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 area is on examine the application of Positioning Theory from social psychology to the communication field. She is also involved in research projects that respectively involve the application of Positioning Theory in agile management approaches in communication, creative and cultural industries. She was a keynote speaker at the inaugural Positioning Theory Research Symposium in 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 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.
Publications in press include “Autoethnography: the story of ‘doing a MOOC'” (in Bennett & Kent, Eds. in press, Ashgate). She has contributed two major entries on Emergent Strategy and Strategic Readiness in the forthcoming “International Encyclopedia of Strategic Communication” (Wiley).
She is also 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).
Melanie lives in Newcastle, Australia – a fabulous city situated on a beach and a harbour! You can follow her on Twitter @melanie_james