DescriptionPublic relations is, by design, the least visible of the persuasive industries. It operates behind the scenes, encouraging us to consume, vote, believe and behave in ways that keep economies moving and citizens from storming the citadels of power.
In this important new book, Sue Curry Jansen explores the ways in which globalization and the digital revolution have substantially elevated PR's role in management, marketing, governance and international affairs. Since the best PR is invisible PR, it violates the norms of liberal democracy, which require transparency and accountability. Even when it serves benign purposes, she argues, PR is a commercial enterprise that divorces communication from conviction and turns it into a mercenary venture. As a primary source of what now passes as news, PR influences much of what we know and how we know it.
Stealth Communications will be an indispensable guide for students of media studies and public relations, as well as anyone interested in the radical transformation of PR and the democratization of public communication.
1. Introduction: Playing Fast and Loose with Words and Worlds
2. History Matters: Progressivism, Muckraking and Commercial Propaganda
3. The Spectacular Growth of Public Relations: The Industry
4. The Industry: PR Agencies and Holding Companies
5. Language Matters: Framing and Spinning
6. Globalization and Privatization of Public Affairs: Nation Branding
7. Fighting Fire with Fire: PR, Social Movements and NGOs
8. We are All in PR Now, Is There a Way Out?
"Now a multibillion-dollar global industry, the dark art of public relations has never exercised a more pervasive influence. Through judicious examples set in a careful historical framework, Jansen documents how a hidden torrent of managed publicity sweeps through our public sphere. Those who care about democratic decision-making will find Stealth Communications to be essential reading." - Dan Schiller, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign