Organizing community: Activist public relations as place-making

Luke Capizzo, Stephanie Madden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This conceptual essay develops a renewed concept of community in public relations scholarship and practice—one re-centering activism and physical place. To do so, it delves into the writing and advocacy of two trailblazing women who dedicated their lives and work to empowering and protecting their communities: Grace Lee Boggs and Jane Jacobs. By connecting their approaches with existing public relations scholarship around community, activism, and place, the authors present a set of place-making communicative approaches for community activist practice in addition to theoretical development around what Boggs (2000) refers to as “place-based civic activism” (p. 19)—the work of finding and harnessing a shared neighborhood identity to connect and empower local residents as citizens. Seeing community and activism through this lens points toward the complex, living, and evolving ecology of communities (Jacobs, 1961, 2000), and positions public relations and activist communication as crucial tools for place-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102260
JournalPublic Relations Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing


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