First the good news: our business gets a lot of credit for employing more women than most (though we still lag in terms of female executives).
According to major organizations on both sides of the Atlantic, however, ethnic diversity remains a problem.
The Public Relations Consultancy Association—Europe’s largest industry trade group—just announced an audit to better measure the state of diversity in the business. The audit will apply to both agency and in-house teams, and its questions will concern “fair recruitment practices and diversity and equality policies.”
The PRCA launched a Diversity Network earlier this year after studies found that, while 14% of UK residents belong to a minority group, only 8% of PR/marketing/advertising industry employees can say the same—and a whopping 90% of PR professionals are white. The reason for this gap, according to another PRCA study, is that awareness of the industry among minority groups is low.
The United States faces a very similar challenge.
L to R: Colleen Fitzwater (ACS), Rebecca Andersen (PRSA’s National Capital Chapter), Bill Murray (PRSA National), Joe Cohen (PRSA, MWW), Jeff Ghannam (NCC) and Sabrina Kidwai (NCC)
The Public Relations Society of America just announced that the American Cancer Society will be its philanthropic partner for the 2014 International Conference to be held next October 11-14 in Washington, D.C.
As you can see from the pic above, the event’s theme will be “Leading the Way: A Fearless Future for PR”, with heavy emphasis on using the power of influence to “enact positive change.”
Joe Cohen, MWW Group SVP and PRSA National Chair-Elect, explained why the ACS pairs so well with that theme in an official statement:
In the age of the smartphone, using traditional email press releases to reach your target audience can feel a bit like performing brain surgery with a pair of scissors. So how can PR make sure the right message hits the right people at the right time—content and all?
Earlier this year we interviewed PR veteran Jeff Corbin on theIRapp, an application that helps those in charge of investor relations stay in touch with the people who matter most. At this week’s PRSA International Conference in Philadelphia, Corbin unveiled a new version of his product called theCOMMSapp, which he designed to serve the needs of a wider swath of the PR/corporate communications discipline.
Before the event, we had a chance to talk to him about the new product and about the PR industry’s need to go mobile ASAP. In the simplest terms, Corbin says it’s all about taking the message to them rather than making them come to you. Here are some excerpts from our conversation: