Gainesville, Fla. – The Institute for Public Relations has awarded the 2021 Cision Insights Award to Texas Tech University doctoral candidate Cassandra Hayes. Hayes will receive a $1,000 stipend for publishing a research brief examining the role, impact, and influence of “villians” in perpetuating negative framing of brands and companies through social media channels.

The IPR Cision Insights Research Fellowship committee selects outstanding graduate or undergraduate students in the field of public relations, business, or communications to publish a solo-authored research brief focused on strategic insights gleaned from social and traditional media. Fellows and their faculty advisers are given access to Cision monitoring and analysis software as well as guidance and mentorship from Cision Insights consultants to support prospectus refinement, study design and execution.

“The IPR Cision Insights Fellowship is an outstanding and long-running program which enables us to connect fantastic talent across the academic PR research community to opportunities in research-based consulting,” said Chelsea Mirkin, SVP, Head of Global Analysis, at Cision Insights. “Our Cision Insights team is excited to work with Cassandra and eager to learn from her study findings.”

Hayes’s research interests focus on institutions, infrastructure, and imperilment, to better advance sustainable designs and responsible structures through communicative practice. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Central Arkansas.

Hayes’s paper will be published in the IPR Research Letter and on the IPR website.

To learn more about the award, visit the IPR awards page.

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 professional globally through thought leadership and programming. All research is available free at and provides the basis for IPR’s professional conferences and events.

Cision Insights is a Cision company that marries talent with technology to help communicators demonstrate and generate PR value and return-on-investment. The firm integrates, analyzes and evaluates media performance across all channels – social, digital, print and broadcast – to deliver actionable insights and strategic guidance for better communications and business results. For more information, visit


Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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