• Summary
  • Contents

The SAGE Key Concepts series provides students with accessible and authoritative knowledge of the essential topics in a variety of disciplines. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages critical evaluation through understanding. Written by experienced and respected academics, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension.

Key Concepts in Public Relations:

  • Provides a comprehensive, easy-to-use overview to the field
  • Covers over 150 central concepts in PR
  • Paves the way for students to tackle primary texts
  • Grounds students in both practice and theory
  • Takes it further with recommended reading
Fifth Estate
Fifth estate

The phrase ‘fifth estate’ was neologised by Baistow in his highly critical book Fourth Rate Estate: An Anatomy of Fleet Street to describe the expansive public relations industry in the UK and what he believed to be the undesirable consequences of that growth (1985: 67–76). Drawing on the 18th-century notion of the press as the fourth estate of the realm, an indispensable critic and watchdog holding government publicly accountable for its actions, Baistow argued that a fifth estate of PR specialists had emerged and was being used by political and economic elites to offset the critical oversight that journalists previously provided to protect the public interest. ‘Everyone from the Prime Minister to the latest rock star, and not least big business, has ...

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