In this book, Johnston seeks to put the public interest onto the public relations ‘radar’, arguing the need for its clear articulation into mainstream public relations discourse. This book examines literature from a range of fields and disciplines to develop a clearer understanding of the concept, and then considers this within the theory and practice of public relations. The book’s themes include the role of language and discourse in establishing successful public interest PR and in perpetuating power imbalances; intersections between CSR, governance, law and the public interest; and how activism and social media have invigorated community control of the public interest. Chapters explore the role of the public interest, including cross-cultural and multicultural challenges, community and internal consultation, communication choices and listening to minorities and subaltern publics.
"This important work puts the ‘public’ where it belongs in public relations, providing perspectives that cross paradigms, cultures and disciplines to provide a compelling vision for public interest public relations."- Kenn Gaither, Elon University, USA
"This book has the potential to open up the debate on the positioning of public relations in society—one that has been simmering under the surface for a considerable time. It calls the ‘profession’ to account—to justify its claims to be working in the public interest. And it adds to the growing scholarly critiques of the discipline, which in turn, contribute to PR’s growth as a field of academic research and as an ethical practice." - Leanne Glenny, University of South Australia
1. The Public Interest, Public Relations and Society 2. Theoretical Scaffolding and Critical Perspectives 3. Locating the Public Interest in Public Relations: Agency, Alliances and Pro Bono Publico 4. Communication and Media in the Public Interest 5. Culture and Public Interest: Community Voices, Social Inclusion and Participation 6. Social Captial and Capacity Building: Connecting Communities in the Public Interest 7. The Law, Social Change and the Public Interest 8. The Public Interest, Ethics and Values: From Moral Philosophy to Professional Codes 9. The Public Interest and Public Relations: Key Intersections and Considered Directions