As PR pros, it’s important that we incorporate diverse and inclusive strategies into our daily practice. After all, the stories we help tell for our clients typically appeal to a wide variety of individuals. While actively pitching diverse stories is important, there are also other ways you can adopt a “diversity first” approach in your everyday work routine.
According to a recent article from PR Daily, a great place to start is by identifying what diversity, inclusion and equity really mean, making sure to address each in your everyday pitching and strategizing.
A helpful tool PR pros can reference to address unconscious bias and blind spots is the Diversity & Inclusion Wheel for PR Practitioners, which helps achieve a cross-cultural, multi-cultural approach to public relations. The wheel has six core categories – age, physical qualities/abilities, gender, race, ethnicity and national origin – which break down into 17 additional attributes to help you identify areas to consider when beginning to develop a campaign. The goal is to work toward including as many different kinds of people in your strategizing as possible.
The article also walks through four steps for adopting this approach, but the step that stands out to me the most is reviewing old campaigns with your colleagues. A great way to improve is to learn from your past examples. What do your past campaigns look like? Who are you pitching stories about? What demographic(s) are you targeting with your campaign? Do your past campaigns only recognize one kind of person?
It’s important to ask yourself these questions, and identify groups you may be unconsciously overlooking, so that you can actively work toward inclusion going forward.
While changing strategic thinking can take time, it’s important and cannot afford to be ignored. If you have already mastered this way of thinking, make sure to encourage your colleagues to follow your example.