In 2008 Taylor Bennett, an executive search firm specialising in communications appointments, established a programme to address the diversity gap in the PR industry, focusing on ethnicity. I have previously written about the lack of diversity in PR and the subsequent negative impact this has on the industry’s ability to communicate effectively across cultures and borders.
Taylor Bennett’s programme, which was set up as a charitable foundation in 2010, consists of a 10 week paid communications and personal development training programme for Black and Minority Ethnic graduates. During the programme graduates gain valuable work experience at some of the UK’s leading PR agencies. In addition, they are taught practical skills such as how to research stories, the art of blogging and career planning. As someone who has campaigned to promote the benefits of diversity in PR for a number of years, I fully support the work of the Taylor Bennett Foundation and, as such, will be running a workshop as part of the programme. The workshop, ‘You, Your Career and Cultural Diversity’, is aimed at culturally diverse professionals in the workplace and has been adapted to meet the needs of graduates taking part in the programme.
Diverse employees bring unique perspectives to the table, along with experience of different cultures and backgrounds, and creative solutions to problems. All of these things are crucial in helping organisations (including PR agencies) to differentiate themselves from their competitors and win new business in a global marketplace. During the workshop, I will be working with participants to explore diversity from a personal perspective to highlight how, based on their own unique cultural background, they can add value to a potential employer. I will also introduce the concept of cultural intelligence, which is the ability to function effectively in a variety of cultural contexts, and the importance of this skill at a time when PR agencies are increasingly being charged to communicate across multi-markets. Crucially, I will also equip participants with the skills required to communicate their value and point of difference in a way that is consistent, relevant and authentic.
I am extremely pleased to be able to support the valuable work of the Taylor Bennett Foundation which, by widening access to PR for a group that is currently under-represented, is helping the PR industry to stay relevant in an ever-changing cultural landscape. For more information about the Taylor Bennett Foundation, please click here.