Simon Collister

Profile image of Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) and MA Public Relations

Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) and MA Public Relations

London College of Communication


Simon Collister is currently completing doctoral research into strategic political communication and digital media at Royal Holloway, University of London’s New Political Communication Unit. His current research interests include strategic communication, big data, computational aspects of communication, algorithms, the mediation of power, 21st century organizational models, and the future of the public relations industry.

Simon has authored and co-authored articles in leading journals, including Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization and the International Journal of Communication and authored and co-authored book chapters on PR and big data in Share This Too (2013) and social media and text-mining in Innovations in Digital Research Methods (2015). He has recently co-edited a two-volume collection of essays on internet culture.

He is co-founder of the research hub, The Network for Public Relations and Society, and also a founder member of the UK Chartered Institute of Public Relation’s (CIPR) Social Media Advisory Panel. Before academia, Simon worked with some of the world’s leading public relations consultancies, including We Are Social, Edelman, and Weber Shandwick.

Research interests

Public relations, communication, political communication, networked communication, power, neo-materialism, assemblage theory, algorithmic communication, computational communication, corporate communication, big data.

Research statement

As a researcher and practitioner Simon is in interested in exploring public relations and strategic communication from a theoretical as well as practical perspective. Specific areas of research include the relationship between PR, digital media and the ways in which the materiality of the contemporary networked environment communication, such as computational infrastructure and algorithms, are re-shaping the discipline.

Traversing his research is a central concern that sees PR as a social practice, as opposed to a purely organisational and management discipline. This is something that is being explored internationally and across a diverse range of fields through the work of the Network for PR and Society.

He is also interested in power and mediation more broadly and is currently exploring the ways in which it shapes societal issues through his doctoral research with the New Political Communication Unit at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Selected research outputs