The Routledge Companion to Public Relations  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Public Relations

ISBN 9780367654641
Published October 31, 2022 by Routledge
490 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $250.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Public relations is a uniquely pervasive force in our modern economy, influencing every aspect of our lives from the personal to the political. This comprehensive volume provides an expert overview of current scholarship, reflecting the impact of technology, society, and demographic shifts in a complex global environment.

The last century saw the emergence of the public relations discipline. This expertly curated collection explores the dynamic growth in thinking about public relations’ role in our changing global society, now and into the future. It reflects the challenges and perspectives of postcolonial, postmodern, feminist, critical race theory, social responsibility, sustainability, activist standpoints, as well as the profound and unpredictable impact of technological change and social media. Each chapter provides an overview of current knowledge and its roots, while engaging with emerging new directions and old debates – and advocates for where the research agenda is likely to advance in the future.

This unique Companion will be an essential resource for students and researchers in public relations, communication, marketing, media, and cultural studies. It provides an authoritative reference for educators and a one-stop repository of public relations knowledge, scholarship, and debates for the enquiring professional.

Table of Contents


Dean Kruckeberg 

Unit I: Introduction

Assessing the discipline to envision a critical, radical, inclusive public relations future

Donnalyn Pompper, Katie R. Place, & C. Kay Weaver

Unit II: Public Relations’ Conceptual Underpinning 

1. Toward better global thinking through Latin America’s understanding of public relations

Vanessa Bravo 

2. Public relations ethics from advocacy to ethical leadership

Marlene S. Neill

3. Public relations and the racial reckoning: Exploring race, activism and Black Lives Matter

Nneka Logan

4. Public relations history impacts on the present and the future

Karla K. Gower

5. Revisiting intersectionality: The stray, strain, and performativity of social identity dimensions in public relations over the past decade

Jennifer Vardeman, Natalie T. J. Tindall, Natasha Saad, & LaRahia Smith

6. Public relations and the law

Debbie Davis

Unit III: Theorizing the Discipline

7. Paradigm shifts in public relations theory

Maureen Taylor & Michael L. Kent

8. The situational theory of problem solving (STOPS): Past, present, and future

Lisa Tam, Jeong-Nam Kim, & Hyelim Lee

9. A sociological lens on public relations

Øyvind Ihlen

10. The eclipse of trust and systemic vulnerability: Theorizing crises in an increasingly complex world

Dawn R. Gilpin

11. The cultural-economic model of public relations theory and practice

Pat Curtin

12. Public relations in a post-truth world

Gareth Thompson

Unit IV: Building the Practice

13. Media relations today

Dustin Supa & Lynn Zoch

14. More substance, less half-truths: A critique of image, promotion, and propaganda in public relations

Damion Waymer

15. Tracing the evolution of public relations education

Brigitta Brunner 

16. PR girls and spin doctors: The PR profession in popular culture

Kate Fitch & Ella Chorazy

17. Measurement, evaluation + learning (MEL): New approaches for insights, outcomes, and impact

Jim Macnamara

18. Is communication integration good for public relations? 

Brian G. Smith, Hyunmin Lee, & Katie R. Place

Unit V: Public Relations as Social Responsibility

19. Stakeholder networks and corporate social responsibility

Aimei Yang

20. Public relations and social responsibility: For-profit and nonprofit perspectives

Brooke W. McKeever & Kate Stewart

21. Public relations and sustainability across the African Continent: Using Afro-centric philosophies to remember what’s been ‘forgotten or lost’

Donnalyn Pompper & Eric Kwame Adae

22. Public affairs and lobbying: Public relations and the unequal contests to construct the public interest

Scott Davidson

23. Public relations as responsible persuasion: Activism and social change

Ana Adi & Thomas Stoeckle

Unit VI: Public Relations Tools: Social Media, Artificial Intelligence, and Analytics

24. Social media in public relations: Future directions and analysis of social media literature from 2007-2020

Karen Freberg & Karen Sutherland

25. Mobile first: Public relations in an evolving digital landscape

Katie R. Place, Adrienne A. Wallace, & Regina Luttrell

26. Artificial intelligence and public relations: Growing opportunities, questions, and concerns

Lukasz Swiatek & Chris Galloway

27. "Big data" analytics: Technology, tools, and strategic change

Jeremy Harris Lipschultz

Unit VII: Public Relations Moving Forward

28. Evolving our conceptualizations of "publics" and "the public" to reimagine public relations and sustain democratic society

Bey-Ling Sha

29. Public relations practice equipped for the future: Evolution or radical change?

Anne Gregory

30. The public strikes back: Subaltern organizing and insurgent public relations

Debashish Munshi & Priya Kurian

31. New avenues for public relations research

Lee Edwards

32. The complexities of contemporary communicator roles and the future of public relations

Franzisca Weder & C. Kay Weaver 

View More



Donnalyn Pompper is Professor and Endowed Chair in Public Relations, School of Journalism & Communication, and affiliate faculty for Ethnic Studies and the Science Communication Research Center at the University of Oregon, USA.

Katie R. Place is Professor of Strategic Communication at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, USA.

C. Kay Weaver is Chair and Professor in the Department of Advertising, Public Relations, and Media Design at the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.


"Nearly 40 years ago, some of us met at the International Communication Association conference in Honolulu aspiring to establish public relations as a research division. The 1980s was a fertile era of books and articles. In the 1990s, others joined the fray, but we worried who would sustain that emerging era of public relations inquiry. As I ponder The Routledge Companion to Public Relations, I am heartened that it arouses curiosity, targets key themes, brings in new voices, and (re)shapes the paradigm of public relations. It moves dialogically toward a paradigm less organizational-centric and more focused on the cultural."

Robert L. Heath, Professor Emeritus, University of Houston, USA

"The Routledge Companion to Public Relations is a timely and carefully curated compilation of critical public relations thinking for an increasingly polarized, volatile, and complex world. It is a must-read for those who are keen on exploring the potential of public relations to create ethical, equitable, and inclusive futures. The chapters offer inspiring insights from critical, senior public relations scholars from across the world into reimagining the future of public relations through disruptive, radical thinking."

Ganga Dhanesh, Associate Dean, College of Communication and Media Sciences, Zayed University, UAE

"In acknowledging dramatic changes in the public relations field, this long-overdue collection conveys those, sometimes transformational changes, with up-to-date perspectives and contemporary research. Instead of isolating critical and other kinds of new studies in separate handbooks, this book includes them as a natural and substantial part of the current canon. It also integrates work by top PR academics with less-known authors to offer a rich and wide-ranging mix. An essential volume for every public relations educator’s bookshelf."

David McKie, Emeritus Professor, University of Waikato, New Zealand