Digital Publics:
New Generation, New Media,
New Rules

22nd International
Public Relations Symposium
BLEDCOM 2015 - July 3 & 4, 2015 SLEEPING (WITH THE) MEDIA  


BledCom will be held on July 4 & July 5, 2014 at Golf Hotel Bled, in Bled, Slovenia.

You can download a the program from here: 

BledCom newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter in the field below

Friday 4th July

8:00 - 9:00
9:00 - 9:15
Welcome address

Prof. dr. Bojko Bučar, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana

Opening remarks


D. Verčič, A. Tkalac Verčič, K. Sriramesh & J. White

9:15 - 9:45
Bridging the gap between academia and practice as a hallmark of professionalism


Stephen Waddington, Ketchum & CIPR, UK

Partner: Zavarovalnica Triglav

9:45 - 10:00
Looking for digital in public relations


Dejan Verčič, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Ana Tkalac Verčič, University of Zagreb, (Croatia), Krishnamurty Sriramesh, Purdue University (USA)

10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 11:00
Parallel paper session 1A

Chair: Ana Tkalac Verčič

Does social media usage matter? An analysis of online practices and digital media perceptions of communication practitioners in Europe


  • Angeles Moreno, University Rey Juan Carlos (Spain)
  • Christina Navarro, University Rey Juan Carlos (Spain)
  • Ralph Tench, Leeds Metropolitan University (UK)
  • Ansgar Zerfass, University of Leipzig (Germany) & BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo (Norway)

Digital publics: Tracking them down and reaching out to them


  • Kenneth D. Plowman,  Brigham Young University, Utah (USA)
  • Beki Winchell , Brigham Young University, Utah (USA)
  • Robert I. Wakefield, Brigham Young University, Utah (USA)

Smartphones, publics, and OPR: Do publics want to engage?


  • Ruth Avidar, The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College (Israel)
  • Yaron Ariel, The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College (Israel)
  • Vered Malka, The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College (Israel)
  • Eilat Chen Levy, The University of Haifa (Israel)
10:15 - 11:00
Parallel paper session 1B

Chair: Krishnamurthy Sriramesh

Offline goes online: does the Internet implement or supplement our communication?


  • Ave Tampere, Amsterdam University (The Netherlands)
  • Kaja Tampere, Tallinn University (Estonia)

Organizational orientation to dialogue with digital publics: Developing measure for online social environment


  • Stefania Romenti, IULM University, Milan (Italy)
  • Grazia Murtarelli, IULM University, Milan (Italy)
  • Chiara Valentini, Aarhus University (Denmark)

When diplomacy goes viral


  • Anne Chermak Dillen, Dillen Associates, San Francisco (USA)
11:00 - 12:00
Parallel paper session 2A

Chair: Jon White

CSR Communication, dialogue strategies and social media – an empirical investigation of top corporations’ use of social media


  • Ward van Zoonen, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
  • Chiara Valentini, Aarhus University (Denmark)
  • Wim J. L. Elving, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

Caught between two worlds: CSR activities of Swiss corporate foundations


  • Daria Tamagni,  Università della Svizzera Italiana (Switzerland)

How will the national broadband network (NBN) project affect the digital divide in Australia?


  • Ivor King, The University of Technology, Sydney (Australia)

‘Stillborn, still loved’: How ICTs break the taboo to offer emotional support


  • Roxana Maiorescu, Emerson College (USA)
11:00 - 12:00
Parallel paper session 2B

Chair: Franzisca Weder

The imperative of authentic public relations in the online era. A sociological argument.


  • Anabella-Maria Tarnovan, University of Sibiu (Romania)

Truth and conformism in communication on social media


  • Yanick Farmer, Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada)

Criticizing companies on Facebook – A qualitative study on motives and situational factors for negative electronic word-of-mouth in online social networks


  • Sascha Himmelreich, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz (Germany)
  • Sabine Einwiller, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz (Germany)

Gender and politics: Patriarchal discourse on social media


  • Kamil Demirhan, Hacettepe Üniversity (Turkey)
  • Derya Çakır Demirhan, Bülent Ecevit Üniversity (Turkey)
12:00 - 13:00
Parallel paper session 3A

Chair: Don Stacks

Converging professions? A comparative analysis of the shifting dynamics between public relations and journalism in Austria and New Zealand


