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Professor Jim Macnamara

Biography

Jim Macnamara joined UTS as Professor of Public Communication in 2007 after a distinguished 30-year career working in professional communication practice spanning journalism, public relations, advertising and media research. He was CEO of a leading marketing and corporate communication consultancy, MACRO Communication, for 13 years and then founded and headed the Asia Pacific office of the global media research firm, CARMA International, for a decade before selling the company to Media Monitors (now iSentia) in 2006. He is a leading researcher in relation to measurement and evaluation of public communication campaigns, social media use and impact, and the effectiveness and ethics of public relations and emerging practices such as 'native advertising', and he is widely published including six academic books, 10 professional practice books, and numerous academic journal articles, book chapters, research reports, and professional media articles. 

Jim served as Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UTS from 2011-2014 and currently is Associate Dean (Engagement and International) of the Faculty.

Professional

Jim Macnamara is a Fellow of the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) headquartered in London and Chair of the AMEC Academic Advisory Group. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute (FAMI) and a Certified Practicing Marketer (CPM), and a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (FPRIA).

He was named 'Communicator of the Year' by PRWeek Asia in 2002 for his research into measurement and evaluation of communication, and in 2012 he was named 'Educator of the Year' at the World Public Relations Forum.

He is an editorial board member of the International Journal of Strategic Communication, a regular reviewer of academic books and journal articles, and supervises a number of PhD students. 

Image of Jim Macnamara
Associate Dean (Engagement and International), ADMIN Faculty Administration
Professor, School of Communication
Core Member, CPCE - Centre for Creative Practices and the Cultural Economy
Associate Member, CCS - Cosmopolitan Civil Societies
BArts, GradCert in Writing, MArts, PhD
Fellow, Australian Marketing Institute
Fellow, Public Relations Institute of Australia
 
Phone
+61 2 9514 2334

Research Interests

Main areas of research:

  • Measurement and evaluation of public communication campaigns;
  • Social media use and impact on public communication including journalism, advertising and public relations) and the public sphere and politics (e.g., e-democracy and e-electioneering, citizen engagement and participation);
  • Public relations – the practice and social, cultural and political impact of PR and related fields including corporate communication.

Current

  • Organisational listening as an essential element of two-way communication, dialogue and engagement for government, corporate, and non-government organisations;
  • Social media use and impact on media and public communication;
  • The interrelationship between journalism and PR and its influence.
Can supervise: Yes

Teaching areas:

  • Communication theory and practice
  • Media studies
  • Social media
  • Government and political communication

Books

Macnamara, J.R. 2016, Organizational Listening: The Missing Essential in Public Communication, First, Peter Lang, New York.
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Organizations including government departments and agencies, corporations, and non-government organizations claim they want and practice two-way communication, dialogue, and engagement with citizens, customers, employees, and other stakeholders and publics. But do they in reality? Voice—speaking up—is recognized as fundamental for democracy, representation, and social equity. But what if organizations are not listening? This book reports findings of a two-year, three-continent study that show that public and private sector organizations devote substantial and sometimes massive resources to construct an 'architecture of speaking' through advertising, PR and other public communication practices, but listen poorly, sporadically, and sometimes not all. Beyond identifying a 'crisis of listening', this landmark study proposes that organizations need to create an architecture of listening to regain trust and re-engage people whose voices are unheard or ignored. It presents a compelling case to show that organizational listening is essential for healthy democracy, organization legitimacy, business sustainability, and social equity and brings benefits to organizations, their stakeholders, and society.
Macnamara, J. 2014, The 21st Century Media (R)evolution: Emergent Communication Practices, 2nd edition, Peter Lang, New York.
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This book examines the major changes taking place in media today, including the phenomenon of Web 2.0 and social media, and expertly synthesizes competing theories and the latest data, including international research from fast-growing markets such as China and Taiwan as well as the US, UK, Europe and Australia, to provide a comprehensive, holistic view of the twenty-first century media (r)evolution. The book identifies that the key changes are located in practices rather than technologies and that public communication practices are emergent in highly significant ways. After critical examining latest developments in digital and social media, it explores the implications for journalism, advertising, public relations and organisational and political communication.
Macnamara, J. 2014, Journalism and PR: Unpacking 'Spin', Stereotypes and Media Myths, First, Peter Lang, New York.
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The interrelationship between journalism and public relations (PR) is one of the most contentious in the field of media studies. Numerous studies have shown that 50-80 per cent of the content of mass media is significantly shaped by PR. But many editors, journalists and PR practitioners engage in a `discourse of denial', maintaining what critics call 'the dirty secret' of journalism and and PR. Others media practitioners engage in an accusatory `discourse of spin' and a `discourse of victimhood. On the other hand, PR practitioners say they help provide a voice for organizations, including those ignored by the media. Meanwhile, the growth of social media is providing a range of new opportunities for governments, corporations and organizations to create content and even their own media, increasing the channels and reach of PR. This book reviews 100 years of research into the interrelationship between journalism and PR and, based on in-depth interviews with senior editors, journalists and PR practitioners in several countries, presents new insights into the methods and extent of PR influence, its implications, and the need for transparency and change, making it a must read for researchers and students in media studies, journalism, public relations, politics, sociology and cultural studies.
Macnamara, J. 2012, Public Relations Theories, Practices, Critiques, First, Pearson Australia, Sydney.
A transtheoretical exploration of public relations drawing on systems orientated management theory which is the dominant US paradigm as well as psychological, semiotic, sociocultural, and critical perspectives, along with international case studies and applications, providing a comprehensive text for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students studying PR or related fields of public communication.
Macnamara, J. 2010, The 21st Century Media (R)evolution: Emergent Communication Practices, 1st, Peter Lang, New York, USA.
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This book synthesizes competing theories and disciplinary viewpoints and integrates existing as well as new research to provide a comprehensive, holistic view of the 21st century (r)evolution in media and public communication. The book identifies how major changes are located in practices rather than technologies and identifies 'emergent' practices that will significantly shape the future of the public sphere, journalism, advertising, public relations and companies and organisations.
Macnamara, J. 2006, Media and Male Identity, 1, Palgrave Macmillan, UK.
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A half-century of research has identified that mass media portrayals of women are influential in shaping their self-image and self-esteem, as well as men's and societies' views of women. Comparatively few studies have examined mass media portrayals of men and male identity, and gender studies have often assumed these to be unproblematic. But, in a post-industrial era of massive economic, technological and social change, research shows mass media are projecting and propagating new images of male identity from Atlas Syndrome workaholics and 'deadbeat dads' to 'metrosexuals' and men with "a feminine side" with potentially significant social implications.

