These studies comprise IPR’s best-in-class research, gold standard papers and other signature research that exemplify IPR’s mission of bringing relevant research to the public relations practice. 

Recent Posts

  • The Communicator’s Guide to Research, Analysis, and Evaluation

    This report outlines the five core components to communication research, analysis, and evaluation: landscape analysis; setting objectives; developing strategy; tactical creation and activation; evaluation and continuous improvement.

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  • The Top 15 Public Relations Insights of 2020

    Published annually, these are the top 15 research studies from 2020. Topics include behavioral science and COVID-19; diversity, equity, and inclusion; future of work; journalism and news; measurement and evaluation; pulse studies, and measurement and evaluation. Included at the end of the report is a list of IPR resources and studies published in 2020.

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  • A Communicator’s Guide to COVID-19 Vaccination

    IPR published this in-depth guide outlining research, theories, models, levers, and research-driven recommendations to help ensure effective communication strategies for organizations worldwide. Along with 17 recommendation-driven key findings, the guide features research from more than 100 studies on topics including vaccine hesitancy, health literacy, understanding audiences, and the role of trust and disinformation.

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  • The Career Path of a Social Media Professional

    The Institute for Public Relations Digital Media Research Center, Ragan Communications, and the University of Florida collaborated on this research project to study the careers and roles of social media managers. We surveyed more than 400 social media managers to determine their job roles and responsibilities, reporting and management structure, history and levels of experience, performance review systems, and career ambitions.

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  • The Launch of The Dialogue Project

    In partnership with University of Southern California and ICFNext, IPR conducted a survey through Morning Consult of 5,000 adults in five countries, Brazil, Germany, India, the U.K., and the U.S. to determine the impact of polarization and the dialogue divide. This year-long research project features commentary from dozens of CEOs and leaders from great companies around the world and case studies about advancing civil discourse in society from a business perspective.

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  • 10 Ways to Identify Disinformation – A Guide and Checklist

    In this guide, the IPR Behavioral Insights Research Center offers 10 ways to identify disinformation including a checklist to help people "think before they link."

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  • 2020 IPR Disinformation in Society Report

    The second annual Institute for Public Relations (IPR) “Disinformation in Society” study examines and tracks how disinformation — de­emed as deliberately misleading or biased information — is spread in U.S. society.

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  • Leadership Perspectives: Leading and Looking Ahead Through COVID-19

    In partnership with Peppercomm, nearly 30 communication executives from corporations, agencies, nonprofits, and universities were interviewed about their company’s response during COVID-19 and what will change following. Topics include the COVID-19 pandemic, the return-to-work, internal communication, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

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  • Report: How Engaged Are Employees During COVID-19?

    IPR and Leger partnered on a survey that looked at how many employees’ working arrangements, including how they interact with their organizations, employers, and colleagues, have shifted rapidly due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and the U.S. In early May 2020, Leger and IPR, conducted a survey among Canadian and American employees to explore how they feel about the return to work.

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  • Study: Employee Expectations Are Changing Due to COVID-19

    This online survey was conducted from May 15-17, 2020, among a nationally representative sample of 831 U.S. adults to find out they feel about returning to work and what safeguards they would like employers to put into place. Explore the six key findings from this report.

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  • Special Report: How Companies Are Engaging Employees During COVID-19

    This IPR and Peppercomm survey of 403 communication executives and senior leaders share how companies are communicating with and engaging their workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Key topics include what are the most trusted go-to sources and channels for communicators, how the pandemic has impacted the workforce including employee satisfaction and productivity, and more!

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  • COVID-19: How Businesses Are Handling the Crisis

    In partnership with Peppercomm, this survey of 300 communication executives and senior leaders determines how companies are faring in the COVID-19 pandemic, including what sources they trust, how prepared they are for the crisis and what their businesses are doing to fight against the disease and resulting panic.

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  • The Top 14 Public Relations Insights of 2019

    Published annually, the top 14 highlights research studies published the previous year that all PR practitioners and academics should know about. Topics include disinformation, diversity and inclusion, and employee activism.

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  • What You Need to Know About Incorporating Behavioural Science into Public Relations: A Primer

    This research primer helps organizations deliver more research-based, theoretical insights driven by behavioral science. This report covers what behavioral science is, behavioral economics and nudges, behavioral insights and public relations, the ethics of behavioral science and more. 

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  • The 2019 IPR Future of Work Report

    This Institute for Public Relations (IPR) 2019 Future of Work Report investigates the future of work and the impact of several factors on the changing nature of work, including a rapidly and continuously shifting technological landscape, the growth of globalization, and the juxtaposition of new and tenured members of the workforce. 

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  • 2019 IPR Disinformation in Society Report

    The 2019 IPR Disinformation in Society Report surveyed 2,200 adults with Morning Consult to determine the prevalence of disinformation, who is responsible for sharing disinformation, the level of trust in different information sources, and the parties responsible for combatting disinformation.

