The primary objective of public relations professionals is to improve reputation.
This can be achieved by crafting and delivering effective messages as well as promoting an understanding between an organisation and its consumers.
How can we engage the public when we are not ourselves representative of the public?
Globalisation and technological change has created a business need for diversity. An increasingly fragmented media landscape with multiple channels, diverse clients and their respective target communities require an effective communication solution crafted by a diverse team that reflects the society it seeks to influence.
Diversity boosts creativity and insight, two key components of a successful campaign.
The CIPR State of the Profession Survey 2014/15 found two thirds of PR Professionals agreed diverse teams produced better campaigns.
Diversity covers a wide spectrum, including gender, race, age, disability, social class and sexual orientation.
One of the main diversity issues we must tackle for the industry to evolve includes the gender pay gap. The CIPR’s gender pay gap research highlighted that a clear pay inequality gap of £8,483 exists in favour of men. In the 2016 survey, the influence of gender amounts to a £6,004 disadvantage for women, a decrease of £2,479 on 2015’s figure.
Ethnic minorities are underrepresented in our industry too. The PR industry is perceived by some as a young person’s profession with job descriptions and images accompanying job vacancies, highlighting young PR practitioners. Unpaid internships are still prevalent and act as a class ceiling to those who cannot afford to work for free in order to get industry experience.
At the The PRofessionals, I will be part of a panel session with Jung Relations’ Claes Bodén and Frank PR’s Graham Goodkind during which I will discuss how, as a collective, the PR industry can embrace diversity.
Thanks for taking the time to read the blog post. Tickets for The PRofessionals can be bought here. If you’d like to be part of the conversation about diversity, the panel session takes place on Friday, 17 June.
Guest blog post by Farzana Baduel, Managing Director, Curzon PR