Chapters

Macnamara, J.R. 2016, 'Socially integrating PR and operationalising an alternative approach' in L'Etang, J., McKike, D., Snow, N. & Xifra, J. (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Critical Public Relations, Routledge, London, pp. 335-348.
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This chapter contributes to critical thinking about public relations in two important ways. First, it reviews key literature and synthesizes the findings of several international research studies which reaffirm that claims made in the dominant paradigm of Excellence theory and other popular theories of PR and corporate communication for two-way interaction, dialogue, co-orientation, relationships, and even symmetry between organizations and their publics are largely illusory and require rethinking. Research involving a range or organizations shows that PR and 'strategic communication' are primarily implemented for dissemination of organization messages and persuasion and these approaches are continuing even in social media which explicitly advocate interactivity and sociality. Drawing on recent research and critical studies, this chapter calls for PR to facilitate the integration of organizations into society for mutual organization-public benefit, rather than contribute to power relations that privilege organizational interests. Second, in advocating a social integration model of public relations, this chapter takes an important step towards praxis, which Hegel, Marx and other founders of critical analysis advocated as part of criticism, by exploring how such an alternative model of PR might be operationalized. In doing so, it offers some answers to the critics' critics by advancing critical thinking towards practice, as well as contributing to critical PR theory.
Macnamara, J. & Crawford, R. 2014, 'Public Relations' in Bridget Griffen-Foley (ed), A Companion to the Australian Media, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Kew, Victoria, pp. 374-377.
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A compendium of 500 articles on the history and contemporary practice of media corporations, individuals, industries, audiences, policy, and regulation in relation to Australian media from publication of the first Australian newspaper in 1803 to contemporary media developments.
Crawford, R. & Macnamara, J. 2014, 'An Agent of Change: PR in Early Twentieth-Century Australia' in Saint-John, B., Lamme, M.O. & L'Etang, J. (eds), Pathways to Public Relations: History Practice and Profession, Routledge, London, pp. 273-289.
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Crawford, R. & Macnamara, J. 2014, 'An agent of change: Public relations in early twentieth-century Australia' in Pathways to Public Relations: Histories of Practice and Profession, pp. 273-289.
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Broom, G.M. & Macnamara, J. 2009, 'Step Four: Evaluating the Program' in Broom, G.M. (ed), Cutlip & Center's Effective Public Relations - Tenth Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, United States, pp. 349-377.
Macnamara, J. 2008, 'Research for Planning and Evaluation' in Tymson, C., Lazar, P. & Lazar, R. (eds), The New Australian and New Zealand Public Relations Manual, Tymson Communications, Sydney, Australia, pp. 118-153.