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  • 10 Ways to Combat Misinformation: A Behavioral Insights ApproachDownload PDF: Misinformation Infographic This study is presented by the IPR Behavioral Insights Research Center.  In a soon-to-be-released Institute for Public Relations study, 63 percent of respondents said that misinformation was a "major problem" in the United States. Misinformation, the unintentional dis...
  • Mind the Gap: Women’s Leadership in Public Relations

    Through a series of 10 focus groups with both male and female, mid-to-senior-level leaders, IPR and KPMG set out to address how we can achieve better and quicker progress that empowers and moves more women into leadership positions. This includes how companies and the industry can support women to achieve coveted senior positions and identifying practical actions that mid-level women can take to navigate their careers.

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  • Top 10 Public Relations Research Insights of 2018

    In this edition of the Top 10 Research Insights of 2018, IPR believes every single one of these research studies have some great learning for the profession. Thanks to our Board of Trustees, comprising senior-level executive and leading executives, who help us choose topics that matter to the profession. Each year the IPR Board will continue to present top research insights that uncover the science beneath the art of public relations™.

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  • Corporate Volunteering Evaluation: A Toolkit Featuring Digital Storytelling

    The toolkit for the effective evaluation of corporate volunteering programs using digital storytelling features three steps: participant assessment of their work environment and their work relationships prior to joining the corporate volunteering program, digital storytelling screening and post-volunteering participant assessment of their their work environment and their work relationships.

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  • Taking a Stand: How CMOs and CCOs are Redefining their Roles in Today’s Highly Charged Social, Cultural and Political Climate

    This 2018 follow-up study analyzes in-depth interviews with 25 senior communications and marketing executives in large companies about how their roles and responsibilities are shifting in light of the current social, cultural and political landscape.

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  • Ten Lessons Learned from Standards that Failed the Test

    Several IPR Measurement Commission members invited representatives from IPR, IAB, WOMMA, DAA, IABC, PRSA, plus the clients and their agencies to develop standards for social media.  The goals of this meeting were to eliminate confusion in the marketplace about social media measurement standards, gain consensus around a definition for social media measurement standards, document all efforts in progress to establish “standards” for social media measurement, and reduce duplicative and redundant efforts around establishing social media measurement standards. 

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  • Silicon Valley, We Have a (Dis)Information Problem

    Silicon Valley is facing a disinformation problem that is poisoning the infosphere, creating filter bubbles and echo chambers, feeding polarization and entrenchment, and resulting in the misuse of data to shape political debates through military-grade psychological operations, manipulation, and propaganda. This paper identifies the symptoms of disinformation and offers suggestions on how to combat them. 

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  • Top 11 Public Relations Research Insights of 2017

    The fourth annual edition of the IPR Top Research Insights of 2017 encompasses research ranging from fake news to the growth of digital and the impact of automation and artificial intelligence.

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  • The Science of Influence: How Social Media Affects Decision Making in the Healthcare, Travel, Retail and Financial IndustriesIn a survey of 1,783 internet users, this study explored the level of influence social media has in four industries: healthcare, financial, travel (personal not business), and retail. Consistent with previous studies, the influence of social media continues to play a role in the actions and recommendations of consumers, and that influence continues to rise. This report dives into the results of the survey and gives recommendations for companies....
  • The 2017 IPR and PRSA Report: KSAs and Characteristics of Entry-Level PR Professionals

    The Institute for Public Relations and the Public Relations Society of America conducted a study of 386 entry-level professionals in public relations to better understand their level of knowledge, skills, and abilities, as well as their attitudes toward professional development opportunities. The report explores two areas that have received much attention in business and psychological literature but have rarely been applied to public relations: emotional intelligence and grit.

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  • Five Ways to Spot ‘Fake’ Research

    With the introduction of new terms such as “fake news” and “alternative facts,” one area of interest that has not garnered as much attention is “fake research.” There is no denying the importance of research—research is conducted to make important decisions every day, both in our professional and personal lives. Sometimes, we may be too trusting of research results, especially if we see catchy headlines or results shared by a friend or family member on social media. This guide offers five questions to ask of research to help spot “fake” research.

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  • Managing the Digital Age: A Dialogue with CCOs and CMOs

    This report is based on in-depth interviews with 22 senior communications and marketing executives in large companies about how the rapid evolution of digital and data are changing their functions. The paper also offers a digital road map and checklist to help organizations create and refine their strategies.

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  • A Time of Change: How CCOs and CMOs are Handling a New Presidential Administration

    This paper is an analysis based on in-depth interviews with 22 senior communications and marketing executives in large companies about what they are doing differently with the new presidential administration. 

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  • FTC Regulation of Native Advertising: How New Federal Rules Impact PR Practice

    This paper examines native advertising and the FTC regulations that affect its content. Specific attention is given to the FTC 2015 guidelines Native Advertising: A Guide for Business and their Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements. The study concludes with three suggestions on how these FTC regulations will affect public relations practitioners working on native advertising content.

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  • Top Ten Public Relations Research Insights of 2015

    For the second annual edition of the Top 10 Research Insights for 2015, the Institute for Public Relations Board carefully selected from a range of public relations research topics.  The second edition encompasses research ranging from evaluating Millennials’ concern about reputation to studying diversity in the PR industry.

