A Joint Report by Cision and the Institute for Public Relations


The past few years have brought a renewed focus on social issues and activism, which has had an impact on consumers’ expectations from brands. Recognizing this, Cision and the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) joined forces to take a closer look at this impact and what it means for communicators. Using Brandwatch’s Consumer Research tool, we analyzed nearly 209 million social media mentions and keywords relating to specific social issues.  

Questions addressed in this study include: 

  • What social issues are generating online discussion and media coverage? 
  • What key themes and topics emerge? 
  • What brands are associated with social issues most frequently and why? 
  • How are brand perceptions tied to action or inaction on social issues? 
  • How do consumers want brands to address key social issues? 

This study also presents nine key findings related to social topics such as LGBTQ+ rights, climate change, mental health and more.

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About the Institute for Public Relations

Founded in 1956, the Institute for Public Relations is an independent, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations.™ IPR creates, curates, and promotes research and initiatives that empower professionals with actionable insights and intelligence they can put to immediate use. IPR predicts and analyzes global factors transforming the profession, and amplifies and engages the profession globally through thought leadership and programming. All research is available free at www.​instituteforpr.​org and provides the basis for IPR’s professional conferences and events.



As a global leader in PR, marketing and social media management technology and intelligence, Cision helps brands and organizations to identify, connect and engage with customers and stakeholders to drive business results. PR Newswire helps companies meet their communications and disclosure needs. A network of approximately 1.​1 billion influencers, in-depth monitoring, analytics and its Brandwatch and Falcon.​io social media platforms headline a premier suite of solutions. Cision has offices in 24 countries throughout the Americas, EMEA and APAC. For more information about Cision’s award-winning solutions, including its next-gen Cision Communications Cloud®, visit www.​cision.com and follow @Cision on Twitter.