The Routledge Handbook of Critical Public Relations  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Critical Public Relations

ISBN 9780415727334
Published August 26, 2015 by Routledge
446 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Critical theory has a long history, but a relatively recent intersection with public relations. This ground-breaking collection engages with commonalities and differences in the traditions, whilst encouraging plural perspectives in the contemporary public relations field.

Compiled by a high-profile and widely respected team of academics and bringing together other key scholars from this field and beyond, this unique international collection marks a major stage in the evolution of critical public relations. It will increasingly influence how critical theory informs public relations and communication.

The collection takes stock of the emergence of critical public relations alongside diverse theoretical traditions, critiques and actions, methodologies and future implications. This makes it an essential reference for public relations researchers, educators and students around a world that is becoming more critical in the face of growing inequality and environmental challenges. The volume is also of interest to scholars in advertising, branding, communication, consumer studies, cultural studies, marketing, media studies, political communication and sociology.

Table of Contents

Part I: Origins and Overviews 1. History as a Source of Critique: Historicity and knowledge, societal change, activism and rhetorical movements  2. An Historical Overview of the Emergence of Critical Thinking in PR  3. Articulating Public Relations Practice and Critical/Cultural Theory Through a Cultural-Economic Lens  4. Feminism and PR  5. The Public Sphere and PR  6. Dialogue and Critical Public Relations  7. Critical Rhetoric and Public Relations  8. Sanitising or Reforming PR? Exploring the emergence of critical public relations  Part II: Orientations and Re-Orientations 9. Extending PR’s Critical Conversations with Advertising and Marketing  10. Public Relations, the Postcolonial Other and the Issue of Asylum Seekers  11. Critical Discourse Analysis: A search for meaning and power 12. Changes to be Encouraged: Radical turns in PR theorisation and small-step evolutions in PR practice  13. A Reflexive Perspective in Public Relations: On leaving traditional thinking and uncovering the taken-for-granted  14. Double Deconstruction: Transparency, dialogue, and social media from a critical post-structuralist perspective  15. "Critical Public Relations is so Critical!" Objections, counter-objections, and practical applications to critical-cultural public relations work  16. What is Critical About Critical Public Relations Theory?  Part III: Perspectives from Different Locations 17. A Post-Socialist/Communist Perspective: From foreign-imposed to home-grown transitional public relations  18. Public Relations and Humanitarian Communication: From persuasion to the creation of a community of equals  19. Science, Medicine and the Body: How public relations blurs lines across individual and public health  20. A Postcolonial Critique of Public Relations  21. Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Critical public relations as a cure for media studies’ fear of the dark  22. The Need for Critical Thinking in Country Promotion: Public diplomacy, nation branding and public relations  23. Critical Race and Public Relations: The case of environmental racism and risk bearer agency  24. Critical Management Studies and the Management of Desire  Part IV: Ways Forward 25. Deconstructing Japan’s PR: Where is the Public? 26. Socially Integrating PR and Operationalizing an Alternative Approach  27. Expanding Critical Space: Public intellectuals, public relations, and an "outsider" contribution  28. Algorithmic Public Relations: Materiality, technology and power in a post-hegemonic world  29. Liberation Public Relations  30. Being Social: Creating a critical commons with public relations practice 31. Pushing Boundaries: A critical cosmopolitan orientation 32. Public Relations and Sustainable Citizenship: Towards a goal of representing the unrepresented

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Jacquie L’Etang is Professor of Public Relations and Applied Communication at Queen Margaret University, UK.

David McKie is Professor of Management Communication at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Nancy Snow is Professor Emeritus of Communications at California State University, Fullerton, USA.

Jordi Xifra is Professor of Public Relations at Pompeu Fabra University, Spain.


'It's hard to imagine a single book on PR with so many subjects and perspectives. Only the most purblind observer can ignore its power in the modern age. Public relations is in everyone's life, and is everyone's business. This book makes PR's 'invisible government' visible and potent, and proclaims the discipline’s intellectual liberation.' - Simon Moore, Associate Professor, Bentley University, USA

'This collection of perspectives is nothing less than transformative. I know of no scholarly book that has equaled this book’s potential to rebrand public relations in the eyes of the world. The editors and the cadre of first-rate scholars have produced a landmark collection. It is a grand achievement that, at once, has the depth and imagination to not only reframe PR but to instruct and inspire its practitioners.' - Robert E. Brown, Professor, Communications and Public Relations, Salem State University, USA and author of The Public Relations of Everything

'Thomas Jefferson once stated "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." For those who practice public relations, The Routledge Handbook of Critical Public Relations is a very patriotic book.' - Anthony R. Pratkanis, Professor, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA