By: Vision of Us – DePaul Bateman Team
Bateman is a case study competition through the Public Relations Society of America that allows public relations students to apply classroom education and internship experiences to create and implement a full public relations campaign.
Public relations is everywhere. From the moment you roll over in bed and scroll down the morning Instagram feed, to the political back-and-forths spilling over from cable news and into the CTA car conversations that surround you on your way to work. A strategically placed message sparks a conversation, and, there you have it; PR at its finest.
Following in those footsteps, our Bateman team seeks to start a brand new conversation at DePaul on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the public relations profession. With so much influence to be had, responsibility now falls on each of us to ensure diverse voices are both represented in our conversations and imprinted in our stories.
This blog post is the first of a series in which our team hopes to hear from the wider DePaul community on the topic of diversity and inclusion in PR. But, before we hand over the “microphone,” here are a few of our own reasons on why diversity should be promoted within the PR space.
1. Create business credibility
One of the biggest questions PR industry leaders must ask themselves is, “How can PR continue to build mutually beneficial relationships between diverse clients and publics if the workforce itself does not reflect external diversity?” It is a critical question that deserves more than a passing glance. According to recent U.S. census data, by around 2045 a majority of the country will be comprised of Asians, Hispanics, African Americans, and multiracial populations. In order to remain credible in the eyes and minds of diverse audiences, PR will have to open its doors and invite diverse people into its fold.
2. Provide a wider range of viewpoints
It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that more employee diversity equals more diverse ideas to draw inspiration from. Moreover, diversity provides a natural stopgate to prevent insensitive and potentially racist blunders from escaping the draft room. Think of H&M’s “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” advertisement and Burger King’s laundry list of problematic racial stereotype usage. When more multiracial people are given a seat at the decision-making table, less of these mistakes will get the opportunity to deface the public image of the brands we know and love.
3. Supply insights into underlying trends
Society is fueled by cultural trends that influence the way we see ourselves and interact with each other. Therefore, PR professionals need to continuously have a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in all corners of the world. Having a multicultural workforce allows PR practitioners to deepen their understanding of more nuanced and subtle cultural trends that may otherwise go unnoticed or be misrepresented.
4. Nurtures an open and collaborative work environment
Having a multicultural workforce as the face of a company sends the signal that people from ALL backgrounds are welcome. Instead of looking to homogenize the next generation of workers, PR firms need to embrace diversity and the new ways of collaborating that come with it. According to a recent McKinsey & Company report, companies with the most ethnically and culturally diverse boards are 33 percent more likely to generate higher earnings. Overall, collaboration amongst diverse people is key for originating never-before-heard business ideas, platforms, and strategies.
5. Builds relationships between organizations and their publics that are both reflective and understanding
At its core, PR is about building meaningful relationships between organizations and their publics. And in a fast-paced world that is constantly overrun with information, getting your story heard takes more time and effort than ever. In order to find that meaningful diamond in the rough, PR practitioners will need to become better reflective and open to diverse ways of understanding the world.
Of course, the list of reasons bolstering the importance of diversity and inclusion in PR goes on. These next four weeks, don’t hesitate to add to the conversation and ImPRint your unique passion and identity into the industry. Follow the #imPRinting hashtag on social media to join the conversation.