83418 - Public Communication And Service Marketing

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Stefano Spillare

  • Credits 5

  • SSD SPS/08

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Forli

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Sociology (cod. 8495)


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable cities Responsible consumption and production Partnerships for the goals

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide theoretical and practical tools to address the study of the relevant communication dynamics related to the design and implementation of public communication initiatives or plans: political, social and administrative one.
At the end of the course students get useful theoretical skills for analyzing processes and cultural factors that influence the construction of communication themes and the behavior of social actors; they learn the theories and techniques for the development of a communication which is oriented to participation and the involvement of citizens in modern democracy processes; finally, they acquire methodological tools useful for the communication and marketing actions planning on collective topics or public services, with particular reference to local public agencies, third sector players, corporate social responsibility and the cause-related marketing.

Course contents

The course will primarily illustrates the development of public communication in Italy and the recent digital turn of the Italian Public Administration (PA). The development of the Internet and the so-called "social web", indeed, is inevitably revolutionizing timing, models and the praxis of the public communication also in our Country.

According to the the new and complex dynamics of the contemporary Age, also in this pathway technological, normative and communicative dimensions are intertwined, impacting on both, the practices and the routines of the PA, as well as on the interaction and the relationship with citizens-users.
These latter have to be mostly considered nowadays “networked citizens”, that is connected citizens who are active within specific civic frameworks, using the web and the social media to interacting with the PA.
Digital media becomes public spaces and communicative contexts in which public organizations and the citizens are (re)connected and can have a confrontation due to co-implement services and to can heard their voice, triggering sharing knowledge, conversational exchange, mobilization and civic collaboration.
Thus, illustrating the nature and the extension of this change, the course wants to drive students in the full comprehension of the potentialities, but also the limits or obstacles about the upcoming "networked citizenship", widening their gaze toward the complex administrative and participative "infrastructure" that allows - beyond every rhetoric about innovation - digital technology to be concretely "enabling".


For attending students:

  • Lovari A. (2013). Networked citizens. Comunicazione pubblica e amministrazioni digitali. Milano: Franco Angeli.
  • Paltrinieri R., Allegrini G. (2015). Partecipazione, processi di immaginazione civica e sfera pubblica, Franco Angeli, Milano (Chapters 2 and 3).
  • Allegrini G., Spillare S. (2021). Public communication and the role of social media in enhancing democratic innovation:
    the case of the City of Bologna. Sociologia della Comunicazione, 61, pp. 109-126. Doi: 10.3280/SC2021-061008.

Non attending students will need to integrate with a contribute among those that are included in the book:

  • Bartoletti R., Faccioli F. (2015) (a cura di), Comunicazione e civic engagement. Media, spazi pubblici e nuovi processi di partecipazione, Franco Angeli, Milano..

N.B. Foreigners students who could have some difficulties with the Italian language may opt for alternative English books that have to be agreed with the teacher.

Teaching methods

The course mainly includes frontal lessons and group workshops/discussions related to the analysis of case studies, good practices, etc. in order to stimulate analytical and evaluative thinking, the empirical method and the critical approach.

Seminars and speeches by experts or representative witnesses may be also provided.

At the end of the course, the students will possess the theoretical frames and the operational tools to analyze, evaluate, structure and implement the communication of public and non-public bodies, with particular attention to stimulating and accompanying the processes of participation and co-creation of value.

Assessment methods

Attending students could take a partial exam at the end of the course, thus reducing the teaching load to carry during the official exam sessions. This test will probably consist of a written paper (a short scientific article or a small thesis concerning the topics covered by Lovari's monograph).

Non-attending students or those who have not passed the written test with a sufficient result will have to undergo an oral interview that will cover the entire program during the official sessions. In any case, students are required to take the oral exam on the remaining part of the course.

Teaching tools

Video projector, PC, powerpoint slides, articles and documents not included in the course program but relevant for the topics covered by the classes.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Stefano Spillare