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Community management on closed media channels

About the research project

Title: Being close(d): How community management on closed media channels contributes to social capital

Team: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Röttger (University of Muenster), Lennart Rettler (University of Muenster)

Project period: January 2022 May 2023

The concept of community management has become a significant corporate communications practice. However, users have recently been withdrawing from traditional social media and begun using closed media channels. Closed media channels are communication arenas with restricted access or barriers to entry.

The terms “closed media” and “closed communications” are often associated with a general retreat into the private sphere. The Communications Trend Radar 2022 predicted that this development would change communications profoundly (Stieglitz et al., 2022). We therefore investigated how companies are coping with this change and are using their own closed media channels.

The project by the University of Münster examines corporate closed media channels and their influence on organizational value creation through social capital.


  • Social Capital through community management
  • Analysing closed media channels
  • Characteristics of closed media channels
  • The potential of closed media channels for businesses


The research was conducted by Ulrike Röttger and Lennart Rettler at the University of Münster. The research design included two steps:

  1. Analysis of the closed media channels used by Germany’s top 50 brands
  2. Semi-structured interviews with eight professionals responsible for a closed media channel