Conferences

Macnamara, J.R. 2014, 'Being social: Missing pre-requisites for online engagement, exchange and inclusion', Refereed proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Annual Conference 2014, Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Annual Conference 2014, Swinburne University, Melbourne, pp. 1-20.
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Despite cautionary analyses and critiques by some scholars, cyberoptimism and what Steve Woolgar calls cyberbole continue to characterise much discussion of social media in the context of democratic politics (e-democracy) and citizen engagement and participation, and is evident in claims of emergence of the 'social organisation' and 'social business'. This paper synthesises the findings of three recent research studies, which show that the allegedly democratising social interaction and dialogic affordances of Web 2.0 are not being realised in many applications. Key missing prerequisites for engagement, exchange and inclusion are identified and highlighted as issues for attention in research and practice.
Macnamara, J.R. & Dessaix, A. 2014, 'The ethics of 'embedded' media content: Product placement and 'advertorial' on steroids', Refereed proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Annual Conference 2014, Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Annual Conference 2014, Australian and New Zealand Communication Association, Swinburne University, Melbourne, pp. 1-21.
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While product placement and 'advertorial' have been used by advertising and public relations for the best part of a century to place sponsored messages in media content in covert ways, a raft of new techniques and formats for 'embedding' marketing and promotional messages in media content are emerging which take these practices to a whole new level and raise major questions about media transparency and ethics. These go by a range of names including sponsored content, integrated content, and native advertising. This paper presents a critical analysis informed by a case study of a state government agency that, in its search for more effective approaches to health communication, uncovered a lack of definitions, guidelines, and transparency in a number of emerging media practices that warrant close attention by researchers, industry regulators, and professional bodies.
Macnamara, J. & Zerfass, A. 2012, 'Social media communication in organisations: The challenges of balancing openness, strategy and management', Refereed Proceedings of the 62nd Annual International Communication Association Conference, 62nd Annual International Communication Association Conference, International Communication Association, Phoenix, AZ, pp. 1-23.
Report of a survey of social media use by organisations in four Australasian countries, compared with data from a similar survey in Europe, showing use mainly for transmission of organisational messages, with a lack of interactivity, dialogue and engagement.
Macnamara, J. 2011, 'Filling the gap at the centre of social media strategy and management: Qualitative insights from Australasia', 61st Annual International Communication Association conference, Public Relations Division Panel Session, International Communication Association, Boston.
Macnamara, J. 2010, 'Trends in social media use in Australian political communication', Double Vision: Biennial International Australian Studies Association (InASA) conference, Double Vision: Biennial International Australian Studies Association (InASA) conference, Australian Studies Association (InASA), Sydney, pp. 1-28.
A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the use of social media by Australian politicians and major political parties during the 2010 federal election.
Macnamara, J. 2010, 'Four gaps in public relations scholarship and practice: The need for new approaches', Media Democracy and Change: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communications Association Annual Conference, Australian New Zealand Communications Association Annual Conference, Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), Canberra, ACT, Australia, pp. 1-18.
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Contemporary scholarship recognises the importance of diversity and open ongoing construction and reconstruction of knowledge to remain current and relevant. However, content analysis of fourteen contemporary public relations prescribed texts and reference books supports claims of a Western, and particularly a North American, dominant paradigm and identifies four problematic gaps in contemporary public relations scholarship. This article argues that these require significant shifts in epistemology as they are limiting the efficacy of practice in the Second Media Age of interactive social media and social networks, the social relevance of the practice, the education of future generations of practitioners, and potentially stifling theory-building. Addressing these four gaps will offer increased potential for public relations to expand its remit, influence, and reputation within organisations and societyalbeit in a reconfigured form responsive to the social, cultural and political environments in which it operates.
Macnamara, J. 2009, 'Media as practice 2.0: Towards a historical and integrated reconceptualisation of media', Australian Media Traditions 6th Biennial Conference: Internationalising Media History: From Australia to the World, University of Sydney, Sydney.
This paper argues that focusing on 'media as practice', as proposed by Nick Couldry (2004) reconceptualises media in a historical context and escapes the narrow framework of mass media theory which focuses on particular technologies of production and distribution, and accumulation and maintenance of mass audiences. Whereas other approaches to studying media focussed on political economy, media effects, texts, or audiences tend to narrowly examine either media production, distribution or consumption, a media as practice approach examines media as complex interrelated and integrated practices of production, distribution and consumption and affords understanding of media today which include citizen media and social media in which 'prosumers' or 'produsers' engage alongside traditional content producers and distributors.
Macnamara, J. 2009, 'Australian federal government online public consultation trials: Local learnings in e-democracy', Communication, Creativity and Global Citizenship: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2009, Australian New Zealand Communications Association Annual Conference, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, pp. 1006-1023.
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After its landslide victory in the 2007 Australian Federal election which was widely described as the YouTube election, the Rudd Labor government launched a series of trial public consultation blogs in 2008 as part of a commitment to e-democracy through the use of interactive Web 2.0 communication applications. At the same time, Barack Obama swept into power in the United States aided by Web 2.0 media including text messaging, blogs, YouTube, Twitter, and social networks such as Facebook which gained unprecedented levels of online political engagement. While e-democracy and e-government have been emerging concepts in many countries over more than a decade, these two experiences provide new information on the successes and challenges of online citizenship. This paper reports key findings of research into the Australian governments 2008 and early 2009 e-democracy efforts and compares these with US e-democracy initiatives including the Barack Obama presidential campaign and recent international research findings.
Macnamara, J. 2008, 'E-Electioneering: Use of new media in the 2007 Australian federal election', Power and Place: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2008, Australian New Zealand Communications Association Annual Conference, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand, pp. 1-21.
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Like the 2007-2008 US presidential primaries, the 2007 Australian federal election was described as 'the YouTube election' and an 'internet election' (Media Monitors, 2008). This followed studies of use of what are termed 'new media' for political communication in a number of campaigns including the 2000 US presidential election (Bentivegna, 2002, p. 50) and the 2004 US presidential election which was described as 'a critical turning point' (Xenos and Moy, 2007, p. 704). However, the development of web 2.01 internet media, expanding broadband, and other changes have overtaken many findings of previous research. Some of the most popular new media currently in use were 'invented' post-2004. The rapid rate of technological and social change makes new media research particularly time-bound and indicates that ongoing empirical studies and analysis are needed. This paper contributes to understanding of how new media are used in political communication and how they influence the public sphere (Habermas, 1989, 2006), particularly looking at public interaction and participation (Carpentier, 2007) which have been identified as key features of web 2.0 media and as requirements of an active public sphere, based on findings of a study conducted by the Australian Centre for Public Communication at the University of Technology Sydney during the 2007 Australian federal election.

