I spent over 20 years working in all areas of the media and communications industry both in the UK and overseas. I have industry experience in media, advertising and public relations and have worked for media organisations, agencies and within client companies. I moved into academia at Canterbury Christ Church in 2013. My teaching focus is on practical industry focused insight. Since 2014 I have been a Programme Director across Media and Communications, PR, Media and Marketing and PR and Media.
I am currently on 0.5 two year secondment as Senior Academic Link Tutor for International Partnerships.
I have taught on a variety of undergraduate programmes and modules in the. I have developed modified and evolved much of the teaching. Modules covered include.
- Module leader on Making Media Meanings and Messages
- Module support on Introduction to Professional Communications
- Module support on Media and Creative Industries
- Module leader on Advertising in Context
- Module leader on Advertising Practices
- Module leader on Introduction to Public Relations
- Module support on Media Business and Entrepreneurship
- Module support on Media Futures
- Module leader on Work Related Learning
- Module leader on Professional Work Based Learning
- Module support on Individual Research Project
- Module Leader Global Experience (overseas field trip).
- Module support of Professional Practices (BA Hons Multi Media Journalism)
- Module leader Public Relations: Campaign and Planning
Learning and Teaching Enhancement
Winner of Faculty of Arts and Humanities Learning and Teaching Innovation Prize 2018
Programme lead on validation of BA Hons Media and Communications – Level 6 Top up Degree with Modern Continuing Education Centre (formally Compass College) in Hong Kong
Programme attendee on Media and Communications Revalidation Panel 2018
Programme lead on validation of BA Hons Media and Public Relations 2019
Programme lead on validation of MA Public Relations 2019
UCAP/PGCAP Mentor 2015-2020
Research and knowledge exchange
I completed my Masters by Research in 2017 looking at Organisational Culture in Local Media Organisations.
I co-delivered a funded project Online news and communication in local communities’ (2015-2017) with Agnes Gulyas and in partnership with Canterbury Voluntary Alliance, Canterbury City Council, Kent Messenger Group and Esri UK, funded by HEIF (£5,518)
I am currently studying for a Doctare in Education due to submit in 2023.
Teaching and subject expertise
I am interested in all aspects of the communications industry, including advertising, PR and social media. I am a Chartered Marketer and a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, A Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of PR. I am also a Senior Fellow of Higher Education.
O’Hara S (2017) Organisational Culture within local media.
Provincial Newspapers: Lessons from History 6th September John Moores University, Liverpool
Gulyas A, O’Hara S (2017) ‘What is local news online? Audience perceptions and consumption patterns of local news in the digital age’ with Agnes Gulyas
‘Future of Journalism 2017’ conference, University of Cardiff, 14-15 Sept
O’Hara S (2016) Organisational Culture within Local Media Conference Poster
ECREA Conference. 10th November, Prague, Czech Republic.
Gulyas A O’Hara S (2016) Local News Consumption and Communication Online
ECREA Pre-Conference program: Dealing with the Local: Media, Proximity and
8 November, Prague Czech Republic
O’Hara S (2016) Organisational culture and its influence on strategy in local media. MeCCSA 2016 Annual Conference,
6th-8th January, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK.
O’Hara S (2015) Organisational culture within local media and how cultural beliefs shape strategic decisions.
Negotiating Culture: Integrating Legacy and Digital Cultures in News Media, 28th-30th October, Reuters Institute St Catherine's College, Oxford.
School and Faculty Papers
Bringing Reality into Practice Profession Work Based Learning in the Curriculum
Students as Partners in Learning Shaping their Skills
Faculty Teaching Innovation Conference June 2018
Maximising DHLE Results on Programmes
School of Media, Art and Design Staff Forum 2017
Embedding Real Client Briefs in Teaching
Faculty Teaching Innovation Event June 2017
Student Led Sustainable Learning
School of Media, Art and Design Staff Forum 2016
MeCCSA Annual Conference 6-8 January 2016. Canterbury Christ Church University
- I was on the conference organising committee which brought in over 200 delegates to Canterbury Christ Church University.
The Future of Local News – 25 January 2018 Centre for Research on Communities and Culture, Canterbury Christ Church
- I was on the organising committee managing the attendance of panel members
External Examiner Roles
CATS College – University Foundation Programme – External Examiner Media Studies 2017- ongoing
University of East London – External Examiner for Media, Fashion and Communications Department 2017 – ongoing
University of Bedfordshire in partnership with Modern Sciences and Arts University, Cairo for External Examiner for Mass Communications (with Advertising and Public Relations) 2018 – ongoing
External Assessor University of Roehampton – Marketing Communications Programme 2019
Publications and research outputs
O’Hara S (2020) “What can we learn from Independent Family Owned Local Media Groups?” In: Baines, D and Guylas, A (eds) Companion to Local Media and Journalism Abingdon: Routledge
Referred Journal Articles
Gulyas, A, O’Hara, S and Eilenburg, J (2018) Experiencing local news online: audience practices and perceptions Journalism Studies, Routledge