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Cover

A Strategic Nature

Public Relations and the Politics of American Environmentalism

Melissa Aronczyk and Maria I. Espinoza

Publication Date - January 2022

ISBN: 9780190055356

320 pages
Paperback
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $27.95

In A Strategic Nature, Melissa Aronczyk and Maria I. Espinoza show how public relations has dominated public understanding of the natural environment for over one hundred years.

Description

A look at how public relations has dominated public understanding of the natural environment for over one hundred years.

In A Strategic Nature, Melissa Aronczyk and Maria I. Espinoza examine public relations as a social and political force that shapes both our understanding of the environmental crises we now face and our responses to them. Drawing on in-depth interviews, ethnography, and archival research, Aronczyk and Espinoza document the evolution of PR techniques to control public perception of the environment since the beginning of the twentieth century. More than spin or misinformation, PR affects how institutions and individuals conceptualize environmental problems -- from conservation to coal mining to carbon credits. Revealing the linkages of professional strategists, information politics, and environmental standards, A Strategic Nature shows how public relations restricts alternative paths to a sustainable climate future.

Features

  • Offers an as-yet untold account of the promotional agents who have influenced public perception of the environment since the beginning of the twentieth century
  • Provides new insights on sustainability communication and lessons on how to deal with climate change misinformation and denial
  • Includes archival material that has never been published before for a behind-the-scenes look at how the public relations industry works

About the Author(s)

Melissa Aronczyk is an associate professor at Rutgers University in the School of Communication & Information. She is the author of Branding the Nation: The Global Business of National Identity (Oxford 2013).

Maria I. Espinoza is a PhD candidate in the Sociology department at Rutgers University.

Table of Contents

    List of Figures and Tables
    List of Abbreviations
    Acknowledgments
    Introduction: Public Relations and Its Problems
    1. Seeing Like a Publicist: How the Environment became an Issue
    2. Bringing the Outside In: Managing Industry's "External Environment"
    3. Environment, Energy, Economy: The Campaign for Balance
    4. PR for the Public Interest: The Rule of Reason and the Hazards of Environmental Consensus
    5. Sustainable Communication™: Green PR and the Export of Corporate Environmentalism
    6. The Climate of Publicity: Climate Advocates and the Compromise of PR
    7. "Shared Value": Promoting Climate Change for Data Worlds
    Conclusion: We're Supposed to Be Engaging
    Notes
    References
    Appendix 1. Interviews and Observation Sites
    Appendix 2. E. Bruce Harrison Company, List of Clients, 1973-1997
    Index