Bridget Tombleson

Rethinking the Circuit of Culture: How Participatory Culture has Transformed Cross-Cultural Communication

Co-author: Katharina Wolf

The digital world continues to evolve and we now have audiences that create their own artefacts and influence the speed in which culturally constructed meanings evolve and change. PR practitioners are no longer cultural intermediaries but also cultural curators, creating meaning from publics, who are now content creators, and encourage a true participatory environment that sees cultural values shared as an organic exchange, rather than a manufactured one.

In its current form, the circuit of culture and relating scholarly work are yet to fully recognise the impact that digital communication and participatory culture have had on international communication and the creation of meaning.  The circuit of culture model, must be viewed within a participation context, acknowledging how cross-cultural communication has changed within the context of digital communication.


Bridget Tombleson is a PR professional with 16 years’ industry experience in public relations including media relations, issues management, strategy development and crisis communications. She has worked in government, corporate and consultancy roles in Australia and overseas.

Tombleson is a lecturer at Curtin University, where she has developed a new unit called “Transmedia Storytelling for the Public Relations course” within the School of Marketing. She is researching how to teach transmedia skills in higher education with a focus on developing a best practice teaching model. She has an interest in understanding the knowledge gap of higher education students in their use of digital technologies for personal and professional use; and the impact of participatory culture on the PR discipline. 


Tombleson has a Master of Public Relations, a Postgraduate Diploma in Business and a BA English. She has specialised in science communication, finance and banking, online communications, engineering, construction, and IT public relations.

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