Public Relations Division


Chun-Ju Flora Hung-Baesecke, Vice Chair
School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing (Albany)
Massey U
Private Bag 102904, North Shore
Auckland 0745, New Zealand

Besides the Public Relations Division’s Call for Papers, members and colleagues are strongly encouraged to read ICA’s general submission guidelines to avoid any mistakes!

The Public Relations Division is concerned with the theory and practice of communication between organizations and specified publics and addresses theoretical as well as professional questions in relation to a variety of organizational forms, including business, nonprofit, public and political entities at local, national and international contexts and society at large. We encourage the submissions of research papers, extended abstracts, and panel proposals for the

2019 ICA conference that reflect the conference theme, “Communication Beyond Boundaries”, and contribute to the development of public relations theory. We welcome submissions that seek to reflect on what public relations can contribute to organizations and the societies in terms of the evolving meanings, relationships, behaviors, experiences and critical views. In addition, how is the field of public relations affecting, reflecting, and directing societies at large?

The Public Relations Division is highly interested in submissions attempting to clarify, define, and question core concepts in our field as well as theory building submissions. Submissions should be original and innovative. To reflect the conference theme, members and colleagues are strongly encouraged to take an interdisciplinary approach in developing public relations theory in preparing submissions. A range of theoretical approaches are accepted, including, for instance, organizational, management, political, inter and cross- cultural, sociological, anthropological, historical, rhetorical, critical, philosophical perspectives. Both quantitative and qualitative methods are considered appropriate.

The Public Relations Division will accept: Full research papers, extended abstracts, and panel proposals. Preference will be given to complete research papers and panel proposals. Extended abstracts, as well as complete papers, will be considered for presentation in high density sessions, modeled after the IPRRC conference high-density presentations: the audiences rotate several times among research circles during the session, and presenters share their research for five minutes and then discuss research with the audience for another five minutes.

1. Full length completed research papers: In accordance with ICA guidelines, papers should be no longer than 8,000 words in length, plus tables, images, appendices and references. Papers should be in 12-point type, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and with all identifying marks removed. Submitted papers must NOT have been previously presented, scheduled for presentation, published, accepted for publication, and if under review, must NOT appear in print before the conference. Such submissions will be disqualified. Submitters MUST DELETE ALL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION before submitting a paper. Papers with identifying information will be disqualified. This includes identifying information stored in metadata rather than the text itself, e.g. as found in file -> properties.

2. Extended abstracts (2,500 words, not including references) with a full paper submitted at least 6 weeks prior to the conference in May. To enhance the possibility of extended abstracts being accepted, it is expected that the content of such abstracts should include the purpose of the paper, main theoretical framework/ assumptions, research methods, preliminary results, and clearly STATE THE CONTRIBUTION of the paper for public relations theory and practice. Each submission should include the word count on the cover page. Extended abstracts longer than 2,500 words will not be reviewed. Work already published or accepted for publication should not be submitted and will be disqualified when found. Submitters MUST DELETE ALL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION before submitting an extended abstract. Abstracts with identifying information will be disqualified.

3. Panel proposals (including roundtable proposals) should focus on current debates in the field of public relations or strategic communication. Panels should have a clear discussion orientation, and topics proposed should not only lend themselves to a debate among panelists but also generate discussion among session attendees. Proposals that feature institutional and/or national diversity will be given extra weight. The Division will consider panel proposals using creative formats that advance Division aims such as expanding participation and mentoring of student scholars, for example hybrid sessions (presentation/interactive display). We are particularly interested in proposals with panelists from different divisions/countries/institutes engaging in discussion on the theme of the 2019 ICA conference.

Panel proposals should include:

  1. A 400-word (max) rationale for the panel (if you are proposing a novel panel format, please specify here the format),

  2. A 150-word (max) abstract of each participant’s presentation,

  3. Names of panel participants (including a designated respondent if relevant for the panel format),

  4. Name of panel chair/organizer (usually the same person), and

  5. A 75-word description of the panel for the conference program.

Additionally, the panel proposal should include a statement from the organizer declaring: “I have received signed statements from all intended participants agreeing to register for the conference and participate in the panel.” If any item of the above guidelines and formatting instructions is not met, the panel will NOT be reviewed.

For all submissions, please select the appropriate category (i.e. faculty or student submission) on the online submission site and provide keywords as requested to help us guide your work to the most appropriate reviewers. For papers and extended abstract submissions, please indicate in your submission one of the two presentation formats: presentation in a paper section or in an interactive poster section. Both formats are peer-reviewed, have the same academic importance, and will be equally published in the program. The Division has recently approved a new set of guidelines to review conference submissions. Members can access the document on the ICA PRD website.

Top interactive papers are eligible for two ICA awards, Best Interactive Poster Paper and Best Interactive Poster Display presentation. The Public Relations Division will also award the Top Poster Award, selected among submissions accepted for presentation as posters.

The Public Relations Division recognizes Top Faculty and Top Student Papers each year. Only full length scholarly papers are eligible for these Division awards. For a submission to be identified as a Student Paper, ALL AUTHORS OF THE PAPER MUST BE STUDENTS and indicated in the process of submission. Papers jointly authored by Faculty and Students are not eligible for the Top Student Paper Award.

Due to the competitive nature of having papers accepted in the Public Relations Division, we accept no more than two (2) submissions either as full length papers, as extended abstracts authored by the same person either as sole or coauthor, or as panel members to ensure that all scholars have the opportunity to be included in the program regardless of level of experience and national affiliation.

Given the expected high number of submissions, the Public Relations Divisions needs a large number of volunteer reviewers and thus encourages all faculty members to volunteer for this important service. Faculty submitters should also be aware that they will be added to the reviewing pool and may receive a call for reviewing some of the Division’s submissions if the Division is not able to cover all reviews with its volunteer reviewers. The selection will be based on the submitters’ areas of expertise and the Division’s needs. The Division will also recognize top reviewers and will present the Most Valued Reviewer Award at the Division business meeting in Prague.

You are highly recommended to submit before this deadline in order to avoid overload on the paper submission site. Following the ICA general submission guidelines, if your submission is accepted for the ICA conference, you have a commitment to register and attend the conference and to present your work. If you have any questions concerning these formats or general enquiries regarding your individual submission, please contact PRD planner and Vice Chair, Chun-Ju Flora Hung-Baesecke.