Communication for Social Change: Activism, Trust-building, Responsiveness, and Responsibility


OFF-SITE | Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Gardens Point campus, Brisbane (room number to be advised)

Attendees are responsible for their own transportation to the venue. Easily accessible by train from the Gold Coast. The pre-conference registration fee includes the cost of coach transfer at the end of the session from QUT to the main conference hotel (Star) on the Gold Coast.


Wednesday 20th May; 9:00 - 15:00


The timing of this session will appeal to attendees – particularly those arriving from overseas – flying in to Brisbane airports. You can choose to arrive a couple of days early to recover from your journey and then participate in this pre-conference in advance of the main event. This schedule will also give you the chance to experience all that Queensland’s capital city has to offer before heading down to the Coast. This pre-conference is ideally timed for attendees who wish to fly in to Brisbane and travel to Sydney after the main conference ends. 


Cost: $50USD


Call for Papers 


Organizers: Anne Lane, Kim Johnston, Bree Hurst, Amisha Mehta, Lisa Tam

Contacta.lane@qut.edu.au  

Division/Interest Group Affiliation(s): Public Relations Division and Organizational Communication Division 

Description: The emergent positioning of corporate organisations as civic institutions means there is now increasing awareness of, and interest in, the potential to use communication for change at a societal level. Adopting this macro level perspective on the outcomes and impacts of communication requires the revision and extension of existing theories and practices, and perhaps the use and integration of multiple disciplinary lenses to an extent that has not yet been fully realised. This approach might lead to a resolution of the dynamic tension at the heart of the move to achieve social change through communication: how can communication – renowned for its ability to foster the development of fractured, individual, and highly specific points of view – be used to create the generalised consensus required to generate social change?


 

Communication for Social Change: Activism, Trust-building, Responsiveness, and Responsibility


As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, societies around the world are characterised by the pervasiveness and power of communication networks. Multiple forms and channels of communication allow individuals and organisations to reach and interact with their networks of contacts in a variety of ways for many different purposes. Communication both constructs and enacts these networks, and provides mechanisms for groups and individuals to affect change at a societal level. In summary, this means changing society itself. 


Public relations, organizational communication and strategic communication are disciplines that have long been associated with efforts to encourage change through communication. However, the focus of these efforts has largely been the changing of stakeholder behaviour to suit organisations at an individual or group level. More recently, the emergence of the relational perspective in public relations and its synergies with stakeholder engagement and dialogue, as well as debates about creating shared value and corporate activism in corporate communications have shifted the focus onto the use of communication to create co-change at this meso level. 


The drive to harmonize corporate and societal needs is reflected by theoretical approaches that have emerged in corporate communications and strategic communication. These approaches are based on the understanding that corporate/organizational goals should not be limited to achieving shareholder value but also stakeholder value. This has seen the rise of concepts like “corporate shared value” (CSV) and “stakeholder value” instead of traditional CSR. More recently, the development of ideas like “corporate activism” and “CEO activism” (meaning that corporations can be agents of social change if governments, politicians, NGOs etc. are not able to move forward) reflect this.


The emergent positioning of corporate organisations as civic institutions means there is now increasing awareness of, and interest in, the potential to use communication for change at a societal level. Adopting this macro level perspective on the outcomes and impacts of communication requires the revision and extension of existing theories and practices, and perhaps the use and integration of multiple disciplinary lenses to an extent that has not yet been fully realised. This approach might lead to a resolution of the dynamic tension at the heart of the move to achieve social change through communication: how can communication – renowned for its ability to foster the development of fractured, individual, and highly specific points of view – be used to create the generalised consensus required to generate social change?


The theme of this pre-conference embraces different theoretical perspectives e.g. dialogic, managerial, critical, strategic, corporate/non-profit etc. It encourages not only deep consideration of individual areas of disciplinary expertise but also innovative cross-disciplinary approaches. In this pre-conference we therefore invite submissions from research teams or individuals interested in contributing to a multi-disciplinary consideration of the implementation and implications of communication for social change. 


Guiding questions to be addressed in this preconference may include, but are not limited to the following: 


This pre-conference will provide presenters and other attendees with a stimulating and engaging session in which ideas can be presented in a supportive but robustly-enquiring environment.


INTERESTED?

You are invited to submit a 500-word fully-referenced abstract of your paper to ica2020preconf@qut.edu.au by 17th January 2020. All abstracts will be peer-reviewed, and acceptance letters sent by 31st January 2020. 


FORMAT

The pre-conference will open at 8.30a.m. with light refreshments. Sessions will run from 9am to 3pm. It will be held at Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Gardens Point campus in the centre of Brisbane. There is plenty of reasonably-priced quality accommodation in the area.


Storage for luggage will be provided on campus so attendees do not need to make separate arrangements.


The cost of coach transport to the Star Casino on the Gold Coast (the main conference hotel) at the conclusion of the pre-conference will be included in the registration fee.


Participants will be provided with morning tea and lunch. These breaks will divide the day into three sessions. Sessions will be structured as follows:


CONTACT

If you have any questions, please email the organizers at ica2020preconf@qut.edu.au