Master's Degree Programme in Media and Global Communication (MGC)
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The Promotional Turn
International conference on promotional logics in current societies
On 18 March, 2016, the International Master’s Programme Media and Global Communication (MGC), University of Helsinki, hosted an international one-day conference on contemporary promotional logics within political, cultural and public life. The event is organised in collaboration with the Public, Politics and Promotion Research Group (P3) in Media and Communication Studies at the University of Helsinki
Promotional activities and strategies have gained an important role in contemporary societies as they circulate rapidly across all sectors of society. Furthermore, a wide range of people, agencies and institutions from politicians to dissidents employ promotional strategies to advance their aims. Hence, this conference will explore contemporary promotional practices, tactics and logics and ask: How is promotion affecting public life in democracies? What theoretical and empirical tools are available for examining promotional logics within political, cultural and public life? Thus, leading scholars will discuss the rapidly evolving forms of promotional culture and their implications for society and will also establish ways of studying promotional culture.
Please find brief summaries of each plenary speech and the Panel discussion below in the programme linked through the titles of the speeches.
9.20 Welcome (Mervi Pantti, MGC)
9.30 Promotional Logics in Media
Melissa Aronczyk (Rutgers University, USA): The Inattention Economy: The promotional logics of distraction
Chair: Anu Kantola, comment: Katja Valaskivi
10.30 Promotion of Finance
Clea Bourne (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK): Hidden Finance, Organised silence: Communicative strategies in financial market silos
Chair: Anu Kantola, comment: Markus Ojala
12.30 Promotional Science
Andy Williams (Cardiff University, UK): Selling Science? Problems with science news and public relations
Chair: Salli Hakala, comment: Esa Väliverronen
13.30 Promotion Enters Politics
Sigurd Allern (University of Oslo, Norway): When lobbyists invites journalists to dance: Promotional professionals in Nordic politics.
Chair: Salli Hakala, comment: Anu Kantola
Discussants: Katja Valaskivi Sigurd Allern, Melissa Aronczyk, Clea Bourne and Andy Williams. Chair: Anu Kantola
Sigurd Allern is Professor of Journalism Studies in the Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo, Norway, and Visiting professor in the Department of Media Studies, University of Stockholm. His main research areas are the political economy of the news media, news values, political communication, relations between journalism and public relations.
Dr Melissa Aronczyk is Assistant Professor in the School of Communication & Information at Rutgers University, the United States. She is the author of Branding the Nation: The Global Business of National Identity (2013) and the co-editor of Blowing up the Brand: Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture (2010).
Dr Clea Bourne is a lecturer in Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research critically examines mediations of finance in global and local discourses. Her work has explored financial communication practices in a range of sectors including central banks, hedge funds, ratings agencies, investment banking, life insurance and informal investment schemes. Her work has been published in Culture and Organisation, Public Relations Inquiry, Journal of Public Relations Research and New Media and Society, as well as various edited collections. Her monograph exploring Trust, Power and Public Relations in Financial Markets will be published by Routledge in the coming year.
Dr Andy Williams is a lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. His current major research interest relates to news sources and the influence of public relations on the UK media, especially in the area of science, health and environment news. He has a number of other research interests which intersect journalism studies and cultural studies, including: the decline of the local news industry in the UK; the rise of community “hyperlocal news”; and citizen participation in news.