Industry Relations

The Department of Communication Studies emphasizes its relationships with the industry as an important aspect of our pedagogy as well as our research-based knowledge transfer service to communication professions.

Our department works closely with communication professionals in organizations and leaders in strategic communication industries in Hong Kong, mainland China, and other parts of the world. We work with our industry partners to organize talks and training, create internship and networking opportunities, and collaborate on research and knowledge transfer projects.

Collaboration with the industry is embedded in our curriculum. To ensure early and frequent exposure to real professional world and acquisition of work-ready skills of the industry, our students are required to work with actual clients—corporations, nonprofit organizations, agencies, and startups— as part of a compulsory practicum and course projects.

We strive to constantly keep our students and faculty members up to date with the latest practices in the strategic communication fields so that our students are adequately prepared for their modern communication careers and our faculty members conduct timely research that solves problems for latest challenges confronting industry professionals.

Below are our department-sponsored programs and plans to engage with the industry:

Opportunities for Industry Practitioners

Short-term executive-, practitioner-, or artist-in-residence

The short-term residency program is ideal for corporate executives, practitioners, and artists in all parts of the world, who are on sabbatical to be based in our department and engage with our students and faculty members in expertise development or knowledge transfer projects. Depending on the availability, experiences, and qualifications of the industry applicant or invitee, we tailor-make a program to fit the needs of both sides. A short program ranges from two weeks to a full semester. University’s guidelines on remuneration will be followed.

Visiting industry researcher

The visiting industry researcher program focuses on providing a collaborative space for industry researchers to work with our faculty members and research postgraduate students to solve real-world problems, advance knowledge in communication practices, and develop strategic communication theories for practices. Visiting industry researchers are expected to work at the department for three to six months or longer, depending on the project involved and availability of funding.

Teaching appointments and masterclasses

We accept applications and appoint qualified and experienced industry practitioners as part-time lecturers to teach skills-based courses. We invite industry leaders to offer masterclasses to train our students on specific skills.

Those interested in the above opportunities, please get in touch with our department secretary Ms. Nicola Luk at nicola_luk@hkbu.edu.hk.

The Consortium of Honorary Industry Speakers

To create a platform for continuous engagement among our industry partners, students, and faculty members, our department will establish The Consortium of Honorary Industry Speakers, which is slated to comprise approximately 20 members. Besides directors of industry associations, we invite leaders of major agencies and prominent startups to join the consortium. At different times, members will be invited to speak on a variety of emergent topics such as sustainability performance and reporting, social media influencers for strategic communication, and AI-driven campaigns. An honorarium will be given based on the university guidelines.

Recognition Awards

In addition to collaborative programs, our department sponsors two categories of awards: the Awards of Service Excellence for Industry Mentors and the Awards of Dedicated Service to Strategic Communication to recognize the significant commitment, devotion, and contribution to education from practitioners and industry partners.

Research Partnerships

Research partnerships with the industry help to inform faculty member’s research agenda. The findings of faculty research will become directly relevant to answering questions and solving problems arising in communication industries. Three of our faculty members’ research areas below are synergetic with the most pressing concerns and needs of the industry.

Corporate social responsibility and crisis communication

One of the featured research areas among our faculty members pertains to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and crisis communications, which addresses both the proactive and defensive strategies of organizations in today’s rapidly changing media and political landscape.

Technology-mediated communication

A major focus of several faculty members is to examine the impacts and applications of technology-mediated communication in a variety of contexts, which hold significant implications for strategic communication practices.

Leadership and employee communication

Several of our faculty members are working on research projects that addresses pertinent questions concerning the considerable changes and disruptions to the way people work and communicate with our coworkers and leaders brought about by the pandemic, social media, and AI.

A valuable aspect of our research partnerships is the co-application of research and knowledge transfer grants among our faculty members, industry partners, and beneficiaries. Those interested in a potential research partnership, please get in touch with our knowledge transfer team leader, Dr Florin Serban at florinserban@hkbu.edu.hk.

A New Journal: Theory and Practice of Strategic Communication

Our department is in the midst of launching a new open-access journal, tentatively titled Journal of Theory and Practice of Strategic Communication, which seeks to publish high quality and innovative research that advances strategic communication theories and practices.

Conferences

In conjunction with our journal, we shall organize an annual think-tank symposium on thought leadership in strategic communication, which is to bring together the leading experts and academics to advance the state of knowledge on a specific theme. The symposium will be held in a location in any part of the world, appropriate to the planned theme. Feasibility dictating, our department plans to organize Hong Kong-based conventions that focus on impactful research and practices in strategic communication.