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Preconference Calls for Papers

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 6, 2017




To read all the 68th Annual ICA Preconference and Postconference Call for Papers, visit here: 


Media literacy as intergenerational project: skills, norms, and mediation 

23 May 2018  
Claudia  Riesmeyer, Thorsten Naab, & Ruth  Festl


Today’s information society is characterized by its permeation of multifunctional and ubiquitous media. Since a diverse set of media is most often habitually integrated in daily routines, media literacy is an “important prerequisite” to deal with media risks and opportunities (UNESCO, 2016, 26). Even more, media literacy has become a key competence for societal, political, and civic engagement and participation in the 21st century (Hobbs, 2011; Erstad & Amdam, 2013). Its acquirement is most often discussed as a long-term process during life cycle (Potter, 2010), since individuals need to adjust their media literacy to media changes and also to the main challenges of the developmental tasks during the different stages of their  lives (Pfaff-Ruediger, Riesmeyer & Kuempel, 2012) and the turning points of their biographies. Furthermore, the socialization of media literacy is shaped by diverse socialization agents, i.e. parents, teachers, peers, and the individual itself (Hobbs, 2011).


However, research on media generations demonstrates that living in different media landscapes and corresponding socializing environment leads to diverse media experiences (Naab & Schwarzenegger, 2017) and therefore highly individual sets of media literacy with “differing levels and uses of literacy competencies according to […] environments, needs, and available resources” (UNESCO, 2016, 25). The idea of an entanglement of media changes, lifelong acquirement of media literacy, and exchange processes between media generations is at  the core of our preconference. We aim at:


  1. Answering following research questions: Which generation owns which media literacy skills and norms for media use? Who mediates media literacy at which turning point in life cycle? How could media literacy be characterized as intergenerational  project, since changing media use and media access induce the connection of different generations (and socialization agents) and also promotes reverse socialization (e.g. from children to parents)? 

  1. Bringing together international scholars that study media literacy and implications of this conceptualization as intergenerational project. 

Submissions should address the following aspects: 

  • media generation specific media literacy skills and norms 

-          normative, social, political, and civic implications of (missing) media literacy 

  • mediation (and reverse mediation) of media literacy and influencing factors 

-          inter- and transgenerational exchange of media literacy and media practices 

-          influence of turning points within media biographies and media generations


Submissions: Extended Abstracts (max. 1.000 words plus references) should be sent to Claudia Riesmeyer ( The deadline for submission is 30 November 2017. Notification of acceptance will be sent to authors before 15 January 2018. The preconference will take place on 23 May 2018 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at LMU Munich. Self-organized transport from Munich to Prague via multiple ways on 24 May 2018 (plane, bus, train, rental car; travel duration: 1 to 5 hrs).


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the organizers Claudia Riesmeyer (, Thorsten Naab (, or Ruth Festl ( 


Diverse Voices: Authentic Communication, Trust, Dialogue, and Society 
Department of Marketing Communication and Public Relations Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic 
8 am to 5 pm, 24 May 2018 
(abstract submission deadline: 1 December, 2017) 


Division Affiliation: 
Public Relations Division (Sponsor) 
Global Communication and Social Change (co-sponsor) 
Organizational Communication Division (co-sponsor) 

Organizers: this preconference is organized by the Public Relations Society of China (PRSC), the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA), and the Department of Marketing Communication and Public Relations at Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. 


Chun-Ju Flora Hung-Baesecke, PRSC, Massey University, New Zealand 
Xianhong Chen, President of PRSC; Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China 
Øyvind Ihlen, EUPRERA, University of Oslo, Norway Ralph Tench, EUPRERA, Leeds Beckett University, UK Yi-Ru Regina Chen, PRSC, Hong Kong Baptist University 
Denisa Hejlová, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic 

Venue: Department of Marketing Communication and Public Relations, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic


This is an era of distrust and diverse voices. Globalization, government and corporate corruption, and the rise of populism have resulted in a great decline of trust among the public (Edelman, 2017). Modern communication technology and social media give every entity a voice in the contemporary public communication arena. For organizations, the question is not “if” but “how” and “when” to best use various communication platforms to engage in dialogue with publics (Kent & Taylor, 2002). We saw the dialogic approach


emerge in a new theoretical shift in public relations research. However, much research to date has not yet clearly defined dialogue as a concept for examination, to analyze dialogue in multiple online or offline platforms, and to further develop the approach beyond the present state. The changing societal context in our time affects the practice of dialogue. One is led to ponder the role of dialogue in contemporary, digital society and its intended effects (or limits), principles, and pre-conditions (e.g., public trust and organization’s honesty and authenticity).


