Public Relations Inquiry as Rhetorical Criticism: Case Studies of Corporate Discourse and Social Influence


Whether politically, socially, economically, or psychologically, postmodern institutions attempt to influence their environments through the use of rhetoric in their public relations campaigns. As corporations increasingly dominate the public discourse we experience daily, it becomes increasingly important to understand how that discourse operates, and to become more informed creators and consumers of institutional rhetoric. This volume examines the theoretical bases and practical effects of a variety of public relations campaigns. The contributors demonstrate that rhetorical inquiry is a viable and underrated approach to explaining the influence of public relations campaigns. Cases analyzed in the book range from those of national scope (e.g., Mobil Oil's "Observations" campaign of the 1970s and 1980s), to studies of targeted influence (e.g., corporate recruitment videos), to cases of internal relations (e.g., issues management during corporate mergers), to studies of local situations (e.g., theanatomy of,a local ballot issue campaign). While the various contributors employ a broad range of rhetorical methods and analysis, the discussions remain approachable and understandable for students and professionals alike.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Barry Brummett
  • Richard E. Crable
  • Steven L. Vibbert
  • Jamie Press Lacey
  • John T. Llewellyn
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1995


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