PAPER PRESENTATION: Media Visibility, Policy Silence? Trudeau’s PMO Shift from Speeches to Statements
This research presentation summarizes the finalized open access database of the Canadian Prime Ministers’ public speeches project that, after three years of research, includes over 4000 entries of every person’s name mentioned in each speech, from 1993 until 2017. The research for this content analysis answers “What communications differences exist in terms of the diversity of names mentioned in a comparison of Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin, Stephen Harper, and Justin Trudeau’s speeches?” To date, Trudeau has only listed 16 speeches in his first 15 months in office, whereas Harper had recorded that amount in the first five months of his majority government. This analysis contrasts Trudeau's speeches with the prime minister’s office release of statements that have increased in number, compensating for the limited speech output. Despite Trudeau’s media visibility, the evidence supports that he is not communicating on policy as frequently as Harper, which aligns with Marland’s theories of political master brands. This presentation also features an undergraduate student’s account of conducting research for the project.
Peter Malachy Ryan, PhD
Peter is an Assistant Professor in Public Relations at Mount Royal University, where he currently teaches Financial Public Relations, Government Public Relations, and Issues Management, Risk and Crisis Communication. He completed both his BA and MA at the University of Alberta, before moving to Toronto to accept a Rogers PhD Fellowship in the joint Ryerson/York Universities’ Communication and Culture Programme. He taught in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson until 2010, and then moved to MacEwan University in Edmonton to work in their eLearning Office, while also teaching for their Department of Communication.
His research interests include Canadian government public relations, digital research methods, and social media issues management. His co-authored research with Patrice Dutil earned the J.E. Hodgetts’ award from the Institute of Public Administration (IPAC) for article of the year in 2013, and an online project with CBC News’ Susan Ormiston Online and Greg Elmer’s Infoscape Research Lab earned the “Best Cross Platform Project” Gemini Award for their coverage of the 2008 Canadian federal election (note: the Gemini Awards are now known as the “Canada Screen Awards”, since 2013).
Jade Tippe is currently Dr. Peter Ryan’s research assistant, and a third-year student at Mount Royal University (MRU), where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Communications degree in Public Relations, with a minor in business. She has earned several undergraduate scholarships during her studies, including support to attend this CPRS event from MRU’s Undergraduate Research Dissemination Fund.
Jade recently accepted a Communications and Marketing Summer Student position with PCL Construction Incorporated in Edmonton for her summer work placement. Previously, she worked as the Marketing and Events Intern with the Further Education Society of Alberta where she organized and executed several successful fundraising events. Jade plans to go on to graduate studies after earning her degree. When she is not studying or volunteering, Jade enjoys snowshoeing, hiking and long-term, independent travel.