The Public Relations of Everything: The Ancient, Modern and Postmodern Dramatic History of an Idea, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Public Relations of Everything

The Ancient, Modern and Postmodern Dramatic History of an Idea, 1st Edition

By Robert E. Brown


198 pages

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Hardback: 9780415640459
pub: 2014-11-18
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203082751
pub: 2014-10-30
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The public relations of "everything" takes the radical position that public relations is a profoundly different creature than a generation of its scholars and teachers have portrayed it. Today, it is clearly no longer limited, if it ever has been, to the management of communication in and between organizations. Rather, it has become an activity engaged in by everyone, and for the most basic human reasons: as an act of self-creation, self-expression, and self-protection. The book challenges both popular dismissals and ill-informed repudiations of public relations, as well as academic and classroom misconceptions.

In the age of digitization and social media, everyone with a smart phone, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and the will and skill to use them, is in the media. The PR of everything – the ubiquitousness of public relations – takes a perspective that is less concerned with ideas of communication and information than with experience and drama, a way of looking at public relations inside out, upside down and from a micro rather than a macro level.

Based on a combination of the research of PR practice and critical-thinking analysis of theory, and founded in the author’s extensive corporate experience, this book will be invaluable reading for scholars and practitioners alike in Public Relations, Communications and Social Media.


'This is a wise book that breaks with the dominant paradigms and rethinks public relations in interdisciplinary, philosophical, and humanistic terms, bringing a new definition to a field that has long been seeking to define itself. Brown is a thinker who has thought long and hard about the field and has enriched this book with his wide reading and long professional experience.' - Ray Hiebert, Editor, Public Relations Review, USA

'In PRe, Rob Brown reconceptualises public relations as a humanity, shifting the field from the quantitatively distinct to the distinctly human: ambiguous, historical, interdisciplinary, and vocal. An accomplished scholar, he mines his own extensive experiences in public relations, along with works from academics, practitioners, pioneers, and poets, to present a fascinating, timely, and thought-provoking work.' - Margot Opdycke Lamme, Associate Professor, University of Alabama, USA.

'Robert Brown deftly flips long-held conventions about public relations as management of organizational communication. From history, theory and ethics to crisis communication, Brown argues that the study of public relations should expand to include "everyday experience of individuals" as much as sociology, anthropology, politics and more. Written with dexterity, this compelling book will get readers thinking about public relations in new and refreshing ways.' - Amiso M. George, Associate professor of Strategic Communication, Texas Christian University, USA

'This book is the essence of convergence in Public Relations: the convergence of means, the convergence of perspectives and the convergence of disciplines that merge into one in this field. With this book, Robert Brown, will become a classic not only for the content but also for the ability of making poetry from the academic literature.' - Enric Ordeix, Professor, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Catalonia-Spain

Table of Contents

Preface: Breaking Ranks Part I: The Theater of Public Relations 1. Principles of PRe 2. Crisis 3. Face 4. Actors 5. History Part Two: The Humanities of Public Relations 6. Voices 7. Persuasion 8 Politics 9. Ambiguities 10. Humanities Epilogue: The Gist of Everything

About the Author

Robert E. Brown, former speechwriter for two Fortune 500 companies, is Professor of Communications at Salem State University, instructor at Harvard University Extension School, a member of the editorial boards of Public Relations Review and Public Relations Inquiry and a published poet.

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:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Public Relations