SFB 1187 ›Medien der Kooperation‹ an der Universität Siegen

Ö - Public relations: cooperative research and design


The public relations sub-project involves non-scientific publics in the research process and research communication. At the center of the public relations work are the controversies and issues that are being researched across the sub-projects.




For the third funding phase, SFB "Media of Cooperation" will be supplemented by the public relations module in order to systematically involve non-scientific publics in the research process and research communication. The SFB's declared goal of conducting basic digital research and examining the cooperative constitution of data-intensive and sensory media forms the basis for classifying and designing developments in the field of digital media and technologies. To this end, SFB is developing a concept of public relations that does not see it as classic science communication in the sense of an outreach to a specialized sub-public 'science', but as science in cooperation with different publics.

Central points of reference for working with publics are the controversies and issues that are researched across the various sub-projects and specific publics involved in their negotiation processes and create them     cooperatively. Not only negotiating controversies in digital media plays a role, but also the controversies and crises of the media themselves. This cooperative and reciprocal interlocking of controversies, public opinion and media research must be made visible and specifically integrated into public relations work. This is preceded by an understanding of “staggered public spheres” (Zillinger 2017). The sub-project differentiates between broad, specialized and critical publics. By getting the general public interested in controversies, involving specialized publics in a cooperative manner in research design and creating critical publics on controversial topics across these, Ö addresses and informs about existing issues with a view to the research taking place in the sub-projects.

The public relations sub-project will coordinate, continuously reflect on and communicate the processes and forms of collaborative knowledge production in terms of opening up scientific practice. Results of cooperative research and design are presented in short publications (e.g. blog posts, newspaper articles, SFB working papers, graphic recordings), scientific contributions, an SFB toolkit and a concept paper for cooperative research and design at SFB, University of Siegen, respective stakeholder groups and publics. The measures aim to create a cooperative public that, in close cooperation with SFB's staggered publics, provides critical and formative impulses.


The public relations module aims at a co-operative concept of public relations, which

  • interlinks controversies, media research and publics,
  • provides critical and formative impulses in public debates on controversial topics and
  • opens up scientific practice.

The Public relations will be connected to methods and discourses of collaborative knowledge production, in particular to

  • Participatory Action Research and Public Anthropology,
  • co-design work and curatorial research,
  • transfer/public science and citizen science,
  • data sprints and practical research.
Public relations action plan (© SFB 1187)
Public relations action plan
(© SFB 1187)

The public relations include an overall public outreach

  • Film series and exhibitions on surveillance, media and sensory practices
  • Co-design activities and laboratory formats in the field of age, childhood and migration research
  • Interventions, discussion forums and handouts on data policy and sustainable transport planning

Furthermore, a series of media formats and methodological work will accompany the outreach

  • podcasts, newsletters and social media outreach
  • graphic recordings and methodological toolkit
  • reflections and publications on collaborative research with publics
Theaterperformanz bei einem Dorffest im Hohen Atlas, Marokko, organisiert von B04. (© Konstantin Aal.)
Theatre performance at a village festival in the High Atlas, Morocco, organised by B04.
(© Konstantin Aal.)