New Release – Writing for Public Relations and Strategic Communication

New Release – Writing for Public Relations and Strategic Communication

San Diego, Calif. – Aug. 25, 2021 – Persuasive writing instructors face daunting challenges in the short 16-week semester they work with students. A new entry to the PR/strategic communication textbook market helps professors use that time efficiently and reflectively to dramatically advance novice writers’ skills.

Cognella Academic Publishing introduces Writing for Public Relations and Strategic Communication, which equips students with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to write persuasively.

Authors William Thompson and Nicholas Browning walk students not just through writing as a practice, but writing as a process. They employ an audience-centered perspective, showing how persuasive writing emerges organically after critically assessing the goals of an organization’s message in light of its intended audience.

Students learn essential strategic thinking and planning skills to create effective and intentional writing. The book presents the theoretical underpinnings of behavior, which students can then employ to generate prose that prioritizes the audience’s reasons for attending to the message. The book is unique in presenting a primer on communication, persuasion, and moral theories that provides students a roadmap for constructing effective, ethical arguments. Throughout, anecdotes, examples, quizzes, and assignments help connect theory to practical, real-world applications.

Writing for Public Relations and Strategic Communication helps readers build their persuasive writing skills for professional and effective public relations, employing unique strategies and tactics, such as:

—A generative writing system that helps students identify and organize important information to produce quality prose, then adapt it to various media, on deadline

—Interactive walkthroughs of writing examples that deconstruct prose, offering students insights not just into what to write, but how and why practitioners make strategic choices—down to the word level

—Long-form scenario prompts that allow students to hone their persuasive writing, editing, and communication management skills across an array of platforms

—Three two-chapter modules where the first chapter demonstrates how to write effective prose for a particular channel and the second offers practical help in delivering those products through message-delivery channels

—Detailed case studies demonstrating how to translate research and planning into storytelling that addresses organizational problems

—Unique chapters building important analytical literacies, such as search engine optimization tactics, marketing statistics analysis and data-driven audience targeting methods

Learn more about the book and request a digital review copy:

What reviewers are saying about the text: 

“This is one of the best strategic communication texts I have read. From the moment the authors clearly demonstrated the connection between communications and economic theory, I was sold. It is an excellent text for high-performing institutions. The theoretical backing is superb and the authors excel at demonstrating the relationship between theory and practice without confusion and in a tone that is interesting and easy to read while offering just the right amount of challenge in concepts to create relevant dialogue. … The organization makes excellent sense to me as a professor and practitioner who appreciates guided processes. … I like the more academic tone that is set throughout the text. … I believe theory gets the short end of the stick in too many communications writing texts. Based up having attained my master’s in communications management after a number of years in the professional world, I understand the value of the theory in helping students to understand the landscape of communications and the media. Why what we do works makes the how and what we do more meaningful. The theoretical aspects are deep and rich and help to create an understanding that most books don’t cover.”
Kelly C. Gaggin, APR, Assistant Teaching Professor, Public Relations, Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University

“I like the idea of not just getting students to write first, but to think first before writing. Most textbooks tend to have students just writing for the sake of diving into skills and tactics. Writing can’t solve all problems and sometimes we shouldn’t write for our audiences, but instead do something else. … Most important is Part I, ‘Think First, Write Second,’ in which the textbook shows how much prep goes on before the writing begins. That’s a good niche for this textbook to fill, and it addresses the problems of writing for writing’s sake, rather than for good reason for the right audience in the right way. … This textbook brings together the whole toolbox of strategic communication—with its research, planning, and strategies—and places this toolbox at the disposal of writers and content creators, so that they don’t do writing in isolation from the toolbox. In addition to writing formats, this text includes terrific resources such as quizzes and assignments, which is helpful to any writing professor who will spend a bulk of their time in responding to assignments.”
Jacqueline Lambiase, Professor of Strategic Communication, Bob Schieffer College of Communication, Texas Christian University

“I believe the idea behind the book is a good one. In my classes, I continually emphasize the process of first thinking strategically about the purpose of a communication, and only after that, putting together the actual content. The book does a good job of describing up front the relationship between initial strategic thinking and its eventual execution. … Their approach differs in a couple of ways, which are positive. First, there are a good many anecdotes and specific examples, which I believe greatly strengthen any book of this kind. Second, there is generally a breezy, conversational, informal tone to the wording, which generally works well with students. Third, the breakdown [at the beginning of each chapter] of ‘What You Know’ and ‘What You’ll Learn’ and the summary of each chapter is a nice tool. … [This textbook] is an interesting, up-to-date discussion of the interplay between strategy, content, and tactics in PR and marketing communication.”
Russell Mack, Instructor of Strategic Communication, Bob Schieffer College of Communication, Texas Christian University

