Tag Archives: pr

Platinum: The CIPR Turns 70

Platinum booksThe CIPR has released a number of interesting reads over the past decade including Share This and Share This Too.

The latest release from the industry body is Platinum, a celebration of 70 years of the CIPR. It boasts a host of accomplished PR practitioners and academics among its authors, including Stephen Waddington, Anne Gregory, Jenni Field, Richard Bailey, Heather Yaxley, Sarah Hall,  and Jon White. It has an impressive 45 chapters covering a wide range of subjects including professional qualifications, AI, fake news, and measurement.

CIPR Platinum AuthorsAt last night’s launch a number of the contributors took to the stage to celebrate it being published, and the CIPR’s 70 and 70 list, which includes many of Platinum’s authors.

Given my background working in the diversity space, and the recent launch of my own business to help comms companies tackle diversity in their organisations, of particular interest to me were chapters 42 and 43, which focused on diversity in the industry.

Academic, Liz Bridgen, focuses on whether efforts to address diversity in the PR industry are having an impact, and in particular focused on the work of the Taylor Bennett Foundation though a number of interviews with alumni.

Bridgen starts with the (very good!) argument that diversity makes both business and moral sense, and questions what the industry is then doing to address this. She points out that the Foundation provides knowledge, skills and opportunities to BAME graduates and that alumni from the programme (quite rightly, in my opinion) view themselves as assets to an employer.

She also discusses issues of barriers to promotion and whether power to make hiring and promotion decisions is key to changing the ethnic diversity of the industry, with the alumni themselves recognising that becoming decision makers would give them much more influence.

“A common view was that once young BAME practitioners reached management roles, hiring practices would change and the industry would become more diverse.”

Liz concludes that despite the Foundation’s work there’s a way to go for the broader PR industry to be more ethnically diverse. I couldn’t agree more.

“It is undeniable that the Taylor Bennett Foundation training programme has helped practitioners access and become established in PR careers. However, the industry itself is still overwhelmingly white and middle class and tends to hire its own kind.”

Chapter 43, by Curzon PR MD Farzana Baduel, continues the theme of the value of diversity with an essay on global integration. She draws together the themes of technology and global markets to argue that teams become more diverse in cross country teams,

Like Bridgen, she explains that diversity is not just a moral imperative, it makes great business sense.

“McKinsey found that ‘gender-diverse companies were 15% more likely to outperform, whereas ethnically diverse companies were 35% more likely to outperform and therefore has become an economic driver’”

The CIPR’s drive towards a more diverse industry has taken a noticeable push under the leadership of current President, Sarah Hall who appointed the most diverse board the body has ever had. With Emma Leech taking up the presidency in 2019, and Jenni Field in 2020, I very much hope that continues. As Platinum illustrates, the benefits of diversity for the industry are numerous but addressing the issue takes action.

If you fancy hearing a bit more about the challenges around diversity and inclusion in PR, this recent Digital Download podcast by Paul Sutton with Sara Hawthorn is worth a listen too.

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6 ways to work with the Taylor Bennett Foundation

If you’re an employer in comms and PR, either agency side or in-house, it’s likely that diversity is up there on your corporate agenda.

I’ve written before on different initiatives which can help you tackle diversity issues in your organisation and thought now might be a good time to highlight all the ways you could get involved specifically with the Taylor Bennett Foundation.

The Taylor Bennett Foundation was established in 2007 to improve access to the PR industry for young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME). We do this through an award-winning ten week traineeship programme, mentoring, and summer internship placements. Over 150 PR employers support these programmes by donating, hosting visits, offering mentors, and offering work placements.

