Ivone Ferreira has had two papers accepted for the 27th International Public Relations Research Symposium (BledCom)

NOVA FCSH DCC lecturer and ICNOVA researcher Ivone Ferreira recently received approval to read two papers at the 27th International Public Relations Research Symposium (BledCom, to take place  July 3 – 4 2020 at the Rikli Balance Hotel (formerly Hotel Golf) in Lake Bled, Slovenia.

One of the papers was co-authored with Patrícia Saldanha (UFF, Brazil) and Pedro Hellín (U. Múcia, Spain) and is entitled “The Brazilian perspective on social advertising: Transforming advertising into publicity and public relations”. The second was prepared with Paula Lobo (CECS / IPV) and is called “Listening to the voice of stakeholders in the European Parliament Elections 2019: Regional Portuguese media directors and political candidates in Viseu, Portugal.”

The researcher also proposed a panel for the symposium, Ethical Lobbying and Citizen Engagement in Political Communication, in conjunction with João Simão (CECC, UCP) and João Carlos Martins (ICNOVA).

  • Abstracts:
  1. Brazilian perspective on social advertising: Transforming advertising into publicity and public relations.

Ivone Ferreira (ICNOVA-NOVA.FCSH), Patrícia Saldanha (UFF, Brazil), Pedro Hellín (U. Múcia, Espanha)

 The north american perspective of public relations led to a general pespective of PR having as main goal the stablishment of a dialogical relationship between organizations and their stakeholders, a relation that characterize the symmetric dialogical communication of Grunig’s Public Relations but that also reduce, involuntarily, Public Relation to an instrumental tool (Vercic & Van Ruler, 2000).

Having the purpose to contribute to a beter understanding of the subfields of strategic communication, a scientific area that is in its youth, it is our main goal to define and characterize a vanguardist conception of social advertising, advocated by Patrícia Saldanha in Brazil, through literature review. How is Brazilian Social Advertising defined epistemologicaly? Which are their practises and methods, are question that we want to answer.

Literature review – Literature review on the concepts of European Public Relations (Vercic and Van Riel), Excelent Public Relations (Grunig), Public Sphere and Publicity (Habermas), Advertising (Ollins) and Social Publicity (Saldanha).

Results and conclusions – To increase the knowledge about social advertising practiced in Brazil, draw its borders and domains, trying to integrate it in the strategic communication field.

This study intends to contribute to give more credibility to strategic communication as a scientific area, defining its borders and fields of action. The results of the study will be useful for scholars and practitioners.

Keywords: european public relations; brazilian social advertising; social impact; publicity.


  1. Listening to the voice of European Parliament Elections 2019 stakeholders: regional portuguese media directors and political candidates in Viseu, Portugal

Paula Lobo (CECS/IPV), Ivone Ferreira (ICNOVA, NOVA.FCSH)


In 1987 Portugal participated for the first time in the European parliamentary elections, after joining the EEC in 1986. Portugal is represented that year by 24 deputies in which the CDS-PP took four, the Comunist Coligation three, and Social Democrats ten, PRD one and Socialist Party (PS) 6, excluding BE, MPT, PCP-PEV and PPD / PSD, CDS-PP due to lack of candidacy. (PORDATA, 2015)

Throughout the following European parliamentary elections, Portugal maintained an average of 23 Members in the European Parliament. In 2014, the last year of elections before 2019, five parties were represented in Brussels. The PS was the only party in which all European parliamentary elections elected deputies to the parliament (PORDATA, 2015). Portugal was represented by 21 MEPs, one by BE (Left Party), two from MPT (Workers Party), three from PCP-PEV (Communist Party Coalition with Environmental Party), seven from PSD (Social Democrats),  CDS-PP (Christian Democrats) and eight from PS (PORDATA, 2015).

Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to understand how the communication strategy of regional representatives of portuguese political parties candidates for the 2019 European elections is articulated, with the local media in order to identify the most used public relations practices,  their effects and to identify possible weaknesses and gaps in the relationship between media and advisors.

Literature overview and Methodology

This article has its theoretical construct based on the concepts of media literacy (Livingstone,; Deuze, 2007) and Public Relations connection with media (Wyatt; Smith & Andsager, 2009; Van Dijk, 1991; Ribeiro, 2009) and was empirically complemented with clipping and interviews.

