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The Public Relations Institute of New Zealand (PRINZ), in association with PRism online refereed journal of public relations and communication research, is pleased to sponsor the 'PRINZ Guest Editor award for the PRism special issue' for guest editorship of a special journal issue on any topic relating to communication.  

The prize is awarded annually to the person or team selected to guest edit a themed special issue of the journal PRism in an area of current interest within communication scholarship. Entries are judged on originality, academic merit, and likely interest to PRism's global communication scholarship and practitioner audience.  

A total cash prize of NZ$1,500 is awarded to the successful applicant/s, with $750 paid in advance to defray expenses, and $750 paid upon publication of the completed special issue.   Applicants are invited to pitch their idea for a special issue by drafting a suggested Call For Papers.  An entry form is available by emailing Elspeth Tilley

The winning CFP will be selected by the PRism general editor in consultation with PRINZ and the PRism editorial advisors and senior board members, and will be awarded a contract to produce the winning theme as a special issue of PRism for publication during the year of the award.   PRism staff will provide guidance with aspects such as refereeing procedures, and will undertake production editing tasks such as formatting, proofing, reference checking, and all IT-related production aspects such as uploading.  Otherwise, the winning editor or editors will have academic freedom to shape the issue and contributions within it as outlined in their selected CFP, in order to make a unique, personal and significant contribution to the body of scholarly knowledge about communication.  

Applications may be from either individuals or teams. The deadline for entries for the following year of production is June 30 in the year prior.  (In other words, if you want to produce a journal issue in 2017, please send us your proposal for its topic and scope by June 30 2016.) The winner is usually announced each July,  with completion of the issue expected by December 31 of the following year.   (Please note, PRINZ and PRism reserve the right to delay announcement of the prize or not to award the prize in any given year for any reason at their discretion.)

PRism is a free-access, online, refereed public relations and communication research journal (ISSN 1448-4404) with a broad scope across the spectrum of communication. Since its inception in 2002 it has published articles not only on public relations but also on visual communication, journalism, social marketing, online teaching and learning, and many more. 

PRism has been ranked as a 'B' journal in the 2008 and 2010 bi-annual listings of international refereed journal quality rankings from the Australian Business Deans Council, meaning it is consistently and formally recognised by independent external assessment as a "well regarded journal in the field" that "publishes research of a good standard in terms of originality, significance and rigour and papers are fully refereed according to good standards and practices" (Australian Business Deans, 2008).   See for previous issues and further information.    

Please ensure that you have read the Terms and Conditions (click here) before entering the PRINZ Prize by making a Call For Papers proposal on the entry form.

In 2015 we welcome our new prize sponsor, the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand.  PRism journal is a non-profit entity run with volunteers and donations - and so we are extremely grateful to have the support of PRINZ, the premier professional association for public relations professionals in New Zealand, to enable us to continue to bring you cutting-edge scholarship through a special issue prize.

In 2015 (for publication in 2016), the PRINZ Guest Editor award for the PRism special issue has been awarded to Dr Jenny Hou and Dr Susan Fountaine, for their production of a PRism special issue on Strategic Communication in the Digital Age in conjunction with the 8th International Forum on PR & Advertising held at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand, 25-28 January 2016.  

Please click here to see the CFP and contribute your research.

In 2014, two awards were made. The first, the PRism Prize, was to Amber Hutchins of Kennesaw State University and Natalie T. J. Tindall of Georgia State University.  The judges described their proposal, on the implications of fandom and participatory culture for public relations theory and practice, as original, innovative and thought-provoking. The judging panel noted that, "While there has been debate about 'produsers' and audiences-as-users in media research, especially in the journalism field, little attention has been paid to the specific issues arising in a public relations context, making this an extremely timely proposal." 

Dr Hutchins' and Dr Tindall's special issue aimed to attract contributions that integrated stakeholder and publics theories with those of participatory cultures and media studies/fan perspectives; to add new, fresh insight into the public relations disciplines concepts of publics and segmentation; and to apply new research and understandings of publics.  They sought contributions that discussed such topics as: engagement with information beyond processing and seeking it; dealing with publics virtually who are highly motivated to communicate with organisations and brands; the role of community managers and publics who are interacting within the community; and research to help illuminate connections between fandom, segmentation and other public relations theory .

See their published issue at:

The second award for a 2014 special issue was the George Hines Memorial Prize, won by Petra Theunissen, Auckland University of Technology, and Sheila McAllister, Monmouth University.  The proposal by Drs Theunissen and McAllister aimed to engage with and tease out underlying taken-for-granted assumptions about public relations practice and theory in the areas of dialogue and relationships, particularly in the context of new media and social public relations.  Theunissen and McAllister noted that "While scholars generally agree that such relationships are essential, there is an assumption that public relations scholars and practitioners share a common understanding of what a relationship comprises. Dialogue, trust, transparency and authenticity have all been touted as fundamentals to relationship-building, but what do scholars understand by these concepts, and how are these operationalised in practice? What roles do persuasion, ethics and power play in building relationships? Are we glossing over key concepts at our peril?"

