Diversity in Public Relations

The public relations field is in the process of becoming more and more diverse in the racial make-up of the employees.

Unfortunately, African-Americans are still in the “trenches of public relations according to a recent article by  Natalie Tindall. In the 2010 census data, the PRSA reported “only 14 percent of the membership identified as black or Hispanic. That percentage has doubled since 2005.”

While there is not one specific answer for the lack of minorities in the field of public relations, some practitioners believe it is because they do not understand the economic viability of the profession. The PRSA ha been credited with an initiative to recruit practitioners from diverse ethnic backgrounds into public relations.

Also, I believe that some minorities are not familiar with the field in general.

The goal is not to integrate a variety of ethnic backgrounds into the industry in an effort to make the career a starting point for people of ethnicity. More importantly, Natalie Tindall points out  the goal is to, “promote a workforce that closely mirrors the community in which we live and work in.”

A more diverse workforce within the industry will ultimately make it easier to address a diverse audience across the country.

The outlook for public relations practitioners is bright. However, much work remains for the African Americans that have entered the industry. While, they remain relatively new it is important they make the same progress as the rest of the African Americans CEOs in different industries.

Tindall’s article was a call to action in terms of bringing a sense of diversity to the field of public relations.

Flickr Image by Chris Penn

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About Pat Terwilliger

Senior at the University of Oregon. Communications major and a minor in Business Administration.
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