Dr. Ansgar Zerfass is Professor and Chair of Strategic Communication at the Institute of Communication and Media Studies at Leipzig University, Germany. He is also Professor of Communication and Leadership at BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway, and Plank Scholar at the Plank Center for Leadership and Public Relations at the University of Alabama, USA. He is editor of the "International Journal of Strategic Communication", Routledge, USA; Vice Chair of the International Communication Association (ICA), PR Division, Washington D.C.; and lead researcher for the Global Communication Monitor series with (bi-) annual surveys in more than 80 countries.
According to Google Scholar, Ansgar Zerfass is the most frequently cited researcher worldwide in the fields of Strategic Communication, Corporate Communication and Communication Management and among the top three in the field of Public Relations (h-Index, July 2020). He has published 38 books and over 400 articles and study reports.
- since 12/2014
Professor and Chair of Strategic Communication, Leipzig University
- since 01/2013
Professor of Communication and Leadership, BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo
- 07/2006 - 09/2014
Professor of Communication Management, Leipzig University
- 02/2006 - 06/2006
Honorary lecturer for Communication Studies, University Erlangen-Nuremberg
- 01/2001 - 06/2006
Member of the Executive Board, MFG Medienentwicklung Baden-Württemberg GmbH, Competence Center for Innovation Management, Information Technology and Media Development of the State Government, Stuttgart
- 11/1996 - 12/2000
Head of Communication and Digital Media, Team lead, MFG Medienentwicklung Baden-Württemberg GmbH, Stuttgart
- 11/1996 - 12/2002
Managing Partner and Editor-in-chief, Internet portal pr-guide.de GbR, Frankfurt/Main
- 12/1990 - 10/1996
Research associate, Chair of Strategic Management, Institute für Business Administration, University Erlangen-Nuremberg
- 07/1984 - 09/1985
Military Service, German Federal Army - Supplies Regiment 210, Ulm and Heidenheim a.H.
- 07/2004 - 12/2005
Habilitation (Second Ph.D.) in Communication Studies, University Erlangen-Nuremberg (Venia Legendi, Dec. 2005: Communication Science, esp. Corporate Communications and New Media) - Mentor: Prod. Dr. Dr. h.c. Winfried Schulz
- 10/1990 - 11/1995
Doctoral dissertation in Management Studies, University Erlangen-Nuremberg (Graduation, Nov. 1995: summa cum laude 1.00) - Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Horst Steinmann
- 11/1985 - 11/1990
Academic studies in business administration with three majors in strategic management (Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Horst Steinmann), information systems (Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Mertens) and communication studies (Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Winfried Schulz)
- 09/1975 - 06/1984
Secondary school education, Platen-Gymnasium, Ansbach, Mittelfranken - Graduation 1984
- since 01/2011
Editor, International Journal of Strategic Communication, Routledge (Taylor & Francis), Philadelphia, USA
- since 05/2019
Vice Chair, International Public Relations Association, PR Division, Washington, D.C.
- since 10/2010
Scientific Director, Academic Society for Management & Communication, Leipzig
- since 03/2000
Academic Partner and Co-Founder, Nordic Association for Communication & Management (NORA), Oslo
- since 06/2008
Academic Advisor and Co-Founder, Austrian Society for Communication and Reputation (KomRep), Vienna
- since 10/2015
Member the Academic Advisory Group, AMEC Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, London
- since 01/0217
Head of the Jury, Integrated Communication Award, F.A.Z.-Institut, Frankfurt/Main
- 01/2014 - 12/2015
President, European Public Relations and Education Association (EUPRERA), Brussels
- 09/2015 - 02/2016
Head of the Jury, German PR Award, German Public Relations Society (DPRG), Berlin
Key research topics of Professor Zerfaß are strategic communication, corporate communications, management and measurement of communication departments and programs, digital communication, and international communication.
Current projects include the analysis and optimization of business models for communication departments; modeling and managing the digital infrastructure for corporate communications; and the interdisciplinary analysis of societal, business and technological trends for communication management in the project "Communications Trend Radar".
Moreover, the codification of international knowledge for corporate communications is being driven forward by several handbooks and reference works in German, English and Chinese.
