Positioning the CEO

The latest instalment of my research column in the practitioner magazine Kommunikasjon deals with CEO positioning pointing to the following publication: Zerfass, A., Verčič, D., & Wiesenberg, M. (2016). Managing CEO communication and positioning. Journal of Communication Management, 20(1), 37-55. In particular I highlight the finding that the systematization is somewhat lacking.

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ICA is on

Lobbyism is one of the most contentious practices within the larger field of public relations, regularly attracting media scorn. At the same time, scholars have called for more research that develops ethical and societal perspectives on lobbying. Today, in Fukuoka in Japan, Melissa Dodd, Magda Piezcka, Ketil Raknes and myself presented a panel unpacking the arguments regarding the place of lobbying within public relations and democratic societies. Great fun!

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Second edition

In 2009 Betteke van Ruler, Magnus Fredriksson and I edited Public Relations and Social Theory. Magnus and I are pleased to announce that we have just signed the contract for a second and expanded edition. The first edition included chapters on key social theorists like Jürgen Habermas, Niklas Luhmann, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens, Robert Putnam, Erving Goffman, Peter L. Berger, Dorothy Smith, Bruno Latour, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Ulrich Beck and Max Weber. The second is likely to add contributions on John Dewey, Karl Marx, Luc Boltanski, John Meyer, Chantal Mouffe, Harrison White, and Jean-Francois Lyotard. How can these theorists be applied on public relations? Stay tuned for a 2018 release…

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Paper presentation on social media and dialouge

Here is my presentation from the Corporate Communication Conference in Hong Kong 2014. Complete with idiosyncrasies, mumbling, and hawing. Full title: Ihlen, Ø., & Levenshus, A. (2014, June). Digital dialogue: Crisis communication in social media. The Corporate Communication International Conference on Corporate Communication 2014, Hong Kong.


World Tour on Lobbying

Ketil Raknes (Kristiania U College) and I are touring the world with our gospel on lobbying. We will be attending a London workshop in May, do the ICA conference in Fukuoka in June, and head to Groeningen in September. We have just had a paper called “Self-interest in New Wrapping: ‘Appeal to Community’ as a Topos in Lobbying“ accepted for this years EUPRERA conference. The paper explores strategic communication and organizational rhetoric that makes appeals beyond organizational self-interest. In the private sector, corporations frequently argue that they are not just maximizing profit at all costs, but pursue higher goals invoking the term corporate social responsibility. In lobbying too, appeals to what is “best of society” have become a staple rhetorical strategy. However, little research has been done on this type of rhetoric. Building on the notion of topos the paper explores the ways that lobbyists attempt to fuse their private interests with a broader appeal to what is best for society as such.

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