Politics and Propaganda: Weapons of Mass Seduction, has been just published by University of Michigan Press)
In addition to the UK visitor, some seven other academics made presentations, all well attended. Topics included community consultation, client-consultant relationships, reality TV and PR, post-crisis communication strategies, and PR in the court system.
For this writer, his involvement was to facilitate a discussion on knowledge transfer between academe and practice. Supported by speakers such as leading practitioners Peter Lazar and Annabelle Warren alongside Associate Professor Gael Walker (UTS) and Joy Chia (UniSA), his task was to explore how the accumulated research and theoretical knowledge of academics can be integrated into contemporary practice and how practice can influence theory and research priorities. As often happens time over-ran the panel session, which also included a call by Nicholas OShaughnessy for greater recognition of wisdom by universities and less reliance on rigid methodology. Feedback subsequently indicated that knowledge transfer is rapidly rising up the agenda for the regions public relations practitioners.
In summary, the PRIA National Conference showed that there are the beginnings of a new maturity amongst practitioners that academics have much to share with them whilst the academics presented in an accessible manner that introduced and explained current research and theory.
Many of the Conferences papers and presentations are available until November 22 via web- and audio-streaming through http://events.genesysrichmedia.com/pria/nationalconference/2004/.
Leanne Glenny of University of Canberra reports that these presentations will be available in DVD format, which will be a boon for research and teaching purposes. Several of the Academic Forums refereed papers will appear in forthcoming editions of Asia-Pacific Public Relations Journal which, like PRism, is available online at www.deakin.edu.au/aaprj.
Next years PRIA National Conference will be held in Brisbane from October 23-25, with the Academic Forum on the first day. The website is www.pria05.im.com.au. Let the engagement continue!
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