  • Kay Weaver, University of Waikato (New Zealand)
  • Franzisca Weder, University of Klagenfurt (Austria)

Public relations for the public good: The impact of executive personal branding on non-profit perception, communications and fundraising


  • Lynnette Nolan, Emerson College, MA (USA)

Cleaning up or polluting the media commons? An analysis of the interaction of public relations advisers with Wikipedia using Ostrom’s institutional analysis and design framework


  • Gareth Thompson, University of the Arts London (UK)

Panacea for the public sphere? The use of social media in the public sector in the UK


  • Sarah Williams, University of Wolverhampton (UK)
12:00 - 13:00
Parallel paper session 3B

Chair: Betteke van Ruler

The anatomy of a spokesperson in an era of radical transparency


  • Ronél Rensburg, University of Pretoria (South Africa)

Parliamentary website as a communicative mechanism for citizen participation in e-governance


  • Suzana Žilič Fišer, University of Maribor (Slovenia)
  • Sandra Bašič Hrvatin, University of Primorska (Slovenia)

Listening to digital publics: investigating citizen’s voice and engagement within Italian municipalities Facebook pages


  • Alessandro Lovari, University of Sassari (Italy)
  • Lorenza Parisi, University of Sassari (Italy)

Digital publics: New generation, new media, new rules


  • Kiranjit Kaur, Universiti Teknologi MARA (Malaysia)
13:00 - 14:15
14:15 - 15:00
Stakeholder relationships governance improves when organizations listen to publics before they decide


Chair: Toni Muzi Falconi

Toni Muzi Falconi, Methodos, Italy, & NYU New York, USA

Exploring the transition from interpersonal to interorganizational listening

Emilio Galli Zugaro, Allianz, Germany, Italy, & Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

Identifying and disseminating an organization’s listening policy, the case of Allianz

Joao Duarte, ENEL, Spain, & Superior School of Mass Communication and Media Arts Master on Strategic Public Relations Management, Lisbon, Portugal

Identifying stakeholder networks, understanding their interactions and dealing with them proactively: Reflections from the case of ENEL


15:00 - 15:30
Foreign Policy and Digital Diplomacy – German experiences


Vito Cecere, Chief Information Officer (CIO), German Foreign Office

Partner: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

15:30 - 16:00
SOCIAL BUSINESS: Patterns in achieving social business success by leading and pioneering organizations


Tihomir Cirkvenčić, IBM

Partner: IBM Slovenia

16:00 - 16:15
16:15 - 17:00
Social media as social capital: A view from business prespective


Chair: Dejan Verčič

David Rozman, Si.mobil, Slovenia:

Pierre Bourdieu's social capital and social media

Ana Plut, Si.mobil, Slovenia:  

Si.mobil's social media evolution

Toni Gril, Aragon, Slovenia:

Social media track

17:00 - 18:00
Toward standards for social media research, ethics, and policy


Chair: Don W. Stacks

Shannon A. Bowen, University of South Carolina, USA and Don W. Stacks, University of Miami, USA

Setting standards for public relations social media

Melissa D. Dodd, University of Central Florida, USA

Organizational social media policies: Developments in practice and research

Marcus Messner, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA and Flora Hung-Baesecke, Hong-Kong Baptist University, HK/China

A comparative analysis of social media uses and policies of nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Hong Kong

19:30 - 20:00

Degustation of high quality, Slovenian made, spirits and liqueurs

Provided by: Krucefix

20:00 - 22:00

Saturday 5th July

9:00 - 9:30
From mass to digital elites. Who are the top »prosumers« and why does this matter?


Sorin Adam Matei, Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue University, USA

9:30 - 9:45
9:45 - 10:30
Parallel paper session 4A

Chair: Ansgar Zerfass

The reflective communication scrum: The new kid on the block?


