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Book Review
Public Relations Writing: An Issue-Driven Behavioural Approach

 

Publisher: Prentice Hall, New Jersey
Authors: Tucker, Derelian & Rouner
ISBN: 0-13-226978-3

 I have recommended 'Public Relations Writing' to several ISKCON communications directors world-wide. Despite the title, this book is much more than a book on public relations writing.

The subtitle, 'An Issue-Driven Behavioural Approach,' helps define the work as one of cutting-edge communications philosophy and practice. Authors Kerry Tucker, Doris Derelian, and Donna Rouner have produced a text for graduate students of communications while unwittingly performing a service for ISKCON communications aficionados.

Devotees wishing to understand the nature and practice of contemporary public relations can profit from reading this text and performing the exercises at the end of each chapter.

Fortunately, the authors cover a wide range of communications activities, including case studies, generation of media interviews, organisation of special events, internal communications, and writing for the electronic media. Instructions on how to prepare news releases, backgrounds, fact sheets, and biographical sketches form an essential part of the mix.

Those doing the exercises will have to tax their brains. The text is academic, but a pervasive theme gives the work unusual cohesion for a textbook. The authors call this theme 'the behavioural framework.'

Appearing in almost every chapter, this framework takes the form of four questions: 'Does the communication raise a public need, concern, or interest? Is your desired behaviour clearly presented in a believable solution? Have you clearly presented the benefits of acting and the consequences of inaction? Have you helped the individual rehearse the desired behaviour? The purpose of the book is to demonstrate that excellent communications should do more than change attitudes; it should change the way people behave.

Kerry Tucker is a principal owner of Nuffer, Smith, Tucker, a San Diego-based public relations firm, most of whose clients are non-profit organisations.

Srila Prabhupada's movement is one of the Nuffer firm's clients. ISKCON news releases and some paragraphs about the Society appear on the pages of the book, and this certainly makes for added interest to devotees. 'Public Relations Writing' is a practical, contemporary guide that can be readily applied to a wide variety of ISKCON communications objectives, strategies and tactics.

Mukunda Goswami
GBC Emeritus and former Global Director for ISKCON Communications

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