Public Relations


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Public Relations is concerned with the theory and practice of communication between organizations and specified publics.

Members are concerned with developing a greater understanding of the theoretic basis for effective communication through both laboratory and practice of communication between organizations and specified publics. Members have research interests in such issues as target group analysis, internal/external communication integration, systems analysis and channel effectiveness. At the same time the Division is concerned with the application of theoretic advances for the solution of pragmatic public relations problems.

Members share communication techniques developed to accomplish specific Public Relations goals of consultant clients, or corporate employers. The Division goals include the development of a consulting network, a long range research program and investigation into the issues of public relations education accreditation and curriculum development.

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Research Colloquium
Madrid, Spain
September 21, 2014

Communication with conscience and consciousness: self-awareness and responsibility

BACKGROUND: Research Colloquium and the World Public Relations Forum
Every two years since 2001, The Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management brings together public relations and communication professionals from around the world to share their experiences and knowledge and to reflect together on major issues affecting the public relations profession and those affected by the profession.
The two-day World Public Relations Forum (WPRF) has been augmented with a Research Colloquium, a full day of discussions and presentations featuring the world’s leading educators and researchers. Because so much of this knowledge is generated by transdisciplinary work, the Research Colloquium has involved the active participation of speakers from many branches of knowledge. The Research Colloquium and the World Public Relations Forum which follows have become unique opportunities to gather professionals, academics and students from across the world, to advance the profession and share best practices.

The World Public Relations Forum has generated important statements affirming central values of the global practice of public relations.
• The Global Alliance’s 2010 Stockholm Accords affirm the characteristics of the communicative organization emphasizing the value of public relations and communications professionals in management, governance, sustainability, and internal and external communication which is aligned.
• In 2012 at the World Public Relations Forum in Melbourne, The Melbourne Mandate was approved, focusing on the unprecedented public access to communication and on the impact these new challenges and opportunities represent for global society and for organizations. The Melbourne Mandate charges public relations and communication professionals with:
- Defining and maintaining an organization’s character and values;
- Building a culture of listening and engagement, and
- Instilling responsible behaviors by individuals and organizations.

The 8th World Public Relations Forum that will be held on September 22-23, 2014 in Madrid, Spain, hosted by Dircom, the Spanish association of communication directors, has as its theme “Communication with Conscience”. In this context, the Research Colloquium scheduled for September 21, the day before the WPRF begins, aims to focus on today's communicators’ need to be aware that communication is changing the nature of society and of how people view and practice communication. This requires communication with consciousness: full awareness and responsibility in decision-making, communication and action by organizations.

The Research Colloquium will bring together researchers, educators, students and academic thought-leaders from around the world and they are invited to submit 1,500-word (9,000 characters) abstracts, in either English or Spanish, that relate to the main theme, “Communication With Conscience and Consciousness: Self-Awareness and Responsibility.” All submitted abstracts will be included in published proceedings of the Research Colloquium.


Research Colloquium Submissions and Review
An international panel of scholars, the Scientific Committee, will blind-review the submissions and choose the authors of the highest quality abstracts who will be invited to submit full papers for presentation at the Research Colloquium. The Global Alliance will work with authors to submit their papers to leading academic journals that are published in either English or Spanish. Full paper guidelines will be provided to those invited to submit when submitters are notified. An additional group of abstracts will be accepted for a poster session at the Research Colloquium. At this session, presenters will post a visual representation of their research and will be in attendance at this posting to discuss and respond to questions about their research. There are no formal presentations at the poster session.

Research Colloquium Presentations
Each paper presenter will be allocated 20 minutes for a presentation with an additional 5 minutes to answer questions. The final decision on presentation type will be made by the Scientific Committee upon selection. Research Colloquium Topics In today’s world, public relations and communication have changed, not just in their channels but also in the very nature of their conversations and their purpose, reach and effect. This requires communicators to reconsider a range of issues and topics. For example, communicators have to be more aware than ever that their actual audiences may be far more wide raging than their intended audiences. On the other hand, the digital divide means that additional efforts have to be made to include those who might be excluded. Furthermore, the all-embracing and changing nature of public relations and communication means that it is not enough for professional communicators to maintain a narrow focus on their organizations and cultures and how they benefit, because communication is changing the very nature of society, of cultural diversity, and even the physiological development of the brain. What are the implications of all of these developments? We welcome contributions to the Research Colloquium on themes and topics such as:
1. Consciousness and self-awareness: Responsible communication and conversations.
2. Communication that (dis)empowers.
3. Restoring trust in organizations: Leadership, confidence, conversation, articulation, connectivity, significance and reputation.
4. Developing conversations in a globalized world.
5. Co-creation and co-construction of organizational communication.
6. Practical theory building for public relations in this new context.
7. Innovation: Communication entrepreneurship and creativity.
8. Role of public relations in society.
9. Other: Abstracts on any other topic relevant to the theme “Communication with Conscience and Consciousness: Self-Awareness & Responsibility.”

