For several years, the Media School (TMS) has been developing a relationship with Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Chula, as it is known, is rated as the No.1 university in the kingdom.
The SMN award allows the development of a collaborative project between TMS and the Faculty of Communication Arts at Chula to organise an academic conference on public relations in Asia in Bangkok on November 18-19.
The conference will provide a platform for academic research on public relations history, current theory and practice, and future trends. In particular, it will investigate Asian (i.e. non Anglo-American) perspectives of public relations and will be the first dedicated conference to do so.
Prof Tom Watson, who is a co-chair of the conference, says the SMN funding “will lead to the development of a sustainable academic and research partnership between the two universities. It will enable BU staff participation in cross-cultural research with Thai colleagues. The conference will also place BU in a leadership role on research into cross-cultural communications and international public relations.”
Dr Ana Adi is working with Prof Watson on the project. She taught at Chula in mid-2012 on a staff exchange. She and at least one other TMS academic will be attending the conference and presenting papers.
The conference collaboration started with attendance by Chula’s Dr Napawan Tantivejakul at the International History of Public Relations Conference 2011 at BU, which began a dialogue about a joint conference with an Asian focus. This was cemented when Prof Watson visited Chula in November last year as a visiting professor and negotiated the arrangements. It is hoped that there will be 16 speakers, plus two keynotes, and 50 delegates at the November event.