About Radical PR

Radical PR: alternative visions and future directions, an international Roundtable, 30 June – 2 July 2008, hosted by the Stirling Media Research institute

The ‘Radical PR’ concept emerged from conversations between: David McKie (Waikato), Jesper Falkheimer (Lund), Jordi Xifra (Girona), Magda Pieczka (Queen Margaret University) and Jacquie L’Etang (Stirling).

We have ambitions to reform and liberate the field of public relations and hope to establish a distinct network with a clear identity that can redress the problems of isolation that can afflict scholars in our field, especially those than espouse critical perspectives.

Our aim is to facilitate conversations that will create a platform for collaboration. We hope to attract a range of multi-cultural scholars from the margins of public relations and cognate disciplines. In addition we aim at this first meeting to discuss ways of progressing research agendas and associated research output, and to take forward collaborative and doctoral research.

We have selected some themes to help drive our conversations but hope that discussions stretch beyond these horizons. Our themes are global in scope, have currency and are designed to catalyse the PR field and its connections with contemporary debates. Our focus on societal impacts rather than organizational need is a powerful corrective to the dominant paradigm in the field. Our initial themes are:

  • PR and nationalism: stateless nations, nation-building, national identity
  • Activism and campaigning: activism, anti-racism, corporate social responsibility
  • International relations, diplomacy, inter-cultural communication
  • Public relations as a cultural practice: tourism, sport, religion
  • Technology and discourse communities
  • Theory developments: ‘sociology of public relations’; cultural theory and PR

The Roundtable is organised through the collaboration of the Universities of Stirling, Queen Margaret, Lund, Girona, Waikato and will be hosted by the Stirling Media Research Institute, University of Stirling.

The Roundtable will have around 35 contributors from all over the world including: Australia, Colombia, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, US, UK – and of course a few ‘global citizens’!

Administration and logistics

Location and travel: Stirling is slightly north of both Edinburgh (38 miles) and Glasgow (28 miles). However, access by road is slightly easier between Edinburgh and Stirling, so if you have a choice, opt to fly to Edinburgh.

Accommodation: Three-star accommodation is available on the beautiful campus (£66 B&B; £86 dinner B&B) but there are also many reasonably priced B&Bs within a mile (£25–30 per night). We have pre-booked a number of rooms in our conference centre, should you wish to take advantage of this (and our special rate!) please let us know at the earliest opportunity so that we can allocate rooms.

There are also other options in local Bed & Breakfasts, which some people have already booked into. If you have already made other arrangements, then please let me know. If you need us to confirm a booking on your behalf, again please let us know.

Fee: There is a conference fee of £100 (cheque or banker’s draft) which will cover the costs of lunches on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; coffees and teas; a buffet supper at ‘Chez Jacquie’; a dinner at a local restaurant in the City of Stirling. Please make cheques/banker’s draft out to University of Stirling, Scotland and send them to me c/o Stirling Media Research Institute by 30 May.

Programme: The programme for the event, which will take place between the morning of Monday 30th June until early afternoon on Wednesday 2nd July, can be seeen here.

6 responses to “About Radical PR

  1. This is clearly going to be a really exciting and stimulating conference and I’m very much looking forward to being a part of it. Many congratulations and thanks to the steering committee for creating such a valuable opportunity.

  2. I have been anticipating this conference all during our spring semester. I look forward to hearing the the many and diverse perspectives, and to greeting old friends and making new ones.

    Rob Brown
    Professor, Communications Department
    Salem State College
    Salem, MA 01970
    978 542 6463

  3. I actually just arrived in Stirling and experience a kind of groundhog day situation. Have been here before, done this and that. I really hope that the presentations and discussions reflect the sexy title as it’s essential to be more radical. It’s interesting to note that Stirling seem to progress from being critical to radical. I am more than curious to find out and contribute to the development of a more radical approach to the theory and practice of public relations as it is not only a good to have but essential.

    Looking forward to meet you all in July

    Eric Koper
    Head of Communication

  4. Unfortunately I had to cancel the trip. I am really sad about that because I wanted to have fresh input. And I was very curious to have good conversations. I am very sorry for not being with you!
    Stefan Wehmeier

  5. Pingback: PR Conversations » A radical view of PR

  6. “Radical PR” may happen someday, but it won’t be at a university conference.
    It will be when PR changes its business model, i.e., hiring a bunch of young ladies to work phones while billing five or six times their hourly cost plus a considerable overhead tax.
    Universities are just farm systems for this business model, and they appear to like it that way, especially in the U.S.

    Bill Huey
    Strategic Communications

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