In Brief: Americans Find Vaccine News on Social Media; Employees Prefer Company Values to Higher Pay

November-December 2021
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Roughly Half of Americans Find COVID-Vaccine News on Social Media, Surveys Say

Amid debates over social media’s role in spreading falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines, roughly half of Americans say they’ve been receiving some (30 percent) or a lot (18 percent) of news and information about the vaccines on social media, a recent survey from Pew Research Center finds. The other half (51 percent) say they’ve been receiving little or no vaccine news on social media.

Just 6 percent of those surveyed say social media is the most important way to receive news and information about coronavirus vaccines, while 33 percent say it’s important but not the most important way. The majority of Americans surveyed (60 percent) say social media is not an important way to keep up with news about COVID-19 vaccines. 

Younger Americans and women are more likely than older Americans and men to receive news about COVID-19 vaccines on social media, because they’re more apt to use social media for news in the first place, Pew finds.

Poll: Majority of Employees Prefer Company Values to Higher Pay

A recent poll shows that more than 84 percent of respondents said they’re willing to accept lower pay to work for a company with “a stellar reputation.” According to SCG Advertising + Public Relations, which conducted the research, 79.59 percent said it’s important that their employer share their personal views. 

Completed Oct. 12, the online survey also found that 74.19 percent of respondents would rather earn a mediocre salary from an employer whose COVID-19 vaccine policy they agree with, versus receiving more money from an employer whose vaccine policy clashes with their own beliefs. Only 7 percent of respondents said they’d consistently choose higher pay over all three other considerations — a company’s reputation, views and vaccine policy. 

“While the survey data indicates the value of aligning policies with employees,” said Michael Cherenson, APR, Fellow PRSA, executive vice president of the Whippany, N.J.-based PR and advertising firm and a past PRSA president, “organizations also need to be in sync with where their customers, clients and society at-large stand on core issues.”

How Ambitious Employees Need to Navigate Hybrid Work

As many offices prepare to reopen but allow hybrid schedules, some companies will let employees decide which days they’ll work in-person, The Wall Street Journal reports. For ambitious employees, that means strategizing how to get noticed and advance their careers. 

Managers and leadership coaches predict Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays will be peak days for office “face time.” But for ambitious employees, “Your boss’s schedule is your schedule,” says Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Workers with the most in-person access to leaders will have better chances for promotions, he says. 

When bosses see you in the office, “it’s a visual reminder you exist in the company outside of your team,” says Francis Ndicu, a product manager at HubSpot, a marketing-software company. “You’re closer to the top of their mind than others.”

Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School, recommends employees use in-office days to have coffee chats with managers, power lunches and project powwows with co-workers.

As Local Newspapers Close, Does Corporate Misconduct Increase?

When local newspapers cease publication and stop serving as watchdogs, corporations commit more legal violations and pay higher fines, new research suggests. 

As The San Diego Union-Tribune reports, a nationwide study says companies might become bolder in breaking laws when local reporters stop looking over their shoulders.

“When local newspapers closed down, the response was companies did misbehave in that way,” said study co-author Gerardo Pérez Cavazos, a UC San Diego professor who specializes in corporate misconduct. 

The study examined communities where local newspapers closed between 2003 and 2015. As the papers disappeared, local companies committed more violations involving securities, environmental, consumer-protection and workplace-safety laws, the researchers found. Overall violations increased by 1.1. percent, while fines jumped by 15.2 percent.

“Taken together, our findings indicate that local newspapers are an important monitor of firms’ misconduct,” the authors wrote. On the other hand, the researchers said, local newspapers may have incentives to avoid or slant reporting on local companies that provide their advertising revenue. 

Return to Current Issue Building a Reimagined Future | November-December 2021
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