For five weeks (from February 23 to March 28, 2019), all editions of the regional newspapers in Viseu, namely Jornal do Centro and Diário de Viseu, were analyzed to identify and analyze information related to the European Elections. Subsequently, semi-structured interviews were conducted with regional media directors and regional candidates, in order to understand how the strategy of press relations between local political representatives and the media is articulated.


The clipping analysis reveals the low visibility given to European elections and local candidates. Newspapers contributed little to a more enlightened and informed public sphere about the importance of voting and the programs of local candidates.

Having analyzed the interviews, it is understood that there is little dialogue between local media and political press officers in the district of Viseu, central Portugal. Newspaper directors complain about not being informed of the regional political agenda and regret not having the funds to follow in more detail what happens in their geographical area of ​​activity; political parties regret media’s lack of interest in getting to know candidates and their political program up close, the almost inexistence of dialogue between regional media and political parties and the existence of a local press apparently disinterested in contributing to increase political literacy.

B-  Ethical lobbying and citizen engagement in political communication Chairs: Ivone Ferreira (ICNOVA, NOVA.FCSH), João Simão (CECC, UCP) João Carlos Martins (ICNOVA)

Conroy, Feezell and Guerrero (2012) assessed the importance of the role of Facebook groups in increasing their members’ political participation, making groups the ideal tool for increasing and strengthening public engagement online and offline: a fundamental principle for a democratic government. The authors have identified several attributes of a group that we can apply to the groups of citizens and neighbors and their relationships to the content available on the Parish Council or Municipalities Facebook page. The interactivity that disseminates information within the network through the likes, share and comment options allows the user to attach a comment to the original post, as well as add an image, video or link to another site, inside or outside the social network environment. Another attribute is political discussion through the exchange of ideas, attitudes, and arguments about governing choices and elected officials ‘performance, which encourages participants’ action and motivation to express their personal political point of view. Finally, network capability is also named as an attribute, allowing you to add a person to your friends list. Through the network, an individual can include people with different backgrounds, attitudes, beliefs and mentality in the buddy list, establishing relationships with people who are also interested in a particular subject and disseminating information on that topic (Conroy, Feezell and Guerrero, 2012: 1535/1546).

A modernized conception of public service communication must be able to provide tools, skills and content that enable audiences to witness themselves and their ways of life; provide tools, skills and content that will help different audiences understand each other; monitor, facilitate and connect public deliberation on matters of common concern and concern; and provide tools, skills and content that enable citizens to understand the multifaceted and often discrete operation of power (Blumler and Coleman, 2015: 123) and ensure that digital technology strengthens democratic institutions without undermining their fundamental objectives (Chester and Montgomery, 2017: 10).

Lobbying is considered as an important part of strategic communication that can boost publics participation. We believe that all the questions related to Lobbying strategies development are in charge of strategic and political communication professionals – since we see this activity as a legitimate practice in the service of organizational communication (understood here in a broad sense). Lobbying, as strategic communication, has their own body of knowledge (in theoretical terms) and specific professional skills. Like Moloney (1997), we believe that this is an activity that must be seen as a series of interconnected communication activities. Thus, Lobbying is here defined as political persuasive communication for the defense of a legitimate interest.

We also believe that the process of political decision-making in a democratic regime must be open to any population or interest groups that wish to participate. This allows more information to the political representative, which consequently will have a better reasoning for decide about something. It’s interesting to go beyond the debate about what the representative should ‘re-present’ (Hill, 2010) – it is interesting to see if the existence of a communication link between different political actors allow a response to conflicts of interest and if they can achieve consensuses or different understandings.

We particularly welcome submissions on:

  • Key concepts, perspectives and frameworks in ethical lobby, citizen participation, political public relations
  • Theoretical and empirical connections between civil society, communication and lobbying
  • Innovative methodological approaches to study lobying/ citizen participation throughout different contexts
  • Theoretical and empirical approaches in political communication
  • Methodological approaches to measure the impact of political PR strategies
  • Theoretical or empirical studies in publics/ citizen empowerment through PR
  • Digital challenges to political public relations
  • Collaborative projects in the field.