Hilary Fussell-Sisco, Ph.D., APR, Quinnipiac University
Welcome to Volume 14, Issue 3, of Public Relations Journal, our final issue of 2021.  We celebrate another year of great work in the journal and the continued support of so many students, scholars, and practitioners. 

As the only journal focused on both the scholarly and practical contributions of public relations we appreciate the continued support of our authors, reviewers, editorial board, and the community. We continue to provide the most diverse and practical research for today’s issues in the field. 

Here are the articles in this edition of the Journal:

Qiongyao Huang, Ph.D., Hong Kong Baptist University, et al.
This summary is provided by the IPR Digital Media Research Center.

Dr. Huang and colleagues examined the relationship cultivation strategies and disaster social media functions that China-based Fortune 500 companies used in their Weibo posts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Content analysis was used to examine a random sample of China-based Fortune 500 companies’ Weibo posts from January 20-April 10, 2020 as well as the "relevant comment" under each post, as determined by Weibo. The final sample contained 756 Weibo posts from 30 companies and 553 corresponding comments.

Key findings include:
  • Openness was the most frequently used relationship management strategy by companies, followed by assurances and positivity.
  • Companies demonstrated openness on social media by reporting their organizations’ actions and frequently disclosing information during the pandemic.
  • Openness also positively predicted the number of shares on posts.
  • Access was the relationship engagement strategy that was positively associated with all levels of audience engagement.
  • Audiences were more engaged at the cognitiveemotional, and behavioral levels when companies included contact information, responded to comments, or addressed concerns in their posts.

This summary is provided by the IPR Organizational Communication Research Center.

Researchers examined how leaders’ oral communication strategies impact organizational authenticity (i.e., the level of truthfulness, transparency, and consistency employees feel about their organization) and organizational identification. 

An online survey of 482 participants was conducted.

Key findings include:
  •  When leaders use motivating language (effective communication from leaders which significantly impacts employees’ motivation) employees are more likely to find the organization to be authentic.
  • An increase in perceived organizational authenticity positively impacts how strongly employees identify with their organization and subsequently advocate for the organization.
  • Organizations should focus on:
  • Developing programs that will train leaders to leverage and maximize the use of motivating language when communicating with subordinates.
  • Paying more attention to the psychological state of their subordinates to better understand their beliefs and psychological attachment to the organization.
  • Developing real-time listening tools to gather employees' feedback and address their concerns.

Gartner examined the realities of the "future of work" and employees' perspectives on hybrid work.

A survey of 2,410 hybrid/remote knowledge workers was conducted in January 2021.

Key findings include:
  • 75% of hybrid or remote knowledge workers say their expectations for working flexibly have increased, and four out of 10 employees are at risk of leaving if organizations insist they return to an in-person office environment.
  • 45% of employees are high performers when given some flexibility, while 63% of employees become high performers when given radical flexibility (no monitoring of productivity inputs).
  • Radical flexibility is what drives performance, but it requires a culture of trust, empathy, and empowerment.
  • 51% of women who weren't working remotely before, but have been since the pandemic, say they feel safer in a hybrid work environment.
  • 56% of knowledge workers with a disability feel respected in an on-site environment compared to 81% in a hybrid environment.

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