Digital literacy, brand positioning and the effects of fake news and social media are among the topics addressed in the Institute for Public Relations’ list of the Top 11 Public Relations Research Insights for 2017.

The list, compiled by IPR director of research Sarab Kochhar, puts the spotlight on research studies, from such sources as the Pew Research Center and the Public Affairs Council, that were judged to have had the greatest impact on the PR profession.

Digital Literacy

The #1 spot on the list is occupied by a study about the gap between the digital transformation of society and the ability of businesses to adequately incorporate that transformation into their operational models. Conducted by Altimeter, a Prophet Company, the study surveyed 500 executives and digital strategists to find out how both employees and management of companies are being equipped to meet the digital challenge.

Coming in at #2 was a report from WE Communications on how brands need to consider external factors when they are trying to plot their development and motion in a particular market. By soliciting the opinions of 3,000 consumers and 1,000 B2B decision-makers, the study constructs what it calls a “motion matrix” to help brands balance the forces a brand exerts with the pressure that outside events are placing on it.

Other studies on the list address on such topics as a widening gender gap, the ambivalent relationship that Americans have with automation and the low level of trust people have that companies will behave ethically.

IPR is a non-profit organization that is based at the University of Florida. It has been compiling its survey of top PR research insights since 2014.