Journal articles

Macnamara, J.R. 2016, 'Multiple intelligences and minds as attributes to reconfigure PR', Public Relations Review, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 249-257.
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The fields of business and management with which public relations interacts and in which it is often located are rife with concepts, models and theories on leadership, performance, and effectiveness. Recently these have turned attention to alleged multiple forms of intelligence, such as Howard Gardner's claims for eight types of intelligence, which have been expanded by others to as many as 150. Gardner also proposed that humans have five minds and claimed that application of these diverse intelligences and minds can enhance human interactions and relationships. This article critically reviews the potential of these concepts and theories to reconfigure PR, identifying some useful insights, but also raising fundamental theoretical questions.
Macnamara, J.R. 2016, 'The work and 'architecture of listening': Addressing gaps in organization-public communication', International Journal of Strategic Communication, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 133-148.
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Listening is extensively discussed in relation to interpersonal communication, in therapeutic contexts such as counselling and, to some extent, in the context of intra-organizational communication conducted as part of human resources management. However, listening is surprisingly and problematically overlooked in the large body of literature on organization-public communication including government, political, corporate, and marketing communication and related practices such as public relations. Based on critical analysis of relevant literature and primary research among 36 organizations in three countries, this analysis identifies a 'crisis of listening' in organization-public communication and proposes strategies to address gaps in theory and practice including attention to the work of listening and the creation of an architecture of listening in organizations, which can offer significant stakeholder, societal, and organizational benefits.
Macnamara, J.R., Lwin, M., Adi, A. & Zerfass, A. 2016, ''PESO' media strategy shifts to 'SOEP': Opportunities and ethical dilemmas', Public Relations Review, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 377-385.
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It is well established that the internet, and particularly the unprecedented growth of social media, are changing the mediascape and media practices in advertising and marketing, public relations, and journalism. Some of these changes are leading to convergence of genre and practices as well as the much-discussed convergence of technologies of media. This analysis focuses on the first two of these types of convergence, drawing on data from the first Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor, a survey of 1,200 PR and communication practitioners in 23 Asia-Pacific countries. The findings reveal major shifts from the traditional paid, earned, shared, owned (PESO) model of media use by organizations to an emerging 'SOEP model' (shared, owned, earned, paid). This affords new opportunities for practitioners, but also poses practical and ethical dilemmas.
Macnamara, J. 2016, 'Organizational listening: Addressing a major gap in public relations theory and practice', Journal of Public Relations Research, vol. 28, no. 3-4, pp. 146-169.
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An extensive body of literature theorizes public relations as two-way communication, dialogue, and relationships between organizations and their publics. While there are alternative views including public relations as advocacy, most theories emphasize dialogue, co-orientation, and relationships incorporating satisfaction, trust, and control mutuality – even to the extent of symmetry. Critical perspectives propose a 'sociocultural turn' that further emphasizes stakeholders' and societal interests. This analysis draws on a three-country study that reveals a major theory-practice gap and proposes a significant expansion of public relations theory in relation to listening to realize normative notions of public relations and give effect to claims of dialogue and engagement.
Macnamara, J.R. & Camit, M. 2016, 'Effective CALD community health communication through research and collaboration: An exemplar case study', Communication Research and Practice.
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Health communication is identified as an important strategy in achieving health outcomes, particularly in supporting preventative approaches to combatting disease and ill-health. In Australia's multicultural society, health communication needs to address a number of CALD communities in order to achieve health objectives and social equity. While cross-cultural and intercultural communication have been widely studied, research shows that health communication often fails to achieve its objectives, particularly in CALD communities. This analysis examines a case study that highlights three key ingredients of effective health communication targeting CALD communities – in-depth qualitative formative research, a collaborative community-based approach, and cultural competency. The case study reveals how a culture-centred approach (CDA) and social ecology model of health communication achieved results that exceeded targets by up to 100% on a relatively small budget, but also revealed gaps in cultural competency that disadvantage some groups. This study contributes to health communication theory and practice, as well as public communication generally, by providing insights into ways to increase effectiveness as well as cost-efficiency, which in turn creates scalability and sustainability.
Macnamara, J. 2015, 'Breaking the measurement and evaluation deadlock: A new approach and model', Journal of Communication Management, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 371-387.
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Noting findings by Michaelson and Stacks in the US and Zerfass and colleagues in Europe that research-based measurement and evaluation of public relations and corporate communication are still not widely applied despite more than a century of discussion and intense focus since the 1970s, this paper explores the causes of this deadlock and presents an alternative approach and model to overcome identified obstacles and provide new insights to advance this important area of theory and practice. Based on critical analysis of literature and M&E reports and ethnography, this paper presents a new approach and model for M&E to help practitioners overcome these obstacles
Macnamara, J.R. 2015, 'The work and 'architecture of listening': Requisites for ethical organization-public communication', Ethical Space: the international journal of communication ethics, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 29-37.
