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Career Summary

Biography

Dr. Melanie James joined the School of Design, Communication and IT at the University of Newcastle in November 2006 after working in senior management roles in strategic communication, government communication, public relatio ns and marketing communication. She is a member of the Hunter Centre for Creative Industries and Technology and The International Centre for Balanced Land Use.

The foundation of Melanie's career experience is applying innovative solutions to organisational challenges through integrating sound communication management into organisational strategy. Communication and PR is often seen as an "add-on" and research shows this is an inefficient and often ineffective approach. This knowledge informs the way Melanie teaches her students and how she approaches research and consulting projects. The awards she has received at national and state level for her work are testament to this approach. 

Melanie sees her academic work as assisting communication practitioners to think more critically about what they do and as providing frameworks for innovative communication, engagement practice and community participation in decision-making in key regional industries. She works to make a significant contribution to her academic field through her research which is underpinned by some 25 years of practice in related fields. She welcomes collaboration with other researchers and inquiries about how her work could help organisations and other entities achieve their goals.

Melanie has authored four books, most recently "Positioning Theory and Strategic Communication: A new approach to public relations research and practice" (2014) published by Routledge. This book has been endorsed for not only bringing an innovative approach to communication and PR but as offering to social scientists from different disciplines new insights in how to analyse data from a Positioning Theory angle.

She has published in the areas of public relations, strategic communication and positioning theory in journals such as Public Relations Inquiry, Public Relations Review, The Journal of PR Research, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, Public Communication Review and PRism and authored the chapter on strategy in public relations in Public Relations Theory and Practice (Chia & Synnott, 2009 and 2012). She is also the author of the books, Public Relations (2006) and Careers@Gov (2007).

Melanie has presented papers at a number of conferences including the 2011 and 2013 Barcelona PR Meetings, 2013 International Communication Association Conference, Bledcom International PR Research Symposium and the Australian New Zealand Communication Association. Her research interests include positioning theory, strategic meaning construction and social media. She currently supervises Honours and PhD research. 

Melanie is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) and sits of the National Education Advisory Committee of PRIA. Melanie sits on the Editorial Board of journals, Journal of Public Relations Research and Public Communication Review.

 

 

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Newcastle, 14/03/2011
  • Graduate Certificate Practice of Tertiary Teaching, University of Newcastle, 12/12/2008
  • Master of Arts (Journalism), University of Technology Sydney, 02/10/1998

Research

Research keywords

  • new media/social media
  • positioning
  • public relations
  • strategic communication

Research expertise

Dr. Melanie James, PhD (UoN), Grad.Cert. PTT (UoN), MA Journalism (UTS), BA Communication (Hons) (UTS), MPRIA joined the School of Design, Communication and IT at the University of Newcastle in November 2006 after working in senior management roles in strategic communication, government communication, public relations and marketing communication.

Melanie has authored four books, most recently "Positioning Theory and Strategic Communication: A new approach to public relations research and practice" (2014) published by Routledge. This book has been endorsed for not only bringing an innovative approach to communication and PR but as offering to social scientists from different disciplines new insights in how to analyse data from a Positioning Theory angle.

She has published in the areas of public relations, strategic communication and positioning theory in journals such as Public Relations Inquiry, Public Relations Review, The Journal of PR Research, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, Public Communication Review and PRism and authored the chapter on strategy in public relations in Public Relations Theory and Practice (Chia & Synnott, 2009 and 2012). She is also the author of the books, Public Relations (2006) and Careers@Gov (2007).

Melanie sees her academic work as assisting communication practitioners to think more critically about what they do and as providing frameworks for innovative communication, engagement practice and community participation in decision-making in key regional industries.

She works to make a significant contribution to her academic field through her research which is underpinned by some 25 years of practice in related fields. She welcomes collaboration with other researchers and inquiries about how her work could help organisations and other entities achieve their goals.

Melanie has presented papers at a number of conferences including the 2011 and 2013 Barcelona PR Meetings, 2013 International Communication Association Conference, Bledcom International PR Research Symposium and the Australian New Zealand Communication Association. Her research interests include positioning theory, strategic meaning construction and social media. She currently supervises Honours and PhD research. 

She is a member of the International Centre for Balanced Land Use, Hunter Centre for Creative Industries and Technology and the Centre for Social Research in Energy and Resources. Melanie sits on the Editorial Board of journals, Journal of Public Relations Research and Public Communication Review.

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
200100Communication And Media Studies100

Memberships

Body relevant to professional practice.

  • member - Public Relations Institute of Australia
  • member - Professional Communicators Network

Editorial Board.

  • Editorial Board of the Public Communication Review
  • Member - Journal of Public Relations Research

Awards

Recognition.

