Institute for Public Relations BledCom Special Prize

The IPR Global Commission supports and promotes research that expands management tools by which organizations can more effectively execute their global public relations programs. Any paper accepted by the BledCom Symposium is eligible for the special prize. An IPR panel of judges chose the winning paper from those submitted by scholars, researchers and graduate students. The winner paper is published on the Institute website.

The Bledcom organizers and the Institute for Public Relations hope the new prize will further stimulate cooperation between the key European and US organizations dedicated to PR research and education, and between scholars and professionals as well.

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Past Winners

[2010] Bo Laursen and Chiara Valentini

Bo Laursen & Chiara Valentini (University of Aarhus, Denmark)

This paper deals with the media relations activities performed in the Council of the European Union and more specifically explores the communication tasks and practices of press officers in the Press Service of that institution.

PDF: Communicating the EU to the Media: The Delicate Role of Press Officers at the Council of the European Union

[2009] Holger Sievert and Stefan Porter

At the BledCom 2009 Symposium, July 3-4 at Lake Bled, Slovenia, the Institute for Public Relations and its Commission on Global Public Relations Research presented a €500 Special Prize recognizing the best new research to help practitioners understand how and why the culture of a country or region is an essential variable influencing how public relations is practiced there.

Winning Paper

An Expanded View from the Corner Office – Further Discussions and Research on the Global Navigation of International Corporate Communications
PDF: An Expanded View from the Corner Office

The significance of international corporate communications is growing rapidly, and the complexity associated with it is increasing almost exponentially. But systematic understanding of international corporate communications, even in the corner offices of the PR industry’s top management, is not well developed.

There is no comprehensive interlinking of PR knowledge with relevant expertise derived from other disciplines. Anyone who wants to position specific content through specific institutions by means of specific people in specific media in a specific country needs expertise on all those levels. Similarly, anyone who tries to do this on the internet cannot simply rely on English as the “lingua franca,” but must likewise consider many communicative specifics of individual target countries.

This essay will illustrate the status quo in this area through examples and propose a heuristic analytical grid, along with its interdisciplinary application using the example of media relations. It will conclude with a few basic considerations about the future of cross-border corporate communications and a resolution of the scenarios depicted in the introduction.

Finalist Papers

Cultural Diplomacy as a Form of International Communication
By Marta Ryniejska – Kiełdanowicz
PDF: Cultural Diplomacy as a Form of International Communication

This paper presents the term of Cultural Diplomacy, which is quite new in the domain of Polish foreign policy and in the field of international public relations. Although this term is used increasingly by political scientists, communications experts as well as politicians, it is relatively little known. The concepts of public and cultural diplomacy are intertwined with the concept of “branding” or to put it simply brand management. It may be assumed that the basic principles in building the brand of a country are the same as in the commercial sphere of identity building. Art and culture are in the forefront of many countries’ promotional efforts. These countries recognize that showing their cultural heritage provides them with an opportunity of showing who they are, creating a positive image, thus helping to achieve their political aims.

Transcending Boundaries: The Public Relations Practitioner as Cultural Mediator
By Michèle Schoenberger-Orgad
PDF: Transcending Boundaries: The Public Relations Practitioner as Cultural Mediator

This paper takes the circuit of culture model as the basis for a discussion of the public relations practitioner as cultural intermediary, transcending national and geographic boundaries by drawing on the cultural values of diverse audiences. It discusses the public relations strategies used by NATO in its successful campaign in Kosovo in 1999, with particular attention on the role of the NATO spokesman in the execution of public relations strategies, in terms of the “moments” of production and representation during the campaign. In analysing NATO’s communication strategies during the Kosovo Campaign, the paper examines the organization negotiated culture, identity and power in relation to diverse cultural and national audiences. It contends that the NATO spokesman’s public relations strategy attempted to create a transnational and European cultural framework. It argues that NATO achieved this through discursive positioning of the organization as a humanitarian military powerhouse, and so, at the same time, legitimized its own continuation as a viable supranational organization for the 21st century.