  • Betteke van Ruler, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

Digital natives attitude toward news sources


  • Sandra Veinberg, RISEBA, Riga (Latvia)

Trust and perception of credibility of the media among young people


  • Suzana Žilič Fišer, University of Maribor (Slovenia)
  • Katja Udir Mišič, University of Maribor (Slovenia)
9:45 - 10:30
Parallel paper session 4B

Chair: Timothy Coombs

Towards greater resilience:  The role of social media in crisis management and recovery


  • Jon White, University of Reading (UK)

CEO-communication as public relations? Defining moments of communication in CEO-CEO-interactions


  • Franzisca Weder, University of Klagenfurt (Austria)
  • Deborah Zani, University of Klagenfurt (Austria)

Transforming interpersonal relations and social experiences of digital publics - public relations’ “contribution”


  • Chiara Valentini, Aarhus University (Denmark)
10:30 - 11:15
Parallel paper session 5A

Chair: Shannon Bowen

Application of the use of ICTs on research methods to ensure sustainability of programs


  • Sabrina Page, Walter State Community College (USA)
  • Karen Freberg, University of Louisville (USA)
  • Gary J. Skolits, University of Tennessee (USA)

Complaints in social media – Intercultural differences complaining and complaint management


  • Sabine Einwiller, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz (Germany)
  • Sarah Steilen, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz (Germany)

HRM practices for different generations – what matters is digital age not digital nativity


  • Nina Pološki Vokić, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
  • Maja Vidović, University of Zagreb (Croatia)
10:30 - 11:15
Parallel paper session 5B

Chair: Ronél Rensberg

The perception of relationship in social media between public relations professionals and their audiences


  • Francine Charest, University Laval, Québec (Canada)

New digital publics: Acquisition and preservation of authentic information in a digital age


  • Tatjana Hajtnik, the National of Archives of the Republic of Slovenia (Slovenia)
  • Karmen Uglešić, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia (Slovenia)
  • Aleš Živkovič, University of Maribor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (Slovenia)

The effects of mHealth applications on firm reputation: A customer-oriented perspective


  • Cigdem Sahin, Uskudar University, Istambul (Turkey)
11:15 - 12:00
Parallel paper session 6A

Chair: Chiara Valentini

Does integrated reporting signify the end of financial communication as we know it? A stakeholder perspective from South Africa


  • Ronél Rensburg, University of Pretoria (South Africa)
  • Elsamari Botha, University of Cape Town (South Africa)

Corporate vs. non-profit social media guidelines: an empirical evaluation


  • Morana Fudurić, University of Zagreb (Croatia)

Quantity instead of quality? Different phases of social media communication professionalization in Portugal and Germany


  • Anne Linke, University of Leipzig (Germany
  • Evandro Oliveira, University of Minho (Portugal)&University of Leipzig (Germany)
11:15 - 12:00
Parallel paper session 6B

Chair: Kenneth D. Plowman

Social network site users and political participation in Kyrgyzstan


  • Elira Turdubaeva, Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University, Kyrgyzstan

Le Tweet Stratégique: Use of twitter in the PR strategies of French politicians


  • Alex Frame, University of Burgundy (France)
  • Gilles Brachotte, University of Burgundy (France)

Between Big Brother and big data- How our networking culture depends on more openness — and exposes us to more risk


  • Mark Dillen, Dillen Associates, San Francisco (USA)


12:00 - 13:15
13:15 - 14:45
Meet the digital naturals: New media, modern democracy


Opening panel address:  Philip Young (Lund University, Sweden)

Meet the digital naturals: Faxes, fridges and the future of PR

Marja Åkerström, Lund University, Sweden

Digital naturals, procedural rhetoric and the gamification of democracy 

Henrik Merkelsen, Lund University, Sweden

Sara von Platen, Lund University, Sweden

The role of communication professionals in the digital age

Howard Nothhaft & Jens Seiffert, Lund University, Sweden

The missing media, the procedural rhetoric of computer games: A Bogostian perspective

Nils Gustafsson, Lund University, Sweden

”We have parallel cultures now.” Age, internal competition and social media strategies of Swedish parliamentarians

Closing panel address: Timothy Coombs, University of Central Florida

How digital media remodels strategic communication: Deep and reflexive views from NEMO

14:45 - 15:00
15:00 - 15:45
The beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning for digital public relations?


Chair: Philip Young

Contributors: Stephen Waddington, Timothy Coombs, Betteke van Ruler and Anne Linke.

15:45 - 16:15
Grunig Top BledCom 2014 Paper Award
15:45 - 16:15
Reflections on the »New BledCom« and evaluation from participants

Dejan Verčič, Ana Tkalac Verčič, Krishnamurty Sriramesh & Jon White

19:00 - 21:00