The Institute for Public Relations is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation dedicated to fostering greater use of research and research-based knowledge in public relations and corporate communication practice.

We do this through three kinds of research:

  • Research in public relations, to guide and evaluate communications programs (in other words, planning research and measurement)
  • Research on public relations, to understand what we do and how we do it (benchmarking and best practices)
  • Research for public relations – the social science underpinnings of our work

To be a global leader for the science beneath the art of public relations.

IPR is dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations™. We create, curate and promote research and initiatives that empower professionals with actionable insights and intelligence they can put to immediate use.

What We Do

Our Three Strategic Pillars

Predict: Identify and understand global factors that are transforming our profession

Investigate: Create and curate research that helps us understand and address the issues; create actionable insights to empower the communications profession

Amplify and Engage: Engage the profession globally through thought, leadership and programming

Our involvement in the first kind is driven primarily by IPR’s Commission on Public Relations Measurement & Evaluation and its standard-setting efforts.  Our involvement in the second kind is typically in partnership with other organizations, including universities and trade groups.  But it is the third kind – the fundamental research of our field – that Trustees believe is the most distinctive of the three and should be our primary focus.

The current priority topics set by the Board (which, of course, can change over time) are:

What drives choice and changes behavior?
What can we draw from behavioral sciences, sociology, psychology and neuropsychology to apply to public relations practice?  What are the emotional and rational drivers of belief, commitment and behavior?  How do different stakeholders – and different generations – process differently in this regard?

Organizational communication.
Our Commission on Organizational Communication is developing an agenda as knowledge aggregator, model innovator and thought leader in the area of employee engagement.

A broader context for social networking and what it means.
While others churn out benchmarking, best practices and metrics around social media – and IPR has a role in aggregating that knowledge – our main interest is digging deeper into the true mechanisms of relationship-building, trust, influence and the socialization of ideas across the fragmented world of social networking.

Restoring reputation in an environment of extremely low trust.
Beyond the benchmark trust studies that track ups and downs, what can we learn from the deeper social science of trust?  What reliable data exist to identify the levers that most influence reputation today?  What is the future of organizational trust in a younger, G-20 world?

Models to predict the probability of public relationship outcomes.
Across countries and cultures, audiences and generations, what are the research-proven models to reliably predict whether and when public relations can affect outcomes?

Historically, IPR has played multiple roles in supporting public relations research. Today, we support research in five ways.

Identifying, publishing and promoting important research from many sources, including our own commissions, Trustees and the research organizations of major agencies and corporate communications departments.

Commissioning new research and using our awards for leverage to encourage research on high-priority topics.

Amplifying our inuence and reach through relationships with organizations that we have traditionally considered partners (e.g., public relations associations, trade groups, academic institutions and funded academic centers); and going forward, with organizations more readily recognized by CEOs and other organizational leaders.

Drawing actionable insights and intelligence from research, employing all communications channels (including our website, research letter, social networking, convened forums, the Annual Distinguished Lecture, speaking, media opportunities and channels yet to be developed) to share knowledge.

Using research as the basis for programs where thoughtful practitioners can absorb and even contribute to research-based knowledge.


The need for public relations

Organizations increasingly appreciate the value of reputation and building relationships through sustained engagement.

Global business also demands accountability and deserves data-driven insights and strategies. Public relations must deliver precisely measured results.

The need has never been greater.

Unique role and value

The Institute for Public Relations (IPR) brings the power of research-based knowledge to public relations and delivers evidence needed to formulate effective strategies and scientifically sound methods to measure results.

Over the years, IPR and its Trustees have played a central role in elevating the entire field of public relations.

An active research agenda

As both a sponsor and catalyst, IPR pursues research studies and peer-reviewed white papers that demonstrate the value of public relations and delivers knowledge that helps management to achieve business goal through effective public relations.

Bridging educators and professionals

The quality of thinking and research is only possible because at the core of IPR’s mission is bridging the scientific rigor of academic leaders with the business-driven practicality of communications professionals. IPR also develops students -the next generation leaders – by encouraging professional involvement in the classroom.

Mainstreaming knowledge into practice

A unique strength of IPR is its dedication to actively sharing all of its knowledge. Relevant research, best practices and through leadership shared globally by IPR through a web-based portal that serves as a repository for knowledge from all sources.

Leaders set the agenda

Our Board of Trustees includes many of the most respected leaders in the field of public relations. They guide the IPR research agenda, conference content and other investments in public relations.

The role and value of IPR

The Institute for Public Relations is the premier professional organization that answers the need for evidence and accountability by fueling the science beneath the art of the public relations.™

Guided by thought leaders on its Board of Trustees, IPR pursues an active agenda of research studies and identifies best practices that demonstrate and enhance the value of public relations.

IPR plays a critical role in bridging the academy world with the profession to ensure that the best thinking and knowledge are applied for the benefit of today’s demanding business world.


IPR is a proud member of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management.

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