This proposed preconference invites discussions on topics including, but are not limited to: What is (constructive) dialogue in the organization-public context? What are the processes, principles, and conditions of dialogue in the East and the West? What are the strategies to develop dialogue with diverse voices? Why do we need to have dialogue when one party does not listen and does not encourage a participative decision making process? What is the role and impact of authenticity in dialogue? Can dialogue build trust in a divided society? Whether social media and communication technology undermine or facilitate dialogue and trust? Whether true dialogue can take place in an organizational setting where it is typically turned into an instrument for other organizational goals? 

This full-day event will feature a keynote roundtable discussion with international scholars and papers from public relations scholars in China and around the world.


Papers on the preconference theme will be selected in a special issue in Public Relations Review. 

Abstract Submissions 

Deadline: All abstract submissions must be completed online no later than 1 December, 2017 (UTC time) at For inquiries, please contact: Vincent Huang (


Authors should send a two-page Word document.


The first page should include the following information only: 

  1. Paper title. 

  1. Abstract (300 – 400 words in English). 

  1. Citations should be listed in a footnote. Citations containing author identity should be avoided. 

On the second page, please include the following: 

  1. Paper title. 

  1. All author names, affiliations, and short bios (100 words in English maximum) listed in the order of authorship. 

  1. Corresponding author and email address. 

Abstract Acceptance Announcements 

Acceptance notification will be sent out on 15 December 2017. 

Submitting an abstract commits at least one author of any accepted submission to register for the preconference, attend and present the research in person. 

Paper Submissions 

Full papers of accepted abstracts that the author(s) wishes to be considered for publication should be submitted by 30 April, 2018 at: Paper submission details will be provided at a later date. 


Deadline for abstract submission                                      1, December, 2017 

Acceptance provided                                                        15, December, 2017 

Deadline for full paper and presentations                         30, April, 2018 

Preconference                                                                   24, May, 2018 

Deadline for revised full papers                                        31 July, 2018 

Registration Fee (including tea breaks and a lunch) * 

Faculty participants (presenting papers or not): US$70. Graduate students (presenting papers or not): US$35. 

To register to this preconference, participants need to register online at the ICA conference registration website. 

Organizing Institutes: 

Public Relations Society of China 

The pre-conference is sponsored by the Public Relations Society of China (PRSC). The PRSC was founded in August 2015. The first president of the PRSC is Professor Chen Xianhong from the School of Journalism and Communication at Huazhong University of Science and Technology. The PRSC aims to advance public relations theories and practices in China. As the only national-level academic organization in the field of public relations, the PRSC not only serves as a think tank that fosters dialogue and interactions among the academia, industry and society, but also provides an important platform for academic exchange between Chinese and international public relations scholars. “Open, Diversity, Inclusion and Dialogue” are the core values of the PRSC. Its mission is to build an academic community of public relations with research inspiration, international vision, and commitment to the public. The PRSC also strives for the discipline development and industrial advancement of public relations in China. In 2017, the PRSC was awarded as an excellent secondary national-level academic association.


The European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) EUPRERA is an autonomous not-for-profit organisation with nearly 500 members from 40 countries interested in advancing academic research and knowledge in public relations and strategic communication. Several cross-national and comparative research and education projects are organised by affiliated universities through the Association such as the largest transnational project of the public relations field, the European Communication Monitor


(ECM) now in its 12th year. In order to spread new methodologies and research results, EUPRERA organises a highly regarded annual congress each autumn in collaboration with a selected university in Europe. The congress each year publishes an edited book of selected papers from the conference and has a dedicated special Congress issue of the Journal of Communication Management.


The Charles University in Prague ranks among the oldest and most traditional universities in the world. It was established in 1348 by Charles IV, King of Bohemia and King of the Romans, who himself was very well educated and truly international persona. The Department of Marketing Communication and Public Relations is one of the youngest university bodies, and it exists within the Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Nevertheless, during its relatively short presence, the department has contributed to academic background and pioneering research in the Czech Republic, namely in the fields of public relations, public affairs or marketing communication. Today, it offers most prestigious (and most wanted) undergraduate programme of Marketing Communications and Public Relations in the Czech Republic. It also publishes online news and trends from the field, which are written and edited solely by the students and graduates, called Among our main research fields are marketing communication, public relations, political communication and public affairs, history of persuasive communication and psychology of communication. 