Sponsoring a programme
Each year we run a number of 10 week PR traineeship programmes for BAME graduates. 97% of our alumni are employed and over 60% work in communications. These programmes are a large commitment for the sponsors which previously include Brunswick, Finsbury, FTI Consulting, Talk PR, Edelman, MHP, The Red Consultancy, Charlotte Street Partners, and Standard Life Aberdeen.
If you would like to discuss sponsoring one of these programmes email sarah@taylorbennettfoundation.org

There are also a number of other ways to get involved:

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PR Interns Should Make Tea

tea cupOver the past couple of months I’ve been pulling together my annual ‘150 PR internships and graduate schemes‘ list.

Something was different this year. Several of the agencies specifically said about their internships that interns would not be expected to make tea, and one said interns aren’t sent to do the coffee run.

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10 Gifts for PR Practitioners

Black Friday is almost here so it must be Christmas shopping season. With impending festive shin-digs on the horizon, here’s my guide to ten gifts for the PR practitioner in your life. Secret Santa, we’ve got you covered.

1 ) Best. PR Intern. Ever. T-Shirt, £12.49 – £14.99
For the shining star in your comms team, this t-shirt comes in men’s, women’s and kid’s sizes and a choice of black, blue or red.

 

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Taylor Bennett Foundation appeals to PR community

TBF TraineesThe Taylor Bennett Foundation has been around since 2007, and is widely regarded as being at the forefront of taking action on the lack of ethnic diversity in the PR industry – in other words, we get results.

In the world of non-profits we’re considered a small charity, with an annual turnover of less than £300,000 a year. Much of our funding comes from our generous PR agency sponsors but that only covers about half the cost of running the organisation, our training and mentoring programmes, and supporting our alumni. We have to fundraise for the rest. To expand our programmes and increase the number of young people we help, we have to fundraise even more.

So when Stephen Waddington offered to brainstorm ideas for fundraising in his influencer session at #PRFest, my colleague Anne jumped at the chance to ask if the Foundation could be the focus of that work.

As you’d expect with a room full of creative comms people, lots of ideas came out of that session. Some we have used successfully in the past, some we have previously discarded as non runners, but one idea in particular struck us as something we’d not yet had a bash at and so, we’re giving it a go.

The Taylor Bennett Foundation 10th Anniversary Fundraising Appeal was born.

We’re aiming to raise £50,000 by the end of the year with our Just Giving campaign which will enable us to continue to run four training programmes next year, expand beyond London and launch a profile raising campaign in BAME communities to promote PR as a viable career choice.

Everyone I talk to about the Foundation tells me what great work we do, that the industry needs us, that the graduates need us and that we are making a difference not only to the diversity in communications, but importantly offering opportunities to young people who would otherwise not have access to PR as a career.

We have honed our programmes so that they get fantastic results. Over 70% of our alumni work in communications. Over 700 graduates have attended our assessment days and had detailed feedback to help with their job searches.

We have the skills, knowledge, passion and experience to deliver brilliant teaching, mentoring and work experience to BAME graduates, but none of it is possible without the funding.

So we are asking you, the PR industry, to demonstrate your commitment to improving diversity in the industry by digging deep and giving to our fundraising appeal. Your donation will make a real difference to a young person’s life.

Thank you.

You can donate to the Taylor Bennett 10th Anniversary Fundraising Appeal here.

This blog has also been published on #PRfest

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Practical ways to increase diversity in PR

 

This week The McGregor-Smith Review on race in the workplace was unveiled.  The headline of the report is ‘The time for talking is over. Now is the time to act’ and I couldn’t agree more.

The Taylor Bennett Foundation is cited in the report (p27 & 42) as a best practice case study and it says “The Foundation is a model for how other industries can engage with the imperative of diversity and the challenge of recruitment.” Quite right too. Continue reading

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How do you measure effective work experience?

Work ExperienceRecently the Learning and Work Institute commissioned a consultation with the Department of Education which revealed there is some confusion over “what effective practice in work placements looks like”

When talking to employers in the PR industry, my experience is that they are keen to offer work experience placements to school aged children, and internships or apprenticeships to school leavers/graduates. Employers know that to secure the future of their industry they need to invest in junior talent and encourage the next generation to get PR experience. Continue reading

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