- Digital Infrastructures and CommTech in Corporate CommunicationsZerfaß, AnsgarDuration: 09/2020 - ongoingInvolved organisational units of Leipzig University: Strategische Kommunikation
- Communications Trend RadarZerfaß, AnsgarDuration: 02/2020 - 03/2023Funded by: Stiftungen InlandInvolved organisational units of Leipzig University: Strategische Kommunikation
- Handbook series on corporate communicationsZerfaß, AnsgarDuration: 06/2017 - 03/2022Involved organisational units of Leipzig University: Strategische Kommunikation; Kommunikationswissenschaft; Kommunikationsmanagement
- Corporate communications in agile organizationsZerfaß, AnsgarDuration: 10/2017 - 09/2020Funded by: Stiftungen InlandInvolved organisational units of Leipzig University: Strategische Kommunikation
- Global Communication MonitorZerfaß, AnsgarDuration: 10/2013 - ongoingFunded by: Internationale Organisationen (ohne EU)Involved organisational units of Leipzig University: Strategische Kommunikation
- Nothhaft, H.; Verčič, D.; Werder, K. P.; Zerfaß, A.Future Directions of Strategic CommunicationNew York, NY: Routledge. 2019
- Zerfaß, A.; Volk, S. C.Toolbox Kommunikationsmanagement. Denkwerkzeuge und Instrumente für die Steuerung der UnternehmenskommunikationWiesbaden: Springer Gabler. 2019
- Macnamara, J.; Lwin, M. O.; Hung-Baesecke, F.; Zerfaß, A.Asia-Pacific Communication Monitor 2020/21. Strategic issues, competency development, ethical challenges and gender equality in the communications profession. Results of a survey in 15 countries and territories.APACD, EUPRERA. Hong Kong, Brussels. 2021
- Zerfaß, A.; Stieglitz, S.; Clausen, S.; Ziegele, D. A.; Berger, K.Communications Trend Radar 2021. Denialism, virtual corporate communications, sustainable communications, digital nudging & voice interaction (Communication Insights, Issue 10)Academic Society for Management & Communication. Leipzig. 2021
- Zerfaß, A.; Verčič, D.; Nothhaft, H.; Werder, K. P.Strategic communication: Defining the field and its contribution to research and practiceInternational Journal of Strategic Communication. 2018. 12 (4). pp. 487-505
- Andere herausragende Auszeichnungen: Distinguished Scholar in Public Relationsshow detailsZerfaß, Ansgar (Strategische Kommunikation)awarded in 2018 by European Public Relations Education and Research Association, Brussels.
- Andere herausragende Auszeichnungen: Pathfinder Awardshow detailsZerfaß, Ansgar (Strategische Kommunikation)awarded in 2014 by Institute for Public Relations, New York.
- Andere herausragende Auszeichnungen: Jackson Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Awardshow detailsZerfaß, Ansgar (Strategische Kommunikation)awarded in 2016 by Public Relations Society of America, Atlanta.
- Publikationspreis: Best Paper Awardshow detailsZerfaß, Ansgar (Strategische Kommunikation)awarded in 2020 by EUPRERA Annual Congress 2020 (Virtual) - European Public Relations Education and Research Association, Brussels.
- Publikationspreis: Emerald Literari Award for Excellenceshow detailsZerfaß, Ansgar (Strategische Kommunikation)awarded in 2018 by Emerald Publishers, UK - Best article in Journal for Communication Management in 2017.
- Internationale Fachkonferenz in San Diego, CA, USAFuture directions of Strategic Communication: Towards the second decade of an emerging fieldStrategische KommunikationEvent Organiser: Zerfaß, Ansgar; Verčič, Dejan; Nothhaft, Howard; Werder, Kelly P.25/05/2017
- Tagung, Konferenz100 Jahre Kommunikationswissenschaft in Deutschland: Von einem Spezialfach zur IntegrationsdisziplinInstitut für Kommunikations- und MedienwissenschaftEvent Organiser: Stiehler, Hans-Jörg; Beiler, Markus; Wolf, Cornelia Claudia; Bigl, Benjamin; Döveling, Katrin; Zerfaß, Ansgar; Marzahl, Lisa30/03/2016 - 01/04/2016
Professor Zerfass heads the master's program in Communication Management at Leipzig University, where he teaches courses on corporate management, managing and organizing the communication function, management tools in corporate communications, and research seminars on a wide range of topics. He also works internationally in executive education, including at the RSM Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University.
One focus of his work is the promotion of students and doctoral candidates through innovative, theoretically sound and practically relevant study projects and theses. Awards for the best master's thesis or doctoral dissertation in the field of communication management and PR in Germany or Europe have already gone to Leipzig 24 times. In addition, there are awards for students' contributions at scientific conferences or for creative projects, such as the DPRG Junior Award. This is the best in the discipline in Europe and testifies to the quality of the education at Leipzig University.