At the conference of the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) in Prague (20-23 September 2023), Jérôme Chariatte, senior teaching and research assistant at the DCM, has received the "PhD Award for Excellent Doctoral Thesis" for his dissertation entitled "The contribution of different communication channels and sub-state actors to country perception in today’s globalized and digitalized society – a public diplomacy listening approach". The thesis had been supervised by Prof. Dr. Diana Ingenhoff.
According to jury members Winni Johansen and Wim Elving, the award-winning thesis (179 pages) addresses new, relevant, and fascinating topics: listening within public diplomacy, as well as civic engagement across countries, and the role of sub-actors such as cities for the country image and the branding of a country. In addition, the relationship between place branding and public diplomacy in the digital sphere is addressed and extended by linking it to concepts like global governance and social responsibility. Furthermore, the study contributes with combining new and multiple methods and ways to listen and to measure country image and public diplomacy that take into account the globalized and digitalized context of todays’ public diplomacy efforts.
The methods are ambitious and broad ranged. Based on four different empirical studies the thesis contributes a mixed methods approach to study country image and public urban actors relying on both classical and recent research methodologies, such as media content and survey analysis, semantic network analysis, structural equation modelling and analysis of trace data.
The "mystery" of the thesis is clearly embedded in its implementation of new research methods adopted to match the digitalization and social media implementation in today’s public diplomacy practices. Furthermore, the thesis contributes to strengthen the role and status of communication in the public diplomacy and country image branding, and to add new insights into methodological theories and issues related to public diplomacy research enriching the perspectives of diplomacy and urban civic engagement across countries.
According to the jury, the thesis thus demonstrates how the field of public diplomacy and public relations can benefit from taking new theoretical and methodological steps forward.
On the picture, from left to right: Stefania Romenti (president of EUPRERA), Winni Johansen, Jérôme Chariatte, and Wim Elving.