As I was researching the topic of Diversity in Public Relations it became apparent to me that growing up in West Michigan’s small town of Grand Haven, is similar to the make up in PR.  The population of Grand Haven in 2010 was 10,412. To give you a glimpse of my hometown, you would think you stepped into a blonde haired blue eyed Pleasantville.  With little to no diversity 93.6% being White, 2.4% Hispanic, 1.0% Asian, 0.7% American Indian and 0.6% Black. Growing up I always knew that Grand Haven was not the norm. However after study more about Diversity in Public Relations, I realized the numbers were similar. With Diversity Still Lacking, Industry Focuses on Retention  by Tanzia Vega from the New York Times, she states “results of the 2010 census were a tipping point in terms of highlighting the growing importance of minority consumers. It showed that there were more than 50 million Latinos in the United States, nearly 40 million African-Americans, and almost 15 million Asians. Nine million people identified themselves as belonging to more than one race.” With the diversity in the consumer’s number who is working at the corporate level. The percentage of minorities working in the advertising and marketing industries is notably low. According to a report issued in August 2011 by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 78,000 Americans working as advertising and promotion managers, 9.6 percent were Hispanic, 2.3 percent were Asian, and less than 1 percent were African-American. These numbers not exact to my small hometown yet still very similar with just around 88% Caucasian make up.

In the article it was addressed that The Advertising Club of New York undertook a project to support diversity in the Advertising industry. “ It will be called “I’mpart” — the last four letters standing for the goal to promote, attract, retain and train diverse candidates” They committed $700,000 to high school training programs as well as collage and post-college programs to help increase diversity in marketing and advertising.  Is this program to good to be true? This program will benefit women and men of all ages, races and backgrounds. It will be providing assistances to a  diverse group of people. “The program is being underwritten by selling ads in print and online media assets donated by Fast Company, Essence, The Atlantic, Family Circle, Popular Mechanics, Time, Travel and Leisure and Siempre Mujer, along with CNNMoney, AOL, Daily Candy, Forbes and WhiteP.” stated by Vega form the New York Times.

With organizations like PRSA  (Public Relations Society of America) leaders have brought attention to the issue of diversity in the public relations profession with a mission to: make PRSA more inclusive and welcoming by reaching out to industry professionals of diverse racial backgrounds, ethnicities and sexual orientations; help diversify the industry by supporting minority candidates who aspire to a career in public relations by helping them develop industry knowledge, relevant skills and a network of professional contacts; and bring multicultural understanding and expertise to public relations professionals in order to address the diverse audiences in the nation. A organization like this is a valuable asset to  the PR profession. As for my myself, being a heterosexual white women, there are many things that I don’t have think about on a day to day basis, but I am thankful for  a organization that supports all racial, ethnicities and sexual backgrounds. Diversity I’m sure is something that will still be talked about for years to come yet and I hope in my lifetime that there becomes a level playing field but I feel we still have a ways to go.


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