Strategic topic management in agile organizations


Prof. Dr. Sabine Einwiller

Prof.  Sabine Einwiller

About the research project

Team: Prof. Dr. Sabine Einwiller, Neda Ninova-Solovykh, Jens Seiffert-Brockmann (University of Vienna)

Project completion: 2019

Finding, addressing and communicating topics has always been a core function of the communications department. But the traditional division between internal, external and online communications is increasingly reaching its limits. Today, companies need to communicate faster, more integrated, and more personalized. To do this, communicators need to collaborate across teams and departments and break down silos.

To meet these demands, many companies have established a newsroom or newsroom-like structures for strategic topic management. Here, topic managers work cross-functionally, agilely and flexibly with other (communications) teams.

What are the strategies and success factors for effective topic management, with or without a newsroom?


  • 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?


  • systematic literature review of academic and practitioner literature on content, messaging, issues, topic management and corporate newsroom
  • 35 in-depth interviews with representatives of 14 organizations based in Germany and Austria between July 2018 and July 2019
  • Based on the interviews and materials provided, four case studies were developed