Answering the call to change: The Diversity Distinction in PR Awards

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Answering the call to change: The Diversity Distinction in PR Awards

The PR Council and PRWeek’s annual awards celebrate those who are striving to achieve greater diversity and inclusion within the comms industry

When PRWeek and the PR Council first joined forces to present the Diversity Distinction in PR Awards program, the hope was to provide a platform that would highlight the importance of attaining a more ethnically diverse PR workforce at all levels.

“There is a great deal of focus among organizations in the PR industry on attracting and retaining a diverse workforce,” notes PR Council president Kathy Cripps. “There is a palpable commitment to changing the composition of staffs – at all levels – to much better reflect the population of America. These awards recognize and applaud the changes taking place.”

Beyond the recognition, though, a key objective of this awards program is to inspire organizations to either do more on this front than they already are or to start doing something tangible.

To that end, it is noteworthy that four of this year’s five honorees represent organizations that have never won before. Moreover, numerous submissions that came during the entry period – from late June to late August – are from entities that have previously not taken part.

While the industry still has a long way to go on this front, our panel of judges was encouraged by the entries in the one new category introduced this year – Best New Diversity Initiative. The intent is to shine the spotlight on groups that over the course of the past year made a dedicated effort to do something concrete on the diversity and inclusion front.

The other categories over which our arbiters presided were Best PR Firm Diversity Initiative, broken up into two categories – for agencies with $25 million and above in annual revenue and those with less than $25 million in annual revenue; Best In-House Diversity Initiative; and Diversity Champion.

As the succeeding write-ups underscore, this year’s honorees highlight notable companywide cultural changes, tangible progress at the senior level, and a youthful leader whose accomplishments bode well for the future.

So while the ultimate accomplishment would be a sector so diverse and inclusive that these awards would no longer be necessary, the communications industry can take pride in the progress that has been made in the half-decade since the Diversity Distinction in PR Awards were launched.

Read the full article at PRWeek.com to see the list of winners.