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  • Millennial Communication Professionals in the Workplace

    An online survey of 420 MCPs and 420 professionals who manage them (MGRs) examined workplace values and attributes, engagement with the job and the organization, leadership capabilities and development opportunities, and recruiting and retention drivers. MCPs shared self-perceptions about these issues, while MGRs evaluated the MCPs who worked for them regarding these same issues.

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  • Millennials@Work: Perspectives on Diversity & InclusionResearch from the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) and leading global communications and engagement firm Weber Shandwick found distinct differences between Millennials and older generations in their experiences and attitudes toward diversity and inclusion at work. The survey reveals the importance that Mi...
  • Bridging the Divide: A Multidisciplinary Analysis of Diversity Research and the Implications for Public Relations

    This paper reviews diversity-focused research in public relations to identify the key findings, trends, remaining gaps, and best practices regarding how public relations theory and practice can better reflect a diversity focus. To that end, the analysis also pulls in findings from diversity-focused organizational management and organizational psychology literature, in order to understand the business climate and organizational context that public relations practitioners must navigate. 

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  • You Had Me at Hello: How Personal, Developmental and Social Characteristics Influence Communicator Persuasiveness and Effectiveness

     In order to better understand communication, and more specifically persuasion—which uses communication to achieve an intended attitude or behaviour change—this study explores how a communicated message can garner different responses and perceptions based upon the individual’s characteristics like knowledge base, cultural background, cognitive approach, and more 

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  • Protecting Online Image in a Digital Age: How Trademark Issues Affect PR Practice

    Although U.S. trademark law has retained its core tenets since 1946, social media platforms have presented new challenges for regulating, protecting and controlling the (mis)use of trademark property. Social media presents two distinct challenges to image management. First, social media and the internet are a forum in which infringement is easy to commit and difficult to catch. Second, infringement, especially in the form of parody accounts, can have a lasting impact on public opinion. Because of this, practitioners need to know how their work affects the strength of trademarks, and how their use of trademarks impacts infringement lawsuits.

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  • 10 Ways to Improve Organizational Clarity and Drive Performance

    This infographic suggests 10 ways to improve organizational clarity and drive performance as part of the IPR Signature Study"Organizational Clarity: The Case for Workforce Alignment & Belief". 

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  • Organizational Clarity: The Case for Workforce Alignment and Belief

    More than 1,500 employees in five countries— United States, United Kingdom, India, Brazil and China—were surveyed about how well they think their organization connects to three dimensions in terms of employee alignment: Job, Strategy, and Market. Each country received a grade ranging from “A” to “F,” based on the mean responses from their employees.

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  • Irreversible: The Public Relations Big Data Revolution

    This IPR Signature Study defines and analyzes Big Data and offers suggestions on how organizations can utilize Big Data to learn how value can be created to improve performance, and better understand competitors, consumers, employees, media, and other publics. 

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  • Crisis Management and Communications (Updated September 2014)

    Dr. Timothy Coombs updates his previous version of Crisis Management and Communications, defines crises, and debunks myths surrounding organizational crises. 

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  • What Does Good Look Like? A Quantitative Perspective on Best-in-Class Practices in Employee Communication

    The results of this combined study shows the humility of internal communicators when it comes to evaluating their own efficacy and contribution to company goals, and identifies a clear– and wide – gap between what internal communicators know to be important in building efficacy, and what they are able to do at their company.

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  • Evaluating Efficacy in Public Relations/Corporate Communication Programming: Towards Establishing Standards of Campaign Performance

    This IPR Signature Study suggests a generic model that establishes a level of standardization that could help evaluate public relations and corporate communication campaign performance.

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  • Dictionary of Public Relations Measurement and Research, Third Edition (including translations)

    The 3rd edition of the Dictionary of Public Relations Measurement and Research covers an expanded number of terms, addition of social media terms and processes, and adds ethics as a category.  The Editorial Board is international in scope and a combination of top academic and professional researchers.

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  • Best-in-Class Practices in Employee Communication: Through the Lens of 10 Global Leaders

    The Institute for Public Relations’ Organizational Communication Research Center created a two-part research program exploring best practices in global employee communication. Launching the program with qualitative research, IPR commissioned KRC Research to conducted in-depth interviews with executives from leading global companies, including Cargill, Chevron, FedEx, GE, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Navistar, Petrobras and Toyota.

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  • Prioritizing Stakeholders for Public Relations

    By reviewing the literature in stakeholder theory, stakeholder management, and public relations, this paper arrives at a model that prioritizes stakeholders through a four-step process: Identifying all potential stakeholders according to their relationship to the organization, prioritizing stakeholders by attributes, pioritizing stakeholders by relationship to the situation, and prioritizing the publics according to the communication strategy. 

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  • Guidelines For Measuring Relationships in Public Relations

    In order to answer the question — “How can PR practitioners begin to pinpoint and document for senior management the overall value of public relations to the organization as a whole?” — different tools and techniques are needed. The authors have found through their research that perceptions regarding an organization”s longer-term relationships with key constituencies can best be measured by focusing on six very precise elements or components of relationships discussed in this paper.

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