Discovering Public Relations Textbook

Discovering Public Relations by Karen Freberg [Big Announcement]

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Discovering Public Relations by Karen Freberg: What is it?

The public relations educator’s community is abuzz with news that Dr. Karen Freberg has a new public relations textbook coming out, Discovering Public Relations: An Introduction to Creative and Strategic Practices.

I’m thrilled to announce that I have had the honor of creating the ancillary materials for Karen’s new textbook. This new textbook is designed for the public relations class. It is currently on pre-order and will be available in August, in time for the fall 2020 academic year.  Below, I discuss Discovering Public Relations: An Introduction to Creative and Strategic Practices and the ancillary materials I have created for it.

Freberg Kushin Collab

It is such an honor to be a part of this project. As longtime readers know, I am a big fan of Dr. Freberg’s work [See my review of Portfolio Building Activities in Social Media | See my review of A Roadmap for Teaching Social Media]. She is a trailblazer in the field of modern public relations and has paved the way for so many of us educators.  As one might expect, Karen’s new textbook offers an up-to-date look at the field of public relations. It is fresh, inspiring and unlike any public relations textbook that I’ve read. This new book, published by Sage, brings to the forefront the intersection of public relations, marketing, advertising, and journalism. It is a textbook focused on the now and the future of public relations while honoring the rich history and theoretical underpinnings of public relations.

Topics vital to public relations are placed up front in the first few chapters of the book: ethics, and diversity and inclusion. Branding, social media, content strategy, relationship management, writing for the digital world, and evidence-based practices are just some of the topics this book will introduce students to.

Ancillary Materials for Discovering Public Relations: Activities and Discussion Questions

Professors that use Dr. Freberg’s new public relations textbook in their class will have access to ancillary online materials that I have created. The materials that I am creating offer activities that can be implemented in class or as homework to help students think critically about and apply what they are learning in class. With both individual and group activities, I designed these materials to be flexible across class sizes and delivery methods to allow professors to quickly implement this new textbook into their classroom and bring its lessons to life.  Examples include explorations of historical artifacts in public relations, interviews with professionals, opportunities to wade into the world of public relations research, and brainstorming and content creation challenges.

The discussion questions offer opportunities for students to develop critical thinking skills, learn from their peers, and explore their relationship with the course materials. These questions provide students opportunities to interpret what they have learned, solve problems, deal with ethical considerations, explore the benefits and drawbacks of public relations strategies, and more.

The ancillary materials also include example syllabi, which will be available for a few different delivery methods including semester, quarter, and online courses.

For more, check out Karen’s interview with me!



Discovering Public Relations Description and Table of Contents


The textbook description from Sage is below:

The only textbook built entirely around the guidelines in the 2018 “Commission for Public Relations Education” report, Discovering Public Relations introduces students to the field of PR in a practical, applied, and hands-on way that prepares them for the modern workplace. Author Karen Freberg highlights modern and contemporary PR practices, emphasizing social media, digital communication, and creative innovation. Understanding that creativity alone can’t create success, Freberg shows students how to use choose and implement evidence-based practices to guide their strategic campaigns. This first edition of Discovering Public Relations transforms students into successful PR professionals by giving them the tools to think creatively, innovate effectively, and deploy research-backed tactics for successful campaigns.

Check out the table of Contents:

1. Introduction to Public Relations
2. Historical Contexts and Practices
3. Ethics and the Law
4. Diversity and Inclusion
5. Research and Evidence-Based Practices
6. Branding
7. Writing
8. Strategic Campaigns
9. Audience and Relationship Management
10. Creative Content
11. Management and Business Acumen
12. Measurement and Evaluation
13. Careers
14. Specializations
15. The Future


Disclosure regarding my work on this textbook: I was compensated by the publisher, Sage, for creating the activities and discussion questions for the supplemental materials of this textbook. I have no financial stake in any revenue generated by the sales or rental of this textbook.

4 thoughts on “Discovering Public Relations by Karen Freberg [Big Announcement]”

  1. Hi Matt, I’m using Karen’s book for a course I’m teaching this fall, but I haven’t had any luck finding the ancillary materials online. Could you point me in the right direction?

  2. Hi Matt — I am teaching Strategic Communication & Intro to PR this semester. We are using a different textbook, but I don’t love it. I am very interested in reading this book and reviewing ancillary materials for supplemental content purposes. If I rent or purchase the digital version online (via Sage Publishing or Amazon) will I be able to access ancillary materials as well? Thanks in advance!

    1. Jessica, thanks for your message. I’m sorry, but I don’t know the answer to that. I believe that would be a question for the publisher. I’d assume you would need the educator’s version and a rental may not provide that. Perhaps Sage may be able to provide you an educator’s directly (I’m not sure on that, so please check with them).

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