Celebrating half-baked ideas

Celebrating half-baked ideas

A one-day unconference in Wolverhampton on Tuesday 25 June will explore unfinished research projects.

Sarah Williams of the University of Wolverhampton and Liz Bridgen of Sheffield Hallam University are gathering academics and practitioners for a new event. The Telling Stories conference is an opportunity to discuss emerging public relations topics.

I caught up with Liz to find out more.

What’s the premise for your conference?

So many academics have brilliant research ideas and projects that never see the light of day. Often work gets in the way of completing projects and then the motivation disappears. Other times projects never get off the ground.

Our one-day unconference is for academics and practitioners to celebrate the unfinished article or paper. It's an opportunity to gain feedback on ideas and to rediscover the fun in research.

We hope the event will bring new, radical and diverse voices to public relations research.

What’s the format and how will it work?

Two guest speakers will top and tail the conference. The first will speak about the promise and excitement of new research. The second will talk about motivation and believing in your own ideas.

There will also be three research streams. Here delegates will be able to present and get feedback on projects.

Research can be a lonely business, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The conference is a way of helping people feel less alone with their research.

How did you come up with idea for the conference?

We were sitting in a café in Birmingham talking about all the great ideas we had that never saw the light of day.

We’ve both had work published but what interested us was was the work which never made it that far. 

Some projects made it as far as conference presentations but were never written up. Others fell casualty to other commitments. 

We realised that we weren’t alone and that many colleagues lacked motivation or got stuck. We thought it would be great if we could get together a group of people and try to help each other develop our projects.

What do you hope the outcome from the conference to be?

A group of motivated people will finish their unfinished research projects. They may in turn developed into journal articles, book chapters or PhD proposals.

Some may find develop research collaborations as a result and no longer work alone. We could develop a special edition of an academic journal. Delegates at the conference will have their own ideas. We’re open to suggestions.

What half-finished idea will you be bringing to the conference?

We once presented a paper on the performance of public relations. It’s a great topic, as we all act role. We were going to write it up as a full research article but life got in the way and we need to finish it.

Who should attend, and how do they sign up?

Anyone that research-curious and has an idea that they don’t know how to develop or has stalled. It’s for academics and practitioners in communications, PR and social media. The conference is in Wolverhampton on Monday 25 June, costs £25. Follow the link to book.

Professional communicators need to get to grips with AI

Professional communicators need to get to grips with AI

Comms School: end of term

Comms School: end of term