Seminar on Advancing Chinese Public Relations: Academic Research and Textbook Development

ICCI 2023-11-15 1

The Seminar on Academic Research and Textbook Development in Chinese Public Relations, held on November 15, 2023, at Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Xuhui Campus, was a collaborative effort between the Public Relations Studies Research Group, the Research Center for Cultural Innovation and Development of ICCI, and the Institute of Chinese Enterprises Development of SJTU. Co-sponsored by Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press and Capital University of Economics and Business Press, the event featured "Expert Sharing," "New Book Release," and "Book Gifting Ceremony." These segments facilitated discussions on public relations research and textbook development, gathering expertise to explore emerging trends in the field.

The seminar highlighted the crucial role of theoretical research in public relations, promoting social harmony and enhancing corporate competitiveness. It featured the launch of four new books: "Public Relations Studies (3rd Edition)," "Strategic Planning in Public Relation (3rd Edition)," "The History of Public Relations in China (Chinese Version), " and "The History of Public Relations in China (English Version)." These publications aim to offer comprehensive educational resources, nurturing internationally-oriented and innovative PR professionals.

Esteemed scholars and experts from renowned institutions such as Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Fudan University, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology participated in the event. Dignitaries from leading publishing houses like Beijing Normal University Press and Springer, along with representatives from public relations associations and top PR firms in Shanghai, convened to discuss cutting-edge advancements in academic research and textbook development within Chinese public relations.

Acclaimed Guest Speeches Launch PR Seminar

During the opening ceremony, Professor Ke XUE, Head of the "Public Relations Studies" Research Group and Vice Dean of the ICCI at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, led the event and thanked the participating experts. Professor Hao HU, Director of the Publicity Department and Member of the CPC SJTU Standing Committee, emphasized the global impact of Chinese public relations and praised the importance of the new book releases. He encouraged young scholars to contribute further to the field. Xia CUI, President of the Humanities Branch at Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press, recognized the authors for their significant contributions and discussed the challenges and opportunities in the development of Chinese public relations. She expressed optimism for ongoing collaboration to advance textbook development.

Editor's Keynote on New Book Releases: Unifying Academic and Educational Purpose

Professor Mingyang YU, former Executive Vice President and Director of the Academic Committee of the China Public Relations Association, Vice President, and Academic Committee Director of the Shanghai Public Relations Association, and chief editor of Public Relations Studies (3rd Edition) and Strategic Planning in Public Relation (3rd Edition), delivered a speech titled Empathic Communication: New Insights on Chinese Public Relations Textbooks and Teaching. He began by tracing the publication history of the four textbooks, illustrating China's evolution from a follower to a global leader in public relations. Emphasizing China's exemplary role in case studies, education, and operations, he hailed it as a model for global development. Professor YU stressed the significance of undergraduate education within the context of local culture. He encouraged reinforcing teaching fundamentals, instilling cultural confidence, and enhancing digital literacy in education through supplementary readings.

Professor Ke XUE, chair of this event, is the chief editor of both the newly released Chinese and English versions of The History of Public Relations in China, delivered a speech titled "Aspiring to Create: The Remarkable Journey of Chinese Public Relations." Starting from the four developmental stages of Chinese public relations, Professor XUE emphasized the principles of systematicity, distinctiveness, historicity, and internationality in creating textbooks. Her goal was to showcase exemplary public relations cases from China to the world, providing theoretical backing for academia, guiding industry development, and contributing Chinese wisdom globally.

The Chinese version of The History of Public Relations in China, released by Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press in April 2023, spans 257,000 Chinese characters. In contrast, the English version published by Springer stands as the only bilingual historical work on Chinese public relations currently available. This Chinese edition serves as the earliest domestic historical work on public relations and acts as a foundational textbook for leading undergraduate courses in Shanghai's higher education institutions.

Publisher's Insight: Books Uniting All

Representatives from the publishing houses of the newly released books were present at the event. Following the editors' speeches, they interacted with attendees, promoting sharing and communication. Qiangqiang HUANG, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Humanities Branch of Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press, praised Professors XUE and YU's works, discussing the historical context of book publishing. He emphasized the revised content of the new editions, aligning with current national textbook construction needs and highlighting their significance as recent academic accomplishments.

Ling YANG, President of Capital University of Economics and Business Press, connected the book Strategic Planning in Public Relation with societal changes, emphasizing its historical importance and contemporary relevance. Shiyun CHEN, Managing Editor at Beijing Normal University Press, highlighted the comprehensive content and meticulousness of the three editions of Public Relations Studies, reflecting over 30 years of continuous refinement.

Dr. Jiabo HAN, representing Springer, congratulated the release of the English version of The History of Chinese Public Relations. Reflecting on their collaborative history and witnessing China's public relations development for over 40 years, Dr. HAN expressed hopes for further improvements and optimization of the textbooks to meet the demands of China's national public relations construction in the digital era.

Book Presentation Fostering Talent Development

During the book presentation ceremony, Jijun YUAN, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee at Shanghai Jiao Tong University Library, graciously received donated books from chief editors Mingyang YU and Ke XUE. She emphasized the importance of these publications for academia and industry, expressing gratitude for their valuable contribution to student resources. These books will enrich the library's collection, improving the quality of services available to students.

Pioneering Insights for Advancing Research

During a subsequent expert discussion, distinguished scholars and industry leaders convened to explore "Academic Research and Textbook Development in Chinese Public Relations." Professor Jian MENG, Vice Director of the Academic Committee of the China Public Relations Association and Fudan University's School of Journalism, illuminated "Chinese-Style Modernization: Shaping Modern Public Relations." He highlighted how modern public relations align with national governance modernization, significantly contributing to resolving social conflicts.

Professor Mingxin ZHANG, Dean of Huazhong University of Science and Technology's School of Journalism and Information Communication, emphasized the substantial impact of the released publications in forming a distinctive Chinese public relations knowledge system. He emphasized their localization, professionalism, and global relevance, rooted in Chinese public relations practices.

Hu WANG, Founder of Zen Consulting Company and Industry Course Instructor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, provided an industry perspective. He analyzed the impact of new textbooks on diverse audience groups and traced China's public relations development stages. Commending academic efforts, he urged closer collaboration between industry and academia to enhance theoretical awareness among public relations practitioners.

Leaders' Speeches Spark Enthusiasm

Ping ZHOU, Executive Vice President of the Shanghai Public Relations Association, underscored the seminar and book launch as invaluable learning opportunities for academia and the industry. He outlined three key prospects for Chinese public relations: prioritizing research aligned with a national strategy to enhance the country's image, fostering exceptional PR talents, and recognizing the significance of forthcoming textbooks in narrating compelling Chinese stories using localized materials. ZHOU anticipated a greater influence from future academic works in the realm of public relations.

Daping WANG, Executive Vice President and Secretary-General of the China Public Relations Association, shared four reflections. Firstly, he commended Professors Ke XUE and Mingyang YU as pioneers in bridging theory and practice in Chinese PR. Secondly, he emphasized the timely significance of the book, offering a collective opportunity for exploration among educators, practitioners, and students. Thirdly, he stressed the international importance of the book launch in conveying Chinese PR wisdom and culture. Lastly, WANG anticipated that the release would steer future theoretical advancements, industry growth, and educational guidance, expecting additional cases to enrich content and industry development. The leaders' insightful speeches elevated the seminar's ambiance.