Institute for Public Relations
IPR is featuring some of the many Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) pioneers who had an impact on the field of public relations in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month.

Yuri Kochiyama (1921–2014) was an AAPI political activist who contributed to movements for social justice and human rights.

In 1943, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Kochiyama was incarcerated at Camp Jerome in Arkansas – one of the incarceration camps that held 120,000 Japanese and Japanese American citizens during WWII. Kochiyama cites this as “the beginning of [her] political awakening.”

Kochiyama’s activism started in Harlem in the early 1960s, where she was a fixture in support movements involving organizations such as the Young Lords and the Harlem Community for Self Defense. As founder of Asian Americans for Action, she also sought to build a more political Asian American movement that would link itself to the struggle for Black liberation. In 1963, she met Malcolm X and joined his group, the Organization for Afro-American Unity, to work for racial justice and human rights.

We are deeply saddened by the news that Dr. Kathleen Kelly, a retired professor at the University of Florida, passed away on April 28 at the age of 77. Dr. Kelly was an active IPR Trustee from 2003 to 2012. Dr. Kelly won numerous awards for both her service and prolific research for the profession. She was the 1995 recipient of the IPR lifetime achievement award for scholars, the IPR Pathfinder Award. A champion for theory, she was one of the first academics to extensively study and research fundraising. She blazed trails for many others in the field. She was very well regarded by her students, especially her doctoral students whom she mentored, and who continue to honor her legacy in the profession. 

Hongmei Shen, Ph.D., APR, San Diego State University
This blog is provided by the IPR Organizational Communication Research Center.

In 2019, there was $431.43 billion in charitable giving – the second-highest amount ever recorded (Giving USA, 2020). Included in this figure is the amount given to education, which increased by 10% between 2017-2019. One key audience for charitable giving to education is alumni. Before they transition to become external stakeholders, alumni publics represent a unique opportunity for internal communication scholars and practitioners.

Research on alumni relations has predominantly focused on donations and donor relationship building, but relationships with alumni cannot be a one-way street wherein giving is only expected of the alumni, not the educational institutions. A central question for educational organizations is: what can they do to drive alumni engagement? Relatedly, what constitutes alumni engagement? To answer these questions, Dr. Bey-Ling Sha and I conducted a mixed-method study to evaluate alumni of an academic unit in a large U.S. public university, including 30 interviews, a pilot online survey, and a final online survey with 513 participants.

Jing Qiu & Nancy Muturi, Kansas State University
This abstract is summarized by IPR from the original journal article published in the Howard Journal of Communications in 2016.

Jing Qiu and Nancy Muturi examined how practitioners perceive diversity and inclusiveness of Asian Americans in the public relations industry.

The researchers conducted 19 interviews with Asian American public relations practitioners (14 men and 5 women) recruited through the Asian American Journalist Association (AAJA).

Key findings include:
  • The need to diversify the public relations field was reiterated by all respondents particularly because “people tend to trust people who look more like them, especially the Asian and Asian American communities.”
  • Family expectations and perceptions of success are key determinants of career decisions for Asian Americans, which are typically not in favor of the public relations industry.
  • Emphasizing the scientific nature of public relations, including the research component, is important in improving the credibility of the profession.
  • Practitioners noted the importance of mentors in the public relations field to encourage others from Asian American ethnicities, especially students and young professionals, to join the industry.

Pew Research Center examined Americans' social media use based on political affiliation and age.

A telephone survey of 1,502 U.S. adults was conducted from January 25 - February 8, 2021.

Key findings include:
  • Among Americans aged 18-49 years old, Democrats reported using most social media platforms more than Republicans:
  • Instagram: 68% of Democrats vs. 45% of Republicans
  • Twitter: 43% of Democrats vs. 26% of Republicans
  • LinkedIn: 44% of Democrats vs. 29% of Republicans
  • Among adults aged 50 years and older, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to use Instagram (28% vs. 15%), WhatsApp (23% vs. 11%), or Twitter (18% vs. 9%).
  • There are no partisan differences in this age group for use of other platforms including LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook.
  • Overall, there is a noteworthy partisan difference among White adults; Democrats are 18 percentage points more likely to say they use Instagram or Twitter.

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