The Normative Imperative: Sociopolitical Challenges of Strategic and Organizational Communication

5 Jul 2023 - 17:00 | 8 Jul 2023 - 6:00 pm

Auditorium 1

about the conference

For far too long, the focus of applied communication has been in proving value and getting a place at the manager’s table. We followed blind the growth imperative and an economic model centred on the financial efficiency. In the years, some academics were looking for identifying added-value of communication to the management game from a hegemonic perspective. Nevertheless, it was also a position of never being able to be a game changer, but rather a follower. It even charged also public sector with efficiency from a management centered perspective.

We see then a change in the public sphere and in the social dynamics. Society intensified the game of legitimation of organisations with hashtags movements and global awareness. CSR, sustainability, diversity, equity, inclusion are now well widespread buzzwords in the corporate realm. Organisations feel the normative imperative, taking care of societal issues and even play a role in political discussions, as seen in corporate social advocacy and CEO activism.  On the other side, corporate hypocrisy and soft propaganda are ongoing, and the media landscape and its watchdog role seems to be diminishing.

For sure companies and even more public sector have always had a contract with society. A contract that comprises not just direct stakeholders (as employees, consumers, citizens or shareholders) but also broader publics (as the media, the nonprofit sector or the communities where the organisation operate). Of course, there are laws and regulations, the formal part of this social contract; but there are also semi-formal aspects, which are much more fluid and difficult to ascertain: the stakeholders’ expectations regarding companies conduct, like following environmental or labour ideals, or the fulfillment of brand promises. Violations may result in swift actions by stakeholders, fueled by social media boycotts, for example, but they can also go unnoticed. With excuses of endless use of rhetorical figures and a permissive attitude towards communication endeavours and brand communication, we let organisations preach their stories and narratives without hardly any accountability on their communication.

The ECREA OSC conference will take place from July 5th to 8th, 2023 at the Autonomous University of Lisbon, jointly organized with LabCom – Centro de Investigação.

Evandro Oliveira and Gisela Gonçalves are the organisers.

conference topics

  • Normative governance for organizational communication
  • Normative frameworks for strategic communication
  • Impact of brand rhetoric and narratives on society
  • Regulatory implications for the public sector
  • Non-profit and hypocrisy
  • Impact of communication on consumer identity and well-being
  • B-corps as a new approach to relationship management
  • Accountability, integrated reporting and communication
  • 4th sector communication
  • Greenwashing and other “image” washing.
  • Strategic Communication and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Corporate social advocacy and CEO activism
  • Internal relationship management and well-being

Scholars and postgraduate students of Organizational and Strategic Communication. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the formal and informal mentoring opportunities afforded by participating in the conference and other section activities. The conference provides members with valuable professional development opportunities, including networking and presentation, and learning about the latest trends in Organizational and Strategic Communication research.

Submissions are closed. Full articles can be considered for two publications:

1- A special issue of the journal “Communication Studies”- Scopus, Latindex, open source (
2- A book edited by Evandro Oliveira & Gisela Gonçalves (Publisher to be confirmed)


Workshop on Digital Methods (max. 25 participants)

Dr. Ramón Rodriguez-Amat –

Former President of ECREA OSC and Professor at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.


July, 5th

09:00-12:00 and 13:00-16:00


Basic data analytics with Python (crash course workshop) - Morning

This is just a brief introduction to the fascinating world of python for data analysis. After a brief presentation of what digital data, social networks and communication platforms are, streaming; we will use Microsoft Visual Studio Code and Anaconda Jupyter Notebooks to explore real datasets. Then we'll learn how to represent them visually, how to use visual representations, and draw some initial conclusions. You will be given more useful resources if you want to deepen your knowledge.

Note you will need to bring your own laptops and you will be asked to install the software yourselves before the session. Help for the installation can also be provided.

Network data analytics with Gephi (crash course workshop) - Afternoon

This is just a brief introduction to the fascinating world of data analysis. After a little game and a presentation about what networks mean and how they are relevant to social network analysis, we will use the gephi to explore real datasets. Then we'll learn to understand networks visually and how to use network representations to draw some initial conclusions. You will be given more useful resources if you want to deepen your knowledge.


Note you will need to bring your own laptops and you will be asked to install the software yourselves before the session. Help for the installation can also be provided.



ECREA and SOPCOM MEMBERS: 25 Euros for 1 Workshop; 40 Euros for both.

