Research Conversations

Blog of the Institute for Public Relations

Multirace Americans

“Baseline Study on Diversity Segments: Multirace Americans” adds to the Institute’s growing collection of baseline papers examining what existing research teaches us in specific areas of practice. Bey-Ling Sha, Ph.D., of San Diego State University explores scholarship and government data regarding multirace Americans. The U.S. government has collected race data since the first census in […]

What Research Teaches About Ethics And PR Practice

A new paper on the Institute website by Shannon A. Bowen, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland offers an overview of current research-based knowledge on ethics and public relations practice. Bowen connects a lot of dots for practitioners and scholars interested in this aspect of the science beneath the art. She begins with definitions and […]

What Research Teaches Us About Crises

Anecdotes and war stories account for much of our learning in public relations. Nothing wrong with that. Yet, a wealth of research-based knowledge exists to validate (or not) tales of “how I won the war” (or didn’t). Take crisis management and communications. Dr. Tim Coombs of Eastern Illinois University has produced a major baseline paper […]

PR Research Driving Business Transformation

The 2007 Jack Felton Golden Ruler Award winner is now available as a research case study on the Institute website. “Research Based Business Transformation: Benchmarking and Tracking the Customer Experience,” was submitted by Padilla Speer Beardsley and GfK for Rockwell Automation. The case is a great example of research, measurement and evaluation integrated not only […]

Hispanic/Latino Study In Institute Baseline Series

“Baseline Study on Diversity Segments: The U.S. Hispanic Latino Market,” a new Institute paper by Rosanna Fiske, associate professor at Florida International University, provides a data-rich look at what research says about these audiences. The U.S. Hispanic/Latino market is now the largest minority segment in the country. Specifically, there are nearly 45 million Hispanics/Latinos, making […]

I Don’t Pay You for 50-50 Answers

Beth Comstock, president, NBC Universal Integrated Media, delivered the Institute’s Annual Distinguished Lecture in New York last week. “In my early PR days,” said Comstock, who rose to senior executive level through a public relations career, “I often wrapped myself in a shield called ‘control’ – enrobed in an illusion, or rather delusion – that […]

Kirk Hallahan: Thinking Inside the Box

Kirk Hallahan, professor at Colorado State University, is the recipient of the 2007 Pathfinder Award for outstanding scholarly contributions to professional knowledge. Hallahan, a former practitioner with 19 years of experience, has focused his recent research on the application of online technologies to public relations practice. Here he summarizes much of what he has learned […]

What We Think We Know About Technology and PR

John V. Pavlik’s new paper, “Mapping the Consequences of Technology on Public Relations,” explores what research tells us about the impact of digital, networked technology on our work. Anecdotal learning – from case studies to water-cooler conversations – is important. But sometimes we need to ask about the real research base for things we think […]

Mark Weiner: Beyond ROI

This article originally appeared in Bulldog Reporter’s Daily ‘Dog. For more information, visit Since the dawn of public relations, PR people have sought to compute the link between PR and return-on-investment, primarily in the form of a PR-to-sales connection. Now, through new technologies and an advanced form of statistical analysis known as marketing mix […]