Leadership Research

Leaders exert significant influence on the success, future and image of their profession. Yet, only a few PR studies have explored this important topic. One goal of The Plank Center is to build a research-based foundation of knowledge regarding the values, qualities and dimensions of excellent leadership in PR.

Below is a list of the Center’s leadership in public relations research:

  • Report Card on Public Relations Leaders
    Leaders earned passing grades for the five areas examined—leadership performance, job engagement, trust in the organization, work culture and job satisfaction—but crucial gaps highlighted areas for improvement in this biennial study.
  • Leadership Development Cycle: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
    The first known attempt to understand the process and various stages of leadership development in public relations specialists across cultural boundaries.
  • Millennial Communication Professionals
    A study by The Plank Center and the Institute for Public Relations of millennial communication professionals confirms their generational differences but concludes some differences will help advance and enrich the profession.
  • Millennial Study: Perspectives on Integrating the Newest Generation of Top Talent into PR & Communications
    How do you attract, manage and develop the next generation of PR leaders? Researchers found several key themes — relationships are key; workplace diversity is embraced; leadership development is expected; technological savviness is innate; and social responsibility is a workplace enhancement.
  • Global Leadership Study
    To date, it’s the largest study of leadership in public relations with nearly 4,500 practitioners in 23 countries completed an online survey in nine languages. The Global Leadership study explores key issues in the profession, how PR leaders manage them and how we can improve the preparation of communication leaders for an uncertain and complex future.

Additional Research:

The document below provides abstracts for many of the 20 leadership studies carried out. The Center provided grants for some of the projects; others were carried out by additional professors and graduate students from various colleges and universities, and by Center board members.