PhD Students: 20 Euros for one and 30 for Both

NON-ECREA MEMBERS:  50 Euros 1 Workshop and 80 Both


Guest Speaker

University of South Carolina

Shannon A. Bowen, Ph.D., University of South Carolina is Full Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (and Affiliated Faculty in Artificial Intelligence), University of South Carolina. He specializes in problem management and decision models to help organizations face ethical challenges, futurism and deontology. doctor Bowen teaches and researches ethics in corporations, public affairs, and government. She is the founder and executive director of the Global Strategic Communications Consortium and annual Conclave for Future Research. She is a former trustee of the Arthur W. Page Society and former editor of Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics. She has published more than 100 journal articles, books, book chapters, a research dictionary, and encyclopedia entries, in addition to being a Principal Investigator on an NSF grant. He has won numerous academic awards, fellowships, Top Papers, the Heath Award, and the JJ&W Behavioral Science Research Prize. His most cited works are on ethical decision-making models in corporations (and in the pharmaceutical industry) and Kantian deontological ethics.

Scopus Author ID: 7005487014

(20) Shannon Bowen (


PhD at the University of Maryland (communication ethics, business management) 2000


Early Bird (until May 10th)

  • Registration for ECREA/SOPCOM Members 100 euros (two lunches, coffee breaks and welcome drink)
  • Application for academics 130 euros (two lunches, coffee breaks and welcome drink)
  • Application for professionals 150 euros (two lunches, coffee breaks and welcome drink)
  • Registration for PhD Students with presentation 45 euros (coffee breaks and welcome drink only)
  • Registration for participation-only PhD students 25 euros (coffee breaks and welcome drink only)
  • Gala dinner – 40 euros


After May 10th until June 14th

  • Registration for ECREA/SOPCOM Members 130 euros (two lunches, coffee breaks and welcome drink)
  • Application for academics 160 euros (two lunches, coffee breaks and welcome drink)
  • Application for professionals 180 euros (two lunches, coffee breaks and welcome drink)
  • Registration for PhD Students with presentation 75 euros (coffee breaks and welcome drink only)
  • Registration for participation-only PhD students 35 euros (coffee breaks and welcome drink only)



Scientific Program

July, 5th

17:30 | Registration opens

Autonomous University of Lisbon (UAL) main building – R. de Santa Marta 561150-140 Lisbon, Portugal


18:00 | Opening session (Sala dos Atos UAL) followed by a port of honor and informal get together


Prof. doctor Reginaldo Rodrigues de Almeida

Vice president of the Autonomous University of Lisbon and communication sciences department head


Prof. Dr. Gisela Goncalves

LabCom Research Center board member, University of Beira Interior, past ECREA OSC chair and local organizer


Prof. doctor Evandro Oliveira

ECREA OSC chair, LabCom research associate, Autonomous University of Lisbon and local organizer


July 6th

UAL | Auditorium 1

9:00 am – 10:30 am | Session 1

Panel | Activism and corporate purpose

Chair: Gisela Gonçalves (LabCom and University of Beira Interior)


Active citizenship, companies and purpose: the perspective of Spanish society

Isabel Ruiz Mora, Belén Barroso & Alejandro Álvarez Nobel (University of Malaga)


Corporate purpose and its communication in small and medium-sized enterprises – How purpose orientation helps to achieve strategic communication goals

Michael Johann, Daniel Ziegele, Leonie Beck, Tanja Graf, Xenia Grohmann, Leonard Landau, Christina Lehmann, Adrian Liehr, Friederike Rummeni, Laura Wettengel & Sabrina Zierer (University of Leipzig)


The PR Excellence Theory and the Strategic PR Model: Aegon Santander case study

Matilde Almeida & Susana de Carvalho Spínola (CAPP, ISCSP, University of Lisbon)


The impact of CEO Activism in Brand Reputation: the PROZIS case

Alexandre Duarte (ICNOVA, Nova University Lisbon)


Celebrity communication management and fan charitable participation: Towards the assimilation of symmetrical communication in entertainment public relations

Loarre André Perez (DaLI Lab, University of Oklahoma)


coffee break

11:00 am – 12:30 pm | Session 2


Panel | Human rights, gender and public interest 

Chair: Isabel Ruiz-Mora (ECREA OSC past chair and University of Malaga)


Portuguese women in the strategic communication industry: perceptions on gender equality dimensions

Maria João Cunha, Carla Cruz & Fábio Anunciação (CAPP, ISCSP, University of Lisbon)


