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; was Board Member of the International Communication Association (ICA), Washington D.C.; and is lead researcher for the European Communication Monitor series surveying more than 40 countries.
According to Google Scholar, Ansgar Zerfass is the world's most influential and cited researcher in strategic communication, corporate communication(s), communication management, and public relations (h-Index: 62; June 2023). He has published 43 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
- 05/2021 - 05/2023
Board member and Chair of the Public Relations Division, International Public Relations Association (ICA), Washington, D.C.
- since 01/2022
Chairman of the Executive Board, Academic Society for Management & Communication
- 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
- 01/2011 - 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 by editing several handbooks 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 - 03/2024Funded 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
- Global Communication MonitorZerfaß, AnsgarDuration: 10/2013 - ongoingFunded by: Internationale Organisationen (ohne EU)Involved organisational units of Leipzig University: Strategische Kommunikation
- Business Models for CommunicationsZerfaß, AnsgarDuration: 10/2020 - ongoingInvolved organisational units of Leipzig University: Strategische Kommunikation
- Zerfaß, A.; Volk, S. C.Toolbox Kommunikationsmanagement. Denkwerkzeuge und Instrumente für die Steuerung der UnternehmenskommunikationWiesbaden: Springer Gabler. 2019
- 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
- Brockhaus, J.; Buhmann, A.; Zerfaß, A.Digitalization in corporate communications: understanding the emergence and consequences of CommTech and digital infrastructureCorporate Communications: An International Journal. 2023. 28 (2). pp. 274-292
- Zerfaß, A.; Link, J.Communication management: structures, processes, and business models for value creation through corporate communicationsIn: Heide, M.; Falkheimer, J. (Eds.)Research Handbook on Strategic Communication. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 2022. pp. 237-258
- Zerfaß, A.; Stieglitz, S.; Clausen, S.; Ziegele, D. A.; Berger, K.Communications Trend Radar 2023. State revival, scarcity management, unimagination, augmented workflows & parallel worlds Communication Insights, Issue 17)Academic Society for Management & Communication. Leipzig. 2023
- 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: Koichi Yamamura International Strategic Communication Awardshow detailsZerfaß, Ansgar (Strategische Kommunikation)awarded in 2023 by International Public Relations Research Conference, Orlando, USA.
- Andere herausragende Auszeichnungen: Ludwig-Schunk-Preis für Wirtschaftswissenschaftenshow detailsZerfaß, Ansgar (Strategische Kommunikation)awarded in 1997 by Universität Gießen.
- 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; 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 business 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, for example at 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, Europe or globally have already gone to Leipzig 27 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.