Pride Month in June is not only a celebration of how much better things have gotten in a country that once treated LGBTQ people as social pariahs. It’s also a reminder that we still have a long way to go to true equality. Two PR pros discuss the past, present and future of LGBTQ issues and how they relate to PR. This also will be the subject of a June 6 panel at the Museum of Public Relations in NY.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
This past Mother’s Day, The New York Times ran an opinion piece featuring several female athletes who are sponsored by Nike, focusing on the fact that Nike did not provide these athletes with paid maternity leave. The scandal reminds us that brand communicators should close the gap between what’s promoted and what’s practiced, and partner with legal teams to make sure that contractual language is consistent with brand values.
Diversity is both good to do and good for business. That concept should apply to media in its use of sources. Unfortunately, data show media sourcing in western media favoring men 3 to 1 over women. Preliminary findings indicate media with a more representative source base may reap financial and other benefits. PR pros can help media by curating and promoting a diverse source base.
There’s much to celebrate today, which is International Women’s Day, or IWD as it’s known on social media. While many brands are taking the day to tout the strides women have made, others are selfishly co-opting the moment in pursuit of profits. Meanwhile the PR community should have mixed emotions today too. PR has had plenty of success in recognizing women, yet sexism remains, as does a wage gap and a dearth of women in leadership roles.
Executives from APCO Worldwide studied the campaign against Nike and Colin Kaepernick on Twitter and found it wasn’t as widespread or authentic as it seemed at first glance. They conclude that brands should avoid rushing to respond to what appears to be negative social sentiment. Instead, they urge brands to study the elements behind anti-brand content before responding.
What a difference a year makes. After a 2018 Grammys ceremony that gave only one major award to a woman and prompted The Recording Academy president Neil Portnow to say that women should “step up” to advance their careers, the 2019 show was made deliberate moves to promote diversity. The 61st Annual Grammy Awards offered lessons on what diversity and inclusion currently mean to The Recording Academy, most for better and some for worse. Here’s what we learned.
As the PR News’ Top Women in PR awards luncheon approaches (Jan. 25, NYC), we look at why women continue to dominate PR in terms of numbers of jobs, yet are largely excluded from its leadership positions. We asked some of the women who will be honored next week about this and what can be done. They said the solutions should come from women and industry.
Diversity and PR are inextricably linked, yet communicators have talked about diversity for years and many issues remain within communications and many other sectors. PRSA-NY president Sharon Fenster offers five ways to bolster diversity in the PR industry and at brands and nonprofit organizations.
“Our decision to return the donation to Facebook and logging out of the platform for a week is part of a strategy to bring attention to Facebook ‘s failures in protecting the integrity of both our privacy and our vote,” NAACP’s Aba Blankson told PR News.
Even just a couple of years ago brands were more than a bit cautious when wading into social and political issues. Things are different now. Consider the size and scope of the 56 companies that signed a letter yesterday protesting rule changes for transgender people. Still, brands need to be careful when taking stands on social and political issues.