Public Sector Communication and Gender Perspective. A Pilot Study on Social Media Practices of Italian Regions

Marica Spalletta (Link Campus University), Gea Ducci (University of Urbino), Lucia D'Ambrosi (Sapienza University of Rome), Camilla Folena (University of Urbino)


Communicating for change: Strategies used by Portuguese Feminists Groups – Success and Challenges

Ana Sofia Pereira, Sónia Lamy, Carla Cerqueira & Célia Taborda (CICANT, Lusófona University, CICANT)


When human rights are out of the game: an analysis of the silencing of national teams during the 2022 World Cup

Fernando Rocha & Ricardo Morais (LabCom, University of Beira Interior)


Public Interest Communication and the Advocacy Strategies of Non-Profit organizations: The case of ODIF in Cape Verde

Ana Barreto (ICNOVA, Nova University Lisbon), Nuno Brito (Autonoma University of Lisbon and ICNOVA)


2 pm – 3 pm | keynote speaker


The normative imperative: Ethics

Shannon A. Bowen (University of South Carolina)

15:00 – 16:30 | Session 3


Panel | Digital communication and public engagement


Chair: Alessandro Lovari (ECREA OSC vice chair and University of Cagliari)


Challenges of digital communication in universities' role in society: analysis of social media posting strategy

Ileana Zeler (Autonomous University of Barcelona), Paul Capriotti (Universitiy Rovira i Virgili), & Andrea Oliveira (University of Malaga)


Corporate Lobbying on Sustainable Finance: How Financial Lobbying Drives Negative Engagement Behavior on Twitter

Vesile Cinceoglu (University of Zurich), Matias Lievonen (University of Jyväskylä), & Nadine Strauss (University of Zurich)


Online strategic health communication. Communicating skin-cancer prevention in Spain.

Angels Moreno, Lara Jiménez-Sánchez (University Rey Juan Carlos), & Ileana Zeler  (Autonomous University of Barcelona)


No Such Thing as Bad Publicity? Dialogic Shaping of AI Innovation by Companies, News, and Social Media

Tessa Oomen, João Gonçalves & Lara Jiménez-Sánchez (Erasmus University of Rotterdam)


Behind the scenes of the matchmaking between private for-profit sector and cultural and creative sectors during pandemic

Caterina Foà & Catarina Pessoa Godinho (CIES-ISCTE, University Institute of Lisbon)

coffee break

17h00 – 18h30 | Short presentations session


Chair: Ileana Zeler (ECREA OSC vice-chair and University Autonomous of Barcelona)


The Paradox of CSR Communication: Best Practices to Combat the Paradox

Barbara Costa (Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra), &  Alexandra Leandro (CECS, University of Minho)


Estrella Barrio-Fraile (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

Doctoral research on CSR in Spain: before and after the SDGs


When green is not green: The message of the awareness campaign against greenwashing, by the Portuguese Association for Consumer Protection (DECO PROTEST)

Celia Belim & Raphael Baptista (CAPP, ISCSP, University of Lisbon)


30 years of scientific production on the role of CEOs in the institutional communication of organizations: bibliometric analysis from 1993-2022

Giancarlo Saavedra-Chau & Paul Capriotti (Universitiy Rovira i Virgili)


From Engagement to Activism: What publics are demanding of organizations

Patricia Dias (Catholic University of Lisbon) & Jose Gabriel Andrade (CECS, University of Minho)


Solving challenges of internal communication during times of uncertainty in the public sector: the case study of Lithuanian ministry 

Vytautas Beniusis (Vilnius University)


An outlook on the role of employees in organizational communication: The power of microboundary-spanners

Loarre Andre Perez, Kyoungmin Lee & Jeong-Nam Kim (DaLI Lab, University of Oklahoma)


20:15 – Walking tour

Gathering at Rossio Square (near the fountain). The tour ends at the restaurant.


9:30 pm | Conference Dinner

Atalho Real Restaurant – Calçada do Patriarcal, 40.


July 7th

UAL | Auditorium 1

10:00 am – 11:30 am | Session 4


Panel | Public communication and public participation


Chair: Sonia Pedro Sebastian (CAPP, ISCSP, University of Lisbon)


The challenges of communicating the Italian Recovery Plan: Investigating models, strategies, practices, and rhetorics.