Theories in Public Relations: Reflections and Future Directions 

May 24, 2018, 08:30-16:30,  

Malá Aula room, Karolinum, Charles University 

Ovocný trh 3, Praha 1 - Staré Město, 110 00   

Prague, Czech Republic  

Abstract Deadline: December 8, 2017 

Theme and rationale 

The field of public relations has grown in the last thirty years both academically and professionally, and is now a specialised, applied communication discipline. Most scholars and practitioners would agree that public relations is primarily a strategic organizational function that nurtures positive relationships with publics and stakeholders for organizations of all kinds: private, public, non-profit, activist, advocacy etc. However, some have taken a broader view of both public relations and the organizations it works for, focusing on their role as a source of interventions in social, cultural and political environments. As a result, the theoretical landscape of public relations has expanded beyond its organizational origins.  


Despite increasing theoretical depth, however, recognition of public relations as an academic discipline and the quality and significance of its theoretical contributions are disputed within and beyond the public relations field. Its discrete body of knowledge and stock of theories have received little recognition outside the specific disciplinary domain. This may be because a universal understanding of the theoretical pillars on which the field is grounded is far from achieved.  

Public relations scholars tend to agree that this is an interdisciplinary field and that many studies in public relations are rooted in diverse communication, sociological, cultural, managerial, and organizational forms of knowledge. Almost all public relations’ established theories come from a wider field and/or have borrowed concepts and understandings and adapted them to public relations questions. Yet, to enjoy greater recognition and academic legitmacy, the theoretical contributions of public relations as a field in its own right must be able to both stand alone and contribute to fields beyond disciplinary boundaries. 


In this pre-conference, we propose an  in-depth reflection on the quality and significance of theoretical development in public relations scholarship. The aim is to discuss and reflect on what might be considered current theories of public relations and theories for public relations, as well as emerging bodies of work that are changing the shape of the field.  We will consider their use, their ability to answer research questions of fundamental importance for the profession, their relevance to today’s global problems, and the exploratory avenues of scholarship that could form the basis of new theorizing. Examples of questions relevant to this pre-conference are:


  • What can be considered a classical or emergent public relations theory?  

  • What are the field’s grand theories and middle-range theories? How do they shape our thinking?  

  • What are the emergent theories that can (re)define public relations?  

  • What types of problems has public relations addressed and through which theoretical lenses has it addressed them? Do these approaches remain adequate? How might they evolve? 

  • What should be the fundamental research questions which are capable of yielding theoretic development? 

  • Why do public relations theories have limited impact beyond the field?  

  • How does public relations theory need to evolve in order to become more widely recognized in organizational, media and communication scholarship?


At the pre-conference, conceptual and theoretical papers will contribute to building a ‘big picture’ of theory in the public relations field, and to discussions about the impact of established and/or emergent theories on thinking about public relations problems. Insights based on empirical data are welcome if they provide a basis for theoretical and conceptual discussions. We welcome a wide range of theoretical perspectives, and we aim to ensure a vibrant program that includes both senior and junior scholars, representing the whole spectrum of opinions and perspectives in the field.  

Submission and selection procedure


Submitters should send a two-page abstract, excluding references (double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt) in which they clearly state their theoretical position related to the preconference theme, as well as a clear statement of how the work contributes to the questions posed in the call for proposals. Each submission should include a third page with a short bio of the author(s). Abstract submission is due by December 15, 2017, to Lee Edwards, at 


Acceptance/rejection letters will be sent by January 12, 2018. Authors of accepted proposals are required to submit a full paper and a presentation prior to the preconference which will be shared with the other authors. Authors are expected to attend the pre-conference, present in person and prepare some questions for other panelists


All participants, speakers or not, must register and pay fees. Participation fee (including coffee breaks and lunch buffet) is US$45 for presenters and non-presenters. Special hotel rates are available for registered participants. To register to this pre-conference, participants need to go to and register online as part of their main ICA conference registration, or as a stand-alone registration. 


Following the preconference, selected authors and participants will be invited to contribute to a peer-reviewed Special Issue of Public Relations Inquiry, titled “Theories in Public Relations: Reflections and Future Directions” to be published in 2019.  