“I very much like this approach, because it emphasizes that each piece of writing must have a defined purpose (goals and objectives) and must be developed in response to the organization’s goals and objectives. … As students learn to use the thinking and planning principles to understand and think strategically beyond just creating some type of communication, their writing becomes sharper and more focused on the goals and objectives. They also find they can defend why they approached different situations as they did, which is essential to demonstrating the power of public relations.”
Barbara DeSanto, ARP, Fellow PRSA, Adjunct Associate Professor, A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Kansas State University

“Thompson and Browning’s Writing for Public Relations and Strategic Communication provides a thorough introduction to the thinking and planning that’s required prior to the penning of any PR product. Thompson and Browning leave no gaps—they begin with an application of the theoretical underpinnings of behavioral response, and offer a number of novel approaches for strategic communication. An excellent resource for anyone who wishes to fully explore the why behind prospective word choice in PR tools.”
Paul T.M. Hemenway, Professor of Communication, Department of Communication and Media, Lamar University

“An overview of strategic communication writing on multiple platforms, from planning to assessment. … The authors clearly love their topic and are excited to share information with students. The approach is grounded in strategic and critical thinking, which is essential for student to understand professional and effective public relations. The writing level is appropriate for an introductory course and moves at a fairly effective pace. It would be easy to incorporate this text into just about any broad PR or strategic communications course.”
Erica Salkin, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Whitworth University

“This text emphasizes the importance and value of understanding target audiences, which is a positive; further, it gives time to the importance of research and data analysis on which communication content approaches are based. … [T]his is a very comprehensive book that moves beyond just writing. It helps create an integrated picture about the role of writing in the larger practice of PR.”
Stephanie Smith, Associate Professor, School of Communication, Virginia Tech

“Very thorough and well written textbook on writing for strategic communication. The text covers current topics every professional in this field deals with regularly and shares excellent personal examples and stories to emphasize important concepts.”
John J. Powers, School of Communications, Quinnipiac University

About the Authors

William Thompson brought a practitioner’s mentality into the academy, working with clients across the United States while he educated public relations students at the University of Louisville.

In addition to authoring the book Targeting the Message: A Receiver-Centered Process for Public Relations Writing, Thompson has professional writing experience across a spectrum of media platforms. He has scripted and directed six video documentaries, as well as radio and TV commercials and special events. As a syndicated writer, he garnered hundreds of newspaper and magazine writing credits. His media relations efforts have placed client stories in The New York Times, NPR’s All Things ConsideredTime magazine, and NBC’s Sunday Today.

Thompson headed the PR division for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the world’s largest organization of public relations academicians, and was a long-time editorial board member of the Journal of Public Relations Research. He has written or contributed to many scholarly articles and books, and presented in nearly 30 panel or paper sessions at academic conferences.

For contributing to the communication industry’s diversity, he received five national commendations from the American Advertising Federation and was given the Southern States Communication Association’s Outreach Award. He has also won multiple professional awards for his work in media relations, development, and special event production.

Thompson was voted one of the University of Louisville’s top-ten teachers by the institution’s student body and is a member of the Kentucky Communicators Hall of Fame.

Nicholas Browning is an associate professor of public relations at Indiana University’s Media School. He serves as the school’s curriculum coordinator for the PR major and teaches several undergraduate and graduate courses in the sequence, including the introductory Principles of Public Relations, the Public Relations Campaign capstone, and of course, Public Relations Writing. Since 2010, he has taught several sections of PR and strategic writing as instructor of record at three R1 universities: Indiana University, the University of Georgia and the University of Louisville.

Outside the classroom, Dr. Browning labors as a researcher. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Public Relations Research, the field’s preeminent academic journal. He is the co-founder director of IU’s Strategic Communication Research Lab, a collaborative effort among students and faculty to produce high-quality, original scholarship. His research interests include business and communication ethics, corporate social responsibility, organizational advocacy, and reputation and relationship management. His scholarship has been published in several respected outlets, including the Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, and the Journal of Media Ethics.

Dr. Browning earned undergraduate degrees in communication, English, and psychology from the University of Louisville, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication.