IPR 2020 Year In Review
Institute for Public Relations
In 2020, IPR researched and offered resources about COVID-19 and vaccine communication, conducted new research, launched a new Center for Excellence, published more than 192 abstracts and blogs, and more!

We launched:
  • A COVID-19 Resource Center
  • A Vaccine Communication Resource Center
  • 13 Special Edition Research Letters
  • Six COVID-19 Signature Studies
  • The IPR Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, featuring six research areas:
  • Disabilities
  • Intersectionality
  • LGBTQ+
  • Mental Health
  • Women
  • 10 Signature Studies

Thank you for your tremendous support in 2020. Here's to an amazing 2021!

Read more to see the rest of what IPR released in 2020, including new programs, webinars, "In A Car with IPR" episodes, digital partnerships, and more.
Managing Fear, Confusion, and Stress Among Employees Amid the U.S. Presidential Inauguration
Peppercomm compiled a playbook for communicators including best practices for managing fear, confusion, and stress among employees ahead of Inauguration Day.

Peppercomm's proprietary AI tool called Mindset.AI was used to analyze millions of pieces of digital content between January 2-12, 2021.

Key findings include:
  • The level of fear among the U.S. general population was higher on January 12 than on the day of the Capitol riot (January 6) due to consumption of the news that extremists may be planning armed protests in D.C. and state capitols.
  • Among Biden supporters, confusion peaked during the riot and has remained at roughly the same level.
  • Stress also remained significantly higher than normal.
  • Among Trump supporters, levels of fear, confusion, and stress remained relatively low during and in the immediate aftermath of the riot.
  • The level of fear for Trump supporters began to increase on January 10, and by January 12, as the House prepared the articles of impeachment against Trump, they were significantly higher than that of Biden supporters.

Read more to learn about levels of fear, confusion, and stress, and to see 10 research-backed suggestions for communicating with employees during this time.
Five Lessons Regarding Organizational Listening and Empathy in Times of Global Pandemic
Marlene Neill, Ph.D., APR, Associate Professor, Baylor University

When Dr. Shannon Bowen and I started conducting interviews in February of 2020 for a new study on organizational listening, we had no idea that the focus of our study would shift due to one of the biggest health crises of our lifetime. We halted data collection for our study for several months as everyone’s lives were completely disrupted. When we resumed interviews in May, the focus turned to the pandemic’s transformational impact on internal communication and organizational listening.

Macnamara (2016) recommended that organizational listening should involve seven canons of listening, including “giving recognition to others” and treating them with respect, acknowledging others’ views and perspectives in a timely manner, paying attention to others and interpreting what they have to say as fairly and openly as possible, trying to understand others’ views, perspectives, and feelings; giving appropriate consideration to what others say, and responding in an appropriate way (p. 151).

Our study was sponsored by a grant from the Arthur W. Page Center. It involved 30 in-depth interviews with communication professionals specializing in internal and external communication, followed by an online survey with approximately 250 professionals. While the study is still in progress, here are several lessons to take away based on the experiences of public relations executives.

Read the rest of Marlene Neill's blog to learn from the experiences of public relations executives.
Intent to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine Rises as Confidence in Research and Development Process Increases
Pew Research Center

Pew Research Center explored Americans' perspectives on the COVID-19 vaccine including intention to get vaccinated and trust in the research and development (R&D) process.

A panel of 12,648 U.S. adults was conducted November 18-29, 2020.

Key findings include:
  • 60% of Americans said they would "definitely" or "probably" get a vaccine for COVID-19 if one were available today, up from 51% who said this in September 2020.
  • 21% of respondents do not intend to get vaccinated and are "pretty certain" more information will not change their mind.
  • 75% of Americans have a "fair amount" or a "great deal" of confidence in the development process, compared with 65% who said this in September.

Read more to learn about Americans' intentions to get the COVID-19 vaccine and the factors related to this decision.
Although More Americans are "Very Likely" to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine Since the Rollout, a Majority Think the Worst is Ahead of Us
The Harris Poll
The Harris Poll studied Americans' perspectives on the COVID-19 vaccine and the return to "normal."

An online survey of 1,951 U.S. adults was conducted from January 8-10, 2021.

Key findings include:
  • 36% of Americans said they were "very likely" to get the vaccine on December 30, 2020, compared to 26% who said the same in early December.
  • 78% of Americans are concerned about the potential side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 42% of respondents have heard about people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine having an allergic reaction.
  • 50% of respondents said hearing about allergic reactions makes them less likely to get the vaccine, and the other 50% said it does not have an impact on their decision.
  • 67% of Americans think the worst is ahead of us for COVID-19.
  • Respondents said it would take them "up to six months" to do the following after the spread of the virus flattens:
  • 51% said "fly on a plane"
  • 57% said "host/attend a large social gathering"
  • 62% said "stay in a hotel"
  • 77% said "go to the office"

Read more to see what Americans think about the COVID-19 vaccine and the "return to normal."
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