Social Media and Public Relations: Fake Friends and Powerful Publics (Hardback) book cover

Social Media and Public Relations

Fake Friends and Powerful Publics

By Judy Motion, Robert L. Heath, Shirley Leitch

© 2016 – Routledge

224 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2015-11-17
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About the Book

Social media is having a profound, but not yet fully understood impact on public relations. In the 24/7 world of perpetually connected publics, will public relations function as a dark art that spins (or tweets) self-interested variations of the truth for credulous audiences? Or does the full glare of the internet and the increasing expectations of powerful publics motivate it to more honestly engage to serve the public interest?

The purpose of this book is to examine the role of PR by exploring the myriad ways that social media is reshaping its conceptualization, strategies, and tactics. In particular, it explores the dichotomies of fake and authentic, powerless and powerful, meaningless and meaningful. It exposes transgressions committed by practitioners—the paucity of digital literacy, the lack of understanding of the norms of social media, naivety about corporate identity risks, and the overarching emphasis on spin over authentic engagement. But it also shows the power that closely networked social media users have to insert information and opinion into discussions and force "false PR friends" to be less so.

This timely, challenging, and fascinating book will be of interest to all students, researchers, and practitioners in Public Relations, Media, and Communication Studies.

Winner of the 2016 NCA PRIDE Award for best book

Reviews

'Motion, Heath, and Leitch have done excellent work in the past and this is no exception. The area of social media and public relations has long needed an authoritative and critical text and Social Media and Public Relations fills that void.' - Michael L. Kent, Professor, University of Tennessee Knoxville, USA

'Social Media and Public Relations provides an insight into a growing area of focus in social media while tying in emerging trends and historical perspectives in public relations. This book helps explore the current issues, risks, opportunities, and challenges involving social media from the audience perspective, which can be applicable for practitioners and researchers – adding a needed area of discussion in social media research and practice within public relations.' - Karen Freberg, Assistant Professor, University of Louisville, USA

'Social Media and Public Relations disrupts the notion that social media has ameliorated public relations. Motion, Heath, and Leitch question the relationship between public relations and social media to reveal the complexities and tensions between social media cultures and the promotion-oriented goals of public relations. Sharply written and scrupulously documented, this is a must read for scholars, practitioners, and students interested in the future of social media in public relations.' - Adam J. Saffer, Assistant Professor, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

Table of Contents

1. Identify the Problems: Social media and public relations 2. “Don’t Do Anything Stupid”: Social media affordances, policies and governance agendas 3. Create Yourself: Corporate identity for interconnected publics 4. Speak the Truth: Transparency, power/knowledge and authenticity 5. Engage: One-way, two-way, and every-way 6. Connecting with Creativity: Worlds, identities, publics as content production and co-production 7. Activist Power: Critical public engagement 8. Protect Yourself: Issues of privacy and regulation 9. Know Your Risks: A collective orientation 10. Navigate the Issues: Situating power/knowledge within public relations 11. Public and Private Clashes and Collaborative Dialogue 12. Conclusion

About the Authors

Judy Motion is Professor of Communication at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Robert L. Heath is Professor Emeritus at the University of Houston, USA.

Shirley Leitch is Dean and Professor of Communication at the Australian National University, Australia.

About the Series

Routledge New Directions in Public Relations & Communication Research

Current academic thinking about 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: PR’s influence on Israeli and Palestinian nation building; its origins in the history of ideas; a Jungian approach to its ethics and professionalism; global perspectives on its professional practice; PR as an everyday language for everyone; as emotional labour; as communication in conflicted societies, and its 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 mind-set that lives comfortably in old and new media around the world.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS000000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / General
BUS052000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Public Relations
LAN004000
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies