Extra Credit Blog
The concept of diversity is one that is constantly reiterated throughout many aspects of the Communications industry and especially in Public Relations (P.R). Diversity is important when reaching out to audiences for consumer and company relationships because as the word defines itself, every society has an amalgam of cultural variety. Because Public Relations practitioners hold diversity sacredly for relationships they establish for employers, they are also expected to and should exhibit diversity in the workplace but this is not an issue that many practitioners have the same idea on.
In an article published by PR WEEK, a trade magazine for the P.R industry, entitled “Why retention is the roadblock to a more diverse PR industry,” the issue of diversity in the workplace of many P.R practitioners is spoken of. According to the aforementioned article authored by Gina Bradley, that was derived from a survey, “Nearly eight in 10 (79%) PR employers see their efforts to retain a diverse workforce as being successful. Yet only two-thirds (67%) of young professionals agree with employees on their retention programs.” The overall concept of the article was that employers think they are doing a great job by employing Hispanics and African-Americans; however the positions the aforementioned races occupy in the P.R industry are not pleasing to many employees.
According to Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics by Glen T. Cameron, Bryan H. Reber, and Dennis L. Wilcox, there are three specific job levels in P.R firms and departments. These levels include entry-level jobs such as technicians; mid-level /junior level jobs such as accountants and managers; and senior level jobs such as directors and executives. (Cameron, Reber, and Wilcox 102). From the titles of these positions, one can tell that the responsibilities, earnings, and investments of an occupant of either of the positions differ from one another; this is exactly the problem that Bradley explains. Bradley says that minorities feel that they are “denied the opportunity to go to various conferences for professional development, or being included on an assignment that involves travel, or being part of accounts that bring a lot of money into the office.”
I found this article interesting because it is related to the topic for my campaign in this class. My topic deals with teaching and implementing changes in the University of Tampa community through racial sensitivity training and that is also one of the solutions given for the problem of diversity in P.R work places. According to Lauren Wesley Wilson, President of ColorComm, a business community for women of color in the communications industry, “Companies get afraid when it comes to diversity…They don’t want to be misconstrued as racist, and don’t want to sound like they’re not sensitive to various groups. So there should be training and an open and transparent dialogue.” This is a solution that has worked in many aspects of life and I have no doubt it will help in many P.R workplaces. One step to equality in a P.R firm might lead to one step to equality throughout the world.