The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the PR Workplace 

By Mia Bonfiglio

Increasing diversity and inclusion in the public relations field is a hot topic in society that is long overdue. Although companies are aiming to include people of many diverse backgrounds in their workplaces and advertisements, many have not successfully done so or their efforts have ended poorly. Let’s explore some of the ways agencies can ensure they are doing their part to promote diversity and inclusion. 

According to a 2019 Harvard Business Review article, there are five essential steps for PR firms to take when it comes to diversity and inclusion:

PRSSA hosted a variety of PR professionals to speak at our annual DEI meeting this past spring.

  1. Broadening recruitment strategies to include a wider range of people. 
  2. Improving internally by educating employees within the company about these topics and implementing applicable strategies.
  3. Using middle managers to increase the performance of their teams by conveying diversity.
  4. Checking in on diverse staff members and retention to ensure they are satisfied.
  5. Setting goals and progressively checking in on them.

By taking these steps, companies have a greater chance of successfully diversifying their employee network and maintaining a company culture that makes all feel welcome.

One company that has already taken the steps to achieve this is Progressive Insurance. They were ranked number one in Forbes Best Employers for Diversity in 2022, due to their representation of diverse backgrounds being roughly proportional to the U.S. population of the same backgrounds for many different categories, including people of color and women. Not only are they focused on recruiting, they also have many leaders from diverse backgrounds and emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusion leadership training throughout their entire company.

Just like how companies must prioritize diversity and inclusion, UGA and its student organizations must as well, in order to encourage students to be more socially conscious and to value diversity in their day-to-day lives, their education and their future work environments. PRSSA has made diversity and inclusion a forefront of our organization. Two years ago PRSSA created a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee.  

The DEI committee at PRSSA is working to make the organization a more well-rounded club. They focus on promoting DEI events on campus and in the surrounding community, as well as seeking out PR professionals of diverse backgrounds to speak and educate students on their career paths. Every spring, they host a DEI full-body meeting for our members. This committee is taking the steps needed to advance awareness in PRSSA, and they will continue to grow and strive to create an inclusive environment all around campus. 

Making a continuous effort to stay conscious of our environment, whether in work, school or anywhere else in our lives, and knowing how to use strategies to progress diversity and inclusion in everything we encounter is imperative and a major, necessary focus for companies, agencies and student organizations today.