2008Stream Coordinators Award
ANZCA (New Zealand)
Australia New Zealand Communication Assocation 2008 Conference Public Relations Stream Coordinators Award for best paper

Invitations

Review for accreditation of courses at Macleay College, Sydney
NSW Dept of Education and Training, Australia (External Reviewer - Programs.)
2009

Collaboration

Melanie James has been invited by Professor Luk van Langenhove, (Professor and Director of the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), Representative of the Rector at UNESCO in Paris, and co-author with Prof Rom Harré of the 1999 book, "Positioning Theory - Moral Contexts of Intentional Action") to contribute to a forthcoming book on positioning theory methodology.

Administrative

Administrative expertise

Dr Melanie James has chaired the School of Design, Communication and IT Research Committee and has been the school representative on the Faculty of Science and IT Research and Training Committee. She has past served on the Faculty's Teaching and Learning and Communication Marketing committees.

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • audience studies
  • communication
  • media
  • public relations

Teaching expertise

Dr Melanie James is a senior lecturer in the Bachelor of Communication program at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

She currently coordinates subjects including:

* Introduction to Public Relations

* Public Relations Strategy

* Public Relations Campaigns

* Public Relations Writing

* Advanced Public Relations Studies

* Communication Professional Placement

* Audience studies

Other subjects taught include:

* Intro to Communication studies

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Highlighted Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014James MB, Positioning Theory and Strategic Communication: A new approach to public relations research and practice, Routledge, London, 276 (2014)
2011James MB, 'A provisional conceptual framework for intentional positioning in public relations', Journal of Public Relations Research, 23 93-118 (2011) [C1]
2011James MB, 'Ready, aim, fire: Key messages in public relations campaigns', PRism, 8 1-18 (2011) [C1]
2010James MB, 'The use of intentional positioning techniques in government agencies' communication campaigns', Government Communication: Proceedings of the 17th International Public Relations Research Symposium BledCom, Bled, Slovenia (2010) [E1]
2008James MB, 'Driving learning through blogging: Students? perceptions of a reading journal blog assessment task', Prism, 5 1-12 (2008) [C1]
2008James MB, 'A review of the impact of new media on public relations: Challenges for terrain, practice and education', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, 8 137-148 (2008) [C1]
2012James MB, 'Autoethnography: The story of applying a conceptual framework for intentional positioning to public relations practice', Public Relations Review, 38 555-564 (2012) [C1]

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Book (3 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014James MB, Positioning Theory and Strategic Communication: A new approach to public relations research and practice, Routledge, London, 276 (2014)
2007James M, J, J, Careers @gov.au: Working for Australia's Future, Career FAQs, Ultimo, NSW., 212 (2007)
2006James M, Public Relations, Career FAQs, Ultimo. NSW., 151 (2006)

Chapter (2 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2012James MB, Robson PL, 'Strategies to proactively manage activity', Introduction to Public Relations: From Theory to Practice, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, VIC 259-285 (2012) [B2]

Co-authors: PRUE ROBSON

2009James MB, 'Strategies to proactively manage activity', An Introduction to Public Relations: From Theory to Practice, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, VIC 248-269 (2009) [B2]

Journal article (10 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Wise D, James M, 'Positioning a price on carbon: Applying a proposed hybrid method of positioning discourse analysis for public relations', Public Relations Inquiry, 2 327-353 (2013) [C1]
2013Robson P, James MB, 'Not everyone¿s aboard the online public relations train: The use (and non-use) of social media by public relations practitioners', Prism, 9 1-18 (2013) [C1]
2012James MB, 'Autoethnography: The story of applying a conceptual framework for intentional positioning to public relations practice', Public Relations Review, 38 555-564 (2012) [C1]
2012Wise DJ, James MB, 'The HPV school vaccination program: A discourse analysis of information provided to parents', PCR: Public Communication Review, 2 3-15 (2012) [C1]
2011Robson PL, James MB, 'Trialling PR2.0: An exploratory study of the non-capital city practitioner's social media use', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, 12 19-40 (2011) [C1]

Co-authors: PRUE ROBSON

2011James MB, 'Ready, aim, fire: Key messages in public relations campaigns', PRism, 8 1-18 (2011) [C1]
2011James MB, 'A provisional conceptual framework for intentional positioning in public relations', Journal of Public Relations Research, 23 93-118 (2011) [C1]
2009James MB, 'Getting to the heart of public relations: The concept of strategic intent', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, 10 109-122 (2009) [C1]
2008James MB, 'Driving learning through blogging: Students? perceptions of a reading journal blog assessment task', Prism, 5 1-12 (2008) [C1]
2008James MB, 'A review of the impact of new media on public relations: Challenges for terrain, practice and education', Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, 8 137-148 (2008) [C1]
Show 7 more

Conference (7 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Balnaves M, Cassin A, James MB, 'The Social Mood Reader ¿ mapping citizen engagement in public relations using the semantic web and supercomputing.', International Communication Association, London, UK (2013) [E1]

