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Coming out of the Closet

Tindall, Natalie T. J. / Waters, Richard D. (eds.)

Coming out of the Closet

Exploring LGBT Issues in Strategic Communication with Theory and Research

Year of Publication: 2013

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2013. 280 pp.
ISBN 978-1-4331-1950-7 hb.  (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-1-4331-1949-1 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.530 kg, 1.168 lbs

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available Softcover
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  • Hardcover:
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Book synopsis

Despite representing significant portions of the advertising, marketing, and public relations work force, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) community has largely been ignored by scholarly research in strategic communications. With the exception of case studies that document strategies that can be used to secure the LGBT consumer dollar, little has been done to understand the LGBT community’s experiences with strategic communications efforts. This edited volume fills this gap by sharing research on the impact and interaction of campaigns and programming from advertising, marketing, and public relations on internal (e.g., practitioners and employees) and external (e.g., consumers, activists) stakeholders from the LGBT community. Several chapters in this volume highlight a significant change in the focus of strategic communications that recognizes the long-term benefits of having legitimate partnerships; others, however, counter this optimistic trend by discussing the continued struggles of practitioners working in strategic communication and the LGBT community at large.


Contents: Natalie T. J. Tindall: Coming Out of the Closet to Address Challenges With LGBT Research Richard D. Waters: Harassment in the Workplace: Violence, Ambivalence, and Derision Experienced by LGBT Strategic Communicators – Natalie T. J. Tindall: Invisible in a Visible Profession: The Social Construction of Workplace Identity and Roles Among Lesbian and Bisexual Public Relations Professionals – Lee Edwards and Jacquie L’Etang: Invisible and Visible Identities and Sexualities in Public Relations – Dean E. Mundy: One Agenda, Multiple Platforms: How 21st-Century LGBT Advocacy Organizations Navigate a Shifting Media Landscape to Communicate Messages of Equality – David Gudelunas: Sexual Minorities as Advertising Gatekeepers: Inside an Industry – Kristin Comeforo: Mis(sed) Representations: LGBT Imagery in Mainstream Advertising – Jacqueline Lambiase/Glenn Griffin/Kartik Pashupati: Symbolic Interactions in Sexual Scripts: Improvisation and Male Consumer Responses to Gay-Vague Advertising – Douglas J. Swanson: Neither Cold Nor Hot: Assessing Christian World Wide Web Sites That Target LGBT Publics – Brenda J. Wrigley: Gaffes, Glitches, and Gays: How Organizations Respond to LGBT Crises – Christopher Chávez/Katie R. Place: Absolut Vodka: Defining, Challenging, or Reinforcing Gay Identity? – Byron Lee: Who We Were Is Who We Are: Uses of History in Philadelphia’s LGBT Tourism Marketing – Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai: Politicizing Gay Advertising: A Consumer Response Study – Hayley Cole: Strategically Framing Same-Sex Marriage: Lessons From California’s 2008 «Proposition 8» Campaign – Erica Ciszek: Advocacy in the Digital Age: Participatory Media and the Empowerment of an LGBT Public – Laurie M. Phillips: From Unspeakable to Homosexual to Gay to LGBT: The Evolution of Research on Marketing’s Most Controversial Market Segment – Richard D. Waters: Looking Back, Moving Forward: New Directions in LGBT Research.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

Natalie T. J. Tindall (PhD, University of Maryland) is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Georgia State University. She has published many book chapters and articles online and in journals such as Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Public Relations Journal, Howard Journal of Communications, PRism, and the International Journal of Strategic Communication. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America Work, Life & Gender Task Force and vice chair-elect for the Public Relations Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Richard D. Waters (PhD, University of Florida) is an assistant professor in the School of Management at the University of San Francisco. He has published more than 45 research articles on stakeholder relations in the nonprofit sector, new communication technologies, and the career experiences of gay male practitioners in public relations. He serves on the editorial boards of four research journals: Journal of Public Relations Research, PRism, Journal of Public and Nonprofit Sector Marketing, and Nonprofit Management & Leadership.


«Finally! A must-read for public relations practitioners, senior executives who manage or contract PR professionals, and scholars who now understand that diversity is no longer a black and white issue, but that it must embrace the total patchwork of our nation and the world. To engage the LGBT community’s voice as an afterthought puts us all at a disadvantage. This book provides the undisputed evidence that confirmation bias is alive and well in our society and profession. It is up to each of us to help make the cultural shift to better understanding and inclusion.» (Cheryl Procter-Rogers, public relations consultant and past president and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America)