In spite of its title, this book has lots to do with public relations, but very little to do with public relations in Asia. Alas, its brief analysis of Asian PR is oversimplified and vague. However, Trevor Morris and Simon Goldsworthy provide a nice introductory level text to the fundamentals and mechanics of public relations in general. After covering the basics and taking a brief look at various PR specialties, he outlines how to plan and strategize a campaign. He then describes the skills you need to write a press release or generate online material, and covers how to handle PR in a crisis. getAbstract recommends this useful primer to anyone entering PR, but notes that you shouldn’t book your flights to Asia just yet.


How Did Public Relations Emerge?

Public relations (PR) is the art of persuading the public for a promotional purpose. Many of the central elements of PR date back to antiquity. The Chinese concept of guanxi is deeply embedded in ancient Confucian thought. Guanxi shares some of the elements of PR: It is a type of social capital based on relationships, although these are interpersonal relationships rather than public ones. However, the term “public relations” emerged only a century ago. The profession has matured rapidly in the U.S. and Britain, but is still a relatively new concept in many parts of the world, including Asia. In fact, the first PR agency in China, a branch of Hill & Knowlton, didn’t open until 1984.

The roots of PR are in the soil of print journalism, which blossomed in the U.S. in the late 19th century. As newspapers boomed, businesses discovered that it was worthwhile to employ press agents to provide favorable editorial content or to minimize unfavorable coverage. During the last decades of the 20th century, the field of PR expanded for several reasons: Market liberalization created the need for PR specialists to launch campaigns...

About the Authors

Trevor Morris is the former CEO of Europe’s Chime Public Relations. Simon Goldsworthy created one of the UK’s first masters in public relations courses. Both authors are public relations lecturers at the University of Westminster.

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