Diversity and Representation: PR and Beyond

Written by: Jonece Tallant, Associate Agency Director of HR

Public Relations is a field that deals with diverse projects, businesses and people. If this is the case, how diverse is PR itself? To be honest, not much. In the field of PR, only 8% of PR professionals identify as a non-white minority. Most in the field are middle class, white females.  PR has overtaken the hurdle of having more women in the field, yet is still lacking in having other minorities.  Part of this is may be because not many within minority groups are aware of jobs in PR, which could be in part because there are is a lack of minorities in the field.

Why is diversity so important in PR?

The clients that agencies work with are incredibly diverse. Having a diverse group brings in more ideas and creates a better understanding of different cultures. There are so many different cultures in the melting pot that is America so it’s important that they are represented. Personally, I would like to work with companies that have people that look similar to me.

Diversity is important in general. Why?               

I think that not only is diversity and representation important in PR, but in all aspects of life. There are more and more minorities in this country, the number is growing every day. I’m mixed. Black, white and Native American. I’ve been told by classmates from a young age that I couldn’t be half the Halloween costumes that I wanted. I couldn’t be any of the popular Disney princesses. My skin was too dark for the likes of Cinderella and Aurora. My hair too curly for even Pocahontas. 2010 was the first year I could dress like a princess thanks to Princess and the Frog. And you know what? I finally felt like I could belong. When my friends wanted to do group costumes, I finally had a princess, Princess Tiana. And everyone deserves to feel that way.

Links:

http://progressions.prssa.org/index.php/2014/11/21/exploring-diversity-in-light-of-public-relations/

http://careers.theguardian.com/pr-industry-lack-diversity

http://www.prweek.com/article/1282961/diversity-pr-whitewash

http://www.prsachicago.com/insights-blog/why-diversity-in-public-relations-is-a-business-necessity/

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