Letter from the 2023 Chair of the IPR Board of Trustees: Yanique Woodall

/*! elementor - v3.10.1 - 17-01-2023 */ .elementor-widget-image{text-align:center}.elementor-widget-image a{display:inline-block}.elementor-widget-image a img[src$=".svg"]{width:48px}.elementor-widget-image img{vertical-align:middle;display:inline-block} /*! elementor - v3.10.1 - 17-01-2023 */ .elementor-widget-text-editor.elementor-drop-cap-view-stacked .elementor-drop-cap{background-color:#818a91;color:#fff}.elementor-widget-text-editor.elementor-drop-cap-view-framed .elementor-drop-cap{color:#818a91;border:3px solid;background-color:transparent}.elementor-widget-text-editor:not(.elementor-drop-cap-view-default) .elementor-drop-cap{margin-top:8px}.elementor-widget-text-editor:not(.elementor-drop-cap-view-default) .elementor-drop-cap-letter{width:1em;height:1em}.elementor-widget-text-editor .elementor-drop-cap{float:left;text-align:center;line-height:1;font-size:50px}.elementor-widget-text-editor .elementor-drop-cap-letter{display:inline-block} As the incoming Chair of the IPR Board of Trustees, Yanique Woodall, looks to the future and shares what research priorities and upcoming programs IPR will focus on in 2023. It’s hard to believe we’re one full month into the new year. As communicators in our fast-paced, deadline-driven, and constantly evolving environments, time seems to move faster than the speed of light!As I reflect on 2022, I am incredibly grateful for the work IPR continues to contribute to the industry, and I am honored to continue to serve on the Executive Committee for the Board of Trustees. In the summer of 2017, a dear colleague, Stacey Tank, referred me to IPR, as she knew I truly valued the research behind our communications work. It’s been a rewarding experience since day one, and I continue to be amazed by the discussions and decisions made by fellow communications colleagues stemming from IPR’s research initiatives. IPR has such an influence on today’s most pressing and important topics for communications professionals.As I embark on 2023 as the new IPR Chair, I am looking forward to continuing to work with Tina (McCorkindale), Stacey (Jones), the newly appointed vice-chair Diana (Littman), the newly appointed treasurer Brett (Ludwig) and the phenomenal Board of Trustees to accelerate further IPR’s mission and commission breakthrough research that helps facilitate the most important discussion topics critical to today’s business operations. Most of all, I would like to thank Steve (Cody), our outgoing immediate past chair, for his leadership, dedication, and steadfast commitment to IPR and the industry.  He has truly made remarkable contributions to our industry (and, plus anyone that spends time with him is guaranteed to have an enlightening and fulfilling discussion!).When I think about our goals for this year, I hope our industry can count on IPR for the following: valuable information that influences our most important decisions, professional development for tomorrow’s leaders, networking, and building a sense of community and peer-to-peer learning.Here are a few highlights that come to mind:— Peer-to-peer learning:  IPR is offering its highly regarded IPR Master Class series with courses focused on employee engagement, change management, and combatting disinformation, as well as its cornerstone course, Strategic Playbook for Communicators.— Professional development for tomorrow’s leaders: We are seeking membership applications for IPR ELEVATE, a leadership community of 25 to 40 high-performing innovators and catalysts for growth, change, and advancement who support the mission and insights-focused work of IPR.— Valuable information that influences our most important decisions: IPR anticipates having its strongest research year yet with studies focused on employee engagement and mental health, disability in the workplace (a partnership with Voya Financial), the annual disinformation in society study, the relationship between Chief Communication Officers and Chief Diversity Officers, and climate change, among others.— Networking and building a sense of community: IPR is hosting its annual IPR Bridge Conference from March 22-23 at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. This event brings together the academy and the practice to share the latest in research and discuss the most critical and forward-looking issues impacting the field. A key feature of the conference is the opportunity to network and interact with top leaders in an intimate setting.Our industry continues to thrive, in large part due to the significant contribution of IPR over the years.  I am looking forward to working with all of you—and I wish you the very best in 2023!Cheers!-Yanique Yanique Woodall is Vice President of Communications and Customer Experience at CVS Health. She is Chair of the IPR Board of Trustees. Read Yanique’s full bio here! ...

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European Communication Monitor

EUPRERA outlined current practices and future developments in managing communication in companies, agencies, non-profits, and other organizations.A survey of 1,672 communication professionals in 43 countries throughout 2022.Key Findings:1.) Diversity, equality, and inclusion are influencing organizational policies and communications worldwide, but only 51% of communicators in Europe have closely followed global trends and discussions in this area.2.) Most practitioners have experienced empathic traits from communication leaders; this has a significant positive impact on commitment, engagement, and mental health.3.) Very few communication departments have established an advanced use of CommTech to digitalize internal workflows and communication activities.— Current organizational structures are identified as the main obstacle to rapid transformation.4.) Quality of consulting in communications is difficult to achieve.— 3-in-4 respondents would like to see appropriate standards that cover either consultants, clients themselves, or both groups.Find the original report here. ...