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Communication has been identified as 'the organizing element of human life and the basis of human society by sociologists and communication theorists. However, human communication is widely conflated with voice and speaking, particularly in relation to public communication in its various forms including political, organizational, corporate, and marketing communication and cognate disciplinary fields such as public relations. The essential corollary of affording and exercising voice – listening – is extensively discussed in an interpersonal and intra-organizational context, but it is little examined in terms of organization-public interaction, which is a feature of industrialized societies. This article critically examines this gap in the literature and reports findings of a pilot study that identify an important direction for further research essential to enhancing democracy, social justice and equity, and the ethics of organization-public communication.
Macnamara, J.R. 2015, 'The Hazelwood coal mine fire: Lessons from crisis miscommunication and misunderstanding', Case Studies in Strategic Communication, vol. 4, pp. 1-20.
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When a bushfire ignited the Hazelwood coal mine in the Latrobe Valley 150 kilometers (95 miles) east of Melbourne, Australia in 2014 and burned for 45 days sending toxic smoke and ash over the adjoining town of Morwell, crisis communication was required by the mine company, health and environment authorities, and the local city council. What ensued exposed major failures in communication, which resulted in widespread community anger and a Board of Inquiry. This critical analysis examines public communication during the crisis and the subsequent clean-up, and reports several key findings that inform crisis communication theory and practice.
Macnamara, J.R. 2015, 'The continuing convergence of journalism and PR: New insights for ethical practice from a three-country study of senior practitioners', Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly: devoted to research and commentary in journalism and mass communication, vol. 93, no. 1, pp. 118-141.
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The influence of public relations on media content has been shown to be substantial, and research indicates that it is growing through new media practices. However the interrelationship between journalism and PR remains obscured by paradoxical discourses and stereotypes such as 'spin doctors'. This article identifies gaps in the literature and current understandings, and reports findings from in-depth interviews with senior editors, journalists, and PR practitioners in three countries that provide new insights into how the fields of practice interact which debunk some myths, but also expose a need for improved transparency and standards to ensure ethical media practice.
Macnamara, J. 2015, 'Book Review: International Public Relations and Public Diplomacy: Communication and Engagement, edited by Guy Golan, Sung-Un Yang, and Dennis Kinsey', Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, vol. 92, no. 4, pp. 1005-1007.
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Macnamara, J.R. 2015, 'The work and 'architecture of listening': Requisites for ethical organization-public communication', Ethical Space: the international journal of communication ethics, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 29-37.
View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Communication has been identified as 'the organizing element of human life and the basis of human society by sociologists and communication theorists. However, human communication is widely conflated with voice and speaking, particularly in relation to public communication in its various forms including political, organizational, corporate, and marketing communication and cognate disciplinary fields such as public relations. The essential corollary of affording and exercising voice – listening – is extensively discussed in an interpersonal and intra-organizational context, but it is little examined in terms of organization-public interaction, which is a feature of industrialized societies. This article critically examines this gap in the literature and reports findings of a pilot study that identify an important direction for further research essential to enhancing democracy, social justice and equity, and the ethics of organization-public communication.
Macnamara, J. 2014, 'Emerging international standards for measurement and evaluation of public relations: A critical analysis', Public Relations Inquiry, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 7-28.
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A critical analysis of international standards for measurement and evaluation of public relations and corporate communication, including the lack of rigorous methodology and a gap between scholarly research and practice.
Macnamara, J. & Kenning, G. 2014, 'E-electioneering 2007-2013: Trends in online political campaigns over three elections', Media International Australia, vol. 152, pp. 57-74.
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A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the use of social media by politicians and the two major political parties, in the 2013 Australian federal election, compared with social media use in the 2007 and 2010 Australian national election campaigns, with particular focus on one-way transmission and broadcasting of information versus interactive engagement.
Macnamara, J. 2014, 'Journalism-PR relations revisited: The good news, the bad news, and insights into tomorrow's news', Public Relations Review, vol. 40, pp. 739-750.
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Extensive research over the past 100 years has shown that the interrelationship between journalism and PR is tensioned and paradoxical, with negative perceptions of PR among journalists and trivialization and demonization of PR as 'spin' contrasted by claims of 'symbiosis' and evidence that 40-75 per cent of media content is significantly influenced by PR. However, studies have been predominantly quantitative and most predate the recent `crisis in journalism and rapid growth of new media formats. This article reports in-depth interviews with senior editors, journalists and PR practitioners in three countries that provide new insights into journalism-PR relations today and identify trajectories for future research, education and practice.
Macnamara, J. 2014, 'Organisational listening: A vital missing element in public communication and the public sphere', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 15, no. 1.
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Report of a pilot study of public communication by organisations that shows allegedly communicative functions including public relations, involve considerable and often massive resources devoted to creating an architecture of speaking and doing the work of speaking on behalf of organisations including government departments and agencies, corporations, and institutions. However, this research raises serious questions about the extent to which organisations listen to those who seek to engage with them. Further, it suggests that organisations cannot effectively listen unless they have an architecture of listening or do the work of listening, and identifies cultural, structural, political and technological components to create this vital missing element in public communication and the public sphere.
