2015 PRSA Study Addresses Diversity in the Public Relations Professions

11/05/2015 Unknown 0 Comments

CCNY Ad/PR Professor Lynn Appelbaum has co-authored a report with Franklin Walton, PhD, titled, "An Examination of Factors Affecting the Success of Under-represented Groups in the Public Relations Profession," funded by the PRSA Foundation. According to the report, the industry needs to make a more “concerted effort in diversifying the demographics of PR professionals to reflect the profile of the nation.” The US Census Bureau projects that by 2020 36.5% of the US population will be comprised of Hispanics, African Americans, Asians and Native Americans.

In a recent PRWeek article, Why retention is the roadblock to a more diverse PR industry, employers and employees hold differing opinions on the issue. Employers believe retaining multicultural employees is the answer.

Young Black and Hispanic PR practitioners who have graduated since 2008 were surveyed along with PR employers in the field from October 2014 to February 2015. According to the article, “Nearly 8 in 10 (79%) PR employers see their efforts to retain a diverse workforce as being successful….One-third of young professionals say the industry is not effectual at retaining a diverse workforce.”

“Other perceived biases noted in the study by young, multicultural PR pros include not feeling genuinely respected by colleagues (43%); believing they have to be more qualified than a Caucasian employee in the same situation (45%); and thinking multicultural practitioners are put on "a slow moving track" (44%).”

For more on this industry-wide conversation, read the PR Week article and Professor Appelbaum’s full report. Share your thoughts and join the conversation on Twitter via The Ad Club's #imPARTofDIVERSITY movement.