Melanie James is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle researching and teaching in areas of strategic communication and public relations. Her key research areas examines a) the application of Positioning Theory (developed within social psychology) to the communication field, and, b) telepresence and social presence in virtual positioning.
Recent journal articles have appeared in Global Media Australia (2016), Quarterly Review of Film and Video (2016), Public Relations Review (2016) and, in Media International Australia (2015). Her sole-authored academic book (Routledge, 2014), Positioning Theory and Strategic Communications: A new approach to public relations research and practice, has been well reviewed.
2017 publications include “Autoethnography: the story of ‘doing a MOOC'” (in Bennett & Kent, Eds. Ashgate). She has contributed two major entries on Emergent Strategy and Strategic Readiness in the forthcoming “International Encyclopedia of Strategic Communication” (Wiley).
Melanie is the editor of the Asia Pacific Public Relations Review and was a member of the editorial board (2012-2015) of the Journal of Public Relations Research. She is an invited contributor as a “thought leader in social media” in both the forthcoming second edition and the original 2014 edition of Lipshultz’s book, Social Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics (Routledge). She served from 2012-2015 on the National Educational Advisory Committee of the Public Relations Institute of Australia. In addition to a string of teaching commendations, in 2015 she won the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s “National PR Educator of the Year 2015” Award. Her third year PR students with technical officer, George Hyde, made this video as a tribute to her teaching: View here (30 secs).
Prior to joining UON Melanie James 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. She has won several national and state awards for communication campaigns, including the PRIA Golden Target Award.
She is a published creative writer and poet, and has been a finalist in the Australian Vogel Literary Award. In September 2016 she was named as a finalist in the University of New Orleans Press non-fiction/memoir competition.
Employment history and academic qualifications can be found here (opens in new window on LinkedIn).