Stephanie Yates
Professor
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Stéphanie Yates is a professor at the Department of Social and Public Communication at the Université du Québec à Montréal since December 2010, as well as Deputy Chair at UQAM's Public Relations and Marketing Communication Chair.  Previously, she filled several positions in provincial and federal politics as well as in the private sector. She holds a Masters degree in Public Communication from Université Laval and a Ph.D. in Political Science from that same University.  Her research focuses mainly on lobbying, special interest groups and citizen influence in state and business governance.  From that point of view, she is more specifically interested in citizen participation experiences and in the concept of social acceptability, including in the context of large-scale public or private projects, and also in corporate social responsibility.  She is the author of many papers on those topics.

 

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM):

Large-Scale Projects and their Social Acceptability:
Where Does PR Come into Play?

To be socially accepted, large infrastructure projects must be discussed ahead of their development. Not only is this likely to build acceptation for the project, but it can create ownership in the communities, and even make them carry the project.

Yet, in terms of a "participation industry" developing alongside the PR industry, one finds that PR professionals do not always get the credibility needed to implement working participation initiatives.

Such PR professionals however, do have a paramount role to play in ensuring an open and authentic dialogue ahead of the project in order to demystify the most technical aspects of the project while listening to the needs and expectations of the stakeholders. In that sense, many a recent case has shown there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach capable of ensuring a project's acceptance.

 

Stéphanie Yates talks about how PR professionals can use their expertise to forecast the dynamics linked to the social acceptability of projects, in order to better anticipate and develop viable and feasible solutions. Many recent case studies from Quebec and Canada will be used to illustrate her point. Participants are also invited to take an active part in the discussion.

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