The Top 15 Public Relations Insights of 2020
Institute for Public Relations
The Institute for Public Relations annually compiles summaries and key findings of the best research that we think public relations professionals should know about from the previous year.

In 2014, IPR compiled the first Top 10 list. Now with more quality research available, we've expanded to top 15 studies. The 2020 research topics included:
  • Behavioral Science and COVID-19
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Future of Work
  • Journalism and News
  • Year-in-Review/Pulse Studies
  • IPR Research from 2020

Read more to see which studies made our cut into the top 15.
Lessons Earned: When the Competition is Your Friend
Barbara Bates, IPR Trustee, CEO, Hotwire Global
In partnership with PR News,“Lessons Earned” is a series featuring IPR Trustees sharing a difficult lesson.

So many PR leaders focus on how to beat the competition within the highly competitive PR industry. Yet I wouldn’t be where I am without a little help from my friends. Sometimes, those friends are also considered the competition. Sharing knowledge, ideas and best practices allows us to push the industry forward, creating opportunities for all.

The Silicon Valley PR Principals Roundtable started more than 10 years ago. Its goal was to get agencies to talk about common challenges and overcoming hurdles. Though one might not imagine competing agencies sharing, Roundtable members recognized the importance of do this to advance the industry.

Read more to see what Barbara Bates learned about being friends with the competition.
How COVID-19 Taught Corporations the Value of Internal Communication
Alessandra Mazzei, Director, Centre for Employee Relations and Communication, Università IULM of Milan

Like all crises affecting companies, the COVID-19 emergency brought employee communication to the forefront — this time even more than usual. With physical distancing, employee communication became the primary way to promote closeness between people in organizations. In particular, employee communication managed various challenges and expressed its highest potential. 

The Centre for Employee Relations and Communication (CERC) at Università IULM conducted a study that analyzed the employee communication strategies used by Italian companies during these difficult times. Two focus groups and 10 interviews with employee communication managers outlined a qualitative picture of the challenges that companies have faced with the help of employee communication. This qualitative analysis was complemented with a survey on a sample of 116 employee communication managers working in Italian companies.

The study's qualitative stage outlined three main categories of employee communication strategies: creating a sense of security, sustaining a sense of belonging, and activating employees as allies of the organization. 

Read the rest of Mazzei's blog to discover the findings of the study and the implications they have on the future of internal communications.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Journalism
Thomson Reuters Foundation
The Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) explored how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted journalists and journalism in "emerging economies" and the Global South.

Interviews were conducted among 30 journalists in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America in September 2020. An additional 25 TRF alumni were interviewed in November 2020.

Several key challenges were identified by journalists:
  • The sudden structural impact on newsrooms
  • COVID-19 brought newsroom knowledge gaps to light, such as a lack of medical and scientific journalists.
  • Journalists had to evaluate how safe it was for them to engage in on-the-ground reporting, and often struggled in the field with transportation and access to PPE.
  • Combatting fake news and the "infodemic"
  • Encroachments on media freedom
  • Governments around the world have tried to "control the narrative" through means such as new legislation.
  • Journalists have had to navigate reduced access to health agencies, government press conferences, and COVID-19 data.

Read more to learn about the other challenges journalists and journalism have faced as a result of COVID-19.
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