Public Relations, Branding and Authenticity: Brand Communications in the Digital Age explores the role of PR and branding in society by considering the notion of authentic communications within the context of an emerging digital media environment.
This qualitative analysis explores the challenge of developing authentic brand narratives in the digital age, whilst questioning the problematic nature of authenticity itself. Case studies of public relations activity of successful brands, and those in crisis, are supplemented by interviews with senior public relations and branding practitioners. The book lays out three specific arguments. Firstly, a repositioning of the relationship between public relations and brand practice is explored. It is argued that public relations practitioners are well placed to facilitate brands in the digital age, because of the inherent acceptance of the value of relationship building, adaptation and boundary spanning embedded in PR practice and best practice theory. Secondly, the book introduces a new concept of riparian brands. Such brands are based on solid core values, but have an ability to atune, adjust and naturalise to the prevailing social, cultural and economic environment. Thirdly, the book presents an ontology of the riparian brand in the form of an authentic brand wheel and 15 real-time interaction success factors.
Aimed at both academics and practitioners interested in the theoretical development of PR and its emerging relationship with branding, it will also be of interest to scholars of corporate communications, corporate reputation and branding.
Table of Contents
1: Introduction: Public Relations, Branding and Authenticity 2: Public Relations History Re-Imagined: Aligning Corporate and Activist Perspectives 3: The Digital Public Relations Turn: Understanding how Digital Media is Changing Public Relations Practice 4: Communicating the Projective Organisation: Public Relations and Digital Organisational Forms 5: The Riparian Brand: Exploring Polyphonic Corporate Brand Identity and Public Relations 6: Justification and Corporate Social Responsibility: Exploring Oganisational Legitimisation Processes 7: Public Relations for Digital Media Brands: Authentic Brand Narratives in a Digital Age 8: Crisis Management in the Digital Age: Harnessing the Reputational Influence of Social Media 9: Public Relations Industry Perceptions: The Impact of Digital Media on Reputation Management Practices 10: The Authentic Brand Wheel: An Ontology of the Riparian Brand and Authentic Public Relations 11: The Authenticity Managers: Post-Modern Public Relations Practice in the Digital Age
Sian Rees is Associate Professor at Swansea University, specialising in public relations, marketing and branding. Following an industry career in public relations and marketing, she is currently Head of the Department of Media & Communications at Swansea University, UK.