Leeds Business School

Public relations textbook sets out bold ambition for professional development

A new book co-edited by a Leeds Business School professor is aiming to tackle the biggest hurdles facing the public relations sector. 

Published on 17 Dec 2020
The Rose Bowl

Exploring Public Relations and Management Communication, which is co-edited by Professor Ralph Tench and Stephen Waddington, has found that education, learning, and professional development are major barriers on the path to progress within the discipline.

The book looks to address these issues, along with the frequent undervaluing of public relations by management, and to bridge the divide between theory and practice.

Public relations is an industry that aspires to become a profession but often fails to adopt the necessary discipline and rigour.

Practitioners frequently fail to meet one or more of the criteria for a profession: qualifications; continuous professional development; a strong community of theory and practice; and an enforceable ethical framework.

Image of Ralph Tench's book

Exploring Public Relations and Management Communication is a definitive guide to public relations theory and practice. It has been written by a community of 35 international expert contributors. It has a robust approach to learning design combining theory and practice, case studies, and practitioner diaries.

Bette van Ruler, Professor Emerita of Corporate Communication and Communication Management at the University of Amsterdam, said: “Exploring Public Relations and Management Communication is the most open-minded book I know. It is theoretical and practical at the same time.

“It provides an insight in almost all theoretical approaches and different ideas on how to look at and do public relations, and it raises unsettled questions about the definition, the tasks of the professional, the debate about professional ethics, and the issue of its impact,”

The book is split into five sections.
• The context of public relations
• Public relations theories and concepts
• Public relations specialisms
• Sectorial considerations
• The future of PR and strategic communication

Key chapters cover brand, reputation, media, planning and measurement. Chapters on specialist areas of practice include celebrity, fashion, finance, health and sports.

The book also examines some of the critical issues facing the future or public relations practice. These include artificial intelligence, COVID-19, disinformation, diversity and mental health.

Exploring PR and Management Communication is published by Pearson (January 2021) priced £45. You can pre-order a copy from Amazon. For further information about the book please see exploringpr.com.

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