POLITICAL MARKETING IN THE INTERNET AGE: THE ROLE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS AND SOCIAL MEDIA
CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR PAPERS
The Public Relations Association of Northern Greece in collaboration with the Political Science Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki announces that the 6th International Political Marketing Conference will take place in Thessaloniki – Greece between the 23rd – 25th April 2010.
A new world is beginning to take shape; the world of the ‘network society’ to use Manuel Castells’ evocative phrase. Social theorists such as Castells argue that the network society is the social structure of the Information Age, being made up of networks of production, power and experience (Jan A.G.M. van Dijk, 2006).
The topic for the 2010 conference focuses on the use of the Internet as a medium through which to communicate and interact with interested parties who will play a role in a political campaign.
At the level of society and on a global scale we can see that social media and social networks reach into the farthest corners and edges. Contemporary literature abounds with expressions such as ‘we live in a connected world’, ‘a connected age’, a ‘human web’ and a ‘web society’. At first sight this seems rather peculiar because simultaneously there is much talk about individualization, social fragmentation, independence and freedom.
Certainly, the recent Obama victory in the U.S. has given much momentum to the use of these methods to carry out many different activities that were up until now restricted to ”old” media: For example, fundraising; volunteer efforts; communication between the campaign organization and opinion leaders, especially journalists; war room activities to respond to negative messages in the media. From a marketing perspective, the distinction between a Network and Media ties into promotion and distribution. As a media outlet, it is all about communication between parties. As a network, it goes beyond communication and calls for the interface between the campaign and interested parties, interacting on a physical level, be it grass-roots efforts; money-raising, or any other campaign-related activity that calls for the face-to-face interaction between parties.
The conference will include a keynote speech by Professor Bruce Newman (DePaul University, Chicago).
Abstracts for the conference will be peer-reviewed (deadline for submission: 4th March 2010). Authors are invited to submit competitive papers based on their abstracts for peer review to the Journal of Political Marketing.
The Conference tracks will include several different topics, with recommended ones listed below. (Submissions can also be in other areas of research in political marketing):
• Examples of the use of social media and social networks in recent campaigns around the world
• Necessary conditions that should be in place before using these methods.
• The economical considerations when using these methods.
• The impact of these methods on democracy.
• The future of social media and social networks as political marketing tools.
• Will this new technology replace the ”old” social networks and media currently in use?
• The interaction of these methods with marketing strategy.
• Political ideology and the use of these methods.
• Social Media vs. Social Networking: What’s the difference?
• Social Media/Social networks and Political engagement
• Political marketing and new media
• Web 2.0 communication channels and political marketing
• 15th January 2010: Website available for further information, registration, venue, etc. (http://www.polmark.org)
• 4th March 2010: Deadline for abstract submission
• 15th March 2010: Feedback regarding conference paper submissions
• 23rd – 25th April 2010: 6th International Political Marketing Conference (2½ days)
For more information, see http://www.polmark.org