Lobbying and Democracy

What is the role of communication in relation to lobbying and democracy? Will be putting together a postconference at the 2018 conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in Prague. A CFP is issued with a deadline of December 15 for abstract submission. The best papers from the conference will appear in a special issue of Journal of Public Affairs. The postconference is sponsored by The Department of Marketing Communication and PR, Charles University in Prague; The Public Diplomacy Interest Group of ICA (main ICA sponsor); The Public Relations Division of ICA, The Political Communication Division of ICA; and The Network for Public affairs and Lobbying of the European Public Relations Research and Education Association (EUPRERA).

Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 07.28.24

 

Advertisements

EUPRERA papers from 2016

Finally! Some of the best papers from last year’s EUPRERA Congress have been published. Electronic version out on the opening of this year’s conference in London. If you are a member of EUPRERA please be on the look out for the discount code. We are talking 70 percent….

INTRODUCTION

1. EDUCATING SOCIETY’S FUTURE PR PRACTITIONERS: AN EXPLORATION OF ‘PREPAREDNESS’ AS A QUALITATIVE INDICATOR OF HIGHER EDUCATION PERFORMANCE

2. CONTEXTUALISING CHANGE IN PUBLIC SECTOR ORGANISATIONS

3. WHEN A NATION’S LEADER IS UNDER SIEGE: MANAGING PERSONAL REPUTATION AND ENGAGING IN PUBLIC DIPLOMACY

4. TOWARDS A SOCIETAL DISCOURSE WITH THE GOVERNMENT? A COMPARATIVE CONTENT ANALYSIS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNICATION BY THE BRITISH, FRENCH AND GERMAN NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS 2011-2015

5. LESSONS LEARNED: COMMUNICATION STUDIES IN TRANSITION

6. SECRETS OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

7. SOCIAL MEDIA: THE DIALOGUE MYTH? HOW ORGANISATIONS USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR STAKEHOLDER DIALOGUE

8. CLARIFYING SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES IN ORGANISATIONAL DECISION MAKING – PERCEPTIONS OF FINNISH COMMUNICATION PROFESSIONALS

9. CRISIS, RESPONSE, REPUTATION, ACTOR, AND CONTEXT: A CROSS-DISCIPLINARY STUDY OF KEY CONCEPTS IN PUBLIC RELATIONS, BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

Screen Shot 2017-10-13 at 17.46.05

Lobbying and democracy

Next year, the International Communication Association (ICA) will be in Prague. A post-conference on lobbying and democracy was approved today. A call for papers will be issued in due time. The post-conference is sponsored by the Department of Marketing Communication and PR, Charles University in Prague; the Public Diplomacy Interest Group of ICA, as well as Public Relations Division and the Political Communication Division of ICA, and the Network for Public affairs and Lobbying of the European Public Relations Research and Education Association (EUPRERA).

Organizations that conduct lobbying include business associations, companies, non- governmental organizations (NGOs), public affairs consultancies, labour unions and foundations. Since they are trying to shape public policy without running for office, this have important normative implications for how democratic systems function. How does this influence the one-person-one-vote democratic principle?

Critics often question the contribution to democracy, and whether or not lobbying is yet another tool for society’s most resourceful. Research on lobbying has produced a number of tomes that shed light on the importance of, for instance, lobbyists’ resources and their use of different tactics (e.g., Baumgartner & Leech, 1998; Berry, 1977; Chari, Hogan, & Murphy, 2010/2012; Drutman, 2015; Heinz, Laumann, Nelson, & Salisbury, 1993; Nownes, 2006). A conclusion from the research is that financial resources and human capital are important components for organizations and their ability to succeed with lobbying efforts.

With a few noteworthy exceptions, however (e.g., Baumgartner, Berry, Hojnacki, Kimball, & Leech, 2009; Godwin, Ainsworth, & Godwin, 2013), there has been little attention devoted to how lobbyists actually communicate. Thus, this post-conference invites contributions addressing the topic of lobbying and democracy, and the role communication plays in this regard.

Screen Shot 2017-09-27 at 09.49.02

Visuals, more visuals

Have dedicated my latest column in the practitioner magazine Kommunikasjon to findings from the latest results from the European Communication Monitor concerning visual communication. While social media and cell phones are pushing the visual agenda, practitioners are lagging behind.

Zerrfass, A., Verhoeven, P., Moreno, A., Tench, R., & Verčič, D. (2017). European Communication Monitor 2017: How strategic communication deals with the challenges of visualization, social bots and hypermodernity. Brussels, Belgium: EACD/EUPRERA.

Screen Shot 2017-09-14 at 12.55.06

 

Challenges of the Bots

Have written op.ed. piece in the largest Norwegian business daily, Dagens Næringsliv (behind pay wall), about the latest results from the European Communication Monitor. I am focusing on the fact that most of the respondents thought the use of social bots raised ethical challenges. Still few think they are updated about the development and a small minority has actually used the technology for their organization.

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 09.43.46.png

Digital dialogue, crisis and social media

A consistent finding in the crisis communication literature is that organizations should attempt to have a well-established relationship in place with stakeholders before a crisis occurs. Organizations need to engage in dialogue in advance of crisis situations. Together with Abbey Levenshus (Butler U), I have written a chapter that summarizes and discusses the literature that gives advice on how to use social media in this regard. It is argued that there is still a lot to learn from the more sophisticated theoretical conceptions of dialogue. Dialogue can be seen as a quality of communication and of relating with others, and/or an ideal to strive for. The main contribution of the chapter lies in the discussion of the limits of dialogue in an organizational context, and the practical suggestions for how the dialogue ideal can be approached.

Ihlen, Ø., & Levenshus, A. (2017). Digital dialogue: Crisis communication in social media. In L. Austin & Y. Jin (Eds.), Social media and crisis communication (pp. 389-400). London: Routledge.

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 09.47.05