  • Deadline for abstract submission December 15, 2017 

  • Acceptance provided by January 12, 2018 

  • Deadline for submission of full papers and presentations April 22, 2018 

  • Preconference in Prague, CZ, May 24, 2018 

  • Invitation for Special Issue in Public Relations Inquiry, July 30, 2018 


Location/venue:  Malá Aula room, Karolinum, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic 

Division affiliation: Public Relations Division 

Pre-conference organizers: 


Chiara Valentini 

Department of Management, BSS, Aarhus University, Denmark 


Lee Edwards

Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom 



The preconference is generously sponsored by Public Relations Inquiry, a Sage journal. Public Relations Inquiry is an international, peer-reviewed forum for conceptual, reflexive and critical discussion on public relations. The journal aims to stimulate new research agendas in the field of public relations through interdisciplinary engagement and to encompass a broad range of theoretical, empirical and methodological issues in public and organizational communications in diverse cultural contexts.  


Lobbying and Democracy: The Voice of Communication 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018; 9 a.m. – 1. p.m. 

Department of Marketing Communication and PR (room 215) Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic 


Theme and Rationale 

This postconference invites papers that focus on the role communication plays for lobbying and democracy. All theoretical and methodological approaches that help shed light on this are welcome. Topics include, but are not, limited to, a focus on evaluation of communication strategies in light of democratic ideals, the use of particular argument types, as well as communicative attempts to fuse private and public interests.


Broadly defined, lobbying deals with attempts to influence the public policy process. 

Organizations that conducted 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. 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, there has been little attention devoted to how lobbyists actually communicate. Thus, this postconference invites contributions addressing the topic of lobbying and democracy, and the role communication plays in this regard. What communication strategies are employed and how these can be evaluated against democratic goals of participation as well as the problem of unequal influence and regulatory capture. How do we test to see if lobbyists are serving democracy and good governance, or acting as a hindrance? Are some organized interests marginalized or unmobilized? What role can communication theory play in grasping this? Communication scholarship can shed light on how the characteristics of organized interests influence the potential ground for arguments and their subsequent success in this regard, for instance, in their communicative attempts to fuse private and public interests.


This  postconference is approved by the ICA 2018 organizing committee and is part of the official ICA 2018 conference program. It follows successful workshops and panels in London, U.K. in 2016; the ICA 2016 conference in Fukuoka, Japan; the ICA 2017 conference in San Diego, U.S.A.; the EUPRERA Congress 2016 in Groningen, the Netherlands, and the EUPRERA Congress 2017 in London, U.K. We invite scholars across the globe to join us to explore lobbying and democracy, and the role played by communication.


Due to the generosity of the Department of Marketing Communication and PR, Charles University in Prague, no fee will be charged for attendance. 

Submission and selection process


Extended abstracts of minimum 600 words should be submitted to 

Øyvind Ihlen at  before December 15, 2017.


Contributors will be selected by peer review. Authors of accepted proposals are required to submit a full paper and a presentation prior to the  postconference. Authors are expected to attend the postconference and present in person.


Following the postconference, selected authors and participants will be invited to contribute to a peer-reviewed special issue of Journal of Public Affairs. 



Deadline for  abstract  submission                    December 15, 2017 Acceptance provided                                                          January 15, 2018 Deadline for full paper and presentations                            April 15, 2018 Postconference                                                                        May 29, 2018 

Invitation for special issue                              August 30, 2018 

Deadline for revised full papers                      October 31, 2018 

Reviews of full papers                                    January 15, 2019 

Final revisions due                                         March 20, 2019 


Øyvind Ihlen, University of Oslo 

Anna Shavit, Charles University in Prague  

Chiara Valentini, University of Aarhus 

Scott Davidson, University of Leicester 



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 

The Network for Public affairs and Lobbying of the European Public Relations Research and Education Association (EUPRERA) 




                Methods for Communication Policy Research                  

The field of communication policy research is characterized by regular discussions of its status and progress of development. Given this self-conscious tradition, it is almost ironic that research designs as well as methods of data collection and data analysis are rarely discussed, let alone critically scrutinized (Just & Puppis, 2012). While a lot of research is empirical in nature – e.g., offering overviews of regulatory developments in various media systems or analyzing policy-making processes – scholars are using few words to detail their methods in publications and presentations. In recent years, the most used methods in the field, like document analysis and interviews, finally received some much- needed attention (e.g., Herzog & Ali, 2015; Karppinen & Moe, 2012). Nevertheless, there is still much work ahead to enhance the craft of doing communication policy research. To be credible in academia and beyond – namely in communication policy-making – sound methods and attention to research design are crucial. 

