Melanie James is 2016 Head of School of Design, Communication and Information Technology, a communication scholar and consultant, and a creative writer. She is currently involved in three distinct research projects that respectively involve the application of Positioning Theory in communication, agile management approaches in communication, and, digital disruption in in higher education: creative and cultural industries. She was a keynote speaker at the inaugural Positioning Theory Research Symposium Belgium in 2015 and is on the organising and scientific committees for the second Positioning Theory Research Symposium scheduled to be held at Oxford University in July 2017, where she will also deliver a keynote address.
Recent journal articles have appeared in Quarterly Review of Film and Video (2016), “A Uses and Gratifications Study Into the Motivations of Legal and Illegal Film Consumption ” (co-authored with Henkel and Croce); in Public Relations Review (2016) “Talking back: Reflecting on feminism, public relations and research” (co-authored with Fitch and Motion), and, in Media International Australia (2015) “Situating a new voice in public relations: The application of positioning theory to research and practice”. 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.
Other publications include “Autoethnography: the story of “doing a MOOC” or knowing “the beast” from within” (in Bennett & Kent, Eds. in press, Ashgate); “Positioning a price on carbon: Applying a proposed hybrid method of positioning discourse analysis for public relations” (co-authored with Wise) in Public Relations Inquiry (2013); “Not everyone’s aboard the online public relations train: The use (and non-use) of social media by public relations practitioners” (co-authored with Robson) in “PRism” (2013); and, “Autoethnography: The story of applying a conceptual framework for intentional positioning to public relations practice” (2012) in Public Relations Review.
She is also editor of the Asia Pacific Public Relations Review and a member of the editorial board 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. She currently chairs the Living Cities Community of Practice for UrbanGrowth NSW and is chair of the MOOC Steering Committee at the University of Newcastle, overseeing the development and delivery of the university’s first MOOC with edX, a world first, being on the subject of Natural History Illustration. 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 my 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).
Melanie lives in Newcastle, Australia – a fabulous city situated on a beach and a harbour! You can follow her on Twitter @melanie_james
You can visit her blog here (opens in new window).