Communication Insights

The publication series Communication Insights was launched to present the findings of the research program Value Creating Communication to practitioners. It summarizes the current state of research and presents our empirical results. Insights from science are complemented by best practices from communication experts as well as recommendations for further reading.

Let's talk about Diversity & Inclusion: Fostering an inclusive work environment through communication

July 2021

Corporate stakeholders from the general public to politicians increasingly expect corporations to reflect the diversity that exists in society within their workforce. The increasing recognition and influence of movements such as Black Lives Matter and ChooseToChallenge has reinforced public awareness and emphasized the need to manage diversity and inclusion (D&I) within organizations. 

A research team from the University of Vienna explored success factors and the role of communication in establishing and promoting diversity and inclusion within organizations based on the following  questions:

  • Why should companies invest in diversity and inclusion?
  • How can companies establish effective D&I management?
  • How can communications promote an inclusive corporate culture?

More information can be found in the Communication Insights

Communications Trend Radar - The 5 most relevant trends for corporate communications in 2021

February 2021

In recent months, the world has changed faster than ever. It’s not easy for communications managers to keep track of all these changes, not to mention advise their top management and adjust corporate communications accordingly. Therefore, a research team from Leipzig University and University of Duisburg-Essen has conducted the first comprehensive trend study and identified the most relevant trends in management, society and technology. For 2021 the following trends will be relevant.

  • Denialism
  • Virtual corporate communications
  • Sustainble corporate communications 
  • Digital Nudging
  • Voice Interaction

You can find further information about the trends in the Communications Trend Radar Report 2021. 

The power of bots: The benefits and pitfalls of automation in corporate communications

November 2020

Automation is gradually changing the way communications departments work. The new issue of Communication Insights "The power of bots" summarizes the results of the research project by the University of Duisburg-Essen. The study focuses on two aspects:


  • How can communications departments benefit from automation? 
  • How can chatbots be set up or improved? (technical infrastructure, programming, etc.)
  • Which hurdles must be overcome? (data availability, application errors, etc.)


  • To what extent do social bots seek to influence corporate communication in social media?
  • To gain insights, millions of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube postings refering to Germany's top 30 companies were analyzed for bot activities for the first time. 
  • How can communications departments deal with this threat? What are the legal framework conditions?

Redesigning Communication: Five steps toward an agile communications department

August 2020

Many communications managers are faced with the challenge of implementing agile structures in their departement and their team - not an easy task, because there are many things to consider. A new corporate culture, new processes and tools, new skills and career opportunities as well as other evaluation approaches are required.

Communication Insights - Issue 8 therefore explains five steps that are necessary for an agile communications department and contribute to growing flexibility and adaptability. 

  • How can corporate culture support agility?
  • How is agile work organized? 
  • How can the departmental structure be adapted?
  • How do I lead and develop employees?
  • Which new approaches for measuring success are existing?

Success factor consulting: How service providers support the agile transformation

May 2020

The path to agile corporate communications is often difficult for organizations to manage on their own. An independent perspective of consultants and the special know-how of service providers can be very helpful, here.

The University of Münster has examined the role of external partners in the process of transformation and summarized the most important findings in the 7th edition of Communication Insights "Erfolgsfaktor Beratung".

  • How can consultants and service providers support communication departments on the way to agility? 
  • How does the transformation process work?
  • How can managers be coached?
  • And how does cooperation with agencies change when agile work becomes common practice on both sides? 

It's all about content. Strategic topic management in agile organizations

November 2019

More and more companies are beginning to set up a newsroom in which they work on topics across departments. What are strategies and success factors of efficient topic management - with or without a  physical newsroom? The issue "It's all about content" shows various approaches and best practices on how to manage topics strategically today.

  • Why does topic management play an increasingly important role nowadays?
  • Which different approaches on how to manage topics in companies exist?
  • What skills should newsroom staff have?



Fast and flexible. Corporate Communications in agile organizations

November 2018

More dynamic, faster and more efficient - agility has become one of the most discussed management concepts of our time. But what does being agile mean for corporate communications? The latest issue "Fast and flexible" explains the concept of agility, the role of the communications department and what it takes to build an agile organization or department.


Ready for big data. Opportunities, conditions and applications for Corporate Communications.

December 2017

"Ready for Big Data" presents new concepts to deal successfully with big data in Corporate Communications. Furthermore it seesk to identify potentials, opportunities and challenges regarding big data.

Based on of a literature analysis, interviews with experts from practice and science and two case studies
, new insights were gained, answering the following questions:

Two interviews with the Heads of Communications from Deutsche Post and Otto provide insights into corporate communciations planning.


How to play the game. Strategic tools for managing corporate communications.

May 2017

"How to play the game" presents new tools and frameworks for successful communication management. Furthermore it seesk to create a common understanding of how communication contributes to corporate success.

Based on of a literature analysis of more than 800 publications and 10 case studies with leading German and international coporations, five new frameworks were developed, answering the following questions:

Four interviews with the Heads of Communications respectively the Heads of Communication strategy from thyssenkrupp, Osram, GIZ and Voith provide insights into corporate communciations planning.

Where are we heading? The digital transformation of corporate communications.

July 2016

The second issue "Where are we heading? The digital transformation of Corporate Communications" assesses the impact of digitalization on corporate communications. Digitalization is considered to be the most important megatrend in this area. It's no longer just a matter of online communication or social media activities. The main focus today is on using the power of data in a responsible way.

Therefore, the second issue of Communication Insights addresses questions like:

  • What kind of opportunities do big data offer for communication? How can data be collected and analyzed?
  • How to use social media data for an individual stakeholder approach?
  • Which data protection provisions need to be considered?
  • And to what extent will computer replace communication managers in the future?

Communication Insights summarizes key research findings from various scientific disciplines. Two interviews with the digitalization communication officer at Siemens and the Social Media Analytics experts Prof. Dr. Stefan Stieglitz complement the content.

What’s the benefit? Value Creation through Communication

October 2015

The first issue of Communication Insights entitled What's the benefit? was published in October 2015. It summarizes the findings of the first research phase of the module Value Creation through Communication of the current research program Value Creating Communication.

More than 800 national and international scientific papers were analyzed by a research team at the University of Leipzig with the following questions in mind: How can communication and corporate success be measured? Which measurement models and methods already exist? And what are the challenges for communication departments?

On more than 20 pages Communication Insights provides answers to these questions and presents various approaches. An interview with Dr. Martin Binder, responsible for Media Monitoring and Communication Measurement at BASF in Germany, provides insights into how communication is planned and evaluated within an international corporation.