Diversity in Public Relations

       Diversity in public relations is a growing trend. In recent years, companies have made a conscious effort to hire more minority professionals in order to be more skilled in communicating with the growing multi-ethnic markets. The growing presence of Hispanics and the buying power of African-Americans are factors that cannot be ignored. Ethnic diversity is an integral part of an excellent organization but change has been slow.  If practitioners are to be the moral guidance of an organization, they must help in the development of effective communication with minority publics and help others within the organization understand the value of those relationships.

      Institutions of higher learning are also lacking ethnic educators. Hiring more women and minority faculty would have a great impact on public relations education and the representation of minority individuals in the field and academic works. The presence of these educators would allow students to have professionals they can relate to and identify with, which would lead to assistance, encouragement and guidance for the rising professionals.

As a Newhouse student and a woman of color, I can understand the value of having a professor or a mentor that understands my needs, experiences, and struggles. I am very proud to have Dean Branham, a woman of color, as dean of Newhouse. Her presence has instilled hope and pride for the future of the communications industry. I look forward to working in an industry that understands the value of diversity in culture, community, and communication. Research however, indicates that women and minorities are still underrepresented in companies and top-level management as well as underpaid. We have progressed but must continue to strive for excellence.

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