IPR Hires First Director of Research

Sarab KocharFor the first time in its 58-year history, the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) is hiring a director of research.  Starting July 1, Sarabdeep “Sarab” Kochhar will lead our research programs, serving as chief strategist and counselor to the Board of Trustees on research matters, and primary IPR spokesperson on research and how practitioners can use it.

Initially the position will be part-time.  Sarab will also be employed part time with APCO Worldwide, working out of their Washington, D.C., office.

The Institute for Public Relations is dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations™. We focus on research that matters to the practice, providing timely insights and applied intelligence that professionals can put to immediate use.  Sometimes we do that through original funded research and sometimes by aggregating and interpreting research that already exists.  Our most visible research programs today include the social science of social media, organizational/employee communication, the impact of behavioral and neuroscience on public relations, and standards for public relations research and measurement.

This spring, Sarab will receive her Ph.D. from the Department of Public Relations at the University of Florida. She earned a master of arts in strategic communication from the University of Oklahoma. In India she received a bachelor of arts in English literature and a master of arts in mass communication.  She also holds a post-graduate diploma in personnel management and social welfare from Panjab University, India’s no. 1 university

All of that represents important educational background that the first IPR director of research will need.  However, it is Sarab’s combination of real world experience, academic achievement, awards won, and interpersonal skills that makes her the right person for this job.  For instance, she worked with the Indian government as a public relations manager from 2005 to 2007, in charge of campaigns for the states of Panjab and Haryana. She worked with the University of Oklahoma Department of Architecture as their strategic communication specialist, and with the Institute of Research and Training in the U.S.  As a consultant in Bangalore, she handled Burson-Marsteller technology clients. As a doctoral student she has authored book chapters and refereed conference papers, received the top paper award from the PRSA Educators Academy, and won the Ketchum Public Relations Research Award presented by IPR (which includes a summer internship with Ketchum, affording her more real-world experience with public relations research).

Sarab, the Board, the commissions and committees, and the staff of IPR look forward to your arrival.

Frank Ovaitt
President and CEO

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8 Comments

  1. Congratulations, Sarab, on your new position. The PR industry has a great need for systemized quantitative and qualitative measurement. Educating PR professionals about measurement’s benefits, standards and procedures will be the next challenge.

  2. Welcome, Sarab, and congratulations as you take on this incredibly important mission for IPR and our profession. What a perfect combination of qualifications, experience and insights! Your experience as both a practitioner and researcher, your international perspective, and your boundless enthusiasm for “the science beneath the art of public relations” will surely add huge value to IPR’s work in the years ahead. We all look foreard to working with you. And kudos to Frank Ovaitt for a great hire!

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