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Student Edition
Instructor Edition
Public Relations: The Profession and the Practice

Dan Lattimore, University of Memphis
Otis Baskin, Pepperdine University
Suzette Heiman, University of Missouri - Columbia, MO
Elizabeth Toth, Syracuse University
James Van Leuven, University of Oregon

ISBN: 0072424028
Copyright year: 2004


Public relations as a profession is changing rapidly. The practice of public relations has undergone almost revolutionary changes in the past few years thanks to Internet-driven technology. This major information source provides for the first time a way for organizations to communicate directly and instantly with a variety of its audiences, oftentimes without using traditional mass media. Globalization of worldwide markets and organizational restructuring are two more powerful influences on the practice of public relations. These critical changes in globalization, technology, and organizational structure lend increasing importance to the management function of public relations. Practitioners are no longer mere technicians who shape and transmit messages from their organizations. They are professionals who shape the relationships an organization has with its various constituencies. Public relations practitioners must possess the communications expertise and social sensitivity necessary to enable organizations to adapt to the changing environment. Public relations practitioners must bring not only all of the traditional communications skills to their broadened role, but must now bring the ability to research and understand problems, to plan the public relations programs, to create effective messages, and to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs. The goals of this edition are to present and explain the fundamental tools of the public relations practice and provide an understanding of the emerging trends within the field. A multi-disciplinary approach has characterized the text from its inception and is continued in this edition. We believe that by drawing on the experience of professionals from journalism, business, psychology, and communication we can present a comprehensive and inclusive overview of public relations. The education, research, and teaching experience of the authors in each of these disciplines addresses the needs of the students who will be practicing in diverse environments. We have tried to maintain the easy-to-read, personal style throughout the text. To that end, we have kept the jargon to a minimum, and have provided definitions for all terms that are particular to the profession. In addition, we have attempted to give public relations students and practitioners the tools and knowledge they need in ways that reflect the reality of public relations. For example, mini-cases provide insight into realtime activities conducted by organizations. They are interspersed throughout and provide applications for the basic concepts being introduced. Public relations spotlights provide various kinds of helpful information such as tips for getting good photographs and how to clear publicity releases.

This edition has retained the four part organization of earlier editions: the profession, the process, the publics, and the practice. Part One describes the current public relations situation, its historical roots, theories, and ethics and legal concerns. Part Two examines the core issues of the process that underlies public relations while Part Three focuses on the publics that are the object of these efforts. Finally, Part Four summarizes the practice of public relations and looks at the emerging trends of the profession.We believe that this structure truly reflects the growth and development of public relations as an emerging profession.

There are several structural changes to this edition. Chapter One is virtually a new chapter. Not only does it provide an overview of the field, it also incorporates coverage of organizational decision making. We have combined the chapters on law and ethics (now Chapter Four) because the two are inextricably intertwined. The chapters on public affairs and government relations have also been folded together into Chapter Fourteen. Finally, there is a brand new chapter (Chapter Seventeen) on emerging issues. Every chapter has been completely updated, while retaining the classic material. The content truly reflects the direction of public relations on the 21st century.
  • Each chapter opens with a preview that provides an overview of the chapter content.

  • Mini-cases in each chapter allow students to “see” public relations in action.

  • Spotlights in each chapter add material to enhance students’ understanding of chapter concepts.

  • Numerous figures and tables explain and clarify concepts under discussion.

  • An integrating case study runs through each of the four chapters of Part Two to help pull together the process.

  • Each chapter ends with a case study.

  • Highlighted glossary terms appear throughout the text, in addition to a complete end of book glossary with definitions.

Chapter One: The Nature of Public Relations
From the outset this completely revised chapter introduces the reader to the changing nature of public relations campaigns and the multiple demands constantly placed on the public relations practitioner. Management and leadership functions are distinguished. Discussion of Dilenschneider’s elements of public discontent and a discussion of the public relations education role of developing future leaders is included.

Chapter Two: The History of Public Relations
Unlike other public relations texts, this book’s history chapter gives more attention to public relations contributions from non-profits, social movements, and historical models of public relations. Included are Arthur Page’s six principles of public relations, a profile of Pat Jackson, and conceptual traditions in public relations.

Chapter Three: A Theoretical Basis for Public Relations
New dimensions are added to the models of public relations to explain how theories are evolving to better explain the practice of public relations. There is also a discussion of Pat Jackson’s lasting contributions to public relations and coverage of the monitoring of relationships.

Chapter Four: Law and Ethics
This chapter gives new emphasis to the developing legal consideration of the Internet. The new Code of Ethics of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is included along with the Code of the International Association of Business Communicators.

Chapter Five: Research: Understanding Public Opinion
The research chapter begins the process section with the initial part of the case study that runs throughout the four chapters in this section. The research terms are explained in lay language with a spotlight. Usability research for web-based material is included along with a new look at Internet, library, and data bank resources.

Chapter Six: Strategic Planning for Public Relations Effectiveness
New in this chapter are elements for a single-use campaign plan detailed including a sample plan and budget.