Francesca Comunello (University of Rome), Alessandro Lovari (University of Cagliari), Alessandro Marinelli & Leonardo Piromelli (University of Rome)


University Fourth Mission and nowadays society. Ethic imperative and relational challenges in the context of high education in Italy

Lucia D'Ambrosi, Valentina Martino & Paolo Brescia (Sapienza University of Rome)


Public Relations Role and Media Data Strategies Issued by Saudi Governmental Organizations During the Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis

mutazi alotabi (CardiffUniversity)


Social participation in public organization: a case study of Santa Catarina's Prosecutor Office (MPSC)| Access to justice, reduction of inequality and litigation gaps – the case of Israeli litigators

Gisiela Klein (University of Coimbra) & Clerilei Bier (State University of Santa Catarina)


Nudge and thermalism: A theoretical reflection on developing communication strategies to enhance wellbeing

Vera Antunes, Gisela Gonçalves & Cristina Estevão (LabCom and NECE, University of Beira Interior).

coffee break and

12h00 – 13h00 | Professionals' Hour


Moderation: Evandro Oliveira (ECREA OSC Chair, LabCom, Autonomous University of Lisbon)


Inês Simões, president of APCE (Portuguese Association of Corporate Communication) and CCO for corporate communication, brand and organizational culture from the AGEAS group.


Paula Portugal Mendes, board member of the Global Alliance for PR and Communication Management


Marta Santos, communication consultant of Sair da Casca (certified b-corp communication agency).



3:00 pm – 4:30 pm | Session 5


Panel | Trust and sustainability narratives 


Chair: Michael Johann (ECREA OSC Young Scholar, University of Ausgburg)


The sustainability narrative challenge: the Secil Group media framing in Portugal

Andreia Melchiades Soares (CAPP, ISCSP, University of Lisbon)


Analysis of Institutional Communication Strategies on Green Hydrogen in the Euro-Mediterranean Region

Nazih Toubal (Autonomous University of Barcelona)


Nuclear energy as green? Analysis of the news media impact of the European Parliament's declaration on the Complementary Delegated Act

Riasat Muhammad Amir (Autonomous University of Barcelona)


Going Beyond Obligatory Disclosure – The Identity Projection of Public Agencies, As Invitation for Social Judgment

Eva Kaponia (New University Lisbon)


Habermas's communicative action and the constructivist-relational theory as references for the communication of sustainability in organizations 

Lauralice Ribeiro & Paula Ribeiro (University of Coimbra)


One Thousand and One Days. Trustworthiness Perception in Startups and Emerging Brands: The Role of Brand Narrative, Story Doing, and Trust Triggers

Nivea Heluey Morante (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

16:30 | Closing Ceremony and farewell drink


Location, accommodation and tours

The conference will take place at the Palácio dos Condes de Redondo – Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, in the center of Lisbon.

Conference Hotel with special rate Dom Carlos Liberty 3*, please insert the promotional code when booking:

Hotel Dom Carlos Park and Liberty ***

Double room with breakfast – 92€ + 4€ fees
Single with breakfast – 77€ + 2€ fees

If you want to book this room, please send an email to with the data to make the reservation.



10% Official website discount (, please enter the code: turimclub

Other good accommodations nearby without special rate:

Inspira Liberdade Boutique Hotel 4*

EPIC Sana 5*


Budget options:

easy hotel

Lisbon Top Hostel (Dormitory):


Scientific Committee

Presidents and local organizers

Dr. Evandro Oliveira (LabCom and Autonomous University of Lisbon)
Dr. Gisela Gonçalves (LabCom and University of Beira Interior)



Dr. Alessandro Lovari (ECRES OSC management team and Università di Cagliari, Italy)
Dr. Ana Melo (CECS and University of Minho, Portugal)
Dr. Andrea Oliveira (University of Malaga, Spain)
Dr. Bruno Reis (LabCom and Autonomous University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Dr. Ileana Zeler (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain)
Dr. Isabel Ruiz-Mora (University of Malaga, Spain)
Dr. Reginaldo de Almeida (Autonomous University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Dr. Ramón Rodriguez-Amat (Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom)
Dr. Sónia de Sá (LabCom and Autonomous University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Dr. Sónia Pedro Sebastião (CAAP, ICSP, University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Dr. Teresa Ruão (CECS and University of Minho, Portugal)


UAL Media Coordinator

Carlos Pedro Dias (Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa)


ECREA OSC Management Team

President: Evandro Oliveira (LabCom and Autonomous University of Lisbon, Portugal)
Vice President: Ileana Zeler (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain) and Alessandro Lovari (University of Cagliari, Italy)

YECREA: Michael Johann (University of Augsburg, Germany)



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