When it comes to the importance of increasing minorities in PR, Kim Hunter and I literally are on the same page. He and I wrote side-by-side articles in PR Tactics last Summer. The headline of my article asked: Where are the diverse PR practitioners? Kim’s article discussed a changing work force: Why business–and the PR profession — needs more diversity in its ranks. (Kim’s article is accessible to PRSA members through the PRSA Archives).
I asked Kim to provide some advice for minorities pursuing careers in PR. The following guest post by Kim provides valuable insights for minorities and anyone else who wants to succeed in PR.
When I first started out more than 25 years ago, there was a severe shortage of ethnic minorities in PR and few organizations committed to resolving the problem. Out of frustration over the lack of minority representation in the communications industry, I founded THE LAGRANT FOUNDATION (TLF) in an effort to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the field. This generation of minorities pursuing careers in PR is at an advantage because of organizations dedicated to diversifying the industry. By providing scholarships, career development workshops, professional development, mentors and internships to African American, American Indian/Native American, Asian Pacific American and Hispanic/Latino students, organizations like TLF are opening the proverbial door for minorities by providing the necessary resources and tools not commonly available to minorities entering the field. Not too long ago, such opportunities for minorities were non-existent. On that note, I strongly encourage minorities seeking careers in PR to take advantage of any and all of the opportunities available to them.
- Get involved- Join national and student PR organizations and clubs like PRSSA. If your campus does not already have a chapter, look into creating your own. Also, keep on the lookout for volunteer opportunities.
- Stay abreast of trends in the industry- Subscribe to publications like PRWeek.
- Keep up with current events- Any skilled PR practitioner needs to have an understanding of what is going on in the world.
- Seek out scholarships, workshops and internships dedicated to your professional development- In this day and age, information is so readily accessible you can find out about scholarships and networking opportunities at the click of a mouse.
- Seek advice from other minorities in the field.
- Expose yourself to other industries in the communications field like marketing and advertising.