International History of Public Relations Conference


July 11-12, 2012

Organised by the Centre for Public Communication Research (CPCR) at The Media School, Bournemouth University, England

Academics, practitioners and research students are invited to submit competitive abstracts and papers for presentation at The International History of Public Relations Conference (IHPRC) to be held on July 11-12, 2012 at Bournemouth University.

The first two IHPRC have attracted more than 130 delegates from 20 countries. The conferences have been very successful – and an important development in public relations scholarship. The Proceedings, presentations and keynote presentations, are available at<>  .

Conference Themes

At the 2011 IHPRC, papers were presented in six groups – Historiography, History and Events, National Histories, Professional&  Practice, Proto-PR (public relations before it was recognized as a distinct practice) and Theories of Public Relations. These groups will be retained for 2012 but are very broad in their potential for topics and issues and in the scope. Within these groups, there is a wide range potential papers. Here are some possible topics:

•     The history of public relations and its developing or diverging relationships with other disciplines like marketing, HR, legal and corporate governance

•     Seminal personalities or events that shaped the formation of public relations as a discipline (This can also include challenges to the “Great Man” or “Great Woman” approach)

•     History of the PR/Communication departments of organisations (companies, associations, political organisations, NGOs, etc.)

•     History of PR instruments (as press releases, press conferences, campaigns, etc.)

•     Alternative approaches to the history of public relations, e.g. on the basis of culture (personal networks and influence) or via definitions of public relations

•     The evolving naming of the field from propaganda and press agentry to corporate communications

•     The evolution of public relations in nations or parts of government or industry

•     Key books or articles that have influenced public relations

•     The history of public relations in specific sectors (for example, consultancy, education, health, and politics)

•     The evolution of public relations theory(ies) over time; the history of schools of thinking in public relations

•     Formative influences on public relations theory and practice

•     The formation of industry and professional bodies and their impact on public relations practice and education

•     The impact of technology upon public relations practice and theory

•     Archival sources for the history of public relations

•     Oral histories of public relations; discussion of this methodology

Papers for presentation at the 2012 conference will be selected, after peer review, on the basis of abstracts, of no more than two pages total length, including any references. Author details are to be printed on a separate sheet and the author(s) should not be identified in the abstract. Abstracts must be presented in Word format, in 1.5 line spacing and 12 point font size. For presentational guidance, please see:

Manuscripts of the selected papers are to be submitted with Harvard referencing. The manuscript of 3000 to 6000 words, plus references, must be presented in Word format, in 1.5 line spacing and 12 point font size. For presentational guidance, please see:


•     Submission of abstracts: Monday, December 12, 2011 to

•     Acceptance notification (by email): Monday, January 23, 2012

•     Submission of selected papers: Monday, June 4, 2012 to

All accepted abstracts will be published online prior to the conference programme. Conference papers will be published in the IHPRC Proceedings.

Papers are especially welcomed from scholars in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America

The Conference Venue

As in 2010 and 2011, the conference will be held at Bournemouth University’s Executive Business Centre. Conference Registration will be arranged through<>  with details of tickets to be announced shortly.

Social Media: You can follow the International History of Public Relations Conference through its Facebook group and on Twitter, @historyofpr. On LinkedIn, join the History of Public Relations group, which has more than 500 members.

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Any views or opinions presented are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Bournemouth University or its subsidiary companies. Nor can any contract be formed on behalf of the University or its subsidiary companies via email.

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