Macnamara, J.R. 2014, 'The 'toe bone to the head bone' logic model to connect public relationsand corporate communication to organisation outcomes', Prism, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1-152.
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Public relations and communication academics have been advocating evaluation for more than 30 years, but studies show that rigorous evaluation is still under-developed and under-utilised. When evaluation is done, it continues to be largely focused on measuring outputs, such as the volume and tone of publicity, impressions, and web page views and downloads, with much less identification of outcomes, according to research studies. Most importantly of all, public relations/communication outcomes are rarely causally linked to overarching organisation outcomes. In the current global discussion of standards for public relations evaluation, fresh attention has been turned to supporting organisation outcomes, but public relations evaluation literature still does not have much to say about how this can be done. This conceptual paper seeks to make a contribution to this problematic gap in measurement and evaluation literature by presenting a customised application of a logic model approach to planning and reporting that has been successful in the case study reported and which potentially can make a useful contribution to bridging the gap between communication outcomes and organisation and business outcomes.
Macnamara, J.R. & Watson, T. 2014, 'The Rise and Fall of IPRA in Australia: 1959 to 2000', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 23-36.
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The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) was established in 1955 as the lead international organisation for the development and promotion of public relations as a professional communication practice (L'Etang, 2004). Involvement by Australian practitioners in IPRA began in 1959 and became intensive during a 15-year period from 1982 to the late-1990s when a number of Australians took global leadership roles. Drawing from the IPRA archive and recent interviews by the authors with prominent practitioners in Europe and Australia, who were involved in IPRA's management and leadership, this article establishes the narrative of international engagement by the burgeoning Australian PR sector and explores the aims and effects of its involvement in IPRA. It concludes that IPRA's impact on the development of the Australian public relations sector and Australian influence on IPRA was largely ephemeral, limited to a decade from 1983 to 1993, and reveals some problematic aspects of industry practice and governance. Nevertheless, Australian practitioners made use of both the symbolism of international endorsement and international connections established through IPRA to transform the national PR sector from a predominantly local focus to an increasingly international outlook at a time when public relations services were expanding rapidly worldwide
Macnamara, J. 2013, 'Beyond voice: Audience-making and the work and architecture of listening', Continuum, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 160-175.
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An anlysis of organisational use of social media in the context of listening which identifies a lack of an architecture of listening and scant resources devoted to the work of listening in organisations, with most infrastructure and work devoted to speaking.
Macnamara, J. & Crawford, R. 2013, 'Australia Day: A study of PR as cultural intermediaries', Continuum, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 294-310.
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An analysis of the creation and promotion of Australia Day which shows the use of public relations by governments and various interests to create and maintain Australia's national day over the past century, rather than organic or spontaneous expression of nationalism and national identity.
Johnston, J. & Macnamara, J. 2013, 'Public relations literature and scholarship in Australia: A brief history of change and diversification', PRism OnLine PR Journal, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 1-16.
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This article traces the development of public relations literature and scholarship in Australia from the 1950s to the present day, identifying key developments in local research, courses of teaching and publishing. It reports that, after an initial period of largely imported texts and scholarship, a substantial body of scholarship has developed locally with its own distinctive characteristics.
Macnamara, J. & Crawford, R. 2013, 'The construction of Australia Day: a study of public relations as 'new cultural intermediaries'', Continuum-Journal Of Media & Cultural Studies, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 294-310.
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Australia Day is a foremost expression of Australian culture and identity, but historical and critical analysis shows that, far from being an organic or spontaneous expression and celebration of identity and culture, Australia's national day has been man
Macnamara, J. & Zerfass, A. 2012, 'Social media communication in organisations: The challenges of balancing openness, strategy and management', International Journal of Strategic Communication, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 287-308.
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A comparative study of social media use by private and public sector organisations in three highly developed European countries and three highly developed Australasian countries examining the main social media used, objectives and governance including staff policies and guidelines, training and monitoring. The study found a lack of governance and a focus on 'control' and the pursuit of organisational objectives, rather than dialogue and engagement with publics and stakeholders.
Macnamara, J. 2012, 'The global shadow of functionalism and Excellence theory: An analysis of Australasian PR', Public Relations Inquiry, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 367-402.
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A mixed method analysis of public relations scholarship and practice in Australasia (Australia, New Zealand and SE Asia) drawing on autoethnographic observations over an extended period, supported by empirical analysis of the content of contemporary PR texts and reference books which shows the continuing existence of a dominant paradigm grounded in US functionalism and organisation-centric models.
Crawford, R. & Macnamara, J. 2012, 'An 'outside-in' PR history: Identifying the role of PR in history, culture and sociology', Public Communication Review, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 45-59.