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2023 Global Communication Report

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PRWeek and Cision examined how communication impacts all aspects of business now more than ever before.A survey of 440 senior-level professionals was conducted from Sept. 15 – Oct. 5, 2022.Key findings include:1.) 61% of global respondents said the “inability to measure impact effectively” was among their top four issues troubling strategic communicators the most.— 22% of respondents deemed this to be their top issue.2.) 70% of respondents said they are struggling to create content that is effective and 59% said they are struggling to distribute content.3.) 25% of global respondents said “content ideation/ strategy/creation” was the single-most important function when they consider using tech tools to boost their efforts.4.) When asked who had the power to persuade consumers, 41% of respondents said celebrities and 38% said everyday consumers (including family, friends, and strangers).Find the original report here. ...

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Social Media Influencers Impact Perceptions of CSR Initiatives

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Dr. Chen and colleagues explored the role that social media influencers played an important role in driving positive outcomes of corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns.A survey of 967 participants was conducted in June 2019.Key findings include:1.) Social media influencers exert influence on the target consumers’ decisions to support the CSR initiative which they have endorsed when they are perceived as opinion and taste leaders by the consumers.— Social media influencers’ taste leadership had a greater impact on CSR supportive behavior than their opinion leadership did.2.) Social media influencer leadership over customers is formed by perceived trustworthiness, expertise, uniqueness, and congruity.— Congruity, directly and indirectly, affected consumers’ CSR-supportive behavior.3.) Visually appealing content that displays good taste or establishes a style congruent with the social platform’s norms draws the public’s attention and triggers their heuristics of “realism,” “urgency,” or “coolness,” thereby increasing their cognitive and affective engagement with the content and the social media influencers in general.Find the original journal article here. ...

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Barbara Gardner Proctor (1932-2018)

IPR is featuring some of the many Black pioneers who have had an impact on the field of public relations in celebration of Black History Month.Barbara Gardner Proctor was born on Nov. 30, 1932, in Black Mountain, N.C.  She grew up in an impoverished neighborhood there without electricity or running water. After graduating in 1950 she attended historically Black Talladega College in Alabama, earning a degree in English and education after three years, then staying an additional year to earn a degree in psychology and sociology.Proctor did social work with the Urban League in Chicago for about a year and then fell into a completely different line of work. She often listened to the radio while working late, which led to a shift in her career. Proctor began writing liner notes for Vee-Jay Records which scouted local jazz talent in Chicago. In 1962, she traded records by the Beatles, who had not yet made an impact in the United States, and arranged for Vee-Jay to sign the group to a limited contract.In 1964, Proctor took a job with the Post-Keyes-Gardner advertising agency, which forced her to begin using her married name, Proctor. Years later, Proctor founded her own advertising agency called Proctor & Gardner.  She was the first African-American woman to establish her own advertising agency in the US.Just a few of her clients included Kraft Foods, Sears, and Roebuck & Company. Proctor cared deeply about whom she represented and refused to represent products such as cigarettes and hard liquor products. In early 1984, “60 Minutes” broadcasted a segment about her, and a few weeks later, President Ronald Reagan mentioned her success as a business successful woman who started from very little.Barbara Gardner Proctor died at age 86 on Dec. 19 in Chicago. Her survivors include a son, Morgan Proctor, and two grandchildren. Proctor’s success as the first Black woman to create her own advertising agency continues to be exclusionary.ReferencesBarbara Gardner Proctor, Barrier-Breaking Ad Executive, Dies at 86The New York TimesBarbara Proctor, the First African-American Woman to Own an Ad Agency, Dies at 86The Washington Post ...

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Most Trusted Brands of 2022

Morning Consult examined brand trust across industries globally for 2022.A survey of 2,200 U.S. adults, 1,299 South Korean residents, and 1,000 residents each in Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and the U.K. was conducted April 8-14, 2022.Key Findings:1.) Household names with local roots helped boost consumer trust.— The No. 1 Most Trusted Brand in 6 of the 10 countries surveyed was established in that country.2.) Small businesses were well-trusted — for the most part.— Across North America and Europe, trust in small businesses was quite high, but there was a sizable trust gap in the Asian countries surveyed.3.) Good value for price and high-quality products/services were crucial for building trust.— International respondents ranked other elements, such as ethical business practices and good customer service, as less important.4.) Poor customer service was a primary driver in breaking trust.— Bad customer service experiences and deteriorating product quality were among the top reasons that global consumers lost trust in brands.Find the original report here. ...

