The best PR textbook ever?

Cutlip and Center’s Effective Public Relations
By Glen Broom and Bey-Ling Sha
455 pages, Pearson,11th edition (International Edition) 2012

Much like the continuous change in public relations practice, this book has come a long way since it was first published sixty years ago in 1952.

The purpose of this classic textbook has been to advance and legitimise public relations towards professional status. Now in its eleventh edition and with an international focus (two of the three original authors having died), it has become for many the bible of public relations.

Broom and Sha start off the new edition by laying down the conceptual foundations for understanding PR and its evolution to the present day. Next, values, theories, principles and the management process are extensively covered to serve as a guiding tool in the practice. Lastly, updated examples and information are introduced to aid with an understanding of contemporary PR.

What makes this book extraordinarily interesting to a young PR practitioner is the relevant information gathered from people in the industry. Executive directors,  presidents and professors contribute up-to-date information and personal insight into the world of PR.

The first question on every student’s mind is how much money can they expect after graduation?

“Based on PRSA membership survey conducted by its National Committee on Work, Life & Gender, £48,730.21 is earned on average by PR practitioners.”

Additionally, Broom and Sha acknowledged the demand from students to get an insight into a practical day of a PR employee. With this in mind, they include a section in the book called “A day in the life of: Senior Account Executive, Director of Media, and Executive General Manager”. Starting from when they wake up all the way till they go to bed, each of the three provides an explicit journal of their daily routine.

With twenty one chapters of information this book is practically an encyclopaedia of PR. The competitive advantage of this book in my perspective is the various up to date case studies, examples and information used. Conversely, Broom and Sha cover an enormous amount of topics within the PR field, thus resulting in nothing more than great resource for basic knowledge and understanding of the exciting world of public relations practice.

Effective Public Relations continues to be the most relied upon source by those preparing for accreditation examination; it’s widely-cited in public relations academic literature and it has already been translated into nine languages. Broom and Sha’s book definitely deserves its place in my growing library of  public relations books.

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