Dr Lorann Downer

Adjunct Research Fellow

School of Political Science and International Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Adjunct Research Fellow, School of Political Science and International Studies

Lorann researches, writes and speaks about political branding, marketing and communication. Her PhD, awarded by The University of Queensland in 2014, considered the global trend towards branding in democratic politics and analysed the political branding strategies of the Australian Labor Party from 2007 to 2010.

Since then, she has lectured in Queensland politics at The University of Queensland and helped lead the University’s involvement with the Vote Compass-Queensland project in 2015. Her first book, Political Branding Strategies: Campaigning and Governing in Australian Politics, was published in 2016.

Research Interests

  • Political branding, marketing and communications
  • Australian politics
  • Queensland politics

Research Impacts

Lorann's research is focussed on explaining political practice using specially-developed theory and tools. While undertaking her PhD research, Lorann developed a new Brand-Oriented Party Model to explain and evaluate the branding strategies being used by parties and politicians in election campaigns and in office. She combined the Model with interviews with key practitioners and independent analysis to tell the story of Labor’s use of political branding between 2007 and 2010. She believes political researchers, practitioners and citizens alike should recognise the use of political branding which is re-shaping democractic politics around the globe.

As the John Oxley Library Fellow for 2016, Lorann is currently researching and writing about the use of political ephemera in Queensland between 1915 and 2015. She is using a political marketing framework to analyse how parties and politicians sought to reach voters through campaign material such as pamphlets, how to vote cards and even clothing. This work will provide a new pespective and deeper understanding of political campainging and the connections between parties and voters in Queensland.

Lorann's research draws on her involvement with politics in multiple ways. She was a political journalist, incuding for ABC Radio, before working in senior communications roles for former Queensland Premiers Anna Bligh and Peter Beattie. She wrote a Queensland Government Green Paper on education and training reforms, was involved in community consultation on the reform proposals and co-wrote the resultant White Paper. She also works as a marketing and communication consultant specialising in government clients.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


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Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs