The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London hosted the launch of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations' diversity event The Conversation last week (Tuesday, 22 February) to an invited audience of top industry professionals, as well as many of the Collegeâ€™s Business BTEC Level 3 students. Guest speakers included Sharon Grant, a tireless community campaigner on equality issues who was married to the late Bernie Grant MP and Colin Douglas, Director of Communications at the Department of Health.
Colin Douglas said: “Public Relations involves carefully managing an organisation’s reputation to a wide range of audiences including its own staff and customers. The Diversity Working Group wants to help make the industry more inclusive.”
The audience talked about working with students in colleges and schools to raise awareness about careers in PR and reassessing the training framework to qualify.
PR is an industry, which has recognised courses from entry to postgraduate level. Employers often prefer these professional qualifications to university degrees. For the future PR apprenticeships may become a way in to jobs within the industry.
Kane Walker, who is in his final year of Business BTEC Level 3 at the College, said: “I’m going on to university and then I plan to work with one of the UK’s top 100 companies when I graduate. I came along to hear from leading PR professionals about routes into the industry and what I should be thinking about now to make sure I get a job.”
Just four per cent of PR executives are from black and minority ethnic backgrounds compared to twelve per cent of the working population as a whole. While sixty-five per cent of practitioners are women, proportionally more men are at senior levels within PR. Three per cent of the profession has a disability.
Diversity Working Group chair, Cornelius Alexander explained: “The group will spend the next few months drawing up conclusions based on these events and then we’ll make our recommendations to the CIPR, our professional body, to see how we can make the industry more inclusive over the long-term.”
- Last Updated: 01 March 2011