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November 09, 2016

PRSA Continues Commitment to Diversity in the Public Relations Industry with Contribution to PRSA Foundation

NEW YORK (November 9, 2016) – The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the world’s largest and foremost organization of public relations and communications professionals, will provide the PRSA Foundation with up to $100,000 for programs and initiatives  each year for the next five years to support the Foundation’s efforts to increase diversity in  the public relations industry.

PRSA’s financial support and investment in the PRSA Foundation over the course of the next five years underscores a renewed focus on strategies that will educate, inspire and galvanize a diverse community of ethical, strategic communication professionals. The PRSA Foundation focuses both on attracting and preparing young adults to enter the public relations profession, and on working with employers and industry organizations on workplace-based inclusion efforts to welcome, support and retain a diverse workforce. This diverse workforce will be equipped with unique perspectives that will help them address the needs of our diverse world.

“Increasing diversity is an issue of major significance in our industry,” said Mark W. McClennan, APR, 2016 PRSA National Chair.  “As public relations professionals, we are responsible for representing and reflecting the perspectives of all segments of our Society and the global community in which we work and serve. A commitment to diversity must be part of our industry’s DNA as we evolve as a profession to meet the needs of our clients, the public and the organizations we serve. These are big tasks at hand and we feel that providing financial support to the PRSA Foundation is one of the most effective ways PRSA can translate talk into action.”  

Torod Neptune, Board President, PRSA Foundation and Corporate Vice President Corporate Communications, Verizon Communications, Inc., noted that the PRSA Foundation has unveiled new program initiatives focused on retention by supporting industry best practices and by collaborating with other industry leaders to promote best-in-class diversity retention, recruitment, and mentorship efforts across agencies, corporations, not-for-profit and all organizations where public relations people are working.

“We’ve done enough research. We’ve talked about the problem for too long. It’s now time for comprehensive and solid action, to work throughout our profession to accelerate progress – to create tools and approaches that can be used by all – to make an industry-wide , and societal impact” he said. “By focusing all our energy on funding high-impact programs exclusively within the areas that we know have the greatest impact on the diverse makeup of our industry, we are committing the PRSA Foundation to spurring meaningful and immediate change. Furthermore, by serving as a catalyst and collaborating with our industry colleagues, we believe we can make even more progress and ultimately see meaningful impact at scale now.”

The Foundation’s new initiatives include a mentorship initiative, an engaging and tailored program that matches mid-level mentors with mentees based on their career path and development opportunities. The Foundation will continue to provide support to diverse public relations students via existing scholarships and helping scholarship recipients establish a successful trajectory in public relations careers and become advocates for diversity and inclusion in the industry. Additionally, the foundation will create and convene a “think tank” of invited industry leaders who will work collaboratively to identify and analyze successful workplace diversity programs, and share them throughout the public relations profession as the foundation for industry standards.

For more information about the PRSA Foundation’s programming efforts, visit www.prsafoundation.org.

About the PRSA Foundation   
The PRSA Foundation is an independent, 501 (c) (3) charitable organization that is committed to promoting diversity among public relations professionals and companies so that they can best serve the public good and address the needs of a diverse world.  Headquartered in New York City, the PRSA Foundation was chartered under section 403 of the New York State Corporation Law as a not-for-profit organization.   The PRSA Foundation supports programs that attract, assist and prepare young adults to enter the public relations profession, and works with employers and industry organizations to create workplace-based inclusion efforts to welcome, support and retain a diverse workforce.  For more information about the PRSA Foundation’s programming efforts, visit www.prsafoundation.org.

About the Public Relations Society of America
PRSA is the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. With a mission to “advance the profession and the professional,” PRSA provides news and information, thought leadership, continuing education and networking opportunities; sets standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct; and advocates for the business value of public relations and greater diversity among public relations professionals. Based in New York, PRSA comprises 111 local Chapters; 14 Professional Interest Sections that focus on specific industries and practice areas; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is active at more than 340 colleges and universities.
Contact(s):
Laurent Lawrence
phone: 212.460.1452
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