Rethinking Public Relations: PR Propaganda and Democracy, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Rethinking Public Relations

PR Propaganda and Democracy, 2nd Edition

By Kevin Moloney

© 2006 – Routledge

16 pages

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Paperback: 9780415370622
pub: 2006-03-02
Paperback: 9780203030592
pub: 2006-04-18
Hardback: 9780415370615
pub: 2006-03-09

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All PR, whether for charities or arms manufacturers, is weak propaganda. Though it has its undeniable benefits (it grabs attention and helps circulate more information), it also has costs (such as selective messaging). This extensively revised edition of a classic text fully investigates PR, updating and expanding earlier arguments and building upon the successful first edition with new thoughts, data and evidence.

Thought-provoking and stimulating, Rethinking Public Relations 2nd Edition challenges conventional PR wisdom. It develops the accepted thinking on the most important question facing PR - its relationship with democracy - and finds a balance of advantages and disadvantages which leave a residue of concern. It tackles topical issues such as:

  • PR as a form of propaganda which flourishes in a democracy
  • the connections between PR and journalism
  • the media, promotions culture and persuasion.

Designed to appeal to final year undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers studying public relations, media and communications studies, this book explores the most important relationship PR has – the connection with democracy – and asks what benefits or costs it brings to politics, markets and the media.


'Kevin Moloney analyses the relations of PR propaganda and democracy with a very wide intellectual and professional horizon. The style of his text is clear … even entertaining. All those who are in or close to the profession of public relations will read Moloney's book with enthusiasm' European Journal of Marketing, 2009

'Moloney's book is colourful and polemic, positioned as a project of 'PR watch'. He conveys something of a 'Niagara of spin' in his fast moving prose which makes extensive references to US sources on propaganda and public relations.' - Jacquie L’Etang, Department of Film and Media Studies, University of Stirling, UK

'Like Shakespeare’s Caesar, public relations ‘bestrides the world like a colossus’, and the wider world urgently needs a more mature understanding of what it really is. For this reason alone, Kevin Moloney’s thoughtful, balanced book deserves a large readership, certainly inside and, even more importantly, outside the public relations community. But there are other good reasons also. First of all, the author is extremely lucid; second, he does what many scholars should do but too often do not: propose realistic solutions as well as identify core problems and questions. Some of those solutions are far-reaching: all of them should be heard.' - Simon Moore, Associate Professor, Bentley College, Massachusetts, USA

Table of Contents

1. A Great Niagara of PR 2. PR from Top to Bottom 3. A Future with PR 4. PR and Propaganda 5. PR Propaganda in the UK 6. Can PR and Democracy Co-exist? 7. Is PR Damaging Democracy? 8. Ethics, Social Responsibility, Stakeholders 9. Politics, Corporate PR, Campaigning 10. Markets, Branding, Reputation 11. Media Matters 12. The Consequences of PR Propaganda

About the Author

Kevin Moloney has spent one half of his career working in PR, and the other half teaching and researching it. He teaches at Bournemouth University, and researches into how PR intersects with politics, economics and the media.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Marketing / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Public Relations