Truly a LinkedIn Success Story

Writing Winning Proposals: Public Relations Cases, 3rd edition, released nationally by Cognella Academic Publishing (winter 2017), is the product of two members brought together on LinkedIn whose interests and respective expertise formed a perfect capability for undertaking a 14-month project of writing a 3rd edition as co-authors.

It was apparent to me that working together we could, potentially, elevate my textbook to being “the authority” in writing public relations plans and proposals. Even with my background, I could not lift the text to that level of authority on my own.

Yes, I enjoyed 30 years of progressive success in the field with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism from Ohio University, completed a second, 10-year career in education as a full-time faculty member of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication and received the school’s Jonathan Marshall Award for innovative teaching.

But I needed Dr. Rebecca Gilliland’s expertise in public relations education and pedagogy to address in greater depth and detail one of the weakest areas of public relations—plan development and writing.

Dr. Gilliland reconstructed 20 case studies to challenge the abilities and evoke the interests of students in PR plan writing. She used knowledge gained from extensive visits to PR firms, domestically and abroad, to add ideas and tools on the cutting edge of the practice to raise the currency of the book’s case studies.

It is still a wonder how this happened on LinkedIn. When you consider Dr. Gilliland’s background, combined with mine, you can begin to appreciate the power of the partnership we formed as co-authors. She reviewed, revised, and gave a new and updated perspective to my text that started as a course packet and in its first and second editions became a cornerstone for advanced classes in public relations plans and problems.

The 3rd edition we produced is the only PR case text with specific instructions for writing winning PR plans and proposals. A unique aspect of the text is that it is written entirely from a client-employer perspective to show students how to give clients and employers what they want in a plan, the way they want it. Dr. Gilliland preserved the foundations and uniqueness of the previous texts’ editions and built on this perspective by adding details to enable students to translate what they are currently learning in the classroom to the language spoken, and understood, by clients.

We believe this client-centered approach will catapult students to an understanding of industry needs, beyond any other textbook. As she says, “It will begin to cognitively train successful practitioners rather than simply feed them information.” We strongly believe it is possible to teach students the necessary information, yet afford them the opportunity to understand that clients—those who are often not formally trained in public relations—need the same information from a different perspective, so they may best appreciate the benefits of the practice of public relations, and of PR practitioners. By adding depth to our textbook in the areas of theory and social science, Dr. Gilliland made a significant contribution not only by helping fellow educators convey such ideas, but by enabling students, both nationally and internationally, to understand and apply theory in tandem with social principles.

Dr. Gilliland and I offer our great appreciation to LinkedIn for making this partnership possible. To view our text, visit:



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