Being social

Creating a critical commons with public relations practice

Authored by: Paul Willis

The Routledge Handbook of Critical Public Relations

Print publication date:  August  2015
Online publication date:  August  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415727334
eBook ISBN: 9781315852492
Adobe ISBN: 9781317918868


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This handbook highlights the significant and diverse contributions made by critical scholars in the field of public relations. Their work has helped to change the way we think about PR and its impact on society. Although I’m not a critical scholar, insights from this rich seam of thinking inform my own research, teaching and consultancy in organisations. It has also made me behave differently (hopefully for the better) in other areas of my life. Just as critical public relations (CPR) scholarship has influenced my practice, this chapter is written in a spirit of reciprocity and driven by a desire to contribute to a wider discussion of what CPR might become. To contribute to this debate the chapter introduces the idea of a critical commons. This draws on insights from movements operating at the margins of academic discourse and makes the case for critical scholars to engage in more participatory forms of research. The emphasis is on research “with” practitioners and moves critical inquiry beyond something that is either done “for” or “to” them.

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