Posts By / sthompson

FMC researcher speaks to UN on the impact of media on women in science

Dr Shelley ThompsonOn 10 February, the Faculty of Media and Communication’s Dr Shelley Thompson gave an intervention to a UN event on the impact of media on gender and science.

The conference was held simultaneously in New York City at the UN Headquarters and Malta at the Ministry of Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties. Speaking from Malta, Shelley discussed some of the early findings of her research on the under representation in news of women scientists as experts on nanotechnology. She also linked her work to broader research on under representation of women’s voices in news and politics.

The event was part of the UN’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which aims to raise awareness of gender bias in the sciences. It was chaired by Malta’s Minister of Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties,  Dr Helena Dalli, MP, and featured speakers from around the world, including UN ambassadors, politicians, policymakers, NGOs, women scientists, and girls aspiring to be scientists.  ​

Shelley is a member of the Centre for Politics and Media Research, which engages in interdisciplinary research from a range of fields to consider pressing questions in 21st Century politics.

BU final year students present at 5th Annual Promotional Communications Conference

Some 44 advertising, marketing, public relations, and politics and media undergraduates present their dissertation research at the Fifth Annual Promotional Communications Conference on 20 May at the Executive Business Centre.

The conference is a capstone event for the Corporate and Marketing Communications Department (CMC) within the Faculty of Media and Communication and is an opportunity to showcase the work of our undergraduate dissertation students. This year we expect more than 100 delegates, including our students and staff, but also industry partners and some mums and dads.

They’ll hear papers on the latest industry issues and trends from our students. Students are presenting their research on topics including what it means to be and the implications of brands being ‘cool’, the cost of unpaid internships on the advertising industry, using social media to communicate science, attitudes toward and the stigmatization of mental illness, how lad culture also hurts men, impulse buying on line, and so much more.

And we’ll all be treated to talks from two outstanding industry representatives: Camilla Kemp, COO at M&C Saatchi  and BU Public Relations graduate Rosie Warin (’09), who is is co-Managing Director of Global Tolerance.
“We created the conference to offer students an opportunity to share the work they’ve done on a project that culminates their studies, and we enjoy showcasing that hard work,” said Dr Richard Scullion, CMC head of department.

The department, which offers undergraduate and postgraduate taught degrees in advertising, marketing communications, public relations, and politics and media, created the conference as an opportunity for students to choose to, in addition to the written dissertation, present their research to colleagues on their course, academics and guests from the promotional communications industries. And again this year we’ll welcome proud parents and friends to the event.

In addition to the conference, CMC launched the Journal of Promotional Communications in 2013. The journal is an open-access, online journal that, since the first edition, accepts submissions from undergraduates and postgraduates from BU and beyond. Research published there can come from a variety of disciplines, such as marketing, advertising, PR theory, consumer culture and behaviour, political communications, media studies, sociology, cultural studies, and management.

So far, the journal has published three issues of student work. The latest edition, Volume 3, Issue 1, was published in April and includes some articles where students and staff co-authored papers.

Again this year, the top papers from the 2015 Promotional Communications conference will be published in the journal.

The students presenting at the conference are among the more than 200 final-year students in CMC who have worked for months on their individual research projects. CMC students can choose to write a traditional dissertation of 10,000 words or write a research paper in the style of an 8,000-word journal article and deliver a 20-minute paper at the student conference.

Dr Janice Denegri-Knott, Dr Carrie Hodges, Dr Dan Jackson, Dr Richard Scullion and Dr Shelley Thompson organize the conference.

Fusion funding supports sharing student research at conference, in journal

Last week, 35 advertising, marketing and public relations undergraduates presented their dissertation research at the Promotional Communications Annual Conference at the Executive Business Centre.

The event, held 15 May, was part of a Fusion bid by The Media School’s Dr Dan Jackson, Dr Richard Scullion, Dr Carrie Hodges, and Dr Janice Denegri-Knott to expand the conference and open a journal. This is the third year for the conference run by the Corporate and Marketing Communications (CMC) group within The Media School, and with the Fusion funding the organisers were able to expand the conference to include additional students and guests.

“The CMC Student Conference was a terrific success; the presentations were extremely professional, student engagement was very high and the commitment shown by the staff was exceptional,” said Colin Merrett, associate dean for the academic group. He called it “one of the highlights of the year” for CMC.

Industry guests who attended the event echoed the sentiment, calling the work of students ‘thought provoking’ and ‘challenging’. In total some 80 students, academic staff, alumni, and industry professionals attended the conference, which offers students an opportunity to share their dissertation research and for the academic group to showcase research-led teaching.

CMC students can choose to write a traditional dissertation of 10,000 words or write a research paper in the style of an 8,000-word journal article and deliver a 20-minute paper at the student conference. The 35 students who presented at the conference make up 17 per cent of the dissertation students on the three degree programmes. That’s the highest proportion of student take-up of this option for the dissertation.

“The quality of what I have seen in these dissertations is some of the best I have seen,” said Dr Heather Savigny, who joined BU at the start of the academic year.

The research that students presented ranged from asking questions about how second-generation African immigrant women negotiate culture and identity through hair care rituals to the impacts to pub and restaurant brands as a result of negative word-of-mouth online to whether advertising today represents a return of a sexist visual culture.

“I thought the best papers could have claimed space in some international conferences,” said Prof Barry Richards of CMC.

Now, the team turns its attention to the inaugural issue of The Journal of Promotional Communication. Once the dissertations are marked, the team will shortlist the top research papers and begin the (by all accounts based on the presentations from last week) arduous task of choosing seven papers to appear in the journal.

After the first edition is published, the journal will begin accepting submissions from undergraduates and postgraduates from BU and beyond. The journal represents a variety of disciplines, such as marketing, advertising, PR theory, consumer culture and behaviour, political communications, media studies, sociology, cultural studies, and management.