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Interview to Prof. Piet Hein Coebergh,
Lecturer in PR & Transparency at the
University of Applied Sciences Leiden

Prof. Piet Hein Coebergh has been a lecturer in PR & Transparency at the University of Applied Sciences Leiden since 2012. He is also a lecturer at Erasmus Universiteit in Rotterdam and a communiation consultant. He studied business administration, public administration and law and obtained his doctorate in communicating strategy. Piet Hein has published several books and articles on communication management. Through lectures, teaching materials and research, he links communication theory to professional practice.

Regarding the Knowledge Center “Organizing sustainably”, can you explain in detail which topics you are studying and from which point of view? How can these topics have an impact on  PR and Communication Professionals?

The Knowledge Center “Organizing sustainably” is a collaboration of five professors at the University of Applied Sciences Leiden, the Netherlands. Working together in  multidisciplinary Knowledge Centers has become common at Universities of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands      since about 2015. In our Knowledge Center, we merge the following fields of expertise: PR & Transparency, Diversity & Inclusiveness, Circular Entrepreneurship, Law & Justice, Contextual Change.

The five Professors of these domains share their time and expertise in  mutual projects where they can. As for my domain, PR & Transparency, we  have for example worked with the domain Circular Entrepreneurship for the City of Leiden to assess the awareness, knowledge distribution and communication on the Circular Economy among regional entrepreneurs. With the domain Law & Justice we worked on how city councils can communicate with stakeholders on implementing new laws. Altogether, we share our knowledge among different departments in our faculty and beyond, thereby increasing our visibility and dialogue on multidisciplinary challenges.

The multidisciplinary approach is very important in your Center. Nowadays,  PR professionals are called upon to take a more and more multidisciplinary approach. How can they develop it?

Within the Leiden school of communication, we encourage students and teachers from the start, throughout the curriculum, to take a multidisciplinary approach towards organizational issues. We call this: “Speaking the language of the boardroom”. To make this happen, we provide lecture material that shows how different fields of applied sciences interact. One example is the management book I wrote with colleagues from the Knowledge Center in 2015, to help our students to understand organization management: “100+ Management Models: How to Understand and Apply the World’s Most Powerful Business Tools”. Through this book, our students and teachers are invited to apply their specific expertise on general organizational challenges, using well tested academic theories.

Piet Hein Coebergh also leeds the EUPRERA project What Communication Professionals Do: learn more about it on this page!

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