PRWeek‘s editor-in-chief Steve Barrett has published a column on the publication’s website in response to “a number of comments” they’ve gotten about the lack of diversity on this year’s Power List, specifically, the lack of African Americans.
“This can either be attributed to the careless omission or oversight by PRWeek‘s selection committee or that African American power players are hiding in plain sight. Either way, the list makes it seem as if there are NO African Americans making moves in the PR industry and that is simply not true,” Sakita Holley, CEO of the firm House of Success told us in an email.
The list, which features 50 publicists this year rather than 25 like prior years, was printed in this month’s hard copy of the magazine and online. According to Barrett’s column, “In this year’s Power List, Oscar Suris, Mike Fernandez, Jon Iwata, and Selim Bingol were not chosen because of their ethnicity or the color of their skin – they were chosen because of their ability and the senior levels to which they have risen in the communications industry in their respective roles.”
Before we even get into the issues with the list, let’s start with the condescending tone of this column.