Alenka is Programme Director of the MSc Strategic Communication and Public Relations (Joint Degree with Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona) and teaches postgraduate modules on public relations and public communication theories, public affairs and advocacy, and research methods. She currently supervises four PhD students: Rana Alomari, who is researching public diplomacy in Bahrain; Jackie Hadland, who is researching employability in journalism education in Scotland; Clare McKeown, focusing on images in anti-violence against women campaigns; and An-Chun Teng, whose PhD is in crisis communication strategies in food safety in Taiwan.
Her current research interest is in public relations, political and communication studies with a focus on public relations as an academic discipline; relationships between media and politics; gender in media and public relations; and public communication of loss and mortality. She specialises in qualitative research, particularly expert interviews and framing analysis. Her research has been published in international academic journals Public Relations Inquiry, British Politics and Public Relations Review, edited books, professional public relations publications and regularly presented at academic conferences, including ECREA European Communication Conferences, EUPRERA congresses and symposia, BledCom symposia, British Sociological Association conferences and Political Studies Association conferences.
She joined the University of Stirling in September 2013 from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) where she was Senior Lecturer in Public Relations and the Course Leader of MSc International Applied Communication (the programme she studied herself). Prior to UCLan, she worked as a Teaching Assistant and a Public Relations Adviser at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. She has spent shorter periods of time at Hogeschool Utrecht in the Netherlands as an Erasmus student and a visiting lecturer, respectively. She has the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK.
Alenka holds a PhD in the field of Social Sciences - Communication from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, an MSc in International Applied Communication from the University of Central Lancashire, UK, and a BSc in Communication Science - Marketing and Marketing Communication also from the University of Ljubljana. For her undergraduate dissertation titled ‘International Comparison of Study Programmes in the Field of Communication Studies' she received EUPRERA (European Public Relations Education and Research Association) Jos Willems Award for best undergraduate dissertation in 2005. Her PhD dissertation titled ‘Creating the Media Image of the President of State: The Role of Official Sources in the Process of Framing Television News' focused on the role of political advisers and public relations professionals in the media news framing. It developed an integrated theoretical framework of public relations and media / journalism framing processes, explored the relationships and interactional patterns between media and political institutions from a process-oriented perspective and discussed the political image creation and the influence of politics on media reporting.
She has been an Instructor of Expert Interviews at the ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) Summer Schools in Methods and Techniques since 2008 and has taught qualitative interview research at several universities and research institutes across Europe and beyond (Masaryk University, Czech Republic; GIGA Institute Hamburg; University of Jena, Germany; Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; Concordia University, Montreal, Canada).
Alenka is a member of ECREA (European Communication Research and Education Association) Advisory Board. She was the ECREA General Secretary (2012-2016) and a member of the ECREA Executive Board (2009-2016).
Outside of academia, she has public relations agency and in-house experience and experience in broadcast media as a journalist, radio news director, overseas correspondent, television host, and ad copywriter. Currently, she is a British correspondent for Slovenian television Kanal A and regularly writes for Slovenian newspaper Ve¿er.
Alenka's current research interest lies in relationships and interactional patterns between political and media institutions, their influence on media and political agenda and wider social implicaitons; mortality and loss in public communicaiton; news and public relations framing; gender representation in media and public relations; development of public relaitons as an academic discpline; and qualitative research methods, particularly interviews and framing analysis.
Jelen-Sanchez A (2018) Experiencing public relations as an academic discipline: What do scholarly views and published research tell us? . In: Bridgen E, Verčič D (ed.). Experiencing Public Relations: International Voices, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 6-25.
Jelen-Sanchez A & Dekavalla M (2016) Who speaks in a referendum? Scotland’s Indyref TV news coverage British Politics and Policy at LSE, 15/11/2016. LSE. Available from: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/what-does-news-coverage-tell-us-about-who-gets-to-speak-in-a-referendum-campaign/.
Jelen-Sanchez A (2015) The Scottish referendum in Slovenian Media. The 2014 Scottish independence referendum in the media, 18.9.2015 - 18.9.2015, Stirling. Available from: https://www.stir.ac.uk/events/2015/09/the2014scottishindependencereferenduminthemedia/
Logar Berginc N, Verčič D, Ašanin Gole P, Gantar P, Jelen-Sanchez A, Kalin Golob M, Kosem I, Krek S, Romih M, Serajnik-Sraka N & Verdnik I (2014) TERMIS: Terminološka podatkovna zbirka odnosov z javnostmi. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana.
Jelen-Sanchez A (2010) Odnosi z javnostmi kot akademska veda. In: Njatin LB (ed.). Komunikacija & deziluzija/ Communication & Disillusion, Ljubljana: PRSS, Slovensko društvo za odnose z javnostmi, pp. 25-27.
Jelen-Sanchez A (2008) The nature of scholarly endeavors in public relations. In: van Ruler B, Verčič AT, Verčič D (ed.). Public Relations Metrics: Research and Evaluation. Routledge Communication Series, New York: Routledge, pp. 36-59.