English for Public Relations in Higher Education Studies Course Book with audio CDs

Marie McLisky, Terry Phillips


A faculty-specific series for students in higher education.

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ISBN: 9781859645321

Upper intermediate to proficiency
CEF Level: B2 to C2  IELTS Level: 5.0 to 7.5+

Product Description

English for Public Relations in Higher Education Studies

The Garnet Education English for Specific Academic Purposes series won the Duke of Edinburgh English Speaking Union English Language Book Award in 2009.

English for Public Relations is a skills-based course designed specifically for students of public relations who are about to enter English-medium tertiary level studies. It provides carefully graded practice and progressions in the key academic skills that all students need, such as listening to lectures and speaking in seminars. It also equips students with the specialist language they need to participate successfully within a public relations department. Extensive listening exercises come from public relations lectures, and all reading texts are taken from the same field of study. There is also a focus throughout on the key public relations vocabulary that students will need.

  • Listening: how to understand and take effective notes on extended lectures, including how to follow the argument and identify the speaker’s point of view.
  • Speaking: how to participate effectively in a variety of realistic situations, from seminars to presentations, including how to develop an argument and use stance markers.
  • Reading: how to understand a wide range of texts, from academic textbooks to Internet articles, including how to analyze complex sentences and identify such things as the writer’s stance.
  • Writing: how to produce coherent and well-structured assignments, including such skills as paraphrasing and the use of the appropriate academic phrases.
  • Vocabulary: a wide range of activities to develop students’ knowledge and use of key vocabulary, both in the field of public relations and of academic study in general.
  • Vocabulary and Skills banks: a reference source to provide students with revision of the key words and phrases and skills presented in each unit.
  • Full transcripts of all listening exercises.

The Garnet English for Specific Academic Purposes series covers a range of academic subjects. All titles present the same skills and vocabulary points. Teachers can therefore deal with a range of ESAP courses at the same time, knowing that each subject title will focus on the same key skills and follow the same structure.

Key Features

  • Systematic approach to developing academic skills through relevant content.
  • Focus on receptive skills (reading and listening) to activate productive skills (writing and speaking) in subject area.
  • Eight-page units combine language and academic skills teaching.
  • Vocabulary and academic skills bank in each unit for reference and revision.
  • Audio CDs for further self-study or homework.
  • Ideal coursework for EAP teachers.


Format: Paperback


Unit 1: What is public relations?
Unit 2: Public relations activities
Unit 3: Public relations research
Unit 4: Careers in public relations
Unit 5: PR for non-profit organizations
Unit 6: Crisis communication
Unit 7: Public relations regulation
Unit 8: Public relations and marketing
Unit 9: Public relations for corporate responsibility
Unit 10: Financial public relations
Unit 11: Current issues in public relations
Unit 12: Strategy and change

Author details

Marie McLisky is the author of English for Banking in Higher Education Studies and English for Public Relations in Higher Education Studies in the ESAP series. She holds an MA (Sociology) and M.Ed (educational Technology and TESOL).

Marie tutored Sociology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, then at the University of Maryland (Asian Division) in Korea. While in Korea, Marie gained her RSA Certificate in TEFLA, and worked as an ESOL instructor to Korean university students and adults.

In 1992, Marie moved to Indonesia to work as an English language instructor and trainer for the British Council, and as a certified examiner for the IELTS exam. Her work in Indonesia included ESP and ESAP materials development. While working in Indonesia, she completed the RSA Diploma in TEFLA, and her MEd. at the University of Manchester.

Since her return to New Zealand, Marie has worked in a variety of roles, including teacher trainer on the Trinity College Certificate in TESOL Course.

Terry Phillips has worked in ELT for more than 35 years as a teacher, teaching supervisor, manager and language school owner.  As a consultant, he has worked in more than 20 countries in all parts of the world, advising state and private language institutions on all aspects of school management.

For the last ten years, he has been a full time freelance writer with his wife Anna, producing more than 160 published books in ELT. Although he and Anna have worked for all the major publishers, all recent works have been for Garnet Education.

Terry is the series editor of the English for Specific Academic Purposes series for Garnet Education, which aims to prepare students to entry into a particular faculty for English-medium tertiary education. The series won the ESU award in 2009.


