Mainstream public relations overvalues noise, sound and voice in public communication. But how can we explain that while practitioners use silence on a daily basis, academics have widely remained quiet on the subject? Why is silence habitually famed as inherently bad and unethical?

Silence is neither separate from nor the opposite of communication. The inclusion of silence on a par with speech and non-verbal means is a vital element of any communication strategy; it opens it up for a new, complex and more reflective understanding of strategic silence as indirect communication.

Drawing on a number of disciplines that see in silence what public relations academics have not yet, this book reveals forms of silence to inform public relations solutions in practice and theory. How do we manage silence? How can strategic silence increase the capacity of public relations as a change agent?

Using a format of multiple short chapters and practice examples, this is the first book that discusses the concept of strategic silence, and its consequences for PR theory and practice. Applying silence to communication cases and issues in global societies, it will be of interest to scholars and researchers in public relations, strategic communications and communication studies.

part I|8 pages


chapter |6 pages


part II|34 pages

Why is PR silent about silence?

chapter 1|7 pages

The Western bias against silence

chapter 2|14 pages

Silence does not sell

chapter 3|11 pages

Silent symbiosis

part III|24 pages

Strategy and silence

chapter 4|11 pages

Strategy as discursive practice

chapter 5|11 pages

Instrumental and communicative action

part IV|62 pages

Indirect communication

chapter 6|15 pages

Silence and invisibility

chapter 7|11 pages

Communication and silence

chapter 8|12 pages

The ladder of indirect communication

chapter 9|9 pages

Indirect discourse

chapter 10|13 pages

Explicit and implicit silence

part V|74 pages

Strategic silences

chapter 11|7 pages

Strategic silences

A definition

chapter 12|8 pages

Content provision

chapter 13|9 pages

Silence as negation

chapter 14|8 pages

Complicit silence

chapter 15|8 pages

Silence as disengagement

chapter 16|12 pages

Strategic ambiguity

chapter 17|7 pages

Silence as attention diversion

chapter 18|13 pages

Off-the-record communication

part VI|24 pages

Silence beyond strategy

chapter 19|9 pages

Silence as system

chapter 20|13 pages

Silence as skillset

part VII|8 pages


chapter |6 pages