Institute for Public Relations
IPR is featuring some of the many LGBTQ+ pioneers and modern-day heroes to celebrate Pride month.
Marsha P. Johnson was a Black trans woman and social activist. She legally changed her name after moving from New Jersey to Greenwich Village in 1966 and was recognized for being a central figure in the American LGBTQ+ liberation movement.

Johnson lived most of her life on the streets of New York without a permanent home or financial arrangements, a common struggle for transgender individuals. Johnson felt transgender people who just wanted to express their true selves deserved support from the growing LGBTQ+ community in New York. Along with fellow activist Sylvia Rivera, she founded the Street Transvestite (now Transgender) Action Revolutionaries (STAR) to help others facing the struggles of an unaccepting society.

Johnson also was one of the protestors at the Stonewall Riots, which lasted nearly a week after police raided a gay bar in New York City. The Stonewall Riots helped ignite transgender activism and reform and led to the formation of various advocacy groups. She also participated in the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) which sought political action and protection against oppressive laws and inequality based on sexual orientation. Due to her many contributions, Johnson is recognized today as a pivotal figure in the fight for Black and LGBTQ+ rights.
Hilary Fussell Sisco, Ph.D., APR, Editor-in-Chief, PR Journal; Associate Professor, Quinnipiac University
Letter from the Editor

Welcome to Volume 14, Issue 2 of Public Relations Journal. For our academic colleagues, we wish you rest and rejuvenation for this upcoming season, and for our practitioner colleagues, we wish you strength and fortitude for the warmer season of 2021. This issue features:

In Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You: An Intermedia Agenda-Setting Experiment of Public Diplomacy by Rochelle A. Rieger, Joseph P. Keiley, Michael L. Hathaway, Tiffani B. Walker, and Dr. Kaye Sweetser, researchers used experimental methods to better understand the credibility of media sources in navigating public diplomacy efforts. The outcomes of this study demonstrate the impact of media literacy and the importance of media relations.

The second article, The Impact of Corporate Social Advocacy on Stakeholders’ Issue Awareness, Attitudes, and Voting Behaviors by Eve Heffron and Dr. Melissa Dodd, investigates how corporate social advocacy stances from corporations impacted voters. This study helps to better understand the societal-level outcomes of corporate social advocacy.

In the third article, Diversity, Inclusion, and Leadership Communication in Public Relations: A Rhetorical Analysis of PRSA’s Diverse Voices, Dr. Nilanjana Bardhan and Craig Engstrom use rhetorical analysis to examine the prominent frameworks within 43 leadership narratives. The authors offer a critical lens in how D&I stories can enact change and lead to a more inclusive profession.

Weber Shandwick examined diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the workplace to examine the divide between corporate efforts to advance DE&I and the lived experiences of employees.

A survey of 1,527 full-time employees at large companies and across industries was conducted.
Key findings include:
  • Leadership tone and behavior were the strongest predictors of whether or not employees were satisfied with their organization’s approach to DE&I.
  • 47% of employees report that they have personally experienced and/or witnessed discrimination, harassment, and/or microaggressions in their current organizations.
  • 24% of employees who have experienced discrimination, harassment, and/or microaggressions are considering leaving their organization in the next year.
  • 57% of participants are very satisfied with their organizations’ approach to DE&I.
  • 31% of respondents have doubts whether their employer is investing sufficiently to advance DE&I.
  • 29% of employees have doubts whether their organization was working hard to build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture prior to the racial unrest in 2020.

This blog is provided by the IPR Organizational Communication Resource Center.

A lot is written about the value of supervisors in informing, engaging, and managing staff for productivity and organizational success. The importance of involving managers to get messages delivered to staff is also given significant attention. However, strengthening how firms can enlist, empower and coach this group to be more effective has been given limited attention.

The role of managers has evolved from just sharing information with their team to owning the experience at the workplace. With organizational structures changing and newer generations at the workplace, expectations have shifted dramatically. Furthermore, the pandemic has raised concerns and challenges for managers and staff alike on their approach to engaging each other. With this in mind, how can organizations consider engaging line managers differently? What can internal communicators do to empower supervisors to be more effective while communicating?

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