In the next couple of weeks I will present two papers that draw on my ongoing interest in how PR is represented in fiction.
At BledCom 2013: Trust and the New Realities, I will join with Lund University Campus Helsingborg colleagues Camilla Nothhaft, Howard Nothhaft and Sara von Platen to present Public Relations: Rules, Gamesmanship and the Professional Project: Why academics must confront the realities of practice.
And at the BCN PR Meeting #3 Representing PR: images, identities, and innovations in Barcelona, I am on my own to argue PR in Fiction vs The Professional Project: Who tells the most convincing story?
In both papers I try to suggest that fiction can tell us more about the realities of PR practice than is usually gained from reading textbooks or the official version of the discipline that is put forward by, say, the CIPR.
For several years I have been scouring novels for representations of PR and noting that most references are fairly oblique. Not many novelists choose to put PRs at the heart of the action, and fewer still write from direct experience as practitioners. (I have previously posted about MC Beaton's Agatha Raisen, and the rather dark, even threatening versions of PR put forward by David Michie, Michael Shea and perhaps Graham Lancaster).
Now, I have to try and work out how to approach an almost-novel that definitely does attempt to explain a great deal about PR practice and, indeed, has an inspiring and creative vision of what today - and tomorrow's practice might look like.
Philip (@sheldrake) Sheldrake has created Attenzi: A Social Business Story. It is a very ambitious, not to say brave, project which sets out to examine the steps needed to create a social business, embracing the ideas he developed in his impressive 2011 book, The Business of Influence.
Philip has generously made Attenzi a free download .... and you should take up his offer!