Financial Services Public Relations

Results from The PaineWebber/Gallup Poll of Investor Attitudes

Video highlights of award-winning Index of Investor Optimism public relations program.


Perennially ranked third among national full-service brokerage firms, PaineWebber Incorporated sought to differentiate itself in the national media from competitors with significantly larger advertising and marketing budgets.


  • Partner with the Gallup Organization to create the Index of Investor Optimism, the first monthly poll of affluent investors, which would be tracked over time by the news media and other key constituents.
  • Leverage the Index brand as a platform for proactive public relations activities and marketing tools for use by Financial Advisors with clients and prospects, as well as investor education.
Branding for the Index of Investor Optimism.

Branding for the Index of Investor Optimism.


Data from the PaineWebber Index of Investor Optimism formed the cornerstone of ongoing media relations activities, as well as thought leadership for firm executives and investor education for use by Financial Advisors with clients and prospects.

Index-related content comprised special survey topics, monthly results, news releases and pitch letters to generate media coverage, as well as Beyond the Basics, an investor education program. Over time, the team explored whether to establish the Index as a formal economic indicator and identify other opportunities to extend the Index brand beyond the core monthly survey.

Highlights are shown below; click here for a detailed summary of the Silver Anvil and Big Apple award-winning program. View a video of program highlights.

Warren Buffett discussed PaineWebber's findings in Fortune magazine.

Warren Buffett discussed PaineWebber’s findings in Fortune magazine.

  • Generated more than 86 million media impressions in traditional and online media, excluding extensive wire coverage.
  • Survey findings were featured in President Clinton’s 1998 State of the Union address.
  • Warren Buffett cited Index data in an interview with Carol Loomis of Fortune magazine (click here for a PDF of the article that highlights the citation).
  • Yale researcher Robert Schiller referenced the findings in his book, Irrational Exuberance.
  • Won Public Relations Society of America’s Silver Anvil award in 2001 and PRSA New York Chapter’s Big Apple award in 2000.

In addition to the monthly poll findings, the Index program also included in-depth research on specific topics, including:

Finally, data from the monthly Index polls and the special reports was used to create Beyond the Basics, a comprehensive investor education program with a national media component and seminars and marketing materials for Financial Advisors.