Scholarship on public relations in popular culture presents an uncritical and unproblematic understanding of the representation of public relations. The aim of this study is to offer an alternative reading by examining a television series, which foregrounds public relations techniques and irony, and by situating this study within postfeminist scholarship and the vampire genre. It analyses the representation of public relations in HBO's television series, True Blood, focusing on the campaign to pass the Vampire Rights Amendment run by American Vampire League. The findings reveal there is no single reality of public relations. Instead, multiple discourses of public relations invite the audience to engage critically with public relations concepts and meaning-making. The representation of a powerful, female practitioner highlights the paradoxes of postfeminism and does not resolve gender issues. Public relations scholars must begin to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the processes of representation in popular culture, including the subversive use of humour and irony to encourage critique of normative ideals, and the significance for popular understandings of, and engagement with, public relations.
- Popular culture
- Public relations