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Historical, social and cultural understanding of public relations in Australia is limited because most histories of PR examine practices specifically labelled `public relations and almost all study PR from `inside out that is, from the subjective perspective of PR practitioners. This article reports an alternative approach to PR history which applies historical analysis of major events, icons, and institutions in society to identify the methods of their construction politically, culturally and discursively. This article specifically reports historical and critical analysis of the creation and celebration of Australias national day, Australia Day from soon after the British flag was hoisted in Sydney on 26 January 1788 to the sophisticated pageantry of the nations bicentenary in 1988 and its entry to the new millennium in 2000. This research challenges a `blind spot in social science and humanities disciplines in relation to public relations by showing that the practices of PR are deeply embedded in the social and cultural construction of societies. This study confirms Taylor and Kents claim that all nation building campaigns include large communication components that are essentially public relations campaigns
Macnamara, J. 2012, 'Review of C. Smith, Presidential Campaign Communication: The Quest for the White House', Discourse and Communication, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 241-243.
Book review
Macnamara, J. 2012, 'Corporate and organisational diplomacy: An alternative paradigm to PR', Journal of Communication Management, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 312-325.
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Purpose A number of scholars including Benno Signitzer and Jacquie L'Etang have proposed public diplomacy as an alternative model to describe and/or inform the practices of public relations. However, international relations and political science scholars claim major differences between public diplomacy and PR, and few studies have sought to reconcile these claims and counter-claims. The purpose of this paper is to report a comparative analysis of key concepts and principles of public diplomacy. Design/methodology/approach This article reports a comparative analysis of key concepts and principles of public diplomacy and the new diplomacy as described by Shaun Riordan and public relations (PR) as defined in Excellence theory and other contemporary models of PR to identify commonalties as well as divergences, and discusses how these can inform PR theory and practice. Findings This analysis shows similarities between these fields of practice, as well as six unique concepts and principles of public diplomacy and new diplomacy that inform corporate diplomacy and organisational diplomacy as an alternative paradigm to public relations.
Macnamara, J. 2012, 'Journalism and public relations: Unpacking myths and stereotypes', Australian Journalism Review, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 35-52.
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An analysis of the influence of public relations on journalism and news media, reviewing 80 years of quantitative research and reporting an exploratory qualitative study of the ambiguous and sometimes vexed relationship between journalists and PR practitioners.
Crawford, R. & Macnamara, J. 2012, 'Massaging the Media: Australia Day and the Emergence of Public Relations', Media International Australia incorporating Culture & Policy, vol. 144, no. August, pp. 27-36.
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The status of Australia Day has long generated mixed responses - from patriotic flag-waving, to apathy, to outright hostility. Proponents of 26 January consequently have engaged in various public relations activities in order to promote Australia Day and to establish its credentials as the national day. From the early nineteenth century through to the present, local media outlets have had a dynamic relationship with Australia Day. Yet while they have been active proponents of Australia Day, their support was not unconditional. The emergence of various bodies with the specific aim of promoting Australia Day would alter this relationship, with the media becoming a potential adversary. As such, media relations assumed a more central function in the promotion of Australia Day. By charting the growth and development of media relations that have accompanied Australia Day celebrations, this study not only documents the evolution of media relations practice, but also reveals the extended history of public relations in Australia and its presence in everyday Australian life.
Macnamara, J., Sakinofsky, P.C. & Beattie, J.A. 2012, 'E-electoral engagement: How governments are using social media to try to engage/re-engage voters', Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 623-639.
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Governments worldwide are increasingly attempting to use the internet to engage citizens. After an initial focus on delivery of information and services via what technologists call Web 1.0, strategies referred to as âGovernment 2.0â and e-democracy have turned attention to using interactive Web 2.0-based âsocial mediaâ to engage citizens in consultation and participation to redress a concerning âdemocratic deficitâ and reinvigorate the public sphere. Even in countries with compulsory voting, such as Australia, electoral enrolment, voter turnout and formal voting are declining. While much focus has been given to expedient political use of social media during election campaigns, an understudied area is how disengaged citizens and youth can be encouraged to engage or re-engage in democratic participation on an ongoing basis. This article reports analysis of initiatives by national, state and territory electoral commissions in Australia and New Zealand to use social media to engage citizens in political participation.
Macnamara, J. 2012, 'Democracy 2.0: Can social media engage youth and disengaged citizens in the public sphere', Australian Journal of Communication, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 65-86.
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With the so-called 'Arab Spring' attributed at least in part to social media, communication scholars, sociologists, and political scientists concerned about a democratic deficit in many countries are looking optimistically to social media to reinvigorate the public sphere. However, research indicates that many claims in relation to social media are over-stated. This article reports critical analysis of five case studies of recent attempts by electoral management bodies in Australia and New Zealand to engage citizens in democratic participation that raises fundamental questions about the agonistic practices of social media and their relevance and role in representative and deliberative democracies.
Macnamara, J. 2012, 'Presidential Campaign Communication: The Quest for the White House', DISCOURSE & COMMUNICATION, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 241-243.
Macnamara, J. 2011, 'Daya Kishan Thussu, International Communication: A Reader. Abingdon: Routledge. 2010', Discourse and Communication, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 91-93.
