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In the PR industry, the desire to diversify has moved far past a trendy opportunity and become a dire necessity for the positive advancement of field.
Recently, there has been a particular focus on the underrepresentation of African American professionals that both enter and stay in the field. Given that over 43 million people in the US population were African American in 2018 (13.4% of the US population), it is essential to have communicators that are fluent in culturally-specific communication practices in order to properly reach this audience.
There has been no shortage of national campaign blunders where it appeared that valuable (and logical) input from employees with diverse backgrounds was absent, such as Pepsi’s and Dove’s missteps. Attracting and keeping African American PR pros in the field is more than a polite gesture toward equality, it is a necessary effort that could help your organization save millions.
You don’t have to look far to see the opportunity offered by diverse communicators, such as what Moss Hendrix, an African American pioneer in PR, did for Coca-Cola in the 1950s
Here are five points any organization should consider to recruit, hire and retain African American communicators:
1. Be authentic in your recruitment process.
Recruitment should be strategic and intentional.
The term “diversity” has become a workplace buzzword in the past decade. However, half-hearted efforts should not be pursued just to meet a quota.
This type of cosmetic diversity could have serious reputation ramifications as minorities who are hired might feel