About the Conference

The International History of Public Relations Conference is organised by the Public Relations Cluster in Bournemouth University’s Faculty of Media & Communication. It is the annual meeting of scholars, historians and interested practitioners from around the world to present papers and discuss the history of public relations.

At the first conference 34 peer-reviewed papers were presented by speakers from 13 countries. The keynote speakers were leading public relations historians Dr Karen Miller Russell, University of Georgia, and Dr Jacquie L’Etang, (then) University of Stirling. A selection of conference papers were published in a special issue of the Journal of Communication Management, Vol 15, No. 3, 2011.

In 2011, the second conference attracted 28 papers presented from 15 countries. The keynote speaker was eminent US PR historian and journal editor, Ray E. Hiebert. Eight papers were chosen from the conference for a ‘Public Relations and History’ special section in Public Relations Review September 2012 edition (Vol 38, No 3).

The 2012 conference featured a keynote address by Prof Dr Gunter Bentele of Leipzig University, who discussed aspects of historiography. He was followed by 33 peer-reviewed papers presented by speakers from 14 countries. Selected papers were published as a Public Relations History 2013 special edition  of Public Relations Review (Vol 39, No. 2), June 2013.

In 2013, the conference attracted a record number of abstracts  and 35 authors from 17 countries presented papers.The keynote speaker was IHPRC’s founder Prof Tom Watson of Bournemouth University. Some papers were published in another Public Relations Review special issue on Public Relations History in mid-2014, Public Relations Review (Vol 40, No. 4), November 2014.

IHPRC 2014 was the fifth anniversary conference. Some papers from the conference were published in a History of Public Relations special issue of the Journal of Public Relations Research (Vol 27, No. 3) in June 2015.

The sixth conference, IHPRC 2015, had the highest-ever number of papers presented: 42 presentations from authors in 20 countries. Papers will be published in a Public Relations Review special issue on Public Relations History in 2016.

In 2017 the seventh IHPRC brought again PR history aficionados together to discuss among other areas of PR historiographical interest an additional theme of the “her-story” of public relations. Some papers will be included in the History of PR special issue of the Journal of Public Relations Research.

  • Dates for IHPRC 2019 are June 26-28, 2019.

The venue is Bournemouth University’s Executive Business Centre (EBC) in 89 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth BH8 8EB. Situated near the town’s mainline rail station, with its direct connections to London, the EBC is a short walk from Bournemouth’s famed sandy beaches and hotels. There are also express coach services from London and major airports to Bournemouth, stopping close to the EBC. Travel and accommodation information can be found on the Bournemouth University website and in the Registration section of this website.

You can follow conference news at the conference website, on Twitter at @historyofpr and on Facebook at International History of Public Relations Conference.