Institute for Public Relations
The Institute for Public Relations annually compiles the top research studies that we think public relations professionals should know about from the previous year. The past couple of years have seen many changes in our industry and 2021 was no exception. With increasing vaccine availability, supply chain challenges, a new U.S. president, and the impact of climate change, there were no shortage of issues communicators focused on around the world.

Some of these challenges and topics spotlighted in this guide’s research include:
  • Behavioral Science
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Mental Health
  • Internal Communication and Culture
  • Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance
  • State of the Industry

Institute for Public Relations
IPR is featuring some of the many female pioneers to celebrate Women's History Month.

Leone Baxter was born in Kelso, Wa., on Nov. 20, 1906. She moved to Redding, Calif., and soon attained the distinction of being the only woman to manage a Chamber of Commerce. Baxter and her husband, Clem Whitaker, started Campaigns, Inc., the first political consulting firm in the United States.

The firm handled over 75 campaigns and initiatives ranging from taxation and finance to legislative reapportionment. Baxter and Whitaker worked on a diverse range of political issues, mostly for Republican Party candidates. They became well-known after their highly effective PR campaign prevented Democratic candidate and author Upton Sinclair from being elected Governor of California in the 1934 election. She died in 1961.

This summary is provided by the IPR Digital Media Research Center.

The Harris Poll examined Americans' interest in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the metaverse. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the metaverse is "a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users."

A survey of 1,060 U.S. adults was conducted from Jan. 14-18, 2022.

Key findings include:
  • 72% of U.S. adults have not used any AR technology. 
  • Currently, 16% of U.S. adults have not heard of AR technology.
  • 25% of U.S. adults have no interest in using AR technology, but younger adults are more willing to embrace AR, especially Millennials.
  • 32% of Millennials currently use AR technology.
  • 38% of Gen Z and 38% of Gen X have not used AR technology, but say they are interested in doing so.
  • 27% of all U.S. adults are not at all sure what group should regulate the metaverse and 9% do not think the metaverse should be regulated.
  • 28% of people familiar with the metaverse thought metaverse and technology industry leaders should regulate the metaverse, while 21% believe metaverse users should be in charge of regulation.

Academic Society for Management & Communication, Leipzig University, & the University of Duisburg-Essen
The Academic Society for Management & Communication examined trends that will impact corporate communications in 2022.

A scoring method was derived to rate each of the potential trends identified through a literature review. Five key trends for 2022 were found.

The most relevant trends for communication in 2022 include:
  • Language Awareness: valuing and embracing the diversity of language
  • Closed Communication: shifting from public to closed media environments, like private messaging services, that are only accessible to selected individuals or groups
  • Gigification: dividing projects and large tasks into small and completely independent jobs (gigs)
  • Synthetic Media: a new era of content generation and public communication partially or completely generated by computers
  • Cybersecurity: raising awareness, countering attacks, and safeguarding communications operations

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