Diversity and inclusion work together to elevate creativity, productivity, and overall happiness in the workplace. The global pandemic has laid bare inequities rooted in healthcare, justice, education, and economic systems.
PR professionals can help raise awareness by advancing dialogue and discussion to understand challenges and issues that are lurking beneath the surface.
Businesses of all sizes are investing time and energy into diversity and inclusion programs and are paving the way for acceptance and change. PR plays a critical role in communicating such principles of a business.
To authentically represent clients and brands to wide audiences, a PR team needs to have diversity too, otherwise audiences may sniff out unauthentic brand initiatives. PR professionals can improve the state of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and put it on the front burner. There are various opportunities in PR which can share diverse perspectives as given below.
If a sizable chunk of a customer base or target audience uses a language other than English, it would be useful to translate press kit materials into that language and add them to online newsrooms. The language can also be used in outreach to applicable media. This would help to diversify a conversation and expand it to reach more people.
When telling stories, using inclusive language can widen perspectives. Instead of using ‘I’ or “U’, use ‘we’. Getting and sharing thoughts from people outside the immediate group can also help widen perspectives. People from a variety of backgrounds can be given responsibilities, and listening to what everyone has to say helps. Increased understanding of unconscious bias and racism is essential for those who are responsible for communicating with the public.
Lead by Example
Other than supporting people regardless of religion, sexual orientation, and race, PR professionals should exhibit that they actually care about diversity and inclusion. At Slice Communications, a client had been fired because he had made blatantly racist remarks in an email. The client was excellent in terms of revenue, but the organization was not willing to work with someone who was clearly out of line with its core values.
In press kit materials, it is wise to use the widest criteria possible for diversity and inclusion. It is important to analyze whether the images chosen represent the target audiences. Are the visuals representative of diversity? Diverse stock photos can be used, or there can be photo shoots of in-house diverse and inclusive teams that shows that the organization prioritizes representation. Sensitivity to differences in gender, race, culture, and ability is vital.
Advocating for others would help to communicate inclusively. Empathizing and being kind can enhance communication goals. By looking inwards before communicating outward for the next PR announcement or product launch, media campaigns that reflect diverse and inclusive culture can be created.