Higher Education

Cengage Advantage Books: Strategic Public Relations: An Audience-Focused Approach, 1st Edition

  • Barbara Diggs-Brown American University
  • ISBN-10: 053463706X  |  ISBN-13: 9780534637064
  • 528 Pages
  • © 2012 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $130.50
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With nearly thirty years of experience as both a public relations teacher and practitioner, Barbara Diggs-Brown has written a text based on her unwavering belief that to practice effective public relations today requires strategic thinking and audience focus, which can only be accomplished by listening and hearing audiences through formative, process, and evaluative research. In addition to highlighting audience-focused principles and techniques of audience research and recurring assessment, STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS: AN AUDIENCE-FOCUSED APPROACH is based on the premise that public relations is a management function, one coordinated with an organization's other management divisions. Intended for undergraduate courses in PR, serving both majors in the field and nonmajors, this text provides a comprehensive survey of PR's foundations, processes, tactics, and contexts.

Features and Benefits

  • Practical process approach--The four-phase strategic public relations process is at the heart of this text with complete step-by-step detail in Part III, The Process of Strategic Public Relations.
  • Solid foundations--The book provides concise, up-to-date surveys of public relations' foundations with separate chapters devoted to its ethics, law, history, and theories, as well as strategy and the core communication, information, and business skills and knowledge that every practitioner should possess.
  • A unique chapter on strategy--Chapter 4, Strategy in Public Relations, introduces students to the concept of strategy to ensure that they understand what this core concept of strategic public relations practice. The chapter begins with everyday strategies; moves into a discussion of the critical thinking, reasoning, and decision-making skills basic to all strategy; surveys the role of strategy within organizations; and places strategic PR in context in general and by providing snapshots of the full process it requires.
  • Emphasis on audience diversity--Instead of marginalizing coverage of minority, or "special interest" audiences, the text consistently addresses diversity within audiences and teaches students how to develop inclusive audience profiles as well as strategies for attending to the needs, concerns, interests, and behaviors of all audiences.
  • Engaging pedagogy includes the following: "Brief Case" boxes present a short case based on actual campaigns. Primarily intended for in-class group work or individual homework, these case descriptions and activities give students the opportunity to test their understanding of the chapter's concepts by applying it to the varied cases presented; "Point of View" boxes feature commissioned commentary or reprinted articles by current public relations practitioners on related topics, personalizing and bringing to life concepts and examples discussed; "Engaging Ethics" boxes focus on relevant ethical issues and include questions that comprise a decision tree to address potential outcomes; and end-of-chapter learning resources include Summary and Review, Key Terms, Questions for Review and Discussion, and Web Links.

Table of Contents

1. What Is Public Relations?
2. Who Are PR Practitioners?
3. Historical Perspective.
4. Strategy in Public Relations.
5. Understanding Audiences.
6. Researching Effectively.
7. Adhering to Ethical Practices and Meeting Professional Standards.
8. Staying within Legal Bounds.
9. Understanding Public Relations Theory.
10. Discovery and Analysis.
11. Program Planning.
12. Campaign Implementation.
13. Program Evaluation and Campaign Follow-Up.
14. Written Tactics.
15. Spoken Tactics.
16. Visual Media and Interactive Media Tactics.
17. Corporate Sector.
18. Nonprofit Sector.
19. Politics and Government.
20. International Public Relations.

Efficacy and Outcomes


". . . it offers a fresh, engaging approach to public relations that appropriately emphasizes the importance of strategy in the day-to-day operations. This textbook uses real-world examples to illuminate a complex and rich field."

— Dr. Pam Parry, Belmont University, TN

"Finally, here's a textbook with a new and refreshing direction that recognizes the dynamics of reaching the audience has changed forever 'Order a desk copy, you'll like it!'"

— Duane Franceschi, Canyon College

"This text is definitely one of the best I've seen in my two-decade career teaching public relations courses. It insightfully interprets the field's history, including interesting details not generally covered in other texts--it accurately documents current practice and sets forth a model that promises to be a viable framework for PR's very bright future. The fact that the author has extensive academic and professional experience makes this text both interesting and highly useful in order to prepare students for the field."

— Mary L. Mohan, State University of New York College at Geneseo


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor's Manual/Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 0495096032 | ISBN-13: 9780495096030)

PowerLecture with ExamView and JoinIn CD-ROM  (ISBN-10: 0495096040 | ISBN-13: 9780495096047)

This one-stop lecture tool makes it easy for you to assemble, edit, publish, and present custom lectures for your course, using Microsoft PowerPoint®. The PowerLecture lets you bring together text-specific lecture outlines and art, along with video and animations from the Web or your own materials, culminating in a powerful, personalized, media-enhanced presentation. Additionally, the CD-ROM offers an electronic version of the Instructor Resource Manual, ExamView® software, and JoinIn™ on Turning Point® lecture slides.

Online Instructor's Resource Manual  (ISBN-10: 0495905372 | ISBN-13: 9780495905370)

The Instructor's Manual contains resources designed to streamline and maximize the effectiveness of your course preparation. This helpful manual includes suggestions for developing a course syllabus, chapter outlines, class-tested activities and exercises, technology resources, test items, and assessment tests. Each chapter includes a chapter outline; a list of key terms with definitions; suggestions for individual, group, and class activities; and true/false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and essay test items. The activities provide innovative ways to present relevant concepts in each chapter; they include group projects, out-of-class assignments, role plays, lecture ideas, and audio-visual suggestions.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Barbara Diggs-Brown

Barbara Diggs-Brown is a communication strategist with more than 25 years of communication experience, specializing in strategic planning, social marketing strategies, qualitative research, integrated communication, and media relations. She is a prominent national researcher on the development of effective social marketing and communication campaigns as tools to address social change issues, including education, race, and health. As senior social marketing counsel and strategist, Diggs-Brown has designed, conducted, and reported qualitative research for a number of government, foundation, and nonprofit clients. As a communication counsel, she advises communication directors of large and small organizations on planning, qualitative research, audience segmentation, message development, and management. Diggs-Brown is President and CEO of The Center for Strategic Research and Communication, a 501(c)(3) organization. She frequently lectures and writes on race in the media and is coauthor of a critically acclaimed analysis of race relations in the United States, BY THE COLOR OF OUR SKIN: THE ILLUSION OF INTEGRATION AND THE REALITY OF RACE, published by Dutton. She is the author of STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS: AN AUDIENCE-FOCUSED APPROACH, recently published by Cengage Learning. Her public affairs career in Washington has included Director of Public Affairs, Director of Government and Nonprofit Liaison, and Press Secretary for a presidential campaign. She is Associate Professor Emerita and the founding Executive Director of the American University School of Communication Institute for Strategic Communication for Nonprofits.