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Introducing Public Relations

Introducing Public Relations
Theory and Practice

February 2011 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Introducing Public Relations is your guide to the basics of public relations: where it came from, what it means and what issues the industry faces today. It takes readers from the origins of PR all the way to the newest theoretical debates, explaining along the way the changes and development of the role of the PR practitioner.

With interviews and 'day in the life' examples from a wide range of professionals in the industry students will learn what PR practitioners do, what they think and how the industry really works. Putting the student first, this book:
  • Gives a grounded, critical coverage of the history and theory of PR, so students understand not just the what but the how and why
  • Covers all aspects of PR in practice, from in-house and consultancies to government, sport, NGO and corporate PR
  • Packs each chapter with case studies, anecdotes from the field and career advice from expert PR professionals
  • Helps easy revision with exercises, summaries and checklist.

Highly accessible and engaging, there is no better headstart to understanding what PR is all about. It is the perfect text for any students encountering public relations theory and practice for the first time.

Introducing the Theory
Chapter 1: The Origins of Public Relations
Public Relations: One or Many Definitions?

Where PR Comes From and Why History Matters

The Early Years: Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays

International Growth

The History of PR in the UK

Theory: Why Some Campaigns Work and Some Don't

Communication Theory

Laswell's Communication Model

Linear Model

Two-Step Communication Model

Mass Audience

Target Audience


The Four Models of Grunig and Hunt

The Press Agentry/Publicity Model

The Public Information Model

The Two-Way Asymmetric Model

The Two-Way Symmetric Model

The Excellence Project

Chapter 2: Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations - Similarities and Differences Explored and Explained
Why Marketing Matters

Market-Led Companies

Product-Led Companies

The Marketing Mix

Social Marketing

New Forms of Marketing

Advertising: Good or Evil?

How is PR Different to Advertising?

Advertising Agents and PR Consultants

Marketing PR

Chapter 3: Reputation Management
What is a Good Reputation?

The Relationship between PR and Reputation

Advocating Reputation Management

Acquiring a Good Reputation

Factors Involved in Developing Good Reputation

Online Reputation Management

Against Reputation Management

A 'Wrong' Industry: How an Industry's Reputation Affects Businesses

Chapter 4: Crisis Management - Public Relations Centre Stage
What Is a Crisis?

The Crisis Communication Plan

The Plan

The Management Team

The Communication Process

The Post-Crisis Evaluation

Handling a Crisis

The 2005 London Bombings

The Buncefield Fire

Issues Management

Chapter 5: Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics
Front Organisations

Why Ethics is Becoming More Important to PR

Advocacy and the Adviser-Client Relationship

Does PR Corrupt the Media?

The Ethics of Individuals

Codes and Conducts

The Ethics of Businesses

Four Traditions

Moral Evaluations

Ethics and the Multinational Company

Business is Business: Is CSR Welcome at All?

Business is Business: Is it Worth the Hype?

Social Corporate Responsibility

Environmental Corporate Responsibility

Sustainable Objectives

Is Corporate Social Responsibility Just PR in Disguise?

Delivering CSR

Chapter 6: Introducing the Practice
Public Relations Practice in the UK

The Business of PR

The People in PR

Recruiting and Keeping Staff

Chapter 7: Public Relations In-House
Who Does What?

The PR Practitioner as Gatekeeper

Comparing In-House and External Consultants

Internal Communications

Organizational Culture: Who Are 'the Company'?

Channels of Communication

Measuring the Effect of Communications

Chapter 8: Public Relations Consultancies
Types of Consultancy

Categories of Consultancy

'Agency' or 'Consultancy': Does it Matter?

Professionalisation of the Industry

Services Offered by Consultancies

Winning New Business

The Brief

The Pitch

Managing the Account: Who Does What?

Client Satisfaction



Chapter 9: Strategy, Research, Measurement and Evaluation
Structuring a PR Programme


Defining PR Problems and Issues

SWOT and PEST Analyses


Measurement and Evaluation


Opportunities to See (OTS)

Advertising Value Equivalence (AVE)

Payment by Results (PBR)

Electronic Evaluation

Chapter 10: Putting Effective PR Campaigns into Practice
Tactics: The Building Blocks of PR Campaigns

Journalists and Public Relations: Hacks and Flacks

Media Relations in the PR Campaign

Writing the News Release

Distributing the News Release

Targeting the Right People

Managing the Data

Ensuring Media Coverage

Dealing with the Media

The Features List

Media Training

Press Conferences

Electronic Channels of Communication

Online Media

Blogs: Are They the Future of PR?


Chapter 11: Corporate Communications and Financial PR
What Is Corporate Communications?

The History of Financial PR

Financial PR Consultancies

Financial Calendar Work

Profit Warnings and the Unexpected

Investor Relations

Initial Public Offerings

Financial Audiences


The Financial Media

Chapter 12: Government and the Public Sector
Social Marketing

Government Communications

Local Government

Restricting or Helping? Public Sector PR as Gatekeeper

Central Government Communication


How Political Parties are Changing Political Communication

Political Lobbying

The Origins of Lobbying

Lobbying Companies

Is Lobbying Effective?

Is Lobbying Ethical?

Chapter 13: From Charities to Celebrities - The Variety and Diversity of PR Practice
Charities and Campaigning Organisations

How Charities Campaign




Media Relations in Sport

Channels of Communication

Community Relations in Sport

Chapter 14: Where PR (and You) Can Go Next
The Changing PR Landscape

Industry Challenges and Opportunities

Getting Started in PR


I found the book interesting but perhaps based a bit too much on anglo-saxon theories, models and examples for extensive use in my classroom. However, I recommend it to my students as a supplement because of the fine explanations given for some complicated matters.

Dr Rutger De Graaf
Department of Communication Science, University of Amsterdam
November 10, 2011

Comprehensive and accessible range of theory and practical approaches

Nick Mosdell
JOMEC, Cardiff University
September 3, 2011

A clearly laid out and informative book that gives a solid introduction to some of the key areas of public relations. A balanced approach to both theory and practice with good examples to help reinforce those ideas.

Mr Matt Grimes
Birmingham School of Media, Birmingham City University
June 30, 2011

This is a good introductory text, with excellent examples of professional PR practice.

Written well and accessible for all students.

Mr Robbie Smyth
Journalism and Media Communications, Griffith College Dublin
April 22, 2011

Extremely clear and well structured book. Ideal for undergraduates approaching PR for the first time.

Dr Mafalda Stasi
Department of Media and Communication, Coventry University
April 19, 2011

A fabulous, fresh, readable introduction to the subject with lots of applied information; perfect for new undergraduates.

Ms Susan Kinnear
Communications , Chester University
March 4, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412921152

ISBN: 9781412921145