Communication Insights

The Communication Insights summarizes the most important findings from our research projects - including interviews, best practices and further reading tips.

The following issues are published so far:

ISSN  2749-893X

Publisher: Academic Society for Management & Communication – An initiative of the Günter Thiele Foundation

The five key trends for corporate communications in 2023

February 2023

How do social changes, new technologies or new management trends affect communication work? A team of researchers at Leipzig University and the University of Potsdam (Germany) observed new developments in related disciplines. As a result, the five most important trends for corporate communications are identified annually and published in the Communications Trend Radar. Thus, Communications managers can identify challenges and opportunities at an early stage, take a position, address issues and make decisions.

For 2023, the Communications Trend Radar identifies five key trends for corporate communications: 

  • State Revival
  • Scarcity Management
  • Unimagination
  • Parallel Worlds
  • Augemented Workflows

You can find further information about the trends in the Communications Trend Radar Report 2023. 

Tackling the backlash - Dealing with internal and external criticism of D&I initiatives

November 2022

Even though genuine D&I management, which aims at fostering an inclusive work environment, can lead to economic benefits while promoting a fairer world, it is frequently subject to criticism.

A research project consisted of two empirical studies led by Professor Sabine Einwiller and Daniel Wolfgruber at University of Vienna investigated why negative reactions towards D&I initiatives emerge, and what companies can do about them.

You can find further information in the new edition of the Communication Insights. 

Steering behavior - The potential of (digital) nudging for corporate communications

May 2022

How can you guide individual decision-making without manipulating it? Digital Nudging could be an answer to this question. But what does this mean for corporate communications? 
A research team of the Duisburg-Essen University examined the following issues on digital nudging: 

You can find further information in the new edition of the Communication Insights. 

Communications Trend Radar - The 5 most relevant trends for corporate communications in 2022

February 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated changes in almost all areas of society, creating new opportunities but also threatening the success of corporate communications. How can communication experts tell the important trends apart from the unimportant ones?

A research team from Leipzig University and University of Duisburg-Essen has conducted a comprehensive trend study and identified the most relevant trends in management, society and technology. For 2022 the following trends will be relevant.

  • Language Awareness
  • Closed Communications
  • Gigification
  • Synthetic Media
  • Cybersecurity

You can find further information about the trends in the Communications Trend Radar Report 2022. 

Keeping up the spirit: Internal communication in an increasingly virtual work environment

Dezember 2021

Alongside the transformation of work environments during the COVID-19 pandemic, internal communication underwent a decisive switch towards more virtuality. Although a change was long overdue, its speed created a multitude of challenges through the reduced personal contact. Therefore, a research team at the University of Vienna has addressed the following questions:

  • What are the challenges for internal communication in an increasingly virtual work environment?
  • How to achieve the goals of internal communication virtually?
  • What are the dangers of an increasingly virtual work environment?
  • How can internal communication support to avoid them?

Find more information in the Communication Insights.

From Reality to Virtuality: Moving stakeholder dialogues from face-to-face to online formats

October 2021

Virtualization is one of the big buzzwords in communications. When formats are moved from real-world settings to online environments a variety of challenges emerge – especially when it comes to confidential interactions and personal relationships with key stakeholders.

A research team at Leipzig University investigated the extent to which in-person formats can be virtualized based on the following questions:

  • What are advantages and disadvantages of virtual stakeholder dialogues?
  • Which factors need to be considered if virtual stakeholder dialogues are to be successful?

More information can be found in the Communication Insights

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.