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February 25, 2013
Lack of PR Diversity: 'Brands Ought to Start Noticing'
 
Lee Hayes, of Lagrant Communications in Dallas, has been in PR for 17-plus years, during which time he has become less than confident of the willingness of communications firms to become racially and ethnically diverse. "Today," he writes on The Holmes Report, "I no longer have faith or confidence that my peers around the country will do the right thing where diversity and inclusion are concerned in the communications industry..."

"Today, I firmly believe," Hayes continues, "that our profession will only achieve real diversity when brands begin to demand that their agency partners not only adopt, but adhere, to their very own corporate goals and policies where diversity and inclusion are concerned."

Hayes notes that "In 1995 when I began my career in PR, trade organizations and professional associations, such as the Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, Council of Public Relations Firms and the Arthur W. Page Society were in the infancy stages of giving lip service to diversifying the communications workforce, including forming committees, task forces and rolling out multi-year action plans. Sadly, the communications industry has yet to achieve any type of real diversity during my almost two-decade career as a PR practitioner."

Isn't it time that sentiments like these are taken to heart in the PR biz? The nation's demographic trends, along with basic fairness, argue that they should be.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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