Trust Me, PR Is Dead

“Thrilling… a passionate revelation”
Margaret Heffernan
The Huffington Post

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Robert Phillips spent twenty-five years at the top of the Public Relations industry. He was behind some of the most iconic campaigns in PR history, including the legendary ‘Hello Boys’ for Wonderbra. He travelled the world to speak alongside Prime Ministers and CEOs – in between presenting naked in Finnish boardroom saunas and trying to bring an end to the British monarchy.

But then he quit his job as CEO EMEA of Edelman (the world’s largest PR firm) for one simple reason: he no longer believed in what he was doing.

Robert captures the story of a PR industry seemingly unaware of its own death throes, alongside other sectors from media to publishing and political parties, diplomacy to internal communications and even leadership itself.

In an age of activism and individual empowerment, power is shifting from state to citizen; employer to employee; corporation to citizen-consumer. ‘Spin’ is over: the message cannot be managed any more.

Using case studies on organisations and movements including Unilever, Patagonia, John Lewis, Mondragon, Porto Allegre and 38 Degrees, as the time of old industries comes to an end Robert sets out to answer the question ‘if everything is dead, what comes next?’.


In the fields, factories and workshops – is PR really dead?
Published in Dutch HQ on 22nd July 2015

Public Relations: A funny smell
Published in Communications Director Magazine on 3rd June 2015

Robert Phillips: PR is dead, long live the new model
By Daniel Farey-Jones, published in PR Week on 20th April 2015

Something less ordinary: A long-term agenda for change
By Dr Lee Edwards, Associate Professor, Communication Studies and PR University of Leeds), published on 15th April 2015

Trust Me, PR is dead – long live public relations
By Stuart Bruce, published in on 19th March 2015

Review of Trust Me, PR is Dead By Robert Phillips
Published in DePaul Media Relations Class Blog on 25th February 2015

Is PR Really Dead?
By Margaret Heffernan, published in Huffington Post on 11th February 2015

The great propaganda game is over says Robert Phillips
Published in PR Moment, on 5th February 2015

Book Review: Trust Me, PR Is Dead
By Arun Sudhaman, published in The Holmes Report, on 5th February 2015

Trust me, PR isn’t dead
By Stephen Waddington, published in, on 21st January 2015

PR isn’t dead – but it needs a fresh expression
By Scott Guthrie, published in Sabguthrie, on 16th February 2015

A book which is more than just a provocative title
By Dan Slee, published in comms2point0, on 2nd March 2015

Trust Me, PR Is Dead Is Published
By Jack O’Dwyer, published in O’Dwyer’s on 25th January 2015

“Imaginative, eclectic and creative in both style and substance”
Dr Lee Edwards, Associate Professor, Communication Studies and PR, University of Leeds

“An excellent case study for modern practice”
Stephen Waddington, ex-President CIPR

“…more Occupy than Mad Men
Comms 2.0

“Excellent ideas. Read it!”
Colin Byrne, CEO, EMEA, Weber Shandwick

“Thrilling… a passionate revelation”
Margaret Heffernan, Huffington Post

“Provocative… and very funny”
The Holmes Report

Citizen Renaissance

Citizen Renaissance, co-authored with Jules Peck in 2008, explored the perfect storm created by the rise of digital democracy, flat-lining levels of wellbeing in society and the impending environmental crisis. It called for new citizen-centric models of leadership in business and government and argued for a Big Society before the idea was hijacked and depleted by the politicians.

Citizen Renaissance started life as a wiki-book and then continued as a blog site and discussion forum.

It was retired at the end of 2013. You can read more here.

Trust Me, PR is Dead

“We are the 91%””