You may have seen many smiling EUPRERA colleagues in pictures from Prague posted on social media in recent days. The ICA conference has been a fruitful meeting and many of our members contributed to its success. We saw in the programme:

Diverse Voices: Authentic Communication, Trust, Dialogue, and Society

Organised by Chun-Ju Flora Hung-Baesecke, Xianhong Chen, Yi-Ru Regina Chen, representing PRSC (Public Relations Society of China); Øyvind Ihlen, Ralph Tench, representing EUPRERA; Denisa Hejlová, from Charles University.

The 2018 ICA preconference is the first collaboration between EUPRERA and PRSC. In total, 108 participants from 19 countries and regions attended the two-day preconference. This year, we received 136 submissions and 80 papers were accepted. The acceptance rate was 58%.The reception of the preconference is in the Gregr Hall of the Municipal Building, followed by a dinner for the organizing institutes in the French Restaurant in the Municipal Building. The EUPRERA current and former leadership (Prof. Ralph Tench, Prof. Øyvind Ihlen, and Prof. Ansgar Zerfass) also discussed with the PRSC leadership on the future collaboration opportunities.

Theories in Public Relations: Reflections and Future Directions

Organised by Chiara Valentini, Aarhus University; Lee Edwards, London School of Economics and Social Sciences.

The Theories of PR pre-conference brought together around 40 scholars from across Europe and beyond. The presentations were a wonderful collection of insights from people who use a rich and varied range of work to inform their analyses of PR. It was particularly inspiring to see so much new work being done by new European scholars, including doctoral students and fully-fledged academics. The rich discussion we had bodes very well for the future health and diversity of theoretical work in the field.

Emerging Research and Trends in Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding

Organised by Alina Dolea, Bournemouth University; Diana Ingenhoff, University of Fribourg; James Pamment, Lund University; Rhonda Zaharna, American University; Jay Wang, USC Center on Public Diplomacy; Steve Pike, Syracuse University.

For this pre-conference for PhD and post-doctoral students, 12 papers out of 33 submissions were selected to be presented and discussed in a forum with established scholars from the field serving as mentors and giving feedback to each participant. The conference was sponsored by The Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California & Rhonda Zaharna, Syracuse University and Lund University. It was a great success and brought new insights for both PhD students and established scholars.After founding and chairing the Public Diplomacy Interest Group from 2016 to 2018, Diana Ingenhoff, University of Fribourg, hands over to Alina Dolea, University of Bournemouth, who was elected new chair of the PD group at this year’s annual conference of the ICA.

Public Relations and Strategic Communication

Organised by Katerina Tsetsura, Oklahoma University; Flora Hung-Baescke, Massey University; Dean Kruckeberg, UNC Charlotte.

Lobbying and Democracy: The Voice of Communication

Organised by Øyvind Ihlen, University of Oslo; Anna Shavit, Charles Uuniversity; Chiara Valentini, University of Aarhus; Scott Davidson, University of Leicester.

This post-conference has been built on the recent collaborations by members of the EUPRERA Network on Public Affairs & Lobbying in Europe. The papers and discussions demonstrated strong consensus on the value of researching lobbying as communication. In addition to colleagues from EUPRERA the event attracted scholars from the US, Mexico and Australia, and the event sponsored talk of possible new international collaborations. It was also agreed that a post-conference on lobbying will be proposed for Washington DC next year. Look out for more details in the next few months.

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Should you need more insights, please contact Virginia Villa (dpra@euprera.org).