Internal Communication Research Hub

Bruce Berger

Professor Emeritus
Advertising & Public Relations
University of Alabama (UA)

Bruce Berger

Dr. Berger taught writing, management, communication campaigns and international communications at UA for 16 years. He earned his Ph.D. in Communication (1999) at the University of Kentucky; his MA from Western Michigan University (1972) in Literature, and his BA from Central Michigan University (1969) in English and German. He’s received several teaching awards, including national Educator of the Year Award (2006) from the Public Relations Society of America and the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award (2010) from UA’s National Alumni Association. In the same year, he was named Outstanding Student Advisor at UA (2010) for his work with Literacy is the Edge, a student advocacy group he and a class of graduate students formed in 2008 to help fight adult illiteracy in West Alabama.

Research and Publications

Berger’s research focuses on employee communications, leadership, and power relations. In 2012 he received the Pathfinder Award for lifetime contributions to research from the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), and in 2013 he was awarded the Jackson Jackson & Wagner Behavioral Science Prize by the PRSA Foundation for his contributions to PR research. He was  the founding director and subsequently research director of The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations at UA for 16 years. With the Center he led or managed more than 35 research projects regarding PR leadership. He has co-authored or edited four books and published more than 120 academic and professional articles.

Professional Experience

Prior to entering academia, Berger was a communication professional for 20 years. From 1989-1996, he was vice president of Corporate Affairs for Whirlpool Corporation and president of the Whirlpool Foundation. He led a global team of more than 100 professionals responsible for employee communications, media relations, government affairs, financial communications, and community relations. He created and launched the company’s first Whirlpool Management Journal in 1993. From 1975-1989, he worked in employee and international communications at the (then) Upjohn Company, a global pharmaceutical company. He served as manager of Public Affairs for Europe, Africa & the Middle East at the company’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium (1982-85), and subsequently was named director of Worldwide Human Health PR. He worked on communication projects in more than 30 countries.

Personal Stuff

Poetry lover, avid trout fisherman, rock ‘n roller, 24/7 reader, proud parent and grandparent, fervent football fan, dog lover, enthusiastic mentor, and Vietnam Veteran who in 2020 published his award-winning book of poetry, Fragments: The Long Coming Home from Vietnam.

Personal Philosophy

There’s no finer thing we can do than make positive differences in the lives of others.

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