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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
This edition of the Journal marks yet another landmark in its history. In May this year the Journal was bought by Emerald, one of the largest journal publishers in Europe.
Since it was first introduced by Henry Stewart in 1996, the Journal has steadily grown in circulation and reputation. It is now the largest circulation journal of its kind in Europe and has an international reputation. Some of the landmarks along the way are worthy of note. From the outset the Journal became the official endorsed academic publication of the UK Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and of the International Association of Business Communicators in Europe and Africa.
Although strictly speaking an academic journal, with a rigorous editorial policy which demands high standards and double-blind referencing, the Journal has always been keen to see itself as providing a platform where the academy and practitioners can contribute and derive benefit. It has been a sponsor of both academic conferences such as the CIPR academic conference in 2005, and of practitioner events, such as the Second World Public Relations Festival, also in 2005. This academic/practitioner positioning is vitally important and will be preserved under the new ownership.
The Journal has also sought to broaden the base of thinking on public relations away from the Anglo-American bias of the past. It was the first communication journal to appoint an Asian Editor and has done a great deal of work with African and Far Eastern colleagues to try to encourage academics and practitioners from those areas to contribute new and different perspectives which will enrich the body of understanding and knowledge.
There is much to thank Henry Stewart for as the original publisher.
So what of the future? Emerald was an eager purchaser of the Journal because of its growing stature and potential. The company has the size and marketing capability to help the Journal to grow in areas of the world where it is still not well recognised or where it has not yet established yet. Because there are a number of complementary title in the Emerald stable there will be opportunities to offer attractive packages of journals to libraries and large organisations and cross-marketing openings.
Again, because Emerald is a much larger organisation, we will be able to do things with the Journal that so far have been out of reach. For example, we will be able to produce Conference Proceedings quickly and relatively cheaply. Indeed, the Proceedings from the Second World Public Relations Festival on Diversity is our first effort in this direction.
We will also be able to offer an enhanced web presence and an automated author service which will allow contributors to submit articles electronically and track their progress at any stage.
There will be some things that will not change. As previously stated, the Journal will remain a forum for both academics and practitioners. The referring process will be unchanged. The editors and editorial board will stay the same. This is vitally important so that the ethos and editorial standard will be maintained, although the cover design will change to bring it in line with the Emerald housestyle.
This is a very exciting time for the Journal. I am very grateful to Henry Stewart for all the work they have done to establish it as a major publication. I am also grateful to the Editor, Associate Editors and the Advisory Board for their continued commitment to the Journal. Without them it would not have achieved the standing it has. And of course to all the contributors and readers to date: without them there would not be a journal. Please continue to support us as we move into a new era.