The Launch of The Dialogue Project
Bob Feldman, Founder, The Dialogue Project
The problem of polarization in our society is only getting worse, according to new research, and there is a need for business leaders to step up to play a more active role in solving the issue.  

So says The Dialogue Project, a year-long research effort of which the Institute for Public Relations is a title sponsor. Founded by senior corporate communications executive Bob Feldman, the project is supported by such companies as Google, Bristol Myers Squibb, Chevron, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Southwest Airlines, among others, as well as the University of Southern California.  

The results include three segments:

  • An IPR-authored research report with quantitative survey data from Morning Consult on the impact of polarization and the dialogue divide in the US, UK, Germany, Brazil and India.
  • Original executive commentary from such CEOs as Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Mary Barra of General Motors, Gary Kelly of Southwest Airlines; Antonio Neri of Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Doug McMillon of Walmart; Kimberly Greene of Southern Company Gas, and Jo Ann Jenkins of AARP.
  • Case studies of innovative work already being done by companies, academic institutions and think tanks such as General Mills, Allstate, Chevron, MIT, American University and more.
The full content of The Dialogue Project can be found at
New Poll Reveals Public Concerns About Election Integrity and Government Response to COVID-19
Doug Pinkham, IPR Trustee, President, Public Affairs Council
With just a few weeks to go before Election Day, most Americans have doubts about the fairness of the voting process, reported a new Public Affairs Council poll. In fact, only 29% of Americans have faith that the 2020 elections will be conducted in an honest and open way. Concern about election integrity and/or voting access is widespread across every age group, education level, geographic region and ethnic category.

The poll, conducted by Morning Consult in late August among a national sample of 2,199 adults, examined a wide range of topics including how the pandemic has been managed, racism in America, and public opinion of large and small businesses.

Twenty-one percent believe the elections will be neither honest nor open, and 18% believe the elections will be open to everyone with a right to vote but won’t be conducted in an honest way. An additional 14% have the opposite concern — that the elections will be honest but not adequately open.

Read the rest of Doug Pinkham's blog to learn about Americans' perspectives on the upcoming election.
In A Car with IPR: "Back to the Future" with Diane Schwartz, CEO of Ragan Communications
In A Car with IPR is a video series by the Institute for Public Relations where we get to know some of the leaders in the public relations industry.

In the ninth episode of “In A Car with IPR,” we take a trip “Back to the Future” style to our interview with Diane Schwartz, CEO of Ragan Communications, in a carriage ride in Central Park before the COVID-19 pandemic. Schwartz talks to Tina McCorkindale, IPR President & CEO, about Schwartz's career path, research, and diversity in the profession.
Then, we meet up again on Zoom to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the PR profession, the industry’s future, and Ragan’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Watch the full episode and check out the deleted scenes!
How We Did It: "The New, Now" - How Accenture Altered Its Mindset to Overhaul Its Comms
Stacey Jones, IPR Trustee, Global Communications Lead, Accenture
In partnership with Ragan's PR Daily, "How We Did It" is a series featuring IPR Trustees discussing a success in their public relations career.

At Accenture, transformation is a constant.

I joined the company in the mid-’90s, and I’ve grown as it has grown. I have been fortunate to be a part of Accenture’s inspiring, ongoing transformation and have been able to draw on my roots in journalism and media relations to ask questions, keep learning, and assume increasing responsibility on dynamic teams.

This year, our chief marketing and communications officer, Amy Fuller, led the Marketing and Communications Department’s transformation to become a center of innovation while strategically driving greater brand equity and meaningful results. As part of that, I took on the role of leading global communications, and we began a redesign of the corporate communications function.

Read the rest of Stacey Jones' blog to learn how Accenture successfully redesigned its corporate communications function.
Political Divides, Conspiracy Theories and Divergent News Sources Heading Into the 2020 Election
Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center examined the deep partisan divide, conflicting information ecosystems, and conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 United States election.

A survey of 9,220 American adults was conducted from August 31 to September 7, 2020.

Key findings include:

  • 61% of Republicans whose only major sources of election news are those with right-leaning audiences (talk radio and/or Fox News) say mail-in voter fraud is a major problem.
  • This figure falls to 23% of Republicans whose major news sources do not include talk radio or Fox News.
  • 67% of Democrats whose only major sources of election news are those with left-leaning audiences (MSNBC, CNN, NPR, The New York Times, and The Washington Post) say mail-in voter fraud is "not a problem at all."
  • This figure falls to 35% of Democrats whose major sources do not include the aforementioned sources.
  • 16% of Republicans believe President Trump has the authority to delay the November elections due to the COVID-19 outbreak, compared to 4% of Democrats.
  • 47% of Americans said they have heard "a lot" or "a little" about the QAnon conspiracy theories.

Read more to learn about the deep partisan divide in the U.S., conflicting information sources, and conspiracy theories surrounding the 2020 election.
Cyberslacking in Remote Work Environments
Thomas O'Neill, Ph.D., Laura A. Hambley, Ph.D., & Gina S. Chatellier, Ph.D, University of Calgary
This summary is provided by the IPR Organizational Communication Research Center from the original journal article in Computers in Human Behavior

Dr. Thomas O'Neill and colleagues examined the identifying personality traits that relate to remote work effectiveness, specifically cyberslacking (a phenomenon in which employees are distracted by non-work Internet browsing during work hours) and engagement.

An online survey of 148 U.S. adults who work remotely at least one day per week was conducted. Examined personality traits included agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism, openness, conscientiousness, procrastination, and honesty.

Key findings include:

  • Neuroticism is an important predictor of cyberslacking, suggesting that employees prone to feelings of anger, irritation, and anxiety may need extra support when doing remote work.
  • Respondents with high scores on honesty and low scores on procrastination exhibited the most favorable levels of cyberslacking and engagement.
  • Employees high in conscientiousness kept their supervisors informed on work issues and progress, suggesting that these employees have greater motivation to avoid cyberslacking and remain engaged.
  • Extraversion and agreeableness increased conscious socialization efforts, which in turn predicted engagement.

Read more to see how personality traits relate to cyberslacking and engagement in a remote work environment.
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