Contemporary Publics, Twitter and the Story of PR: Exploring Corporate Interventions to Promote “Clean Coal” in Australia


  • Kristin Demetrious Deakin University



Global public relations, Contemporary publics, Twitter, Digital storytelling


Peabody Energy’s Advanced Energy for Life (AEFL) comprehensive global public relations (PR) campaign promoted the idea of clean coal. It is part of a series of efforts deployed by the coal industry since the 1980s to influence the public’s willingness to accept or tolerate its processes and products. This paper will develop a greater understanding of how contemporary publics in a 21st century context react when targeted by the global PR industry. Specifically, it looks at the response to the AEFL campaign in Australia and in particular examines Twitter provocations from January 2014 to January 2016. In doing so, this paper contributes to our understanding of how communicative dynamics such as Twitter and PR may affect public debates. This is critical to helping resolve key policy settings around future energy usage and emissions reduction.


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