Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the framework conditions for business and corporate communication have fundamentally changed in many respects. Such diverse areas as employee communication, diversity in the workplace, social commitment, security thinking, networking, environmental orientation, brand management, PR and advertising have been confronted with previously unimagined challenges, partly due to different triggers.
Due to the principle of virtual contact worlds with increasing spatial and social restriction of movement in internal processes since COVID-19, technology-driven communication has come to the centre of work processes. It is not yet clear what the consequences of the health crisis will be for a possible subsequent economic crisis in the future and how this will affect interpersonal processes in organisations. This raises the question of the design principles of interpersonal cooperation as well as the development of employee communication in both culturally well defined spaces and interculturally beyond national borders in virtual worlds.
Whereas in the past cross-border orientation was a dominant part of corporate activity, the local dimension has now become important in meeting the needs of contact groups. This leads to consequences as to what kind of problem solving strategies or sustainability embedding that companies offer and communicate. At the same time, sustainable consumer behaviour is becoming increasingly important. This applies, for example, to the purchase of regional products, but also to concepts of “new work”, especially in the areas of video conferencing and home office.
Furthermore, social and geopolitical developments before and during the COVID-19 pandemic have brought new challenges to the social dimension of companies, so to speak, from outside. This concerns for example a growing interest in such different phenomena as #Me Too, gender diversity in the work place, as well as Black Lives Matter, and other issues of inclusion and/or equal treatment. Many companies are increasingly being prompted to rethink their value-based practices due to social implications. Well-being at the workplace in the context of a socially redefined working environment requires action by companies. As a consequence this also opens up new possibilities for self-representation of organisations. Not least in PR and advertising design, the question arises of how internal and external changes in value landscapes – even across cultural borders – can be communicated to target groups.
The above topics can be considered as such or from their sub-areas, but they can also be networked and dealt with in a cross-thematic manner. The congress welcomes contributions with different social topics in the field of corporate and business communication. Particularly welcome are also contributions with an interdisciplinary scope, which deal with specific needs and challenges of communication activities in, of, about or with companies.
The languages of the conference are English and German.