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Communications Trend Radar 2021


Prof. Dr. Stefan Stieglitz

Prof. Stefan Stieglitz

Prof. Dr. Ansgar Zerfaß

Prof. Ansgar Zerfaß

About the research project

Team: Professor Stefan Stieglitz (University of Potsdam), Professor Ansgar Zerfass (Leipzig University), Sünje Clausen (University of Potsdam), Daniel Ziegele (Leipzig University)

Duration: January 2020 – February 2021

The Academic Society for Corporate Management & Communication introduced the Communications Trend Radar for the first time in 2021, marking one of the most extensive trend studies on communications management in the German-speaking world. The study meticulously examines shifts in management, society and technology that will have an impact on corporate communications.

Professor Stefan Stieglitz, University of Potsdam

“Our aim is to equip communication managers with robust scientific analysis, alerting them to emerging trends early on to bolster their organizational role”

Professor Stefan Stieglitz, University of Potsdam

The five trends for 2021:

The findings stem from a scientifically rigorous analysis of hundreds of scientific publications and practical contributions.


“We are expanding our scope to include analyses of related disciplines such as management, social sciences, and technology. We want to know how changes there affect corporate communications. Such an approach is unprecedented.”

Professor Ansgar Zerfaß, Leipzig University
Ansgar Zerfass, Leipzig University

The Communications Trend Radar has been identifying the most relevant trends for corporate communications every year since 2020.

Screening: Our research begins with a thorough investigation of trends in management, technology and society. For this purpose, our research team reviews a range of sources, including scientific studies, conference papers, articles, periodicals, and social media discourse.

Evaluation: In the initial phase, we distilled 42 trends which were then independently assessed and ranked based on their significance for corporate communications. We considered the potential impact on various facets of communication: functional aspects (management, objectives, structure), processes (formats, stakeholders, platforms), and management (content creation, cost implications).

Selection: At the end of the process, we pinpointed five key trends, encompassing two each from the technology and management sectors, and one from the social sector. These were then discussed with around 20 communication managers.

Communications Trend Radar 2021: Methodology

Communications Trend Radar 2021: Research process