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Double jo: Jana Brockhaus and Jeanne Link, Research Associates at the Chair of Strategic Communication at Leipzig University, have been awarded prestigious prizes for their research.

The two colleagues' theses, which were submitted in the graduate program M.A. Communication Management at the Institute for Communication and Media Studies, were honoured. The supervisor in each case was Professor Ansgar Zerfas.

Jana Brockhaus, M.A., received the prestigious James E. Grunig and Larissa A. Grunig Outstanding Thesis Award 2020/21 of the International Communication Association (ICA). The award, which is offered worldwide, is named after the doyens of public relations research. It went to Germany for the first time. The prize was awarded on May 27 during the 72nd ICA Annual Conference, which attracted over 3,700 researchers from all five continents to the French capital. The award committee assessed the Master's thesis "Internal Perception and Positioning of Public Relations and Communication Departments: An Empirical Case Study and a Conceptual Framework" as follows: "This thesis examines the structural positioning of public relations and communication departments in organisations (an important but little researched area) by focusing on how public relations is positioned, and how other leaders inside the organisation 'see' its role and value. Using a qualitative mixed-methods approach, the analysis highlights strategies and types of influence which may help public relations professionals strengthen their decision-making power, negotiation skills, and influence. This work provides a very good foundation for extended research in the area that embraces more literature, highlights specific negotiation skills required, and a larger data set."

Jeanne Link, M.A., was awarded the DPRG Science Award 2022 in early May 2022. The prize, endowed with 1,000 euros, was presented at Schloss Herrenhausen in Hannover during the gala for this year's German PR Award of the German Public Relations Association in front of several hundred industry and media representatives. The award committee, headed by Professor Ulrike Röttger, University of Münster, recognised the scientific quality of the Master's thesis on "Ethical dilemmas in digital communication: an empirical study of ethical decision-making processes". The experimental study analyzed typical challenges communicators face when working with current forms of online communication.

The results of both studies have since been presented in compact form as papers at academic conference. They were also published or have been accepted for publication.

The awards once again underline the quality of the research-oriented education at the Leipzig Institute for Communication and Media Science. A total of 26 awards for the best master's thesis or dissertation at national, European or global level have already gone to studies from the field of communication management. This is unique in Europe and shows how social science knowledge can be sustainably expanded with topics focused on the professional field.