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Symmetrical Internal Communication Improves Employee Engagement

This summary is provided by the IPR Organizational Communication Research Center.SummaryScholars have recognized the power of the identity perspective in helping understand employees’ loyalty, motivations, and behaviors. Although organizational identification has received much attention in employee-related investigations, a newer concept, identity fusion, has also recently been examined in organizational contexts. Researchers have proposed the idea of identity fusion as a situation where the self-other barrier is blurred and the group comes to be regarded as functionally equivalent to the personal self, such that the individual’s identity becomes fused with that of the collective or the group. To better understand this construct, the author of the current study examined the antecedents and outcomes of employee-organization identity fusion. Specifically, this study examined how employee-organization identity fusion is related to employees’ perceptions of symmetrical internal communication and the CEO’s authentic leadership and job engagement. Symmetrical internal communication occurs when communicators don’t try to control others’ perceptions but instead communicate honestly and openly.MethodAn online survey was conducted between May and August 2019 and was available to people in the U.S. who were full-time employees at corporations with at least 1,000 employees. Quotas related to gender and ethnicity/race were instituted to ensure that the sample closely resembled the population of the U.S. workforce based. A total of 530 men (53%) and 480 women (47%) comprised the sample. Participant race, length of employment, and seniority were measured, with the majority of participants being white, experienced non-managers between the ages of 35-44 who had been employed between 3-5 years at their company.Key Findings1.) Employees who perceive their leaders to use symmetrical communication tend to see the leaders as more authentic.2.) Symmetrical communication was also tied to increased employee-organization identity fusion.— Consistent internal communication from leadership was critical in cultivating employees’ identity with their organization.3.) Both symmetrical communication and identity fusion were found to have a positive relationship with job engagement.Implications for practiceOrganizations and leaders should 1.) implement changes to their communication style to encourage more back-and-forth symmetrical style communication in order to increase engagement among employees, 2.) understand that CEO perceptions have a strong influence on employee identity and engagement with the organization, and 3.) consider that authentic leadership has value in the workplace and consider strategies to be more genuine and connected to employees.ReferenceKrishna, A. (2022). Employee-Organization Identity Fusion: Connecting Leadership and Symmetrical Internal Communication to Identity-and Engagement-Related Outcomes. International Journal of Business Communication, 23294884221130744.Find the original journal article here. ...

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Closing the Digital Divide

This summary is provided by the IPR Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. McKinsey & Company examined barriers affecting Black Americans in the digital divide.A literature review was conducted in 2022.Key findings include:1.) The digital divide disproportionately affects Black Americans across adoption, computer ownership, and digital skills.— 50% of Black Americans have the necessary digital skills compared to 77% of White Americans.— 62% of Black Americans have access to broadband internet compared to 77% of White Americans.— 69% of Black Americans own a computer compared to 80% of White Americans.2.) Although Black Americans comprise approximately 13% of all workers, they make up only 7% of digital workers.3.) The majority of Black households directly impacted by the digital divide live in areas with available infrastructure but simply can’t afford broadband service.4.) By gaining a better understanding of the barriers affecting Black communities and engaging communities with a range of broadband and digital-equity stakeholders to address those barriers, public- and private-sector leaders can rise to meet this moment.Find the original report here. ...

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2023 Global Human Capital Trends

Deloitte examined the issues employees are facing today and how they contribute value to the workplace.A survey of 10,000 business and HR leaders was conducted as well as interviews with executives.Key Findings:1.) Workers that said they co-created with their employees were 1.8 times more likely to have a highly engaged workforce, 2x more likely to be innovative, and 1.6  times more likely than their peers to anticipate and respond to change effectively.2.) 19% of organizations said they’re very ready for employee data ownership.— Beyond ownership alone, conversations about what is workforce data, the transparency of that data, and the mutual benefits of data-driven insights are on the rise as data is becoming a new “currency.”3.) Worker agency might have previously been seen as a threat, but leading organizations are finding ways to leverage worker motivation and cocreation to drive mutual and elevated benefits.4.) Many organizations are still stuck in old patterns of talent access and management because they’re not giving workers a say in where, how, and for whom they work.Organizations that adapt their strategies and practices to fit the real-world talent pool will gain access to skills and experiences to accelerate growth, innovation, and agility.Find the original report here. ...

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How COVID-19 Changed Leadership in Asia-Pacific

Korn Ferry explored how corporate leaders in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) have evolved during the COVID-19 crisis.Interviews were conducted with over 70 CEOs from across the APAC region from Sept. 2021 – July 2022.Key Findings:1.) The most common themes from the conversations with CEOs were about:— Making bold decisions quickly— Communicating more often and with more honesty— Leading with humility and empathy2.) 23% of the CEOs talked about how their mindset and view of the world evolved during the COVID-19 outbreak, with some leaders stating they took the time to ask themselves fundamental existential questions.3.) Of the 41 CEOs who spoke about leading through the pandemic, 17% explicitly stated that they have expanded their leadership repertoire during the crisis.4.) Of the 53 CEOs who discussed lessons from the pandemic, nearly 23% spoke about digital transformation—one of the most significant changes seen by companies during the pandemic.— Companies lagging in enhancing their digital profile soon found themselves scrambling to operate in a digital-only world.Find the original report here. ...

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