Introduction to Public Relations

Financial Times
Sue Wolstenholme  
Total pages
May 2013
Related Titles

Product detail

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Introduction to Public Relations
100.50 approx. 7-9 days


Introduction to Public Relations provides an overview of PR from a global and critical perspective. The philosophy behind this new book is to encourage questioning by throwing in controversial ideas and different approaches; to show that there is more than one way to approach an issue and that some approaches can actually be harmful to the interests of society. It fosters a critical as well as a creative approach to the subject to prepare the undergraduate to go on to study and practice to achieve higher levels of originality.

This book is ideal for undergraduate and postgraduate students taking modules in Public Relations as well as those studying at Foundation, Advanced Certificate and Diploma levels with the CIPR.



  • Case studies and spotlights on key issues, to engage and motivate students with examples from real companies
  • Real-life testimonies from PR professionals, to ensure that students are learning from the best academic sources
  • Discussion questions at the end of each chapter, to enable classroom debate

Table of Contents

Table of contents


Part One - What is Public Relations?

1. What is public relations?

2. What do PR practitioners do?

3. What is a 'Public' and why is it necessary?

4. Ethics and Public Relations

Part Two - Skills in Public Relations

5. An introduction to international Public Relations

6. Writing Press Releases

7. Communicating by objectives - planning and executing the PR campaign

8. Crisis or response management

Part Three - Reconceptualizing PR

9. The Stockholm Accords

10. Conclusions



Sue Wolstenholme, Kristina Laco, Eva Maclaine, Paul Noble, Professor Ronel Rensburg, Toni Muzi Falconi, Professor Sven Hamrefors.



  • Learning outcomes for each chapter
  • Frequent case studies
  • Lots of exercises and questions to provoke thinking around the concepts and practices discussed.
  • Extracts from Media Control, the spectacular achievements of propaganda;  by Noam Chomsky


List of Case Studies 

Brent Spar

Practitioner diaries from Croatia (banking), Saudi Arabia (UNESCO) and Germany (Consultancy)

The Arab Spring

The Post Office

Laws and sexuality

Tehran - official policy on PR

The Co-operative bank

The Cornish Crisp Company

Practitioner comment on working within the tobacco industry

Skype - virtual command centre

Human trafficking awareness campaign

Voter education in Zambia

'Kick Polio Out of Africa' campaign

Margaret Thatcher puts BA into a Tailspin

London Fire Brigade


Heathrow Terminal 5

Emergency landing in the Hudson River


Back Cover

Sue Wolstenholme’s book is markedly different. It is written by a very experienced professional who dares to introduce the complexity of interests in the field of public relations. Instead of generalizing an idealized concept, Wolstenholme opens the eyes to the variety of conditions for public relations internationally. She invites the newcomer to a challenging profession, demanding critical reflection and integrity – and the book is refreshing and wise reading for the experienced as well.
Professor Inger Jensen, Roskilde University 




An Introduction to Public Relations by Sue Wolstenhome


This brand new textbook presents a fresh and thought-provoking look at public relations.


Based on marrying the theoretical background to the subject with the practicalities of working in the PR arena and building a critical awareness of common examples and practices around the world and within a wide variety of companies, this book will engage, entertain and provoke the reader to look deeper into the subject.


The book is split into three parts. The first introduces Public Relations - what it is, is not, what practitioners do, what a ‘public’ is, ethics, CSR and issues management. The second part deals with the skills needed in public relations – international PR, writing press releases, planning and executing the PR campaign, and crisis management. Finally, the third part looks to the future and reconceptualises PR with a chapter on the Stockholm Accords.


The book has a very strong emphasis on ethics and case studies from around the world, looking at everything from corporate giants to health campaigns, and diaries and writings of individuals working within the industry.


It is an excellent introduction to the world of public relations.


Sue Wolstenholme runs a full service public relations consultancy, Ashley Public Relations, with an event management subsidiary. She has an MSc in Public Relations and has supervised PhDs on the subject for the University of Exeter. Since 1994, Sue has chaired the European Public Relations Research and Education Association’s juries to find the best academic thesis on the subject in Europe. She is currently the President of Euprera.

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