PR Pioneer: Barbara Harris (1930-2016)
The Museum of Public Relations
IPR has partnered with The Museum of Public Relations to feature some of the many female PR Pioneers in celebration of Women's History Month

Barbara Harris (1930-2016) was best known for becoming the first female Anglican bishop. Before she became a priest, she enjoyed a long and successful career in public relations. Harris started her career at public relations firm Joseph V. Baker Associates, the first black-owned public relations firm in the United States. At this job, Harris became the first woman of color to handle public relations for major corporate accounts. Among other responsibilities, she did media relations work for Roxie Roker of “The Jeffersons” television show, RCA, Harry Belafonte, and Marian Anderson. 

During her tenure at Baker’s firm, Harris set up and developed a Division of Women’s Information and edited a monthly publication for homemakers. She continued being promoted, eventually becoming president of Baker's firm in 1958. In September 1968, Harris left Joseph V. Baker Associates to work for Sun Oil Company, where she held high-level positions (including Director of Community Relations) until 1977. In 1973, she was elected president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. 

Harris was also involved in the Civil Rights Movement, registering black voters in Mississippi and marching with Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma in 1965. She supported women's rights and campaigned for involving women in the Anglican clergy.

Read more to learn how Barbara Harris paved the way for women in public relations.
The Communicator's Guide to Research, Analysis, and Evaluation
Mark Weiner, IPR Trustee, Chief Insights Officer, Cognito Insights and 12 other contributors
This is an IPR Measurement Commission Signature Study 

The Communicator’s Guide to Research, Analysis, and Evaluation was created to help public relations leaders understand how they can apply data, research, and analytics to uncover insights that inform strategic decision making, improve communication performance, and deliver meaningful business contributions.

A five-step cyclical process based on the core components of communication research, analysis, and evaluation serves as the cornerstone of this report.

This Guide also underscores why research, analysis, and evaluation are critical in communication. Additionally, the Guide features examples and applications, a research and evaluation cadence reporting table, an outline of commtech tools for enterprises, and the top 10 "must-reads" on evaluation.

Read more to learn how to continually improve your public relations practice using measurement and evaluation.
Purses, Pencil Skirts, and Podcasts: How Fashion PR Uses Podcasts to Connect with Audiences
Tegan R. Bratcher, Roy H. Park Doctoral Fellow, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This blog is based on the original article in the Public Relations Journal. The Public Relations Journal is a peer-reviewed academic journal presented by the Institute for Public Relations and the Public Relations Society of America.

Whether it’s one of your favorite pop culture celebrities, political analysts, sports commentators, or even one of your own friends, it seems that everyone is getting into podcasting these days. In fact, recent studies from Edison show that there are currently more than one million active podcasts and over 30 million podcast episodes available for streaming. A few short years ago in 2018, Edison reported just over 500,000 active podcasts – proving that use of the medium is growing rapidly. However, the many complexities of podcasting have yet to be wholly explored in scholarship. Bearing this in mind, questions arise about how podcasting influences or affects communication (and in particular, strategic communication.)

There have been many scholars who have studied the impact of new media in public relations campaigns. Those studies, however, emphasize social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. But, how can PR practitioners utilize podcasts as a means of connecting with existing and new publics? And, is podcasting a medium that PR practitioners should invest their time into? While we still continue to learn about podcasting, the medium has become a social media phenomenon to pay attention to. Even more, its implications for connecting publics and creating networks seems to have natural symmetry with the field of public relations.

Read Bratcher's blog to read about the results of her study and how fashion brands are giving consumers a behind-the-scenes experience using podcasts.
The Complex Nature of Internal Communication
Laura L. Lemon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Alabama

As I continue to conduct research to better understand internal communication in various contexts, the complexities of internal communication continue to present themselves. Whether it is a government contractor, research center, university, or nonprofit, internal communication is always more complex than what we assume.

In a recent conceptual piece, my co-author and I discussed the complexity that underpins employee engagement (Lemon & Macklin, 2020). Given employee engagement’s connection to internal communication, a complex perspective could also be applied to internal communication. Adopting a complex lens leads to suggestions and strategies that result in holistic solutions devoid of silos (McKie & Willis, 2012).

Practitioners should research who they are communicating with to ensure that messages are effective. How many times do we receive internal communication in the form of, let’s say an email, and we simply hit delete because it wasn’t relevant to us? That means those who are tasked with the internal communication strategy are neglecting to address the complex nature of internal audiences. Such audiences tend to be lumped together as one group, which misses an opportunity for deeper analysis and better connection.

Read the rest of Dr. Lemon's blog to see how communicators can adopt a complex perspective of internal communications.
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