Braun, Sandra L. (Canada, Calgary)

PLACE OF WORK, POSITION:

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

PROFESSIONAL AND SCIENTIFIC INTERESTS:

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

ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL CAREER:

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.

COURSES TAUGHT:

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

KEY PUBLICATIONS:

  • 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

TOPIC OF THE REPORT:

Ancestral Tourism and Digital Place Brand Management

ABSTRACT:

Ancestral tourism is a rapidly-growing sector of the tourism industry with the current wave of interest in genealogy. This is a case study report examining the untapped potential for ancestral and diasporic tourism in digital place brand management. A diaspora was selected, the German diaspora of 1863 – 1900, and a major migration route was identified (Baden-Wurttemberg, to Central Poland, to Western Ukraine, to South Russia). Tourism websites for those regions were identified through Google search and search engine optimization. Online content of the tourism websites was examined for appeal and target marketing to the German diasporic market, representing some 70 million people worldwide with key markets in the United States, Canada and South America. The majority of tourism websites along this migratory route are not tapping this particular heritage market (nor any other diasporic market with the exception of the Jewish diasporic market and, even then, minimally), nor are they addressing this market on their tourism websites in their digital footprint. These market needs are largely being met by private individuals and by small, privately-owned, custom tour and genealogical services-oriented sites. Further research could confirm this trend along other migratory routes, or with other diasporic markets, likely unveiling a market potential. Further research could also test for message effectiveness, and also the effects of technology on visits/repeat visits by descendants to their ancestral sites.

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.