Most public relations research is focused on communication processes and the instruments, strategies and objectives in use. Less is known about the men and women who are and will be responsible for managing strategic communication in organizations today and tomorrow. Their understanding of strategic communication is crucial for the perception of the profession by different stakeholders and substantially influences the economic success and social acceptance of companies. This study takes a close look at leaders shaping the professional field now and in the future. Qualitative interviews with 20 chief communication officers and 20 future leaders (Generation Y) in the same companies were conducted. Comparing the views, experiences and expectations of the two age groups helps to identify cognitive patterns, routes of development in practice as well as new areas for research.
Kiesenbauer, Juliane and Ansgar Zerfass. 2015. “Today´s and tomorrow´s challenges in public relations: comparing the views of chief communication officers and next generation leaders.” Public Relations Review, 41(4): 422-434