Abstract Submission Guidelines
Please ensure that you have read these guidelines before submitting your abstract. Abstracts not submitted in this format may not be considered for review.
For any further information, authors can contact or You should copy and paste or write directly the following information into the appropriate fields. Title Maximum of 15 words Abstract text
• The abstract must be approximately 9,000 characters and be single –spaced. Do not leave blank lines between paragraphs.
• Abstracts may be submitted in English or Spanish.
• Authors should thoroughly check submissions for spelling and grammar before submission.
• No images may be submitted as part of an abstract submission.
• The author(s) name(s) and affiliation(s) should be entered in the following format: Smith, A.N., Doe, J. and Jones, W. University of Good Hope
Do not use titles such as “Dr” or “Professor”. Keywords Authors should provide five or six keywords for their abstract to facilitate online searching. References References must follow the American Psychological Association (APA) format.

Conditions of abstracts/papers submission
• Once you have successfully submitted your abstract, you will receive an e-mail acknowledgement. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, check your “spam” mailbox to see if the acknowledgement was delivered there.
• Your acknowledgement e-mail will include a username and password that you may use to access your submitted abstract to make changes until 14 March 2014 submission deadline.
• Do not submit an abstract more than once.
• If you are invited to submit a full paper, you must register and pay the registration fee to attend the Research Colloquium and must affirm that your paper does not breach copyright law.
• If your abstract is selected for a visual presentation or at a poster session during the Research Colloquium, you must register and pay the registration fee to attend the Research Colloquium and affirm that your paper does not breach copyright law.
• The presenting author you identify on your submission form is the person who will be attending and presenting at the Research Colloquium at either a poster or paper session.
• Abstracts can only be submitted on-line via this on-line abstract submission system. Abstracts sent by post or e-mail will not be considered.
• The submission of an abstract constitutes a formal commitment by the presenting author to present the abstract orally or as a poster in the session and at the time assigned by the Scientific Committee.

Key Research Colloquium Dates and Deadlines
6 November 2013 - Submission of abstracts opens
14 March 2014 at 11:59 p.m. GMT - Submission of abstracts closes
30 April 2014 - Notification of abstract decisions, authors of accepted abstracts to be invited to submit full papers
31 July 2014 - Full papers due
21-23 September 2014 in Madrid 2- Research Colloquium on Sept. 21, World Public Relations Forum on Sept. 22 and 23

More information
If you have any queries, please contact or

In the interim, you are welcome to visit the World Public Relations Forum website at

Call for Papers 
Special edition of PRism 
“Relationships and Dialogue in Public Relations”
Anticipated publication date: 2014
  • Dr. Petra Theunissen, Curriculum Leader: Public Relations, School of Communication Studies, Auckland University of Technology, NZ
  • Dr. Sheila McAllister, Director: Graduate Program, Corporate & Public Communication, Monmouth University, USA
The importance of the relationship-building function within the field and practice of public relations cannot be understated. With the advent of social media and, subsequently social public relations, there has been a renewed interest by public relations professionals and scholars in relational communication strategies and tactics, particularly in the area of dialogue While scholars generally agree that such relationships are essential, there is an assumption that public relations scholars and practitioners share a common understanding of what a relationship comprises. Dialogue, trust, transparency and authenticity have all been touted as fundamentals to relationship-building, but what do scholars understand by these concepts, and how are these operationalized in practice? What roles do persuasion, ethics and power play in building relationships?
Are we glossing over key concepts at our peril? Can we simply transfer interpersonal relationship-building principles to the organization-public relationships (OPRs)? In order to advance public relations thinking—taking into account recent and ubiquitous technological developments—it is important that we examine the underlying taken-for-granted assumptions about public relations practice and theory. Contributors to this special edition of PRism are invited to critically explore the overall theme “Relationships and Dialogue in Public Relations.” The editors are particularly interested in interdisciplinary approaches and research that advance existing scholarship of relationship management and dialogue in public relations.
Contributions from scholars and practitioners are welcomed.
  • Themes of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • The nature and role of relationships in public relations
  • Different types of relationships within public relations practice
  • Current state of curricula and theory regarding relationship management
  • The impact of relationships on the effectiveness of public relations practices
  • Social media and relationship-building
  • The role of dialogue, persuasion, trust, authenticity and ethics in building relationships
  • Critical perspectives of organization-public relationships (OPRs) and relationship management in public relations theory and practice
  • The influence of power and culture in OPRs
  • Management and measurement of OPRs
  • Impact and effect of control and transparency in relationship-building
  • Relationship management and corporate communication, risk management, and community consultation
  • Other key issues or case studies in OPRs
The edition's foreword will be written by the editors, Dr. Petra Theunissen and Dr.
Sheila McAllister.
Submissions for review should be sent to Dr. Petra Theunissen at:
  • Submission deadline: 28 February 2014
Anticipated publication date: 2014


  • Jennifer L. Bartlett, Chair
  • Chiara Valentini, Vice-Chair
  • Lee Edwards, Secretary
  • Lee Edwards, Secretary
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