See their published issue at:

Congratulations to both teams on the high calibre of their entries and on winning awards to produce their special issues in 2014.  Thank you to Massey University for funding the PRism Prize and to Professor Frank Sligo for funding the George Hines Prize in order to support the publication of innovative new scholarship in public relations.

Congratulations to James Mahoney, Marianne Sison and Joy Chia on winning the 2012 PRism Prize, for their special issue proposal 'Exploring power and public relations'.

This multi-institution Australian team developed a topical and important call for papers that identifies a research area at the crux of public relations ability to continue to mature as both a profession and a scholarly discipline. 

James Mahoney is Senior Lecturer, Public Relations, Convenor, Master of Strategic Communication, at the University of Canberra; Dr Marianne Sison is Deputy Dean (International), School of Media and Communication, at RMIT University; and Dr Joyleen Chia is Public Relations Academic Director, School of Communication, University of South Australia.

The judges commented that "one of the strengths / unique qualities of PRism is that it does not narrowly define what constitutes public relations.  This special issue will support that wide view ... [and] encourage an array of thoughtful submissions".

Dr Kevin Moloney, Principal Lecturer in Communication at Bournemouth University, and author of Rethinking Public Relations: PR Propaganda and Democracy (Routledge), and Dr Johanna Fawkes, who specialises in public relations and ethics, will write the editions introductory article.

The 'Power' special issue of PRism can be viewed at: 

Congratulations to Dr Natalie Tindall of Georgia State University and Dr Jennifer Vardeman-Winter, University of Houston, who have won the PRism Prize for 2011. Natalie and Jennifer's entry, proposing a special issue on segmentation, stood out from a strong field because of its originality and academic rigour. 

Comments from the judging team included: "a highly viable proposal in an area that does not receive sufficient scholarly attention", "a theoretically detailed and well-informed proposal which could make a significant contribution to theory building", and "the resulting issue would attract interest from a wide readership and facilitate inter-disciplinary contributions to the journal".  Please click here to see Natalie and Jennifer's special issue.

Sincere thanks to all those who made the considerable effort to write proposals for the PRism Prize in 2011: the ideas were great and I wish we could award you all!  Please seriously consider entering again next year.

Congratulations to Dr Christine Daymon (Murdoch University) and Dr Kristin Demetrious (Deakin University) on their success in winning the PRism Prize for 2010. 

Once again the judges were full of praise for the originality and scholarly merit of the winning proposal. Their special issue investigates the important issue of gender and public relations, exploring the complex gendered aspects of both public relations practice and theorising.  Click here to access their winning issue. 

The George H. Hines Memorial Award was also made for 2010, to Dr Erika Pearson of the University of Otagos Department of Media, Film, and Communication.  This award is made only in years when the judges assess that it would be disadvantageous to the development of communication and public relations scholarship and theory development not to support a second meritorious proposal.  Dr Pearsons special issue on ?Social networking, communication practice, and public relations is now online at

The PRism Prize closes on June 30, 2010, for 2011 issues.  The George H. Hines Memorial Award is not advertised, but may be awarded at PRisms discretion if the quality of proposals in any given year merits a second award.

PRism extends a warm congratulations to Dr Mark Balnaves (Professor New Media, School of Communications and Arts, Edith Cowan University), Dr James Grunig (Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication, University of Maryland), and Mr James Mahoney (Senior Lecturer and Course Convenor, Public Relations, University of Canberra) for their winning entry in the PRism Prize 2009.

Professor Balnaves and his team were unanimously selected by the PRism judging panel (editor, regional editorial advisors, and senior editorial board members) as the outstanding entry from a strong field of high quality, innovative proposals.  Their winning Call For Papers outlined their ideas for a special PRism issue on ?Global Public Relations: Trends and issues which invites papers that are explicitly about global public relations, theoretical or case study, that touch on how differences in public relations practice are occurring, globally.  The judging panel considered this topic ideally suited to PRisms world-wide audience and international scope, providing an opportunity to collect together diverse research perspectives and materials from a broad range of standpoints and make them globally accessible.  

Their resultant issue was published in December 2009, and is available by clicking here.

Because of the high quality of the prize entries received, a decision was taken to also offer a supplementary prize in 2009 to enable another meritorious special issue project to be produced.  The Professor George H. Hines Memorial Award, named for a pioneering New Zealand communication scholar and educator, was awarded to Dr. Richard Waters (Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, North Carolina State University) and Dr. Denise Sevick Bortree (Assistant Professor, Department of Advertising and Public Relations, Penn State University).  Their special issue on ?Nonprofit organization relationship building showcases research on relationship building in the nonprofit and NGO sectors, including stakeholder engagement during crises, evaluation and measurement of relationships in the sector, impact of public relations campaigns and messages, and distribution of power in the relationship.  Their special issue is available by clicking here


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