Moreover, the media and communication – and communication research – environments have been and are rapidly changing in ways that are altering relationships between the governing and those they govern, as well as in the kinds of policy tools available. The workshop is an opportunity to re-evaluate existing methods and to think through specific issues that may arise with methodological innovations when investigating policy problems, policy-making processes, or the effects of laws and regulations once put in place. Issues of access to data, the use of software to “revise” policy-making processes with consequences for their effects, and challenges to the procedures through which research data are collected and interpreted all need to be considered in today’s environment.


Springing from a “Blue Sky Workshop” at the San Diego ICA conference, this preconference dedicates a whole day to discussing methods of communication policy research. The preconference is composed of five sessions, each session starting with three short interventions of 10 minutes each (selected from the submissions to this call for papers), followed by a prepared response and an open discussion.


Submissions for the interventions should provide critical thinking about communication policy-specific methodological problems, i.e. they should focus on methodological issues rather than study results. We invite abstracts that address one of the following topics:


  1. Topic 1: “Research design: finding the right method(s) for communication policy research problems”. Submissions should focus on how to match the right method(s) with policy issues under investigation. Which methods have proven useful for researching policy issues? And which phenomena both old and new pose problems forscholars to properly analyze because methods are insufficient or access to data is impossible? Contributions may also take a meta-perspective to discuss different research designs valuable for communication policy research. 

  1. Topic 2: “More than close reading: analyzing qualitative data”. A large number of communication policy studies is based on qualitative interviews with experts from media industries and policy-making and on qualitative analysis of documents. Yet few studies discuss the practicalities of actually analyzing interview data or policy and industry documents, simply referring to a so-called close-reading of texts. Contributions should discuss how to analyze qualitative data and may also discuss interconnections between data collection and data analysis. 

  1. Topic 3: “Beyond interviews and documents: new methods for communication policy research”. While interviews and document analysis are valuable methods for doing policy research, the social sciences offer a rich methodological toolbox. From participant observation to big data, there are numerous methods showing potential for communication policy research. Submission may also focus on pitfalls of relying on innovative methods of data collection and data analysis. 

  1. Topic 4: “Comparative policy research: from simple to causal comparison”. The bulk of comparative research in the research field relies on simple comparisons that offer rich insights into similarities and differences between media systems but that cannot causally explain them. With QCA and statistical comparison, comparative research made significant progress in understanding the connection between media systems and policy. Submissions are invited to show how new comparative methods are useful for communication policy research. 

  1. Topic 5: “Action research: doing research while influencing the object”. Action research has potential for communication policy research. Not to be confused with scholars getting involved in policy-making, action research nevertheless implies that researchers interact with policy-making to generate data. Submissions may focus on ethical considerations as well as merits and pitfalls of action research. 

  1. Topic 6: “How to bring research to policy-making: what scholars can do even if policy-makers don’t want to listen”. There is long-standing concern about the extent to which policy-makers take communication research findings into account. Efforts to reduce the size of government, political distaste for or refusal of evidence that supports positions that differ from those preferred by dominant parties, and challenges to the rule of law altogether other than one’s own have all made the situation particularly difficult today in many societies. Interventions addressing this topic will think through ways to design research, choose research methods, present research findings, and provide effective input into policy-making in evidence-averse policy environments. 


For the three interventions kicking off each of the five sessions, we invite extended abstracts of approximately 1000 words. Please indicate which of the above topics your abstract is intended to address. Abstracts are due by December 17, 2017, and should be submitted to Acceptance notifications will be sent out close to the time ICA announces review results for the main conference. Authors of accepted abstracts are expected to attend the preconference and to present their work.


The preconference will be open to additional participants beyond presenters, respondents and organizers. Registration will be possible via the normal ICA conference registration website. 

There will be a nominal fee of USD 50 for all participants to pay for room, audiovisual equipment, coffee breaks, and lunch. Funding for the preconference is partly provided by Texas A&M University, the University of Fribourg and the University of Antwerp.


Moreover, the preconference is affiliated with ICA’s Communication Law and Policy Division. However, members of other ICA sections and non-members of ICA are also welcome to submit abstracts and participate. 


Preconference Organizers 

Sandra Braman (Texas A&M University/USA) Manuel Puppis (University of Fribourg/Switzerland) Hilde Van den Bulck (University of Antwerp/Belgium) 

Tags:  November 2017 

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