Call for abstracts

Public relations practice continues to evolve with changing technologies. As part of this evolution, public relations is extending its impact beyond its usual boundaries. Previously regarded as a function of corporate institutions, public relations is currently practised by governments, not-for-profits, and – perhaps unwittingly – by civil society organisations.

As such, the contexts in which public relations operates are more expansive and complex. These complexities provide public relations with a platform to contribute to addressing social issues. While global, regional or local contexts can generate challenges, opportunities for innovative, ethical and responsible public relations practice also emerge. How do different contexts impact on public relations practice? To what extent do practitioners need to engender contextual intelligence?

Public relations’ contexts transcend cultural borders. Many scholars have referred to public relations as being underpinned by culture, positioning practitioners as ‘cultural intermediaries’ (e.g. Curtin & Gaither, 2007). This means communication practitioners are involved in shaping, and sometimes articulating either organisational, societal or national cultures. But how culturally aware and knowledgeable are public relations practitioners? To what extent do they embrace cultural sensitivities and understand varying cultural values as part of their professional practice?

With ever-changing digital technologies, public relations communities cross multiple borders. And yet, local communities are critical foci for public relations practitioners to engage with for social transformation. How are local communication campaigns scaled up to generate greater impact? What tools and considerations must practitioners have to enable effective cross-border communication?

For the 2020 APPRREN Research Symposium you are invited to submit 500-word abstracts on topics that reflect the above, and related, themes by 30 September 2019. Panel proposals are also welcome. Selected authors will be invited to submit full papers for consideration in a special issue of the Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal for 2020.