About us

The Günter Thiele Foundation as a part of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Association for the Promotion of Humanities and Sciences in Germany) aims to promote teaching and research in Communication Management, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication. It also works to support the next generation of researchers in these areas. In 2005 it officially became a legally independent, non-profit foundation and succeeded the Stiftung zur Förderung der PR-Wissenschaft an der Universität Leipzig (SPRL). The foundation is named after its co-founder and honorary chairman Günter F. Thiele, who has been supporting research in the field of Public Relations in Germany since the 1990s. The foundation is based at the University of Leipzig.


Academic Society

The Academic Society for Management & Communication is a core project of the Günter Thiele Foundation. It is a joint initiative of leading companies and universities which though joint research and knowledge sharing aims to actively shape the future of corporate communications.

The initiative was founded in 2010 and today is supported by 6 universities and over 35 leading German and international corporate partners. Its work focuses on research projects which analyze the challenges in corporate communications in a practice orientated and interdisciplinary way.


History & Corporate Communication

The Günter Thiele Foundation is bundling its historical research in the field of public relations and corporate communication under the umbrella of the newly created Center for History & Corporate Communication.

The initiative promotes research on the history of public relations and strategic communication in Germany as well as on the (corporate) communication of history and connects interested practitioners in the field. Activities focus on the Center's annual conference, the online PR Museum and the "PR archive". The pr-museum.de website provides an interactive overview of the history of public relations and communication management in Germany in what are now more than sixty entries. The role of important PR actors, the communication history of companies and other organizations, the history of communication tools and methods, and overviews of historical periods are all contents of the digital pr-museum. The PR archive, based in Leipzig, includes current scientific literature and an extensive collection of academic theses.

Research in Financial Communication

The latest initiative of the Günter Thiele Foundation is the Center for Research in Financial Communication (CRiFC).The central aims of the CRiFC are to create a reliable, scientifically proven basis for research in the field of Financial Communication and to actively participate in the teaching and training of future professionals. The CRiFC also focuses on building international networks between researchers and regularly initiates exchange between corporations and the financial community. The CRiFC is the first university research initiative in the field of Financial Communication and therefore reflects its growing importance.


Communication Benchmarking Initiative

Until now there has been a lack of reliable data on the budgets, personnel resources structures, and processes of corporate communications in German-speaking countries. For the first time, the Communication Benchmarking Initiative, sponsored by the Günter Thiele Foundation, seeks to collect and compare data on how corporate communications are organized. The scientifically-based initiative will allow for a neutral comparison between companies. It will provide transparency on corporate communication departments' resources and structures and will also offer insights into industry standards. On this basis, it will be possible to classify corporate communications' budgets and the resources available in different corporations.



Another objective of the Günter Thiele Foundation is to further internationalize the department of Public Relations and Communication Management at the University of Leipzig. For several years there have been exchange programs with partner universities in Ohio (USA) and in Hong Kong. During exchanges to partner universities, students and research associates get the chance to learn about local research and teaching and to experience campus life first-hand. They are also able to discuss recent developments in Communication Management from an international perspective and work jointly on research projects.


Günter Thiele Prize

Since 2004 the Günter Thiele Foundation has awarded the Günter Thiele Prize for outstanding Bachelor and Master theses in the field of Public Relations and Communication Management at the University of Leipzig. From investor relations to corporate listening – the students' theses address a wide range of topics and often attract attention beyond the University of Leipzig.