Setting sails for San Diego in May. Got two papers and a panel accepted. The first of the papers has Alex Buhmann (BI – Norwegian Business School) as lead author and is a review of how Habermas has been used in public relations over the years. Two crucial points emanate: First, the work of Habermas has much unused analytical potential, specifically with regards to issues of public deliberation and legitimacy in public relations. Second, there are few references to his newer publications something that suggests that public relations scholars are missing out on crucial turns in the theories of Habermas.
The second paper and the panel focus on lobbying. The paper is written together with Ketil Raknes (Kristiania U College) and continues our work on rhetorical lobbying strategies relying on appeals to the common good. The panel uses framing theory to zone in on the challenge organizations that lobby in the public domain face: Why should anyone care for their private interests? The typical strategy is to argue that the latter matches the public’s interests. Everyone is better off if the lobbyist’s proposal is accepted.
The panel I am chairing consists of the following contributions:
- Defining the Public Interest Ketil Raknes; Kristiania U College, Norway
- When “Public Interest” Co-Matches “Private Benefits:” The Peculiar Interplay between Part-Time Politicians and Vested Interests in Switzerland’s Direct Democracy Irina Lock & Peter Seele; Università della Svizzera italiana, Lugano, Switzerland
- Democracy, Pluralism and Political Discourse: Lobbying and the Public Interest Ian Somerville & Scott Davidson; University of Leicester, UK
- How Do Organizations Discursively Frame Community Issues Through Lobbying Campaigns? – An Italian Case Study Chiara Valentini; Aarhus U, Denmark
Dejan Vercic from the U of Ljubljana, Slovenia has graciously accepted to be a respondent.
Buhmann, A., & Ihlen, Ø. (2017, May). The fate of Habermas’ theory in public relations: A quantitative review of three decades of public relations research. Paper presented at the 67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, San Diego, US.
Ihlen, Ø., & Raknes, K. (2017, May). “Everyone will be better off”: Rhetorical strategies in public lobbying campaigns. Paper presented at the 67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, San Diego, US.
Migration, climate change, terrorism and widening social gaps are pressing global issues that are communicated through the news media, spread by social media and discussed in high-level summits as well as around dinner tables. Ultimately, they concern the legitimacy of democracy, the foundations of welfare states and the construction of cultural identities. Yet the links between communication, legitimacy and social resilience are often neglected. In a paper authored by Eli Skogerbø and myself we discuss how political communication is a purveyor of social resilience. We focus on the communicative conditions that impact on the sustainability of political systems. The paper has been accepted for the conference “Media and Politics in Times of Crises and Change,” @ the London School of Economics, December 12-13 2016.
In my latest column in the Norwegian practitioner magazine Kommunikasjon I am again plugging results from the European Communication Monitor. The text points to how seven of ten practitioners think big data will change the landscape, although just two out of ten have actually followed up and engaged with big data.
Took advantage of the silly season and wrote an op.ed. for the main Norwegian business daily Dagens Næringsliv, based on the latest findings from the European Communication Monitor. My angle was the lack of understanding and use of big data among European communication practitioners.
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.
The SAGE Encyclopedia of corporate reputation has launched. I have written 1,3 % of the entries, including Rhetorical theory, Framing theory, Source credibility, and Social theory. The latter with Piet Verhoeven (of course).
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!