Rethinking Public Relations: Persuasion, Democracy & Society

Kevin Moloney, Conor McGrath

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This new (third) edition of Rethinking Public Relations continues the argument of previous editions that public relations is weak propaganda. However, while earlier editions focused on PR as representative of the uneven power distribution in society, this book goes further, conceiving the power of PR as more than just structural but also as having an important rhetorical component.

In this extensively revised edition, Moloney and McGrath dissect the nature of the modern PR industry, arguing that its idealised self-presentation should be replaced by a more realistic and credible defence of the societal value produced by advocacy and counter-advocacy. This book includes expanded coverage of PR’s impact on society (through areas such as CSR, sponsorship and community relations), its relationship with stakeholders, and its role in democratic debate and public policy making. It also considers the ways in which journalism has capitulated to PR in an era of ‘fake news’ and ‘churnalism’ and, in this new edition, the role of digital and social media is examined for the first time.

Maintaining the rigorous and critical stance of previous editions, this new edition will also prove accessible to Master’s level and final-year undergraduate students studying public relations, media and communications studies. Additionally, it will be of great value to practitioners who seek to widen PR’s ‘voices’.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages206
ISBN (Electronic)9780429489310
ISBN (Print)9780367313005
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 25 Jul 2019


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