Chapter Seven: Action and Communication
Internet writing guidelines are included for this edition along with more emphasis in two controlled tools: advertising and the World Wide Web.

Chapter Eight: Evaluating Public Relations Effectiveness
New in this chapter is an examination of Ketchum’s extranet efforts, additional measurement strategies, and new evaluation software.

Chapter Nine: Media Relations
This chapter has shifted to an e-mail and webpage-based process, especially when dealing with the trade press and national and regional media. A new section on a crisis response statement is included.

Chapter Ten: Employee Communication
This chapter considers the new labor force of the 21st century and its influence on employee communication. Public relations practitioners will have an integral role in creating communications that seek employee support for organizational change.

Chapter Eleven: Community Relations
This chapter provides new information about two areas of increasing importance in community relations: cause-related marketing and community activism. Case studies provide tangible examples of how community relations can have a significant impact on a corporation’s branding and reputation. In addition, there is a section on employee volunteerism.

Chapter Twelve: Consumer Relations and Marketing
This chapter provides guidelines that communicators can use when selecting appropriate marketing communications activities. New sections include guerilla tactics, branded news strategy, and trends in brand naming.

Chapter Thirteen: Financial Relations
New to this chapter is an examination of corporations that have been faced with financial reporting scandals with a spotlight on Enron and the public relations lessons learned from that situation.

Chapter Fourteen: Public Affairs: Relations with Government
This chapter combines discussions of the specialization of public relations focused on building relationships to influence and inform key groups about political activities. The chapter introduces information on the use of websites as a political tool and how public affairs is carried out in non-profit settings.

Chapter Fifteen: Public Relations in Nonprofit Organizations
This chapter provides a global perspective on non-profit work, going far beyond small, well-intentioned community-based programs and including a discussion of the challenges faced by nonprofits. The Lutheran Services of America case study discusses how this $7 billion network provides a full range of health and human services in more than three thousand communities.

Chapter Sixteen: Corporate Public Relations
A corporation’s most important concern is its ability to maintain an environment conducive to doing business. This chapter discusses the crucial role that public relations plays in creating and developing a corporation’s image and reputation with its key publics, particularly life after corporate scandals. Included are the ten characteristics of effective corporate communication and the role of the CEO in public relations. The BP case study introduces some of the issues and challenges faced by corporations when merging with other entities.

Chapter Seventeen: Emerging Trends in Public Relations
This brand new chapter prepares future practitioners for the most pressing globalization, technology, and corporate social responsibility changes in the field. The Napster case study shows how the Internet can be used as a public relations tool.

Student CD-ROM
The CD-ROM that accompanies the text offers students a variety of resources and activities. They are integrated with the text through the use of CD icons in the text margins that notify students which CD tool to use. They include:
  • Video—The video includes clips of 15 interviews with public relations practitioners from public relations firms such as Ketchum and Burson Marsteller.

  • Self-Quizzes—Students can assess their comprehension of the chapter concepts by taking practice tests that provide feedback for each answer.

  • Audio Flash Cards—Students can use these digital flash cards to hear how key terms are pronounced and to study for exams.

Instructor’s Resource CD-ROM
This CD-ROM includes the following resources:
  • Test Bank—available as a computerized test bank or as a basic Word document.

  • Instructor’s Resource Manual—provides chapter summaries and objectives, media resources, activities, and test questions.

  • PowerPoint Slides—This set of slides, developed by Dan Lattimore, includes chapter outlines and video clips.

Video: Interviews with Public Relations Professionals
Fifteen original video interviews conducted by the book’s authors are part of the student CD-ROM and are also available in VHS format. Instructors can use the clips as lecture launchers or discussion starters. A printed video manual provides a summary and discussion questions for each segment.

Online Learning Center
This website, at, provides instructors with professional resources, PowerPoint slides, and downloadable supplements and provides students with additional interactive test questions and glossary crossword puzzles to help them master course concepts. Icons in the text direct students to relevant resources on this website.

PowerWeb is a component of the Online Learning Center that brings the information on the Internet to a course. It features current articles, informative and timely world news, curriculum-based materials, research tools, and additional resources. This content, which is password protected, is offered free with new copies of the text.

PageOut: The Course Website Development Center

All online content for this text is supported by WebCT,, Blackboard, and other course management systems. McGraw-Hill’s PageOut service is available to get you and your course up and running online in a matter of hours, at no cost. PageOut was designed for instructors just beginning to explore Web options. Even the novice computer user can create a course website with a template provided by McGraw-Hill (no programming knowledge necessary). To learn more about PageOut, ask your McGraw-Hill representative for details, or fill out the form at Our thanks go to many people: colleagues with whom we have worked in public relations education, our public relations mentors, leading practitioners who have been willing for us to interview them, and public relations firms and organizations that have provided many of the materials and examples. They are too numerous to name, but they all have our gratitude.
Public Relations: The Profession and the Practice book cover art

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