Dr. Jasper Fessmann is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Strategic Communications in the WVU Reed College of Media at West Virginia University and member of the WVU Public Interest Communications (PIC) Research Lab. He received his Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the University of Florida in 2018. Prior, he earned a Master of Science degree in Public Relations from Boston University (1998), and a dual Bachelor of Arts in Communication Arts & Philosophy from Georgia Southern University (1997). He also received professional certificates in University Pedagogy & Research Management from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany (2012).
His research focuses on further developing the theoretical foundation of the emerging field of public interest communications (PIC) – using strategic communications to advance social causes. A leading expert on the topic, he has published a number of book chapters and papers on the topic, as well as given various conference presentations including a TED-style frank talk.
Dr. Fessmann brings more than 15 years of public relations agency experience to his research and teaching. These include serving as International Business Coordinator of a major international public relations agency. As Managing Partner of the PR & events agency Kennzeichen F he organized 178 national events in Germany. Furthermore, as CEO of Fessmann Concept he ran his own public relations and management consultancy for 12 years, working for various German federal ministries, NGOs and Fortune 500 companies.
He is the recipient of the University of Florida Outstanding International Student Award 2015-2016, as well as the 2016-2017 Julie Dodd Teaching Excellence Award of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. In 2010, he received the Community Service Award of the City of Berlin-Spandau (Germany) for his three-year pro-bono work on the social pilot program “Familie im Zentrum (FiZ)”, a multi-generational project that paired up senior citizens with parents of young children to create support structures similar to traditional extended families.
Recent PIC publications:
- Fessmann. J. (2018). On communications war: Public interest communications and classical military strategy. Journal of Public Interest Communications, 2(1), 156-172.
- Fessmann. J. (2017). Conceptual foundations of public interest communications. Journal of Public Interest Communications, 1(1), 16-30.
- Fessmann. J. (2016). The emerging field of public interest communications. In E. Oliveira, A. D. Melo & G. Goncalves (Eds.), Strategic communication in non-profit organizations: Challenges and alternative approaches (pp. 13-34). Wilmington: Vernon Press.
Other publications (on Jewish/Holocaust history):
- Fessmann. J. (2017). George Veit and the Dunera. In B. Günzburger (Ed.). The Veit family [English Edition] (pp. 307-350). New York: Leo Baeck Institute’s Center for Jewish History Digital Collection.
- Günzburger, B. (Ed.) (2017). The Veit family [English]. (J. Fessmann, Trans.). New York: Leo Baeck Institute’s Center for Jewish History Digital Collection.
- Günzburger, B. (Ed.) (2014). The cigar factories Günzburger & Co Pfälzer & Cie (J. Fessmann, Trans.). New York: Leo Baeck Institute’s Center for Jewish History Digital Collection.
Citations / In the news:
- Quoted as an expert on how to counter disinformation campaigns in The Narwhal: https://thenarwhal.ca/forestry-industry-climate-denial-tactics/
- My public interest communications definition quoted in the Stanford Social Innovation Review: https://ssir.org/articles/entry/stop_raising_awareness_already