Institute for Public Relations
IPR is featuring some of the many women PR pioneers and modern-day heroes to celebrate Women's History Month.

Doris Fleischman was born in July 1891. She graduated from Barnard College and started writing for the New York Tribune women’s page in 1913. She was then promoted to assistant Sunday editor.

In 1919, she was hired by Edward L. Bernays as a staff writer at his organization Edward L. Bernays, Council on Public Relations. She and Bernays created effective campaigns to promote everything from oil sales to presidential candidates. She married Bernays in 1922 and was given an equal partnership in the organization. One of her key accomplishments was creating an internal client publication and getting press coverage for the NAACP convention in Atlanta. Doris Fleischman was an American writer, public relations executive, and feminist activist. She died on July 10, 1980.

Laura Lemon, Ph.D., The University of Alabama
This blog is presented by the IPR Organizational Communication Research Center

After reviewing the pieces I have previously written over the years for IPR, mindfulness seems to be a constant theme. I mentioned it when discussing burnout in the workplace. I also introduced the practice as a tool to enhance active listening. Therefore, I would like to expand upon the practice to further discuss how it could positively impact organizations. Specifically, mindfulness can facilitate empathy and cognitive flexibility, both of which are key to enhancing employee engagement and improving organizational workplaces.

Kabat-Zinn (2003) defined mindfulness as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment” and exercising nonjudgment of the experience, moment by moment (p. 145). Related to mindfulness, empathy is having the ability to understand the experience, emotions, and feelings of the other (Wei et al., 2011). Cognitive flexibility is one way to further define perspective-taking since the skill helps a person understand that, in any situation, there are alternatives available (Martin, Staggers, & Anderson, 2011). 

Given the connection between mindfulness, empathy, and cognitive flexibility, providing employees with tools on how to incorporate and apply mindfulness techniques in the workplace could cultivate greater employee engagement. This is especially true for management as they enhance both empathy and cognitive flexibility. Employees value supportive managers who are willing to listen to different viewpoints, which requires cognitive flexibility and perspective-taking. Therefore, mindfulness training and consistent practice could be an untapped resource to enhance the employee experience...

The Harris Poll and Fortune examined how employers are adjusting benefits to retain employees.

A survey of 2,019 U.S. adults was conducted from Feb. 11-13, 2022.

Key findings include:
  • Benefit costs have risen 2.8% over the past 12 months, or 0.9% between the second and third quarter of 2021 — a rate that’s been on a relatively steady upswing in recent years.
  • 13% of employees said employers introduced improved dental and vision coverage within the last 6 months.
  • 13% of employees said employers improved health and wellness stipends within the last 6 months.
  • 49% of employees say their employer has not introduced any new or improved benefits in the last 6 months.

Juan Meng, Ph.D., Solyee Kim, Ph.D. & Bryan Reber, Ph.D., University of Georgia
This summary is provided by the IPR Digital Media Research Center

Researchers investigated the ethical challenges facing public relations professionals in today's digital communication environment.

A survey of 1,046 public relations and communication professionals was conducted.

Key findings include:
  • 60% of surveyed professionals reported that they faced a wide range of ethical challenges in their day-to-day work.
  • Employees are using ethical codes of practice of professional associations, ethical guidelines of their organizations, and their personal values and beliefs as resources when facing ethical decisions.
  • Over 85% of surveyed professionals reported that they have participated in communication ethics training.
  • 30% of participants indicated that their ethics training took place in the past year.

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