PR Pioneer: Inez Kaiser (1918-2016)
The Museum of Public Relations
IPR has partnered with The Museum of Public Relations to feature some of the many Black PR Pioneers in celebration of Black History Month

In 1957, Inez Y. Kaiser (1918-2016) was the first African American woman to open her own public relations firm and serve national clients. She has also recently become the first Black woman to have her story published in a PR History textbook. 

Kaiser was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, in 1918 during the Jim Crow era. She majored in home economics and eventually went on to teach the subject for many years. 

After resigning from teaching, Kaiser opened her firm in Kansas City, Missouri. Her first account was the Jenkins Music Company, but it wasn’t long before 7UP (J. Walter Thompson), Sterling Drug, Burger King Corporation, Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, and Sears Roebuck & Company joined as clients.

Inez Kaiser also played an active role in multiple organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). She used her expertise as a communicator to help spread effective messages during the civil rights movement.

Read the rest of Inez Kaiser's bio to learn about her career and significant impact on the public relations industry.
Vaccine Misinformation Management Guide
UNICEF, The Public Good Projects, First Draft, Yale Institute for Global Health

UNICEF and partners created this guide to help organizations develop action plans to rapidly counter vaccine misinformation and increase vaccine confidence and acceptance.

A review of vaccine misinformation campaign case studies and other vaccine misinformation resources was conducted.

The study found that anti-vaccine messages are "stickier" (i.e., grab attention and stick in the memory) than pro-vaccine messages. Here are five tips provided to make pro-vaccine content "stickier" than misinformation:

  1. Capture attention. Use visuals, elicit an emotional reaction (but beware of fear appeals, which may backfire), and personalize content.
  2. Easy = True. Information that is easier to process and more familiar is more likely to stick. Provide clear, straightforward content that is easy to understand and remember – repetition helps, too.
  3. Be credible. The information needs to be credible (peer-reviewed scientific research), relevant to the target audience, and the source needs to be trustworthy.
  4. Motivate. Consider communicating about vaccinations according to the desirable outcome, not the act itself. Using social norms (e.g., the majority of people adopt a certain behavior) and self-efficacy (give people a way of coping with a threat) also help.
  5. Tell stories. Use narratives to engage your audience – people understand the world through stories as much as facts.

Read more to discover the science behind combatting vaccine disinformation.
Ad-Funded COVID-19 Disinformation: Money, Brands, and Tech
Global Disinformation Index

The Global Disinformation Index examined advertising revenue and advertising sources on the top COVID-19 disinformation websites.

Researchers examined 480 English disinformation websites which had the highest density of COVID-19 disinformation as a percentage of total content and carried advertising.

Key findings include:
  • It is estimated that advertisers unwittingly provided $25 million to these 480 English-language COVID-19 disinformation websites in 2020.
  • Google, OpenX, and Amazon have the highest share of ad revenues generated from COVID-19 disinformation websites.
  • These top three companies generate 95% of ad revenues to the sampled websites
  • Google ad services alone delivers $3 out of every $4 that these websites earn in ad revenues

Read more to learn about advertising on the top COVID-19 disinformation websites.
Challenges and Recommendations for Online Health Misinformation
Briony Swire-Thompson, Ph.D., & David Lazer, Ph.D., Northeastern University
Dr. Briony Swire-Thompson and Dr. David Lazer explored how individuals interact with inaccurate health information online, and how the ability to access so much information is affecting health outcomes. In addition, the researchers explored how the perceived trustworthiness of the institutions conveying health information has changed over time.

A review was conducted to analyze and discuss the spread of health misinformation online and propose strategies for improving the online information ecosystem.

Key findings include:
  • If an individual finds a source credible, they are more likely to believe that the information from that source is true.
  • Because of this, people with medical credentials who stoke unfounded fears are among the most dangerous sources for spreading misinformation.
  • Health communicators should be careful not to overstate causal inference between a health behavior and a health outcome.
  • A study by Haber et al. (2018) found that 34% of academic studies and 48% of media articles used language that was "too strong for their strength of causal inference."
  • Critical thinking is a skill that can be taught to tackle health misinformation, and new resources to teach ehealth and media literacy are becoming increasingly available.

Read more to discover the challenges posed by online misinformation and how this misinformation can be combatted.
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