wheel – An Ontology of the Riparian Brand and Authentic Public Relations 11: The Authenticity Managers – Post-Modern Public Relations Practice in the Digital Age

About the Author

Sian Rees is Associate Professor at Swansea University specialising in public relations, marketing and branding. Following an industry career in public relations and marketing, she is currently Head of the Department of Media & Communications at Swansea University.

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 / Advertising & Promotion
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Marketing / Multilevel
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Public Relations