Patrick Thelen, Ph.D., APR, Chief Research Editor, IPR Organizational Communication Research Center, San Diego State University, and Cen April Yue, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
This summary is provided by the IPR Organizational Communication Research Center.

Dr. Patrick Thelen, APR, and Dr. Cen April Yue examined the relationship between servant leadership and employee advocacy. Servant leaders prioritize ethical behavior and the well-being of their followers, customers, and community over their self-interest.

A survey of 357 full-time employees working across various industries in Chile was conducted in February 2020.

Key findings include:
  • Organizations with servant leaders are more likely to have employees who feel empowered concerning the level of control, competence, impact, and meaning they have in their work environments.
  • Empowered employees are more likely to advocate on behalf of their organizations to both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Employees tend to believe their organizations are trying to build and maintain relationships with them when their leaders set aside their self-interest and prioritize employees’ interests.
  • When employees believe their organization is invested in them, they have increased willingness to promote and defend the organization.

Rebecca A. Hayes, Ph.D., and Caleb T. Carr, Ph.D., Illinois State University
This summary is provided by the IPR Digital Media Research Center

Dr. Rebecca Hayes and Dr. Caleb Carr explored how responses to CSR social media posts impact organizational trust and perceptions of credibility.

An experimental study with 257 participants was conducted. Participants were randomly assigned to one of five experimental conditions, each depicting a fictitious organization’s CSR social media post with varying degrees of feedback.

Key findings include:
  • Participants’ observations of third-party positive or negative comments on the CSR social media statement did not impact the organization’s credibility or other brand outcomes.
  • CSR social media statements resulted in moderately favorable perceptions of the organization’s CSR.
  • The organization’s replies to third-party comments did not appear to influence participants’ subsequent impressions of the organization.
  • Contrary to established assumptions held in CSR communication, specifically the importance of two-way communication via social media, social media managers should not be overly concerned with responses – negative or positive – to CSR statements made on social media.

MSL and The Influencer League
This summary is provided by the IPR Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

MSL and The Influencer League examined the racial divide in influencer marketing, especially concerning pay.

A survey of over 400 U.S. influencers was conducted from February to September 2021.

Key findings include:
  • 23% of Black influencers fell into the macro influencer tier (50K+ followers), where earnings averaged upward of $100,000, compared to 41% of White influencers. 
  • 49% of Black influencers report that their race contributed to an offer below market value.
  • Widen out to include BIPOC influencers, and 36% reported the same. 
  • 59% of Black influencers (and 49% of BIPOC influencers) reported that they felt negatively impacted financially when they posted on issues of race versus 14% of white influencers. 
  • 45% of Black influencers said “managing the financial process” was the most challenging part of working with agencies and brands versus only 27% of white influencers.

Chartered Institute of Public Relations
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations examined public relations professionals’ understanding and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI).
An online survey of public relations professionals was conducted globally from June - August 2021.
Key findings include:
  • 42% of respondents claimed to understand what AI as a technology means but do not consider themselves technical.
  • 39% of PR practitioners felt "excited" about AI compared to just 4% who felt "overwhelmed."
  • Around one in five practitioners were familiar with the relevance of both AI and Big Data in the communication profession.
  • One in five practitioners felt very comfortable using data and analytics in their role compared to just 8% of those who felt the same about AI.

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