IPR is featuring some of the many Hispanic pioneers who have had an impact on the field of public relations in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Born in San Antonio, William “Willie” Velasquez led a lifetime of advocacy for the Latino Community. As a young man, he was a founding member of the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO), a civil rights organization for Mexican-Americans.

After graduating from St. Mary’s University, he helped organize strikes for United Farm Workers in south Texas. Velasquez's greatest legacy was founding the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project in 1974, which encouraged Latinos to run for office, litigated 85 successful civil rights lawsuits, and organized hundreds of nonpartisan get-out-the-vote efforts.

Velasquez died suddenly in 1988 at 44 years old. In 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded the highest civilian award, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Velasquez.

This summary is provided by the IPR Organizational Communication Research Center

Dr. Yeunjae Lee examined how employees' perception of a quality relationship with the organization reduces their negative megaphoning behaviors. Negative megaphoning is defined as "employees' negative words about their organization which can damage corporate reputation."

An online survey of 403 U.S. employees was conducted.

Key findings include:
  • When employees experience negative emotions at work (such as anger, contempt, disgust, and fear) they are more likely to share bad aspects of their organization externally, internally, and on anonymous online channels (i.e., Glassdoor).
  • Employees' perceptions of injustice in the workplace can erode employee-organization relationships and increase the likelihood of employees feeling anger, anxiety, or frustration.
  • Organizations should identify and proactively prevent any issues that make employees feel that they are mistreated to reduce employees' motivation to engage in negative communication behaviors.

PRovoke Media examined pay disparities in the PR industry.

A survey of more than 3,000 PR professionals was conducted in 2021.

Key findings include:
  • The average annual salaries for PR professionals in 2021 are:
  • $119,556 for white men
  • $83,635 for white women
  • $76,468 for non-white men
  • $65,379 for non-white women
  • 51% of partner-level employees are men, while men make up only 25% of the PR workforce.
  • 25% of male respondents reported making more than $200K per year.
  • 51% of companies still cloak salaries in secrecy, although transparency around salary has been shown to lead to more equal pay.

Jan-Willem Van Prooijen, Ph.D., Joline Ligthart, Sabine Rosema, & Yang Xu, VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Dr. Van Prooijen and colleagues examined the entertaining qualities of conspiracy theories and why these qualities make people believe in them.

A series of five studies was conducted. In each study, participants were exposed to different types of conspiratorial articles.

Key findings include:
  • A conspiracy article with a lot of emotion was deemed to be more entertaining and provoked stronger emotional reactions than a factual article, which encouraged belief in the conspiracy theory.
  • Respondents who scored higher on sensation-seeking dimensions (a preference for exciting and intense experiences) were more likely to agree with conspiracy-related statements (i.e., "a conspiracy will determine the election outcome").
  • Sensation-seeking and its dimensions (boredom susceptibility, disinhibition, and thrill and adventure-seeking) reliably predict people’s belief in specific and concrete conspiracy theories.

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