Steps Communicators Can Take Now to Promote Diversity and Inclusion

[Editor’s Note: In observance of Black History Month we highlight diversity and inclusion. In addition to the essay on this page, please see pages 4 and 15-16 for more.]

Neil Foote, President, National Black PR Society/Principal, Neil Foote Communications

One of the frustrating things for communicators about the divisive and contentious times in which we live is that one word used in the wrong context or a picture taken in an unexpected awkward moment could go viral instantly.

Similarly, when it comes to diversity and inclusion, we have to be more diligent and hypersensitive as to how best we tell the stories of our companies and clients.

With an increasingly diverse and multicultural audience, there are three steps we should take into account.
Be Intentional
Diversity and inclusion don’t just happen. You have to make a conscious effort to create a mindset in your corporate culture that diversity and inclusion is tied directly to the mission, vision and values of your organization.

Howard J. Ross, the longtime social justice advocate and diversity consultant, urges companies to create a shared sense of purpose. Companies need to have established plans to recruit, hire and nurture a diverse team that goes beyond normal channels.
Get Outside the Office
A key action to take is to get out of the office. Visit black colleges, universities with large black, Latino/a and Asian-American populations.

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