Braun, Sandra L. (Canada, Calgary)


  • Mount Royal University, Associate Professor (2010 – present)
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Canadian University of Dubai (2016-2017)


Public relations and culture, PR and Canada, PR history, women in PR


Educational background:

  • Diploma of Public Relations,
  • Bachelor’s of Telecommunication,
  • Master’s of Mass Communication,
  • PhD Communication

Professional background:

  • Employment in the communications industry includes work in the agency, medical, and higher education sectors.
  • Freelance journalist published in various news outlets in Southeastern United States.


  • PR Writing, International PR
  • Communication Theory
  • Media History
  • Organizational Communication
  • Introduction to Mass Communication


  • Braun, S., Ben Moussa, M., Dafri, W., & Stranjančević, A. (June 2018). Professional identity construction and socialization among public relations students in United Arab Emirates. In M. Carmo (Ed.), Proceedings of the Education and New Developments 2018 Conference (pp. 532-536). Lisbon, Portugal: inScience Press.
  •  Braun, S. (2015). Can we all agree? Building the case for symbolic interactionism as the theoretical origins of public relations. Journal of Professional Communication. 4. 10.15173/jpc.v4i1.2614.
  •  Braun, S. (2016). Social media use for public relations and reputation management in the university setting. Connect Universum. Tomsk State University. 50-58 DOI: 10.17223/9785946216104/7
  • Braun, S. (2007). The Effects of the Political Environment on Public Relations in Bulgaria. Journal of Public Relations Research. 19. 199-228. 10.1080/10627260701331747.

Has presented at Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication; American Journalism Historian’s Association; Business History Conference


Ancestral Tourism and Digital Place Brand Management


Studies show that emotional attachment to city brands has the potential to increase repeat site visitation. The recent rise in ancestral tourism, with its heightened emotional component, offers place brand managers enhanced marketing potential with already receptive markets. Are digital place brand managers considering the ancestral tourism market and, if so, how effective are they at reaching these markets?

Ancestral tourism includes personal visits to perceived homelands, and represents one of the fastest-growing segments of the heritage tourism sector, particularly being supported in media through such programming as “Who do you Think you Are? and through ancestral services such as 23andMe and An entire class of rich consumers having “mobility-capital” exists to explore their ancestral roots, to visit sites, and to expend resources.

Following one’s historical city or regional diasporic trends allows place brand managers to identify their own unique, relevant, potential ancestral tourism markets.

With the rise in the use of technology in digital place brand management, and its efficacy in the process of building, creation and promotion of destination brands, digital channels become key vehicles for communicating brand messages, competing for markets, and attracting mobility-capital.

This paper will examine and explore the potential of ancestral tourism to digital place brand managers.

Professor Sandra Braun, PhD, teaches Crisis Communication, Media History, and Communication Theory in the public relations program, Faculty of Communication Studies, at Mount Royal University. She holds a PhD from University of Alabama and Masters in Mass Communication from University of Florida University of Florida.