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Macnamara, J. & Kenning, G. 2011, 'E-electioneering 2010: Trends in social media use in Australian political communication', Media International Australia, vol. 139, no. May, pp. 7-22.
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In the wake of the `turning point' 2004 US presidential election, the Obama campaign of 2008, the 2010 UK election and e-democracy movements globally, Australians went to the polls in 2010 in a media-hyped flurry of tweeting, YouTube videos, Facebook befriending and `liking', blogging and other social media activities. Following a study showing that the 2007 Australian election was not a `YouTube election', as claimed by many media and commentators, and that social media use in the campaign was mostly non-interactive promotional messaging, a study was undertaken during the 2010 federal election campaign to gain comparative data and updated insights. This article reports quantitative and qualitative content analysis of social media use by 206 federal political candidates and the two major political parties during the 2010 Australian election to identify trends in the volume of e-electioneering content and activity, as well as the main ways in which social media are being used in political communication.
Macnamara, J. 2011, 'Pre and post-election 2010 online: What happened to the conversation?', Communication, Politics, Culture, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 18-36.
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Study of use of social media by Australian federal politicians in the 60 days immediately following the 2010 election.
Macnamara, J. 2010, 'The quadrivium of online public consultation: Policy, culture, resources, technology', Australian Journal Of Political Science, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 227-244.
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A report of qualitative research examining the objectives, methods used, and learnings of online public consultation trials conducted by the Australian federal government in 2008 and early 2009 as part of its commitment to e-democracy or what others call government 2.0.
Macnamara, J. 2010, 'Remodelling media: The urgent search for new media business models', Media International Australia incorporating Culture & Policy, vol. 137, no. 11, pp. 20-35.
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A critical analysis of media business models to sustain media in the 21st century raning from new forms of advertising and subscription to charging for content behind 'paywalls'.
Macnamara, J. 2010, 'Public communication practices in the Web 2.0-3.0 mediascape: The case for PRevolution', PRism OnLine PR Journal, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 1-13.
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An analysis of the use of social media in public relations, particularly focussing on interactive applications in a Web 2.0 and emerging Web 3.0 environment.
Macnamara, J. & Crawford, R. 2010, 'Reconceptualising public relations in Australia: A historical and social re-analysis', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 17-34.
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An analysis of the history of public relations in Australia through a case study of the creation and promotion of Australia Day which shows PR deeply involved in the historical, social, and cultural fabric of society.
Macnamara, J. 2010, ''Emergent' media and public communication: Understanding the changing mediascape', Public Communication Review, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 1-16.
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An anlaysis of the emergence of new forms of media and how they are impacting public communication, emphasising changing practices as well as technologies.
Macnamara, J. 2010, 'Public relations and the social: How practitioners are using, or abusing, social media', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 11, pp. 1-13.
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An analysis of how public relations practitioners are using social media. Online journal article at http://www.pria.com.au/journal/categories?id=14
Macnamara, J. 2009, 'Public relations in the interactive age: New practices, not just new media', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 10, pp. 1-16.
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An analysis of public relations practice through content analysis of 10 media spokesperson training programs, reporting evidence of a 'control paradigm' of communication, with focus on "control" and "managing" messages and the media, and lack of two-way interactive communication.
Macnamara, J. 2008, 'Internet media and the public sphere: The 2007 Australian e-electioneering experience', Media International Australia incorporating Culture & Policy, vol. 129, no. November, pp. 7-19.
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Internet media have come under increasing examination since the early 1990s within a number of theoretical frameworks, including their use and potential influence in the public sphere of political discourse. Increasing use of internet media was identified in the 2000 and 2004 US presidential elections, with the latter being described as 'a critical turning point'. However, the development of what,some call 'new media' or 'social media' based on Web 2.0 internet technology has overtaken many Endings of previous research. Some of the most popular Web 2.0-based media currently in use were developed after 2004. These technological changes, coinciding with declining television viewing and newspaper readership, suggest that new forms of internet media need ongoing critical review. This paper analyses findings join a study of internet media use in the 2007 Australian federal election and explores their implications in relation to the public sphere.
Macnamara, J. 2008, 'Two-tier evaluation can help corporate', PRism OnLine PR Journal, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1-7.
Macnamara, J. 2005, 'Media Content Analysis: Its Uses, Benefits and Best Practice Methodology', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-34.
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Macnamara, J. 2004, 'The crucial role of research in multicultural and cross-cultural communication', Journal of Communication Management, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 322-334.
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This paper examines cultural considerations specifically in the field of public relations and corporate communication in the Asia Pacific region which is comprised of a diverse range of cultures and has been identified as the largest market in the world. Thus, it is increasingly a focal point of global communication campaigns
Macnamara, J. 2000, 'The 'Ad Value' of PR', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 99-104.
Macnamara, J. 1999, 'Research in Public Relations: A review of the use of evaluation and formative research', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 107-134.

UK Cabinet Office, Government Communication Service (GCS)

NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet

Cancer Institute NSW

Multicultural Health Communication Service

iSentia