Institute for Public Relations
IPR is featuring some of the many LGBTQ+ pioneers and modern-day heroes to celebrate Pride month.
Audre Lorde was a Black, lesbian poet and activist whose work advocated for the liberation of oppressed groups. Lorde published her first poem in Seventeen magazine as a high school student. She went on to earn a Bachelor's degree from Hunter College and a Master of Library Sciences degree from Columbia University. She worked as a librarian in the New York public schools throughout the 1960s.

Early on, Lorde discussed the intersections of race, class, and gender in canonical essays such as, “The Master’s Tools Will Not Dismantle the Master’s House.” She was central to many liberation movements, including second-wave feminism, civil rights, Black cultural movements, and struggles for LGBTQ+ equality. Lorde’s poetry is known for the power of its call for social and racial justice, as well as its depictions of queer experience and sexuality. Lorde dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices on the basis of race, sex, and sexual orientation.

In the second episode of In A Car with IPR – Zoom Edition, we meet up again with Brandi Boatner of IBM, Iman Jefferson of Nextdoor, and Kristena Lucky of BCW Global, to discuss how they are approaching 2021 in a whole new light. This talented trio discusses everything from hybrid work models, to the one-year impact of COVID-19, to the influence of the new presidential administration, and more!

For a deeper dive, watch Brandi, Iman, Kristena, and Tina chat in the deleted scenes of this episode. They discuss everything from their favorite meals to favorite podcasts, books, and more!

Emily Graham, IPR Trustee, Omnicom, and Bia Assevero, FleishmanHillard

One year after George Floyd’s murder and on the eve of Juneteenth, both moments reflecting the brutality of racism and systemic inequity, we must challenge ourselves.

Long before this turning point in our country’s history, we started with the idea that companies need to see diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as an integral, transformative business value. But this moment of reckoning that we are living has demanded pressing changes in how we think, speak, and act – not temporarily, not in a vacuum, but profoundly and permanently.

We hold the conviction that communicators have the power to catalyze and drive organizational change. So often, we are an organization’s connective tissue; the people to whom everyone else talks, even when they rarely talk to one another.

We are brand builders and storytellers. We are also protectors, who work to safeguard the reputation and minimize risk. That’s still our job. But it has evolved. Now, we must be the barometer of authenticity. Instead of merely proclaiming, “What we do we say,” we must ask, “What have we done?”

Kaye Sweetser, Ph.D., APR+M, Fellow PRSA, San Diego State University 
This blog is based on the original journal article in the Public Relations Journal.

When it comes to media literacy, the American public seems more receptive than ever to understand the implications of taking a discerning, critical view of information. In fact, 63% of Americans think that being skeptical of the news media is a good thing. As public relations professionals, we don’t disagree. That skepticism is good, especially when paired with a public that can discern meaning and quality within the media. Intertwined with media literacy is the public’s value of journalists’ credibility. Trust in media has declined greatly, and a recent poll placed media toward the bottom of a list of trust levels in professions serving the public.

We understand the American media’s role as an independent watchdog and their desire to tell both sides of the story. Yet, it starts to fray at the edges if journalists use frames resulting in potentially misleading labels, putting the onus on the reader to discern the quality of a source cited. My colleagues and I conducted an experiment to investigate credibility. We were interested in how western media quoted other media outlets in their coverage. Specifically, does the label that the journalist assigns the cited media make a difference? Looking at this issue from a public diplomacy lens, we studied how journalists referred to the soft power tool of a state-run, government-controlled (propaganda) news agency out of China.

This summary is provided by the IPR Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Easterseals examined the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities.

A survey of nearly 1,000 individuals within the Easterseals network was conducted from January 18 - April 9, 2021.

Key findings include:
  • 42% of respondents with disabilities did not use virtual healthcare services during the pandemic.
  • 69% of people with disabilities who used virtual services during the crisis wish to return to in-person services.
  • People without disabilities in the general population pointed to a substantial increase in use and satisfaction with telehealth services during the pandemic. 
  • 80% of U.S. medical students receive no clinical training for treating people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with 56% reporting that they are not competent to treat people with disabilities.
  • People with disabilities are three times more likely to be denied healthcare and four times more likely to be treated poorly while receiving care.

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