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It's Not Just PR: Public Relations in Society, 2nd Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-55404-3
160 pages
July 2013, Wiley-Blackwell


In the second edition of their award-winning book, W. Timothy Coombs and Sherry J. Holladay provide a broad and thorough look at the field of public relations in the world today and assess its positive and negative impact on society’s values, knowledge, and perceptions.

  • Uses a range of global, contemporary examples, from multi-national corporations through to the non-profit sector
  • Updated to include discussion of new issues, such as the role and limitations of social media; the emergence of Issues Management; how private politics is shaping corporate behavior; and the rise of global activism and the complications of working in a global world
  • Covers the search within the profession for a definition of PR, including the Melbourne Mandate and Barcelona Principles
  • Balanced, well organized, and clearly written by two leading scholars
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Introduction to the Second Edition 1

1 Does Society Need Public Relations? 4

2 Ethical Implications of Public Relations 36

3 Who Practices Public Relations? 60

4 Public Relations Influences Society 90

5 Shifting the View of Public Relations 123

References 141
Index 159

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Author Information

W. Timothy Coombs is Professor in the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida.  His books include the award-winning Ongoing Crisis Communication (2007) and Code Red in the Boardroom (2006).  With Sherry J. Holladay, he is co-author of Managing Corporate Social Responsibility (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) and PR Strategy and Application (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009) and co-editor of The Handbook of Crisis Communication (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).  He has worked with consulting firms in the U.S. and Europe on ways to improve crisis communication efforts for their clients.

Sherry J. Holladay is Professor in the Nicholson School of Communication at the University of Central Florida. She teaches courses in public relations and corporate communication and her research interests include corporate social responsibility, crisis communication, reputation management, activism, and stakeholder relations. Her work appears in the Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Management Communication Quarterly, Journal of Communication Management, and International Journal of Strategic Communication.  With W. Timothy Coombs, she is co-author of Managing Corporate Responsibility (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) and PR Strategies and Applications (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), and co-editor of The Handbook of Crisis Communication (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).

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“Concise and thought-provoking examination about ‘what counts’ as public relations and the field’s impact on society; an excellent discussion primer about the issues facing the profession today and in the foreseeable future.”
Michael J. Palenchar, University of Tennessee

“This is an engaging introduction to PR. I like its quick overviews of key authors, ideas and debates, its easy style, but most of all, that it makes the reader think.”
Magda Pieczka, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

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