Prof Ronel Rensburg and Ms Olebogeng Selebi from the Communication Management Division at the University of Pretoria shared their research with researchers and public relations professionals from around the world at the BledCom symposium, held in July 2016 in Bled, Slovenia. The theme for the symposium was ‘Engaging people in a disengaged world’.
The research presented was titled ‘Mobilising and engaging South African students: the #Feesmustfall campaign’. The presentation focused on exploring the era of digitally sophisticated citizens who are well informed of their rights and the responsibilities of government. Emphasis was placed on the use of technology as a means for ordinary people to vocalise their opinions and mobilise themselves towards holding governments and other institutions accountable.
The BledCom symposium is an annual gathering of scholars and practitioners in public relations and related disciplines to discuss contemporary communication and management problems. Each year BledCom attracts the world’s elite of academics and practitioners. The conference is organised by the Centre for Marketing and Public Relations in the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Social Sciences.
The 2016 BledCom welcomed more than 100 delegates from universities in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Egypt, Finland, Hong Kong, Croatia, India, Italy, Israel, South Africa, Canada, Colombia, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Serbia, Spain, Turkey, Great Britain and the USA. The conference presented a great programme that focused particularly on engagement, corporate social responsibility and social purpose. Many national and international speakers took the stage, with Stephen Waddington, Partner and Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum (UK) as keynote speaker. BledCom will return to Bled in 2017.
Ms Selebi presenting research at BledCom 2016
Prof Rensburg presenting research at BledCom 2016