Institute for Public Relations
IPR is featuring some of the many AAPI pioneers who impacted the field of public relations in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.

Philip Vera Cruz (1904-1994) was a Filipino American who advocated for labor rights and led several social justice initiatives for agricultural workers.
After immigrating to America from the Philippines, Vera Cruz picked grapes, lettuce, and asparagus in Delano, Central Valley, CA. Like many other farmworkers he faced rough work conditions, working long hours in 110-degree heat. This prompted Vera Cruz to join the Agricultural Worker Organizing Committee (AWOC) and become a leader in farm workers’ rights.
In 1965 Vera Cruz and others led the Delano Grape Strike to increase workers’ pay. The campaign to boycott non-union grapes attracted national and international support. The strike and boycott soon won the support of the National Farm Workers of America and led to the eventual merging of the two groups to form the United Farm Workers (UFW). Vera Cruz also formed the Farm Workers Credit Union and created Agbayani Village, a retirement community for older farmworkers. In addition to his activism in the agriculture community, Vera Cruz was active in the Asian American rights movement throughout his career.

Sarah Jackson, Institute for Public Relations
This blog post is presented by the IPR Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Mental Health Awareness Month.

Studies have shown that nearly 1-in-5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year and mental illness is the leading cause of disability in the United States.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. During the pandemic, about 4-in-10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, a share that has been largely consistent, up from 1-in-10 adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019.

Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll from July 2020 also found that many adults are reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and well-being, such as difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%), due to worry and stress over COVID-19. As the pandemic wears on, ongoing and necessary public health measures expose many people to experiencing situations linked to poor mental health outcomes.
This summary is provided by the IPR Organizational Communication Research Center.
Dr. Hua Jiang and colleagues examined the influence of effective CSR communication on employee engagement and perception of CSR initiatives.
A survey of 811 employees was conducted.
Key findings include:
  • When employees perceived their organizations’ CSR communication to be highly effective (i.e., with high levels of informativeness, personal relevance, transparency, consistency, and factual tone in CSR communication), they were less likely to think of their organizations’ behaviors as hypocritical.
  • Corporate hypocrisy partially affected the relationship between CSR communication and reputation.
  • When effective CSR communication was present, employees were more likely to be engaged on social media to share their organizations’ CSR initiatives, and be physically, emotionally, and cognitively engaged in their organizations’ CSR activities.
  • Both employees’ social media engagement and CSR engagement resulted in their perceptions of a strong corporate reputation.
  • Employees’ social media engagement and CSR engagement partially affected the link between effective CSR communication and corporate reputation as well.
MAGNA and Current Global examined digital accessibility and necessary steps toward digital inclusion.

A survey of 807 people with visual, hearing, cognitive, or speech disabilities from the U.S. and U.K. was conducted.

Key findings include:
  • 40% of people with disabilities would not purchase from or recommend a brand if its communication is not accessible.
  • 60% of people with disabilities would choose a brand and recommend it if its communication is accessible.
  • 20% of those with disabilities said social media was more difficult to use than web browsers (12%), audio streaming (11%), or video streaming (9%).
  • 54% of participants use an assistive tool to consume social media and 30% still experience issues due to the content.

For more information on how to make your communication accessible, check out the Accessible Communications Guidelines compiled in partnership with PRCA and PR Council.

This abstract is summarized by IPR from the original journal article published in the Journal of Communication Management.

Dr. Juan Meng examined the impact of excellent public relations leadership on organizational culture and the value of public relations.

An empirical study of 222 public relations executives was conducted using the Heyman Associates PR executive database.

Key findings include:
  • A reciprocal relationship exists between organizational culture and excellent leadership in public relations.
  • Organizational culture generates a direct, positive effect on the achievement of excellent leadership in public relations.
  • Excellent leadership in public relations influences organizational culture by reshaping it in a favorable way to support public relations efforts in the organization.

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