I work as a senior lecturer, researcher and consultant in strategic communication, social media and public relations. For 2016, I am privileged to hold the position of Head of the School of the School of Design, Communication and Information Technology, University of Newcastle, Australia.
My academic research interest and teaching is primarily focused on strategic positioning, social media and digital persona in public communication and public relations. My consultancy work also relates to this area.
I was honoured to receive the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s “National PR Educator of the Year 2015” Award. My third year PR students with technical officer, George Hyde, made this video as a tribute to my teaching: View here (30 secs).
I have authored the academic book: Positioning Theory and Strategic Communications: A new approach to public relations research and practice. (Follow the link for information, reviews and purchase information).
Commencing teaching and research within the School of Design, Communication and IT at the University of Newcastle (UON), Australia, in 2007, I continue to undertake consultancy work in strategic communication.
Prior to joining UON I worked as a consultant and in senior communication/marketing management roles in government (Australian Greenhouse Office, Australian Electoral Commission, Australian Bureau of Statistics), health and financial services sectors. I have won several national and state awards for my communication campaigns, including the PRIA Golden Target Award.
I am a published creative writer and poet, and have been a finalist in the Australian Vogel Literary Award for my novel.
I have published in the area of strategic communication, PR and positioning theory in academic journals such as Media International Australia, The Journal of PR Research, Public Relations Review, Public Relations Inquiry, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal and PRism. I have authored the chapter on strategy in Public Relations Theory and Practice (Chia & Synnott, 2009, 2012). I am also the author of the books, Public Relations (2006) and Careers@Gov (2007).
I have presented peer reviewed research papers at conferences including International Communication Association, Bledcom PR Research Symposium, Barcelona International PR Meeting and the ANZ Communication Association.
I am currently primary supervisor of three PhD candidates. I also supervise honours years students in communication and public relations research projects each year.
Employment history and educational qualifications can be found here (opens in new window). I am a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) and am editor of the Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal. Professor Jeremy Lipshultz (USA) highlighted me in his book as a “thought leader in social media concepts“.
I live in Newcastle, Australia – a fabulous city situated on a beach and a harbour! You can follow me on Twitter @melanie_james
You can visit my blog here (opens in new window).