"After reading this book I think I may have found the Rosetta stone for my ESP teaching in the field of public relations. The quality of the book is unquestionable (the series to which it belongs won the English Speaking Union’s English Language book award in 2009).
The book is aimed at both in-service and pre-service professionals. In fact, due to the basic contents and problem-solving approach of certain sections, this book will prove much more than a language textbook by serving as an ideal tool for CLIL courses. In this sense, it differentiates itself from books of the same type and scope which generally aim at either content or language. The practicality of its exercises and the emphasis on specific language leads to a balance between content and language practice. As I said at the beginning, the book fills a gap that was necessary to cover in current ESP teaching in a globalized world. I am sure that prospective users will find English for Public Relations as valuable a title as I did and will enjoy teaching with it."

Jesús García Laborda for TEFL net, September 2012

"English for Public Relations is part of Garnet Education’s ESAP (English for Specific Academic Purposes) series, which is designed to prepare B2 to C2-level students tostudy a particular subject at tertiary level in English. I would advocate its use as ageneric academic skills course for all Business students, not only students of PublicRelations, for reasons I will explain below.

The course comprises the Student Coursebook, the Teacher’s Book, and two Audio CDs. Each of the 12 units provides 4–6 hours of classroom study plus 2–4 hours of extra study. It is suggested that it could be suitable as a foundation course of between 50 and 80 hours, which would fit the requirements for a Swiss Bachelor’s level 2–3 credit point course. The course focuses mainly on vocabulary skills (in every unit), listening skills (in the odd-numbered units), and reading skills (in the even-numbered units). Speaking and writing skills are offered in alternate units as extension activities of the receptive skills.

Vocabulary skills: each of the 12 units begins with vocabulary skills related to Public Relations and Academic English. Vocabulary topic areas introduced are broader than PR terms and include the global economy, the non-profit sector, marketing, finance, investor relations, legal matters, and communication and technological change. Examples of skills taught are word building, use of affixes, guessing words in context, and learning fixed phrases from the field. A lot of thought has gone into the approach and I find it well done. I particularly like the way students are given practice in applying the learning strategies, for example, in finding synonyms for terms and then practising paraphrasing. I see this as a key skill to help students rephrase text excerpts in their academic writing, and thereby avoid plagiarism. General English courses offered parallel to their studies in English may not help them sufficiently with this paraphrasing challenge.

Listening skills: the backbone of the listening component of the course is a set of introductory lectures on PR history, definitions, programmes, research, and practice, with some clever integrated skills activities built around these. As an example, students listen to a lecture and make notes on it. To extend their skills, they examine seven different note-taking methods, such as tree diagrams, columns, tables, and a timeline. Next, they listen to five lectures and practise note-taking. They then compare their notes with model notes provided and reconstruct one of the five lectures in pairs,based on the model notes.

Reading and writing skills: many of the reading texts are of the genre you might find in a Public Relations coursebook. These complement the listening texts in providing a general introduction to PR. Others are academic texts, e.g. excerpts from published case studies and journal articles. Again, an integrated skills approach is taken, to good effect, with reading leading to academic writing skills. For example, students examine topic sentences in a text and identify their function in indicating what is coming in the rest of the paragraph. They then practise writing their own topic sentences to help them to structure their writing. Other useful skills include comparing essay types and learning to recognize a writer’s stance, leading to building an argument. Writing introductions and conclusions, presenting findings, quoting, and writing a bibliography are also practised briefly. Extension work may be needed.

Vocabulary and skills banks: these are provided at the end of each unit. They are intended to provide a summary of the unit content, but I found they often introduced additional material. I was pleased to note the skills bank touched on linguistic pragmatics related to lecturer/student relations, e.g. how to ask the lecturer questions in a polite or tentative way: “I wonder if you could repeat x, y, z.” How delightful. Student/student relations are also addressed with expressions provided to help smooth communication in groupwork, e.g. agreeing and disagreeing.

Introduction to research: the topic of conducting research is threaded through the course, touching on quantitative and qualitative methods and data collection techniques. Students are also given a little practice in reporting on research findings, evaluating internet search results, and reporting findings from other sources. If required, further extension activities could be offered to provide additional practice in these skills.

Recommendation: I find this course very well designed, and would recommend it to help Business students develop good study skills as well as vocabulary building skills. With regard to the Public Relations topic itself, few Business students in Switzerland study this subject alone at university. However, I find they are very interested in PR, not least as they constantly negotiate and renegotiate their private and professional public images via social media. I predict that the subject matter would draw them in and make the relatively dry subject of academic skills more attractive to them."

Margaret Oertig for ETAS Journal, Summer 2013