Co-authors: MARK BALNAVES

2010James MB, 'The use of intentional positioning techniques in government agencies' communication campaigns', Government Communication: Proceedings of the 17th International Public Relations Research Symposium BledCom, Bled, Slovenia (2010) [E1]
2010Fursdon R, James MB, 'Why are PR agencies blogging? An exploratory study of the blogging practices of public relations agencies', Media, Democracy and Change: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference, Canberra, Australia (2010) [E1]
2009James MB, 'The construction of intended meanings: Furthering understanding of the purpose of public relations', Communication, Creativity and Global Citizenship: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2009, Brisbane, QLD (2009) [E1]
2008James MB, 'The reading journal blog assessment task: Public relations students? perceptions', Power and Place: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2008, Wellington, NZ (2008) [E1]
2007James MB, 'A review of the impact of new media on public relations: Challenges for the terrain, practice and education', PRIA National Academic Forum 2007. Abstracts, Sydney (2007) [E3]
1996Gething L, Fethney J, Redmayne G, James M, 'Disability awareness of general medical practitioners in rural New South Wales' (1996) [E1]
Show 4 more

Report (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
1995Gething L, Fethney J, James M, Redmayne G, 'Disability Awareness of General Medical Practitioners in Rural New South Wales.' (1995) [R1]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants8
Total funding$31,498

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2014 (1 grants)

Faculty PVC Conference Assistance Grant 2014$2,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT

Project Team
Doctor Melanie James
SchemeRole
PVC Conference Assistance GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$2,00020142014
GNo:G1401218

2013 (2 grants)

Positioning carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in Australian public communication: an analysis of how key CCS project stakeholders communicate.$9,333
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Melanie James
SchemeRole
Early Career Researcher GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$9,33320132013
GNo:G1201205

Developing qualitative coding conventions to achieve plausibility and consistency in a positioning analysis of carbon capture and storage in Australia.$9,332
Funding Body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT

Project Team
Doctor Melanie James
SchemeRole
Strategic Small GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$9,33220132013
GNo:G1401064

2011 (1 grants)

Review of Lake Macquarie City Council's Environmental Communication Strategies$3,045
Funding Body: Lake Macquarie City Council

Project Team
Doctor Melanie James
SchemeRole
Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$3,04520112011
GNo:G1100794

2010 (1 grants)

Completion of doctoral thesis by publication entitled "Achieving Intended Outcomes: the strategic construction of meaning in Public Relations practice"$1,650
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Melanie James
SchemeRole
Equity Research FellowshipChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,65020102010
GNo:G0190634

2008 (1 grants)

Australian and New Zealand Communication Associaton Conference 2008 (ANZACA08) - Massey University, Duxton Hotel, Wellington, New Zealand, 9/7/2008 - 11/7/2008$1,629
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Melanie James
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,62920082008
GNo:G0189141

2007 (2 grants)

Constructing visual meanings: how choices of visual elements reveal public relations practitioners' strategic intent when staging communication interfaces$3,115
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Melanie James
SchemeRole
New Staff GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$3,11520072007
GNo:G0187728

Public Relations Institute of Australia National Conference 2007, The University of Sydney, 14/10/2007 - 16/10/2007$1,394
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Melanie James
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,39420072007
GNo:G0188221
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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions7
Total current UoN Masters EFTSL0.5
Total current UoN PhD EFTSL1.9

For supervisions undertaken at an institution other that the University of Newcastle, the institution name is listed below the program name.

Current Supervision

CommencedProposed
Completion
ProgramSupervisor TypeResearch Title
20142018PhD (Comm & Media Arts)Co-SupervisorAddicted to the Net. A Comparative Australia and China Study on the Role of Social Media, Families and Fandom in the Construction of Youth Identity
20132018M Philosophy (Comm&Med Arts)Co-SupervisorCommunicating for Gas: A Case Study of the Coal Seam Gas Industry's PR Spin
20132017PhD (Comm & Media Arts)Principal SupervisorUnderstanding Maori and Pacific Islander Cultures in Australia's National Rugby League
20132015PhD (Comm & Media Arts)Principal SupervisorPositioning a Price on Carbon: An Analysis of the Political Discourses Surrounding the Introduction of an Australian Carbon Tax
20122016PhD (Comm & Media Arts)Co-SupervisorCommunication as aid: Exploring the Role and Impact of Communication in Assisting Humanitarian Aid Beneficiaries
20112016M Philosophy (Comm&Med Arts)Principal SupervisorAre We There Yet? A Comparative Study of Social Media Adoption by Australian Metropolitan and Regional Public Relations Practitioners
20112017PhD (Comm & Media Arts)Principal SupervisorInvolvement of, and Communication with, Publics and Communities Concerning the Implementation of Renewable Energies
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Dr Melanie James

Work Phone(02) 4985 4520
Cell / Mobile Phone0434 572 482
Fax(02) 4921 5821
Email
PositionSenior Lecturer
School of Design, Communication and IT - Faculty of Science and IT
School of Design Communication and IT
Faculty of Science and Information Technology
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaCommunication
Office
ICT3.61,
ICT Building,
Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308
Australia
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/melanie-james
Linkhttp://www.melaniejames.com