This book examines how social media has transformed extremist discourse. Drawing on ISIS and their sophisticated use of social media platforms and PR concepts, it explores the ways in which the outfit was able to recruit, mobilise and spread fundamentalist propaganda in regions where it had little physical presence.
One of the first studies to draw a link between international diplomacy, the rise of fundamentalism and public relations, this book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of defence and strategic studies, especially those working on ISIS propaganda, Middle East Studies, media studies, digital humanities, communication studies, public relations, international relations, as well general readers.
‘Ella Minty shows how a strategic and innovative use of social media rooted in the knowledge of history’s silent forces can be a powerful tool to fight terrorism. A must-read for foreign policy strategists.’
—Diego Gilardoni, international communication consultant and author of Decoding China
‘Ella Minty is the ideal communication professional to write about ‘Social Media and the Islamic State’. Her experience and depth of knowledge on the topic are unmatched. As a public relations professional now teaching the next generation(s) of PR pros, I look forward to reading her published work and encouraging my students to read it as well and take to heart her observations.’
—Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, Adjunct Professor, Communication, The University of Tampa/Director and Ethics Officer, Tampa Bay Chapter, Public Relations Society of America
‘Ella has delved into a communications issue that should concern us all - how do we win over the hearts and minds of those who have been seduced by extremism? This is a fascinating read that should be widely read by both fellow communicators and those working in government.’
—Alex Malouf, EMENA Chair of the International Association of Business Communicators; Board Member of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management; Member of the National Advisory Council, College of Communication and Media Sciences, Zayed University
‘Public relations, taken seriously, has a large contribution to make to the solution of intractable social and political problems. Ella Minty takes this view of public relations into confronting challenges posed by international terrorism - and expands our understanding of these, and public relations' potential role.’
—Jon White PhD, Visiting Professor, Reading University Henley Business School and Honorary Professor, Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies
‘With wide and comprehensive experience in the field of public relations, Ella Minty is an evangelist, in a good way. Utterly passionate in promoting communications as a force for good in the world, she is untiring in her quest. This highly informative and very readable monograph is a valuable testament to her commitment, recommended to all with an interest in politics, communications and extremism.’
—Jem Thomas, Director of Training and Research, Albany Associates
‘What are now recognised as industrial disciplines, ‘Communications’ and / or ‘PR’ have always been part of counterinsurgency (CI) and counter terrorist (CT) campaigns. Ella’s work makes it clear that in the 21st century CI / CT environment, there is a greater need than ever for sovereign states and supra national actors to engage with developing best practice from industry to maintain optimum results.’
—Paddy Blewer, Global PR Director specialising in government advisory and foreign direct investment services
‘Ella Minty’s book could not be more timely, and could not address an issue of greater importance. This is a must-read analysis from one of the PR industry’s most senior and most esteemed practitioners.’
—Francis Ingham, Public Relations and Communications Association Director General, Chief Executive of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation, LGComms Executive Director
‘The rise of ISIS has painfully demonstrated that engaging communities quickly and effectively can be a matter of life and death. Ella Minty makes a compelling case for how public relations can counter this new generation of social media-savvy terrorists and be a force for good in the world.’
—Rob Smith, Editor, Influence
‘Social Media and the Islamic State’ is a forceful and incisive account of how the Islamic State came to dominate social media, and the inadequacy of state responses to this new challenge. Were opportunities missed to combat IS on social media itself? Minty suggests there were. In addition to the standard arsenal of surveillance and disruption, she suggests that more activist and emotionally-aware interventions, especially those crowdsourcing input from other users, might have been helpful. Her monograph is a succinct and well-focused starting point for considering how we do better in future.’
—Alastair McCapra, CEO, Chartered Institute of Public Relations
List of Abbreviations. Foreword. Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. Literature Review 2. 21st Century Challenges: Internet and Social Media 3. A Failure in Public Engagement 4. Conclusions 5. Can Public Relations Succeed Where Conventional Diplomacy Failed? Bibliography. Index.