Linjuan Rita Men, Ph.D., APR, University of Florida; Zifei Fay Chen, Ph.D., University of San Francisco; and Yi Grace Ji, Ph.D., Boston University
This abstract is provided by the IPR Organizational Communication Research Center.

This study explored how startup leaders in China use motivating language to foster relationships between startups and their employees.

An online survey of 1,027 startup employees in China was conducted. Researchers examined entrepreneurs’ leadership communication from the use of three types of language:
  • direction-giving: when leaders give clear directions and explanations on tasks and reward systems.
  • meaning-making: connect employees’ values with the startup’s values.
  • empathetic: provide emotional support to employees.

Key findings include:
  • CEO use of meaning-making, empathetic, and direction-giving language effectively fostered quality relationships between startups and employees, regardless of employee job position level.
  • Because startups often lack an established corporate brand and culture, CEO use of meaning-making language can help employees make sense of their work.
  • Motivating language from startup CEOs facilitated employees' psychological need satisfaction and their identification with the organization.
  • This type of leadership communication is well-suited for the new venture environment, which is often challenging and uncertain.
  • Startup CEOs should develop communication strategies that can increase employees' feelings of autonomy, competence, relatedness, and sense of belonging.

Emily K. Vraga, Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Leticia Bode, Ph.D., Georgetown University
This summary is provided by the IPR Behavioral Insights Research Center

Dr. Emily K. Vraga and Dr. Leticia Bode examined how people corrected their own misinformed health beliefs after seeing others corrected on social media. The role of source credibility was also examined.

Researchers presented 1,384 participants with a simulated Twitter feed that contained a false story about the Zika virus. The story was accompanied by a correction provided by a random user, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), or a combination of both. All corrections contained the same information.

Key findings include:
  • People reduced their belief in misinformation after seeing others being corrected on social media by expert sources, such as well-respected government organizations.
  • Additional corrections from random users slightly reduced the effect of corrections from expert sources.
  • Observing corrections from a single random user did not have an effect on misperceptions.
  • Engaging in refutations of misinformation on social media did not negatively impact reputation of the source.
  • Experts should consider engaging with audiences to tackle misinformation.

Ying Xiong, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island; Moonhee Cho, Ph.D., University of Tennessee; and Brandon Boatwright, Ph.D., Clemson University
This summary is provided by the IPR Digital Media Research Center.

Dr. Ying Xiong and colleagues explored how social movement organizations used various message frames and hashtags during the #MeToo movement.

A case study was conducted on #MeToo Twitter posts and hashtags.

Key findings include:
  • The tweets created by both social movement organizations and social media users had three key themes. The tweets:
  • 1.) Diagnosed the causes of oppressive social structures which constrain women's rights.
  • 2.) Suggested actions to take.
  • 3.) Appreciated celebrities' leadership in the movement.
  • Social movements can use hashtags to cover a wide range of narratives surrounding an issue by encouraging people to speak out.
  • Social movement organizations should focus on strategically employing fewer hashtags that are contextually relevant, rather than using multiple hashtags.

We Are Social examined the evolving digital and social media industry in 2021, specifically analyzing changes in how people search for information and brands.

Data were collected from several data partners, including GWI, Statista, AppAnnie, and more.

Key findings include:
  • Purpose-driven initiatives make a difference – more than 25% of consumers have bought from a brand for the first time because of the company's values.
  • 45% of respondents visit social networks to search for information about brands worldwide.
  • 73% of internet users who are 16 to 64 years old have purchased digital content in the past month.
  • 40% of respondents said they use social media for work purposes.

Institute for Public Relations | 352-392-0280 | |